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Dispensing Wheel Information

Dispensing Wheel Basics

When setting up your first bulk vending machine, you will need to equip the machine with the proper dispensing wheel. The type of dispensing wheel you will need is determined by what you plan to vend. You will need a gumball dispensing wheel for 1" gumballs, 1" ROUND toy capsules or 27mm bouncy balls. A candy dispensing wheel is required for smaller candies like M&M's, Skittles, Mike & Ike's, chiclet gum, nuts, smaller gumballs, etc. Some machines might also have an acorn toy capsule option. One cool feature of a bulk vendor set with a candy dispensing wheel is that the openings on the wheel that the candy passes through can be adjusted to dispense more or less candy. Before filling your candy machine to the brim, you might want to experiment with the different dispensing wheel settings to find the one that works best for you and your business. Remember that candy comes in different shapes and sizes. A setting that works for one candy might not be the best for another.

Following are simple instructions on how to adjust the openings of your candy dispensing wheel:

  • Remove the lock, key and lid of your machine.
  • Using a Phillips head screwdriver, remove the screws are that are holding the globe down on the machine. In some cases, the candy machine might have two long hold down rods that are at the top of the machine's globe, or there might be four screws on the inside the globe in each of the bottom four corners. Once the screws are removed, lift the globe off the machine's hopper. You now have access to the candy wheel assembly, which consists of a brush plate and the dispensing wheel.
  • To get to the dispensing wheel, remove the brush plate (usually a plastic piece with vertical springs.) DO NOT loosen the screws that hold the springs onto the brush plate.
  • Once the brush plate is out of the machine, you can access the candy dispensing wheel. Some machines have a metal wing screwed into the dispensing wheel. To adjust the openings, remove the screws that hold the metal wing onto the dispensing wheel. Quantities are adjusted by lifting and removing the metal wing out of the candy wheel and replacing it using one of the other settings that is visible inside the candy wheel. Some candy machines have a plastic wing that can be lifted off the wheel without loosening any screws. Plastic wings have tabs on them that fit into grooves on the edges of the dispensing wheel to create the different settings. You can lift the wing up and rotate it slightly, lining up the tabs with the grooves to make the dispensing wheel openings larger or smaller.
  • Once you have the desired setting, replace the screws that hold the metal wing onto the dispensing wheel and then place the adjustable wheel back in the machine's hopper, centering one of the three holes over the hopper opening.
  • Next, replace the brush plate on top of the adjustable candy wheel. The brush plate is usually marked with the word "front" to make sure that you line up the springs so they cover the opening over the hopper.
  • Replace the globe, lid, lock and key and you are ready to vend!

Advanced Dispensing Wheels

Bulk vending machines usually vend a 1" item like a gumball OR smaller bulk candy items like M&M's, Skittles, chiclet gum, nuts, smaller gumballs, etc. What you vend from your candy and gumball machine depends on the type of dispensing wheel inside the machine (see "Dispensing Wheel Basics" above). The good news is, if you start vending a 1" item and decide later that you'd like to switch to vending bulk candy (or vice versa), you easily can without purchasing a new machine. All you need to do is swap one dispensing wheel for the other!

Changing the dispensing wheel in a bulk vending machine is easy. First, remove the lock and lid from the machine. Next, remove the globe from the hopper by taking out whatever screws are holding it down (usually two longer side screws, or four screws in each corner at the bottom of the globe.) Once the globe is removed, you should be able to lift the dispensing wheel up off the center rod of the machine. In some machines, you might have to remove two screws on either side of the dispensing wheel assembly to lift it out of the machine. After you have removed the dispensing wheel, you can now slide the new dispensing wheel down the center rod of the machine. If your dispensing wheel assembly has the word "front" on it, be sure to align the front part of the wheel with the front of the candy or gumball machine. Finally, replace the necessary screws, globe, lid and lock and you are set to vend!