How to Make an Item Sorter in Minecraft

In Short
  • The item sorter we are building allows players to filter items stackable to 64 using hoppers in Minecraft.
  • You need building blocks, several redstone components, hoppers, four filter items, and 42 items you want to filter.
  • By learning to make one item filtering module, you can expand the item sorter to fit your needs and Minecraft farm.

Farms are indeed a game-changer in Minecraft. They allow you to gather infinite resources without having to grind them out yourself. Because of that, having an advanced and large storage system is more often than not required. So, in this guide, we’ll be teaching you how to make an item sorter or item filter, one of the most useful components of storage systems, in Minecraft.

Items Required to Build an Item Sorter

Item filter size depends on the number of items you want to filter in Minecraft. If you are planning on filtering two different items, then the resources needed won’t be overly expensive. However, if you want to construct a massive system containing every bulk item in the game, then this project will be very costly and time-consuming.

We’ll be building just a single module in this guide, meaning it will be able to filter a single item.

However, the most amazing fact is that you can build multiple modules side by side and they’ll still function perfectly. So, just by learning how to make one module, you can expand it to fit your needs. This particular design was introduced by a popular Minecraft YouTuber impulseSV, so you can check him out if you haven’t already.

This item sorter works on the stackable to 64 items only. The resources you’ll need to filter one item are:

Resources you need to build an item sorter module placed in a chest in Minecraft

How to Make an Item Sorter in Minecraft

Once you’ve collected all the needed items, follow the step-by-step process explained below to make an item sorter in Minecraft.

  • Start by placing a chest and a hopper facing into one of its sides.
Hopper facing into a chest
  • Then, you will want to dig out a 4-block long and 1 block wide hole behind the hopper.
Hole dug out behind the hopper
  • Next, place one solid block filling the end of the hole opposite to the hopper.
  • Place one more solid block in the hole one block apart from the first block.
Two solid blocks placed in a hole behind the hopper
  • Then, attach a redstone torch to the block in the hole that’s closer to the hopper. The torch should be in the hole; also closer to the hopper.
  • Also, place a redstone repeater in the hole between two placed solid blocks facing towards the hopper.
Attach a redstone torch to a solid block in the hole closer to the hopper and place a redstone repeater in the space between two solid blocks, facing into the block redstone torch is attached to
  • Add three solid blocks attached to the hopper covering the redstone torch, one solid block in the hole, and a redstone repeater.
Place three solid blocks above a redstone torch, solid block the torch is attached to and the repeater
  • Then, place three redstone dust in a row on top of the solid blocks starting from the one at the end of the initial hole.
Add three redstone dust in a row starting from the one at the end of a hole opposite to the hopper
  • After that, place a redstone comparator on top of the solid block covering the redstone torch. It should be facing toward the redstone dust.
  • When you’ve got the comparator in place, crouch and place a second hopper on top of the first one, facing into the comparator.
Place a comparator facing towards the redstone dust on top of the solid block above the redstone torch. Then, attach a hopper to it, that's also above the first hopper.
  • After you do all of that, it’s time to fill the hopper with items. Put four of the named items filling the last four slots of the upper hopper. This will leave you with the first slot empty.
  • We renamed the items to ensure no more items will travel through these slots filling them up. If this happens, the redstone signal will become too strong and will disrupt the modules on either side, ruining the sorter. So, you mustn’t accidentally let these renamed items travel through the item sorter.
Put four named items filing the last four slots of the upper hopper
  • Then, choose which item you want to filter. Put 42 of those item in the upper hopper. The bottom hopper will unlock and let just one item travel through. Though it won’t end up in the chest, it’ll stay in the bottom hopper.
  • Whenever you add more items to the upper hopper, all of them should end up in the chest.
  • The chest can be expanded too, so you can store plenty of the filtered items. You can do that by chaining chests and hoppers together.
Expanded storage for the item sorter module in Minecraft
  • Next step would be to build as many of these as you need. To send the items over the upper hopper of the module, you can use water streams or even more hoppers chained together.
Fully built up item sorter example in Minecraft
The chest on the left is the input chest and the one on the right is the overflow chest.

Why Should You Build an Item Sorter in Minecraft?

Item filtering may seem like a completely unnecessary addition to Minecraft storage systems, and that’s because they are. You can bypass making the modules suggested above and having all your loot end up unsorted in one chest. However, when you wish to later take out the loot, it can get pretty repetitive and tricky, especially if there are tons of different items.

Item sorter is a rather amazing quality of life feature community has discovered. They make your life much easier and your chests much cleaner. If you prefer to manually sort items in your main storage room, that’s completely okay.

But building them as part of a massive farm is extremely recommended. Therefore, you can have all the various useful drops sorted and easily accessible to you, and all the other items you do not need get burned in fire or lava. This is a great example for when you build large mob farms that produce arrows which are redundant if you’re an infinity enchantment enjoyer.

All in all, constructing multiple item sorters is not a cheap project, but you won’t regret them once you see the results. So, what do you think about item sorters? Do you build them regularly? Share your thoughts with us and our readers in the comments below!

Why do so many items stay in the hopper?

The reason 42 items get stuck in the filter hoppers is because if there were fewer items, there would need to be more of the filter items inside the hopper. So all those additional items would increase the redstone signal drastically to the point that any adjacent redstone line will also get powered. This will eventually break the sorter and items end up in all the wrong places. That’s why you should use the item sorter for the items you have a lot of, like stone, logs, etc.

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