The Difference Between a Candy Machine and Gumball Machine

What is the difference between a candy machine and gumball machine? Can I vend candy out of any candy machine? No, the difference between a candy machine and gumball machine is the vending wheel inside of the machine. The first thing you need to do when purchasing a candy machine from us is determine whether you're going to vend candy (loose hard candy) or gumballs (can be bouncy balls, round toy capsules, or acorn capsules as well. NOTE: You cannot vend loose pressed candy (skittles, runts, hot tamales, etc.) out of a machine with a gumball wheel. 

How do I determine if my candy machine has a gumball wheel?


You can simple do a visual inspection. Here are the steps to determine if you candy machine has a gumball wheel:
1) Remove the lid from your candy machine using your key.
2) Make sure all candy has been removed.
3 Visually inspect your vending wheel and identify it using the link and pictures below (are the holes round or triangular).
4) Fill the machine with the type of candy, gumballs, or toys that match the wheel you have installed.

Please see our How to Identify Your Vending Wheel to determine which  wheel is installed in your candy machine.

Does your candy machine have the wrong wheel installed?


We have a full selection of candy machine parts for purchase if you'd like to swtich from candy to gumballs or vice versa. If you have not purchased your candy machine yet, please see the options on the product page and select accordingly.  

Full selection of candy and gumball machines:
Candy Machine
Gumball Machines

Bottom Line: Most our Candy Machine and Gumball Machines are essentially the same machines with different vending wheels installed. Please see each product record for individual options based on the product. Selecting a machine with an adjustable candy wheel will allow you as an operator to offer a number of different gourmet candies or nuts and still make a profit. It's very important for an operator to have the ability to control the approximate number of snacks that will vend each time. Nuts, for example, are very expensive and if you're on vending for a quarter, you'll need to make sure you are controlling how much your dispensing with each vend. Peanut MM's, on the other hand, are much larger than skittles and you'd want set your candy wheel accordingly. Gone are the days of one size fits all vending wheels (at least here at CandyMachines.com)!

Candy Machine with Candy Wheel (picture below) along with items you can vend:
Bulk Candy
Nuts (with adjustable candy wheel)
Animal Feed/Custom (call for details)

Candy Machine with Gumball Wheel (picture below) along with items you can vend:
1 inch Gumballs (22mm - 32mm)
27 mm Bouncy Balls (with gumball wheel)
1 inch Acorn Capsules (remove riser plate)
1 inch Round Toy Capsules (with gumball wheel)
Candy Machine with Gumball Wheel

If you try to add candy to your machine with a gumball wheel installed you will end up with a huge mess! Below is a video of what happens when you put candy in your machine with a gumball wheel installed: