Moving items

There are several redstone-powered blocks that you can use to move items around. And don't forget the usefulness of good, old-fashioned water!



The hopper is a block that is used to collect items from the environment, or to move items between containers.

The hopper is crafted from iron and a chest:

MInecraft Hopper

Right-click on a hopper to see its inventory: it has five slots into which items can be placed. Items that fall onto the hopper will also enter its inventory, if there is space for them.

The narrow end of a hopper will attach to the block that you click on to place it. If that item is a container (a chest, furnace, dispenser, dropper, brewing stand or another hopper) then the hopper will pass items onwards into that container.

TIP: To attach a hopper to another container, hold down SHIFT whilst clicking.


Minecraft hopper

This chicken's eggs will end up in the chest

Hoppers will also suck items out of containers that are directly above them. This makes it easy to automatically operate items such as furnaces and brewing stands.

Minecraft furnace and hopper setup

This setup allows easy smelting and cooking at an unattended furnace.

There is one drawback to using hoppers to empty your furnaces: you don't get any experience for it.

Hopper pipelines

Hoppers can be linked together to form a pipeline that transports goods efficiently.

Controlling the flow

Applying a redstone current to a hopper will stop it from transferring items.

Droppers and Dispensers

Droppers and dispensers are similar-looking blocks that can manipulate items. Both can hold nine stacks of items, and release them one at a time when they receive a redstone signal.


minecraft dropperCrafting

Droppers eject items gently, or feed them into an adjacent container such as a chest or hopper. If an item is dropped on the floor, it will be as if the player had dropped them, and they will disappear after 5 minutes.


Droppers can be stacked to make item elevators. Here is our tutorial.


minecraft dispenser Crafting

Dispenser also eject items when triggered, but for many types of item they don't just spit them out, they operate them as if the player had performed a right click

Projectiles (arrows, eggs, snowballs, splash potions, fireworks etc.) will be fired rather than dropped.

A flint and steel will set fire to anything flammable. TNT will be placed and ignited, and bonemeal will be applied to crops.

A dispenser containing a bucket of water or lava will place the water or or lava in front of it when triggered and if triggered again it will suck the water or lava back up.

A dispenser will place minecarts on rails or or boats on water, ready for the player to get in. If there is no rail or water in the right place, it will drop the item rather than placing it.