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Blast resistance








Yes (64)



First appearances

See history

Block Entity ID


Data value

dec: 23 hex: 17 bin: 10111



Duncan Geere Mojang avatar.png Fill one with arrows and it becomes a deadly trap. Fill one with water buckets and it becomes an irrigation system. Fill one with boats and it becomes a drydock. Position a dispenser just so, and you can use it to barf out a pumpkin onto a T-shaped stack of iron, and so create a golem (or, if you fancy a challenge, have it deposit a wither skeleton skull onto a pile of soul sand).
Duncan Geere[1]

A dispenser is a solid block used as a redstone component to dispense items.


A dispenser can be mined using any pickaxe. If mined without a pickaxe, it will drop nothing.

Block Dispenser
Hardness 3.5
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 17.5
Wooden 2.65
Stone 1.35
Iron 0.9
Diamond 0.7
Golden 0.45
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.


Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Cobblestone +
Bow or
Damaged Bow +
Redstone Dust

The bow must be undamaged‌[Legacy Console Edition only].
Enchantments on the bow do not affect the resulting dispenser.

Natural generation[edit]

Two dispensers are naturally generated in every jungle temple.


A dispenser can be used as a container and as a redstone component which dispenses items when activated, with results varying on the item dispensed.

To place a dispenser, use it while pointing at a surface adjacent to the space it should occupy. A dispenser can be placed so that its output faces in any direction, including up or down. When placed, a dispenser will face towards the player placing it.

A dispenser cannot be moved by pistons,‌[Java and Legacy Console editions only] and water and lava will flow around a dispenser.


The dispenser GUI.

A dispenser has 9 slots of inventory space.

To open the dispenser GUI, use the Use Item control. To move items between the dispenser inventory and the player inventory or hotbar while the dispenser GUI is open, drag or shift-click the items. To exit the dispenser GUI, use the Esc control.

By default, the GUI of a dispenser is labeled "Dispenser". A dispenser's GUI label can be changed by naming the dispenser in an anvil before placing it, or by using the data command. For example, to label a dispenser at (0,64,0) "Alice's Dispenser", use data merge block 0 64 0 {CustomName:"\"Alice's Dispenser\""}.

A dispenser can be "locked" by setting the dispenser's Lock tag. If a dispenser's Lock tag is not blank, the dispenser cannot be accessed except by players holding an item with the same name as the Lock tag's text. A dispenser's Lock tag can be set or unset with the data command. For example, to lock a dispenser at (0,64,0) so that only players holding an item named "Alice's Key" can access the dispenser, use data merge block 0 64 0 {Lock:"Alice's Key"}.

Redstone component[edit]

See also: Redstone circuit

A dispenser can be used to randomly dispense its contents.

A dispenser is a redstone mechanism and can be activated by:
  • an adjacent active power component: for example, a redstone torch (except that a redstone torch will not activate a dispenser it is attached to), a block of redstone, a daylight sensor, etc.
  • an adjacent powered opaque block (for example, a block with an active redstone torch under it)
  • a powered redstone repeater or redstone comparator facing the dispenser
  • powered redstone dust configured to point at the dispenser, or on top of it, or a directionless "dot" next to it; a dispenser is not activated by adjacent powered redstone dust which is configured to point in another direction.
Some of these methods can activate a dispenser (in the sense of triggering an action) without actually powering the dispenser (in the sense of whether the dispenser will power adjacent redstone dust, etc.).
In addition to the methods above, a dispenser can also be activated by quasi-connectivity. A dispenser will be activated if one of the methods above would activate a mechanism component in the block above the dispenser, even if there is no mechanism component there (even if the block above the dispenser is air or a transparent block), but only when the dispenser receives a block update (including a redstone update within two blocks of the dispenser).
A dispenser will not activate if it has been less than 1 redstone tick (2 game ticks, or 0.1 seconds barring lag) since its last activation ended.
When activated, a dispenser waits 2 redstone ticks (4 game ticks, or 0.2 seconds barring lag) and then ejects one item. The dispenser does not continue to eject items while activated; ejection occurs only on the initial activation (the rising edge of an input signal). To eject multiple items, repeatedly activate the dispenser with a clock circuit. If the clock runs at faster than 5 hertz (more than 5 redstone pulses a second), the dispenser will be locked in the on position and will only fire once.
If multiple slots are occupied by items, a random occupied slot will be chosen for ejection. The slot is chosen when an item is ejected, not when the dispenser is initially activated, thus it is possible to move items into or out of a dispenser between its activation and item dispensing.
The effects of being activated vary with the type of ejected item. Most items will simply be thrown in the direction the dispenser is facing, as if a player had used the Drop Item control. (Unlike a dropper, a dispenser can't feed another container.) Other items will behave differently when dispensed:
Dispenser Behavior
Item Effect
Equips on a player or armor stand within the block the dispenser is facing with empty appropriate armor slot (any armor, made from any material).
Spectral Arrow
Tipped Arrow
Fired in the direction the dispenser is facing.
Boat Placed as entity (i.e., a right-clickable vehicle) in the block the dispenser is facing, if the dispenser is facing water or an empty block above water — otherwise dropped.
Bone Meal Uses bone meal (as fertilizer) on the block the dispenser is facing, if possible. If the block faced does not react to bonemeal, no bone meal is used.
Bottle o' Enchanting
Splash Potion
Lingering Potion
Thrown in the direction the dispenser is facing, as if the player had right-clicked the item in their inventory. Splash potions and lingering potions are fired farther.
Bucket Collects lava or water source block the dispenser is facing, adding the newly filled bucket to an empty slot in the dispenser's inventory. If there isn't room in the dispenser for the newly-filled bucket (i.e. the empty bucket was part of a stack and all other slots in the dispenser are also full), drops the filled bucket. If no source block is in front of the dispenser, drops an empty bucket.
Fire Charge Launches fireball (as if produced by a blaze) in the direction the dispenser is facing. When a dispensed fireball hits a mob (including a player) or a block, the mob or block will be set on fire. When a dispensed fireball hits a boat or minecart, the vehicle will be destroyed and drop itself as an item.
Firework Rocket Launches in the direction the dispenser is facing. Can be used to inflict damage if it was crafted with stars.
Flint and Steel If the dispenser is facing an air block, places fire in the air block and reduces the durability of the flint and steel. If the dispenser is facing TNT, ignites the TNT. Otherwise, does nothing.
Lava Bucket
Water Bucket
Cod Bucket
Salmon Bucket
Tropical Fish Bucket
Pufferfish Bucket
Places lava or water in the block the dispenser is facing (replacing the lava or water bucket in the dispenser with an empty bucket), if the block the dispenser is facing is one that the player could use a lava or water bucket on (e.g., air, flowers, grass, etc. — doesn't work with a cauldron) — otherwise dropped. Water dispensed in The Nether will disappear instantly, leaving only the empty bucket in the dispenser. If the bucket contains a fish, the fish will be spawned along with the block of water.
Minecart with Chest
Minecart with Command Block
Minecart with Furnace
Minecart with Hopper
Minecart with TNT
Placed as entity (i.e., a right-clickable vehicle) in the block the dispenser is facing, if the dispenser is facing a type of rails — otherwise dropped.
Placed as blocks. If placement completes the construction of an iron golem, snow golem, or wither, the entity will be created as if constructed by a player. Equips on a player, mob or armor stand with an empty helmet slot, within the block the dispenser is facing.
Shulker Box Placed as block.
Spawn Egg Summons a mob in front of the dispenser.
TNT Places and ignites TNT in the block the dispenser is facing, with a small velocity in a random direction.
Trident Thrown in the direction the dispenser is facing.‌[Bedrock Edition only]
shears As from 1.14, shear any sheep that in the block in front of it.‌[Java Edition only]
Others Dropped: Ejected towards the block the dispenser is facing, as if a player had used the Drop Item control.
When a dispenser dispenses an item, it emits a clicking sound (unless the item is a projectile or a spawn egg) and a smoke particle. If it is empty when activated, it emits a slightly higher-pitched click. The noise of a dispenser can be heard up to 16 blocks away.
A dispenser is a full solid opaque block, so powering it directly can cause adjacent mechanism components (including other dispensers) to activate as well.

Data values[edit]

Block data[edit]

See also: Data values

In Bedrock Edition, a dispenser uses its block data field to store its orientation and activation status:

Bits Values

Three bits storing a value from 0 to 5:

  • 0: Dispenser facing down
  • 1: Dispenser facing up
  • 2: Dispenser facing north
  • 3: Dispenser facing south
  • 4: Dispenser facing west
  • 5: Dispenser facing east
0x8 If set, the dispenser is activated.

Block states[edit]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description
The direction contents will be shot or dropped.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the block.
True if this block is activated.

Block entity[edit]

See also: Block entity format

A dispenser has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block. The block's block entity ID is dispenser.

  • Block entity data
    • Tags common to all block entities see Template:Nbt inherit/blockentity/template
    •  CustomName: Optional. The name of this container, which will display in its GUI where the default name ordinarily is.
    •  Lock: Optional. When not blank, prevents the container from being opened unless the opener is holding an item whose name matches this string.
    •  Items: List of items in the container.
    •  LootTable: Optional. Loot table to be used to fill the dispenser when it is next opened, or the items are otherwise interacted with.[note 1]
    •  LootTableSeed: Optional. Seed for generating the loot table. 0 or omitted will use a random seed.[note 1]
  1. a b Both loot table tags will be removed once the items have been generated.



Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo
Dispense With ThisConstruct a Dispenser.YesYesYesYes20GSilver


Java Edition Beta
1.2 Dispenser Revision 1.png Introduced dispensers.
Java Edition
1.2.1 12w03a Dispensers are now able to spawn mobs from a spawn egg.
12w04a Dispenser.png The dispenser's texture has now been changed.
1.3.1 12w15a Dispensers have now been given the ability to place boats and minecarts.
12w21a Dispensers have now been given the ability to shoot the liquids inside water and lava buckets.
Dispensers can now suck up liquids if activated again, filling up the buckets with the liquid dropped.
12w22a Dispensers can now naturally generate within jungle temples and are filled with a random amount of arrows that will shoot the player should they touch the tripwire connected to it or destroy it without shears.
Inventory sprites for blocks have now been flipped from left to right, changing to .
January 18, 2013Dinnerbone has stated that dispensers will have more features in future, so players should stick to using droppers to dispense items.
1.5 13w04a Dispensers can now face all 6 directions.
Dispensers have now been given the ability to use many new items. These items include TNT, bone meal, flint and steel and armor.
13w10b Powered dispensers will now no longer fire if they receive a redstone update.
1.8 14w04a Dispensers can now be used to place pumpkins to activate iron golems and snow golems.
Dispensers can now place wither skeleton skulls to activate the wither.
14w07a Dispensers can now place command blocks instead of shooting them out.
1.8.6 Dispensers will now no longer place command blocks, as it constituted a vulnerability.[2]
1.9 15w33a Dispensers can now shoot splash potions and lingering potions much farther than before.
15w33c Dispensers can now shoot fire charges as ender dragon fireballs, instead of as blaze fireballs.
15w39c Dispensers can now equip mob heads and pumpkins.
15w44b Dispensers can now once again shoot fire charges as blaze fireballs.
1.9.1 pre1 Dispensers can now use loot tables.
Dispensers generated in jungle temples will now use loot tables.
1.10 16w21a Dispensers can now equip shields, like armor.
1.11 16w32a The block entity ID for dispensers has now been changed from Trap to dispenser.
16w39c Dispensers can now dispense boats facing the same way as the dispenser, instead of toward the dispenser.
1.13 17w47a Crafting a dispenser will now no longer requires the bow to be at full durability.[3]
Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 23.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.14 18w43a Dispensers with shears in them will now shear sheep with wool.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.14.0 build 1 Added dispensers.
0.15.0 build 1 Dispensers can now be moved by pistons.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1Patch 1Dispenser Revision 1.png Added dispensers.
TU3Dispenser.png The dispenser texture has now been changed to the 1.2.1 (12w04a) texture.
TU5Added quick move to the dispenser.
TU9Dispensers are now able to spawn mobs from a spawn egg.
Dispensers have now been given the ability to shoot out the liquids inside water and lava buckets.
Dispensers can now suck up the liquids if activated again, but will not fill up the buckets with the liquid dropped due to a bug.
TU10Fixed the bug where the liquid from dispensers did not properly fill empty buckets.
TU19Dispensers can now face in any direction.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Dispensers can now place pumpkins or wither skeleton skulls to spawn golems and withers providing the body is already built in a valid configuration.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0 Added Dispensers.


Issues relating to "Dispenser" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.



See also[edit]

Some other blocks can also be used to move items:

  • Droppers can throw items or push them into adjacent containers.
  • Hoppers can push items into adjacent containers.
  • Ice and packed ice have reduced friction to item entity movement.
  • Slime blocks can impart velocity to item entities when pushed by a piston.
  • Water can push item entities.
  • Quasi-connectivity Applies to Dispensers.