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Dispenser TextureUpdate.png










Blast resistance








Yes (64)



Block Entity ID


Data value

dec: 23 hex: 17 bin: 10111

Namespaced ID


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 drops 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. For more information, see Haste § Instant mining.


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 always faces towards the player placing it.

A dispenser cannot be moved by pistons,‌[Java and Legacy Console editions only] or water. Lava flows 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]

A dispenser can be used to dispense its contents randomly.


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 does 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 can power adjacent redstone dust, etc.).

In addition to the methods above, a dispenser can also be activated by quasi-connectivity. A dispenser becomes 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 does 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 fires once and then locks in the "on" position.

If multiple slots are occupied by items, a random occupied slot is 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 are 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 behave differently when dispensed:

Dispenser Behavior
Item Effect
Equips on a player, armor stand, skeleton zombie, husk, or stray within the block the dispenser is facing with empty appropriate armor slot (any armor, made from any material). These undead mobs are an exception to this. Because they do not have a shield slot, they can only hold either a weapon or shield, but not both.
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 is set on fire. When a dispensed fireball hits a boat or minecart, the vehicle is destroyed and drops itself as an item.
Firework Rocket Launches in the direction the dispenser is facing in Bedrock Edition, or upwards in Java Edition. 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 disappears instantly, leaving only the empty bucket in the dispenser. If the bucket contains a fish, the fish is 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 is 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 Shear any sheep that is in the block in front of it.‌[BEPS4 & JE 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]

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]

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
The direction in which contents are shot or dropped.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the block.
True if this block is activated.

Bedrock Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
The direction in which contents are shot or dropped.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the block.
True if this block is activated.

Block entity[edit]

A dispenser has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block.

  • Block entity data
    • Tags common to all block entities see Template:Nbt inherit/blockentity/template
    •  CustomName: Optional. The name of this container in JSON text component, which display in its GUI where the default name ordinarily appears.
    •  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 causes a random seed to be used.[note 1]
  1. a b Both loot table tags are 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.YesPS3YesYes20GSilver
PS4, PSVitaBronze


Java Edition Beta
1.2Dispenser Revision 1.png Introduced dispensers.
Java Edition
1.2.112w03aDispensers are now able to spawn mobs from a spawn egg.
12w04aDispenser.png The dispenser's texture has now been changed.
1.3.112w15aDispensers have now been given the ability to place boats and minecarts.
12w21aDispensers 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.
12w22aDispensers can now naturally generate within jungle temples and are filled with a random amount of arrows that 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 the future, so players should stick to using droppers to dispense items.
1.513w04aDispensers 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.
13w10bPowered dispensers no longer fire if they receive a redstone update.
1.814w04aDispensers 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.
14w07aDispensers can now place command blocks instead of shooting them out.
1.8.6Dispensers no longer place command blocks, as it constituted a vulnerability.[2]
1.915w33aDispensers can now shoot splash potions and lingering potions much farther than before.
15w33cDispensers can now shoot fire charges as ender dragon fireballs, instead of as blaze fireballs.
15w39cDispensers can now equip mob heads and pumpkins.
15w44bDispensers can now once again shoot fire charges as blaze fireballs.
1.9.1pre1Dispensers can now use loot tables.
Dispensers generated in jungle temples now use loot tables.
1.1016w21aDispensers can now equip shields, like armor.
1.1116w32aThe block entity ID for dispensers has now been changed from Trap to dispenser.
16w39cDispensers can now dispense boats facing the same way as the dispenser, instead of toward the dispenser.
1.1317w47aCrafting a dispenser no longer requires the bow to be at full durability.[3]
Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 23.
1.1418w43aDispensers with shears in them now shear sheep with wool.
Dispenser TextureUpdate.png Changed dispenser textures.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.14.0build 1Added dispensers.
0.15.0build 1Dispensers can now be moved by pistons.
Bedrock Edition
1.10.0beta with shears in them now shear sheep with wool.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1Patch 11.0.1Dispenser Revision 1.png Added dispensers.
TU3Dispenser.png The dispenser texture has now been changed to the Java Edition 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 do 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.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Dispensers with shears in them now shear sheep with wool.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added 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.