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What to Consider When Purchasing a Cash Drawer

What to Consider When Purchasing a Cash Drawer


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To some, a cash drawer might just look like, well, a cash drawer. But when it comes to choosing a cash drawer as a business owner, cash drawers become a bit more complex. How will it fit in your space? Is it big enough to accommodate your day-to-day transactions? What kind of till do you need? The list of considerations goes on and on.

Star is here to make the cash drawer selection process a bit more transparent and easier for you. Let’s explore the five key things to consider when purchasing a cash drawer:

1. Connectivity

First, let’s discuss connectivity options when it comes to cash drawers.

The most common type of connectivity for cash drawers is a printer driven interface, which means the cash drawer is controlled through the printer’s DK port. The DK port, which stands for Drawer Kick, sends a 24V DC signal to open the cash drawer and is used in the majority of cash drawers.

Another way to open a cash drawer is quite obvious: manually with a key. Most cash drawers have both DK port connectivity, and manual key access.

Lastly, there are also wireless cash functions controlled by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These cash drawers are not as common, and tend to be more expensive.

2. Size and Style

The next topic to consider is one of the most important: how big of a cash drawer do you need, and what kind of cash drawer should you choose to match the look and feel of your counterspace and other POS components?

On the market, there are normally two different sizes for cash drawers: a smaller option (typical 13” x 13”) and a larger option (typically 16” x 16” and larger). When choosing a cash drawer size, be sure to keep in mind considerations such as if you have items (like a keyboard) that needs to fit on top of the drawer, or if the drawer needs to be a specific height to fit under a counter.

You may also choose a cash drawer color to match the other parts of your POS. For example, if you have a white receipt printer and white tablet-based POS/stand, choosing a white cash drawer will help provide a sleek look to your counter.

How Star Can Help

Even though each store is unique, balancing cash drawers is one thing every store has in common. Star Micronics offers the tools you need to make balancing your cash drawer as simple and painless as possible. For more information on the solutions we offer, contact Star Micronics today!

3. Cash Flow

Next on your list of considerations is cash flow. What kind of currency do you accept? Do you accept a lot of physical coupons? What about checks?

Cash drawer tills (the part of the cash drawer that holds the money) come in several different sizes and bill/coin layouts. Some tils have room for the US standard (five bill and four coins). Other tills come with room for more coins or more bills depending on if larger, higher value bills, such as $50 and $100, are accepted. There are also available tills for Canadian and Latin American currencies.

Handle a lot of coupons, checks, and higher value bills? Be sure to choose a cash drawer with media slots, or slots on the front that feed into a hidden space underneath the till, to securely store these items.

4. Durability

Next on the list of considerations (and something that is very important) is durability.

What type of material is the drawer made of? Is it made of steel, or a different material? Cash drawers like Star’s, which are made of steel, are highly durable which not only makes your investment more worthwhile, but is also a security feature.

Another thing to consider is how many cash drawer opens is included in the product’s warranty? Be sure to choose a warranty that includes at least 1 million opens.

5. Security

Last but certainly not least on your list of considerations should be security. There are a few different security options to look for:

  • An additional lock that secures the drawer itself to the counter.
  • A locking till cover, so when you need to take the till to the back office at closing time, cash can’t be stolen during transport.
  • A universal key, so that cash drawers are easier to open in a rush and during an emergency there is no need to look through a huge key ring for the correct key.
  • A manual release options, so you can open the cash drawer no matter what. Manual release is quicker than waiting for a Bluetooth signal and even faster than some DK port signals.

Meet Star’s Cash Drawers


With three lines of cash drawers with a variety of features and price points, Star Micronics is proud to offer cash drawers for any budget or application. Learn more about each series below:

  • Value Series: The Value Series includes cost-effective cash drawers that integrate seamlessly into any retail or hospitality environment with a standard printer communication interface and bottom exit cable, hidden from the customer’s view. The cash drawers also feature four lock functions: locked, closed, online (opens electronically), manual open, and locked open.
  • Choice Series: Choice Series cash drawers include features businesses already know and love, but with added features such as extra strength to support touch tablets and POS terminals, a secure dual-drawer cable to enable the Choice Series to work as either cash drawer 1 or cash drawer 2, a foldable hinged key which minimizes the possibility of breaking off in the lock, and over 10 different lock set options for added security.
  • Max Series: Max Series cash drawers are the premier choice for retailers. Featuring durable, high quality drawers with Kensington lock compatibility and sleek Star branding, the cash drawers are designed to securely manage cash while delivering professional looks. The cash drawers also feature four lock functions: locked, closed, online (opens electronically), manual open, and locked open.

Explore all of the cash drawers now.

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