The Main Types of Elevators Explained This Is Everything to Know


Des: There are several different types of elevators that you should know about. You can find out more about these types by clicking right here.


There are a variety of different types of elevators out there. The kind of elevator you install will depend on the type and needs of your building. For example, some elevators cheaper and quicker to install while others are more spacious but more expensive. 


If you’re interested in installing an elevator at your business or home then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. 

Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators are powered by a piston that moves inside of a cylinder. The hydraulic oils are pumped by an electric motor into the cylinder, thus moving the piston. Then, the piston lifts up the elevator cab effectively and smoothly. 

An equally smooth descent is accomplished by electrical valves that control the release of the oil. A hydraulic elevator can be holeless or holed. A holed elevator uses hydraulic cylinders that are installed in a drilled hole. 

These holed elevators can go up to 60ft of travel.

As the name implies, a hydraulic elevator that’s holeless doesn’t use a drilled hole. These are great when either drilling isn’t possible or has already been constructed. If more than 40ft of travel is required, then holeless elevators shouldn’t be used. 

Instead, use a holeless elevator or mid or low-rise buildings. 

Machine Roomless Elevators

One of the most popular types of elevators is the machine roomless elevator (MRL). Machine roomless elevators take up less space than other types of elevators and don’t require a separate machine room.

Pretty much all machine roomless elevators use gearless traction and they have a motor that’s installed with a permanent magnet that sticks to the motor. These fixtures work with a Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF).

One of the biggest advantages of getting a machine roomless elevator is that they have quick installation times. They also have lower space requirements. 

Traction Elevators

These kinds of elevators are lowered and raised by steel belts or ropes on a pulley system. The elevator utilizes counterweight in order to offset the weight of the elevator cab and the people in it. 

Compared to other types of elevators, the motor on a traction elevator doesn’t have to pull as much weight. This means that traction elevators tend to be more energy-efficient than other kinds of lifts. 

This kind of elevator can be geared or gearless. If its geared, then you’ll find a gearbox attached to the machine’s motor. This gearbox moves the wheel as well as the ropes. 

The machines can go as fast as 400 ft. per minute. Gearless traction elevators, on the other hand, utilize a sheave that’s directly connected to the end of the motors. These machines can go up to 1,500 ft. per minute and are a bit more energy-efficient than their geared counterparts. 

Vacuum Elevator

This kind of elevator has only been around in the past two decades. These elevators don’t use a pulley system or cables to operate. Instead, vacuum elevators work based on the natural laws of physics.

These elevators are built with aluminum and polycarbonate materials and the system is basically like a tube in a sealed vacuum. The air above and underneath the elevator cab is what creates the movement. 

When you press the button to go up, the pressure above the tub is lowered. This makes the air pressor underneath push the elevator up.

When you want to go down, the opposite happens. The pressure is lowered underneath the elevator and the car goes down. 

These elevators are small and generally used in residential buildings. They can usually only hold between one to three people. 


How to Choose the Right Elevator for You

Elevators can be an expensive investment. Because of this, it’s important that you take all factors into consideration when you choosing the best elevator for your building. 

The very first you need to do is assess your building and figure out what the elevator will be used for. Let’s go over some of the biggest factors below. 


Different types of elevators will function in different ways and will come in a range of sizes. Passenger elevators can hold up to 10,000 lbs. The majority of passenger elevators, however, can only hold up to around 5,000 lbs. 

If you operate something like a hospital, then you’ll need elevators that can have enough space to hold stretchers or other bulky equipment. 


Freights can be extremely heavy. They’re thus going to need special elevators in order to move them. Freight elevators can usually hold 20,000 lbs or more. 


Many people tend to confuse freight elevators with service elevators. To put it simply, service elevators are passenger elevators that are exclusively used by the building’s staff. Service elevators are a convenient way for employees to move about the building without disrupting guests and customers.  


Residential or Commercial

Commercial elevators tend to be constructed to fit more passengers than residential elevators. Some residential elevators are designed to only hold one person. They’re often by far fewer users than commercial elevators. 

The Importance of Knowing About the Different Types of Elevators

Installing an elevator in your building is an effective way to help your staff, guests, and customers move about the building and transport materials quicker. But before installing one, it’s important that you understand the different types of elevators so that you can make an informed and confident purchase. 

Interested in reading other helpful articles like this one? If so, check out the rest of our blog today for more!




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