Item Sorters are super sweet. But, I have a skeleton farm, and am getting tons of non-stackable drops. Since armor can be smelted into iron/gold, I'd like to smelt those drops in a furnace, and burn bows in a furnace. And trash all leather armor. Is there a way to sort out these non-stackable items in vanilla survival?

  • It has been a while since Fabian answered. Did you ever figure this one out? – IronAnvil May 19 '18 at 18:10
  • @IronAnvil Not really. Fabian's answer is partial, but gets at the key point. There's no "universal" sorter, but a couple of "partial" tricks. So, I abandonded my "universal" approach, and just have some partials in key areas. It helps, it's not ideal. An exhaustive list of tricks would be awesome.... – John May 19 '18 at 22:40
  • What partial tricks have you employed? I like your idea with the grinder. Are you still doing most of it manually? – IronAnvil May 20 '18 at 2:50
  • @IronAnvil Nothing beyond what Fabian says below. – John May 20 '18 at 13:21

There is no one way for all of them, but most can be sorted using different tricks: Armour and weapons can be equipped to zombies and unequipped again, potions and water bottles can be filtered using a brewing stand, shulker boxes can be placed and broken automatically and so on.

For now, please just look up " sorter" for all of them on YouTube, I'll expand this answer later once I've figured it out for all items myself.

  • Okay, that helps a lot. Turns out only burnable items will load from a hopper into a furnace. So, that's half of the problem very neatly solved (does require some redstone.) I haven't figured out smeltable or not though. – John Apr 23 '18 at 3:25
  • But you can't take it out of the furnace automatically. – Fabian Röling Apr 23 '18 at 7:20
  • 1
    Since, I "want" all burnable items to go to the furnace, that works out well for me.... – John Apr 23 '18 at 13:32
  • How does one equip and unequip a zombie with redstone? – John May 20 '18 at 13:21
  • Throw it to him, then throw something else to him. Thanks to MC-44283 you can make him get rid of the item again. I don't know if the swapping back and forth still works, but here's a video. If it doesn't work, you'll likely need one zombie per successfully sorted item, so you would need to connect your sorting system to a spawner or mob farm. – Fabian Röling May 20 '18 at 17:59

Use a regular sorter (

) to sort out arrows and then bone and the armor and bows end up in the last , Junk chest on the end. Also there is a way to filter out all non-stackable items in the middle of the sorting line up (
) but those non-stackable items can not be further sorted by hoppers. Hope this helps GL, webyankee


A temporary solution for armor, it can be dispensed onto an armor stand, then use a cobweb to catch the non armor items into a hopper for further sorting. Only problem is you can only have so many armor stands. After the farming is complete you could break the armor stands (by hand or from dispensed arrows) and sort them afterwards, and reload your stands back into position manually.

When you place a hopper under a brewing stand, it will remove the water bottles before the brewing commences.

Bows and fishing rods are fuel for furnaces.

I have no solutions for saddles or enchanted books yet.

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