How many balls do I need (and other ball questions)?

Pachinko Balls

How many Pachinko balls do I need for my machine? A minimum of 250 but we recommend 500 to 1,000 so you won’t need to refill the supply tray as often.

Where can I get Pachinko balls?  You can buy them on eBay, or from companies like VintagePachinko.com or Slot-Pachinko.com.

What are the specifications of a Pachinko ball? They are 11 mm in diameter and weigh approximately 5.75 grams. The majority are chrome plated but some are gold/brass plated.

Do the gold balls mean anything? Not really. The pachinko machine doesn’t know the difference in a gold ball or chrome ball. Adding a few gold balls to your machine just adds a little excitement. “Oh! I won a gold ball!”

Why do some Pachinko balls have writing and some don’t? Authentic Pachinko balls are engraved to identify the Pachinko parlor they are from. Some companies have manufactured balls without writing to be used in Pachinko machines. They both work the same. This link will take you to a website where you can see how authentic pachinko balls are made.

Do I need to clean my Pachinko balls? Yes, because the oil from your hands gets transferred to the pachinko balls, and the oil will attract dust and then deposit it throughout the pachinko machine. These deposits can interfere with the normal operation of your machine. Depending on how often you play, clean your pachinko balls once a month or every few months.

How do I clean my Pachinko balls? There are many different options; the key is to make sure the balls are dry if you use a liquid so the balls don’t rust. We use a large rock tumbler or vibration tumbler with crushed walnut shells from a pet store. Turn it on and let it run for 12 to 24 hours. Others take a large bowl, put one of the following mixtures in, add balls and swirl them around, then lay the balls on a towel and dry them really well. Hot soapy water. Vinegar. CLR and hot water.

How do I get the rust off the Pachinko balls? Surface rust can be removed with various rust removal products. If the rust is severe and won’t come off, throw them away. Caution: test any chemicals on a few balls first. You can buy products from your local hardware store or online at http://www.theruststore.com. We use a large rock tumbler or vibration tumbler with crushed walnut shells from a pet store that cleans the balls and removes surface rust.

What if my Pachinko balls are pitted or have cracks in them? Throw them away. If the surface of the ball isn’t smooth, get rid of it. If rust has eaten into the ball and made it rough or if there is a crack in the ball, it could scratch your playfield or cause other damage.

How do I store the Pachinko balls? Clean the pachinko balls first then seal them in a container and store them at room temperature. Put one of those packages you get with electronics to absorb moisture in the container as well.

Pachinko Ball Bucket

What should I use for a Pachinko ball bucket? Just about anything will work. Check your grocery store for plastic storage containers similar to the ‘GladWare Containers’ or make your own out of anything you have around the house.

Here are the specifications for the original pachinko ball buckets from the 1970s.  They came in two primary sizes and many different colors.

Large Pachinko Ball Bucket (green picture below)

  • Holds approximately 750 balls
  • Top = 9 inches by 4 inches
  • Bottom = 7.5 inches by 3 inches
  • Height = 2.5 inches

Medium Pachinko Ball Bucket (blue picture below)

  • Holds approximately 400 balls
  • Top = 6.25 inches by 3.5 inches
  • Bottom = 4.75 inches by 2.5 inches
  • Height = 2.5 inches

Pachinko Ball Lifters

What is a Pachinko ball lifter? It is a device with a motor that will automatically refill the supply tray when it runs low.  This is nice if you mount your machine to the wall so you don’t have to get into the back.

How does a Pachinko ball lifter work? You mount the motor (big orange box) below the won ball and lost ball outlets on the back of your machine.  You place the paddle in the supply tray.  Position the long tube so that it will empty balls into the supply tray.  Plug in the lifter.  When there aren’t enough balls on the paddle in the supply tray, the motor will turn on and fill the supply tray.

Where can I buy a Pachinko ball lifter? At this time there isn’t any company that sells them.  occasionally you will see a used pachinko ball lifter on eBay. Here are some pictures of a pachinko ball lifter.

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