Screening equipment is designed to filter solids like waste materials, rocks, minerals, and composts. The main principle behind them is that material is fed into the machine and filtered into different component sizes through different mesh screens. Larger materials will only go through a certain-sized mesh, whereas the smaller materials will make their way through the different meshes and eventually be filtered out when they become too big for the next screen. 

Many job types are benefited from the use of the screening process, including mineral processing, filtering waste from recyclables, and creating compost. 

So, which is better? For the trommel vs vibrating screen it comes down to the application needs, and what material output a company needs. Do they need to filter fine particle sizes, or do they have a range of wet materials for recycling and composting? We’re going to find out exactly what the benefits of each one are, and what the difference actually is.

What’s the difference?


Both the trommel screen and vibrating screen are screening equipment designed to filter and separate raw materials from one another. This is done through mesh screens of varying sizes. 

That said, there are different screening methods between both the trommel and the vibrating screen. Each has its purposes and set of uses. 

Different screen design

Whilst they both filter materials through a screen, they each have a different shape. 

The trommel screen is a rotating drum shape. This means materials are tumbled through the drum device. This allows for oversized materials to be almost instantly rejected out of the open end of the drum, to get faster and more reliable and consistent qualified materials.

The vibrating screen is a screening process that, rather than relying on a drum screen, uses a vibrating motor on a flat and linear surface to filter materials. The materials drop through each layer until they can’t go any further to be filtered and deposited out the end.

Different material needs

The shapes of the screen are beneficial to different kinds of materials. 

With a linear screen, building materials, and generally dry particles are well suited to it. The linear vibrating screen relies upon the pull of gravity to filter out the materials, and anything too fine, too large, or too wet isn’t suited for the operation. 

Where the trommel cylindrical drum is useful, is that it’s better for a varying range of materials with differing properties. For example, wet materials like compost will be filtered with ease without clogging up the mesh system. Even mining materials like coal and different minerals are great, as they can easily reject anything too large, whilst not getting blocked up and filtering fine materials. 

Output rate

Some jobs require a lot more screening work than others. For example, a mining company may require a lot of coal to be screened and filtered to different particle sizes. This would require a system that has a large output capacity as well as a long operating life. 

The vibrating screen isn’t suited for this. They can only filter a rather small amount of raw materials due to the restrictions of the linear vibrating screen. It does mean they do a good job with small-scale jobs that require fine materials to be filtered. 

With those larger jobs, a roller screen or trommel is better. With a cylindrical drum, materials can be filtered through quickly, and at a larger capacity. Unqualified materials that are too large are quickly disposed of too.

Concluding points


As you have seen, the matchup of the trommel vs vibrating screen depends on the company’s material needs. Both have different screening methods that work great, but as you may have noticed, for the most part trommel screens are better for most purposes. They have a higher output rate, accuracy, and are suited to filter a wide range of materials.

If you have decided you need a trommel screen, Vermeer WA & NT can help you. Our trommel screens are designed for their ease of use, efficiency and reliability. This means that less time will be spent setting them up, and more on processing materials. We have a wide range of options to suit your specific needs. Get in touch with us by email: or call us on (08) 9479 4994 .

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