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A bin is a specially made basket for certain stockpiles. A bin can be made from one wooden log at a carpenter's workshop or forged from 3 metal bars at a forge. Bins make it possible to store lots of objects into one tile of a stockpile. A stockpile without a bin will likely fill up fast, leaving any remaining items where they are to get in the way.
Bins are therefore incredibly useful to a maturing fortress. The best material for bins is generally wood, because wooden bins are the lightest bins and will therefore save your haulers' time. Of course, if you intend to use bins next to a volcano or something equally hot, you may want to use metal bins.
Stockpiles that use bins are ammo, armor, bars/blocks, cloth, coins, finished goods, gems, leather and weapons. Food stockpiles use barrels and large pots instead of bins. Other stockpiles do not use anything at all.
Bins are a fast way to transport trade goods to a trade depot. Instead of carrying the individual item, the dwarf will haul the whole container for trade.
For information on managing bins in stockpiles, see using bins and barrels.
- Hauling bins ties up all the items in the bins until the hauling is complete. This can result in cancellation spam and work delays.Bug:5992 With heavy bins, hauling them around is also inefficient.Bug:5964 One workaround is creating a "feeder stockpile" with bins disabled.
- Ammunition stored in bins may not appear available to marksdwarves, eventually causing them to head to battle without bolts. Disabling bins in ammo stockpiles is recommended.Bug:2706