First, a sifter machine. I used it for a while and I dont see any benefits from it. from 6 possible variants of output, can it get multiple ouputs per 1 item or not, is it limited to single input item = single output item?
Isnt it a bit unfair anyways, that it gives 1 dust with 50% and after that the next "best" thing with 40% is JUST 1\4 of a dust, 20% for JUST half and a second chance to get a dust is again only with 15%. basically it means that you get 1 dust per input in 40%+15% chance. Most of the time I seem to get dust+1\4 or 1\2 from a single item and I kinda cant see the benefits of this machine, as it takes alot of time for a single process and its results are not some macerator\ore washer type. It should give SOME bonus on AVERAGE, but I "sifted" several stacks of purified ruby dust and struggled to have any increase - plain hammering with 1:1 seemed better. If you would explain what this machine is best used for, I would be grateful.
It can definitely produce multiple outputs per input item, and here are some calculations I did a few months ago to show the benefits of it (calculations were for diamond, but ruby has the same chances for the different gem qualities):
200 ore blocks = 200 regular diamonds in forge hammer
200 ore blocks = 300 industrial diamonds via maceration, hammer (or re-maceration), centrifuge, and implosion compressor (which can be converted to regular diamonds if desired).
Predicted average for sifting 400 purified diamond ore (from 200 ore blocks):
4 exquisite diamonds (convert to 16 regular)
16 flawless diamonds (convert to 32 regular)
60 regular diamonds
total without implosion compressor: 108 diamonds
80 flawed diamonds (convert to 40 dust, so 30 industrial diamonds)
160 chipped diamonds (convert to 40 dust, so 30 industrial diamonds)
200 diamond dust (150 industrial diamonds)
total dust: 280 (210 industrial diamonds)
total with implosion compressor: 318 diamonds
318 diamonds vs. 300 might not be a big advantage until you consider that at LV it takes 307 seconds to centrifuge impure diamond dust vs. 40 seconds to sift purified diamond ore.
For ruby, centrifuging the impure dust only takes 10 seconds at LV, so the sifter isn't as big an advantage, and if dust is the goal, the sifter produces less than centrifuging (388 dust from sifter vs. 400 from centrifuge).
Hammering the ore blocks directly is still inferior to both sifting and centrifuging, and once you make a universal macerator, there are only two processing recipes I can think of that the forge hammer is still optimal for: converting sandstone to sand (since it has no byproducts), and getting the "gem" form of coal (since as far as I can tell, the dust can't be converted back to "gem" form)
The sifter is also good for nether/certus quartz, since those don't have chipped/flawed/etc. variants, and give regular quartz for those slots, so 100 ore blocks would give on average 320 quartz gems and 200 dust. (vs. just 200 quartz gems by hammering the ore or 400 dust by processing ending with the centrifuge)