Sorters are usually used by players to sort a mix material conveyor by resource.
Sorters can't be rotated. After placing, you will want to tap on the sorter to configure it, and select the item you want it to sort. When you input an item, if the item is the same as the sorter is sorting, the item will output out the other side as if the sorter was a normal conveyor. However if there is no match, the sorter will out put the item out of the side, perpendicular to the input.
Sorting by all items
This is a very basic setup that works by blocking sorters from functioning in a direction using a junction. We can use this mechanic to disable output from one side of a sorter completely, and change a messy squiggle of conveyors into a single block of sorters and junctions.
To sort items, it will accept an item into the first sorter, and if the item does not match it will output left to the next sorter as it is unable to output right due to the nature of junctions having no inventory. It will repeat this until it gets a match and then output it down to the output conveyors.
The T_Junction (two conveyors merging onto one conveyor) is a popular choice by most people to merge multiple conveyors, but contrary to popular belief it is not as efficient as they thought. This is because when conveyors merge, they leave gaps that can add up. The sorter merger bypasses that issue because sorters are instant, and output as soon as they can. To preform this trick, set a sorter to sand and input items from opposite sides.
Have you ever wanted to make that perfect smelter setup where it inputs two iron and then one coal on one line? Well sorters let you do that! All it takes is a sorter with three inputs! The middle input must be the same item as the sorter, and the sides have to be different. Then, when supplied with both items, the sorter will output your intended patterns. This can also be done with the Merging Conveyors above, but this allows for three options.