6 Best Rock Tumblers for Pros & Beginners

In Sports & Outdoors by cerilleLeave a Comment

Which rock tumbler produces the best quality stones? Find out below.

If you want to create your own jewelry or polish glass or other metals, then one of the rock tumblers that recommend below might be a perfect fit for you.

We have tested 15 rock tumblers and selected the models that best fit the hobbyists, kids, and adults. We compare each model according to several factors including warranty, capacity, and material of the barrel.

Our top pick is the National Geographic Professional Quality Rock Tumbler because it operates with the least noise. It’s also built with convenient features, like an automatic shutoff timer and speed control.

Check the rest of our rock tumbler reviews and comparisons below.

National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler – 94%

 

This professional rock tumbler from National Geographic is built with a 900-gram leak-proof rubber barrel which works more quietly than other tumblers, thanks to its noise-reducing design.

National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler
  • CREATE STUNNING GEMS – Transform ordinary rocks into beautifully polished gemstones with this professional rock tumbling machine from National Geographic
  • A COMPLETE HOBBY KIT –Includes Pro Series tumbler, 450 grams of rough gemstones, four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, information guide, and instructions
  • BUILT TO LAST - This powerhouse machine will last for years and features a 900 gram leak-proof rubber barrel which makes less noise than other tumblers

The rubber barrel has the capacity to polish 2 lbs of rough stones. It comes with a complete package including 450 grams of rough stones, 4 polishing grits, and jewelry fastenings.

The speed and polishing time of this unit is adjustable, which means you can work with different stone density and still achieve optimum results.

The automatic shutoff timer allows you to leave the unit until it’s done and prevent the stones from over tumbling. The speed can either be cranked up or slowed down to achieve desired results.

 

Pros
  • Built with a strong and durable rubber barrel
  • Comes in a complete package
  • Works more quietly
  • Designed with great advanced features
  • Supports a 2-year warranty
Cons
  • The lid is a bit hard to take off
  • Some stones that come with the machine aren’t suitable for tumbling

 

5lb Beech Stone Tumbler Review – 92%

 

The UKGE Beech is one of the best stone tumblers out there with its high-quality sturdy tumbler.

It offers a one-year guarantee and the option to buy the complete pack. The complete rock tumbler kit includes grits and guide.

5lb Beech Stone Tumbler
  • High quality robust tumbler
  • Everything included, grits and booklets
  • Tumble up to 5lb of rock at one time

The Beech stone tumbler is perfect or mass tumbling because it can polish stones up to 5 pounds in capacity.

It can also work on items which are too big for smaller units. It’s fully tested and evaluated for optimum performance.

 

Pros
  • Optional complete kit
  • Durable, large-size rubber barrel
  • Supports a one-year guarantee
  • Handles a large capacity
  • Suitable for mass tumbling
Cons
  • A bit overpriced
  • Runs very noisy

 

National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit Review – 86%

 

This hobby rock tumbler kit offers everything you need from rough gemstones to polishing grits, and jewelry fastenings.

Its leak-proof barrel is made with a noise reducing design to minimize noise while tumbling. It also boasts a 2-year warranty and 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

This machine is ideal for beginners because it’s so easy to use. It’s designed with an automatic shutoff timer so you can save energy and leave the unit while working.

Its rubber barrel has the capacity to polish one pound of rough gemstones at the same time.

 

Pros
  • Built with an automatic shutoff timer
  • Produces less noise than other tumblers
  • Offers a 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • Comes with complete accessories
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The capacity is a bit small
  • The speed isn’t adjustable

 

Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler – 78%

 

This deluxe rock tumbler is part of the Dr. Cool PRO Series which will let your kids uncover the joyful hobby rock tumbling and turn rough stones into alluring gems.

Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler
  • POLISH ROCKS AT HOME - Discover the fun hobby of rock tumbling and transform rough rocks into beautiful gems with this deluxe rock tumbler
  • COMPLETE ROCK TUMBLING KIT - Includes 1lb of tumbling stones (9 types), polishing grit (4 types), jewelry fastenings, and instructions
  • ULTIMATE TUMBLING MACHINE - Long-lasting motor, shutoff timer, leak-proof rubber barrel for quieter tumbling, and speed control settings

It comes with a complete rock tumbling kit which includes four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, and nine types of tumbling stones. It features a speed control settings to allow you to adjust the speed anytime.

This deluxe rock tumbler is made of a leak-proof rubber barrel to muffle the sounds of rocks while tumbling. This means a quieter operation when tumbling.

It also features an automatic shutoff timer so you can leave it without any worries.

 

Pros
  • Excellent automatic shutoff timer
  • Comes with a complete kit
  • Adjustable speed settings
  • Produces less noise while working
  • Offers a one-year warranty
Cons
  • The sieve enclosed isn’t durable as we thought
  • The drive belt is poorly made

 

Thumler’s Tumbler Rock Polisher Review – 70%

 

Thumler’s Tumbler is a nice rock polishing machine that offers a 3-pound capacity. It’s made of one rubber barrel that works on a 115-volt continuous duty motor. Compared to other models, Thumler’s has a lighter motor.

Thumler's Tumbler Rock Polisher
Item Weight 2.72 Kg
Product Dimensions 45.7 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm

Besides the rock tumbler, Thumler’s offers a full kit including 4 grades of polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, and a booklet guide.

For one batch, it can take about three and a half weeks. This rock tumbler also does a good job on the glass as it helps smooth out the edges rather quickly.

 

Pros
  • Great for smoothing glass edges
  • The motor is powerful, yet lightweight
  • Comes in a full kit
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Has a large barrel capacity
Cons
  • The tumbler can’t contain the stones securely while tumbling
  • Works so loud

 

ParaCity Professional Mini Tumbler Rotary Tumbler – 60%

 

The ParaCity Professional Rotary Tumbler offers a very large capacity of 3 kg or 6.6 lbs. It adds a burnishing compound and detergent to keep the components cool and prevent drags while it works.

ParaCity Professional Mini Tumbler Rotary Tumbler
  • Addition of burnishing compound and detergent keeps parts cool and avoids drag during tumbling
  • Rotary tumblers polish rocks, stones, coins, clean cartridges, polish brass and other metals
  • Excellent for studio and small jewelry projects

Besides polishing rocks, this mini tumbler can also polish coins, clean cartridges, and polish other metals.

Although the polishing time is longer than vibratory models, this rotary model offers a unique advantage of hardening the surface of workpieces.

The rotation and speed of this unit are adjustable. This package includes a mini tumbler and a set of polishing beads.

 

Pros
  • Comes at a fair price
  • Includes a burnishing compound to keep the components cool
  • Can polish a lot of things
  • Hardens the surface of workpieces
  • Offers a very large capacity
Cons
  • Takes a very long time
  • The barrel is a bit flimsy

 

Frequently asked questions

What is Rock Tumblers?

A rock tumbler is a simple machine used to polish rocks. Many jewelry makers and precious stone hobbyists use this tool to produce tumbled stones. Through tumbling, it transforms a rough piece of rock into a nice-looking stone.

Rock tumblers come in two basic varieties: rotary tumblers and vibratory tumblers. Rotary tumblers are easier to use, more affordable, and work quieter, but they utilise more grit and are prone to leaking.

Meanwhile, the vibratory tumblers have more speed in tumbling and use less grit but they can be more pricey, noisy, and difficult to use.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Rock Tumblers?

Rock tumblers can be used to polish jewelry and get rid of the rough edges of jump rings. You can make a rock look nice in just a few tumbles.

Other things you can do include cleaning coins, creating various crafts, and making sea glass. However, they can be tricky to use in the beginning so you need to practice several times.

What’s the approximate price range for Rock Tumblers?

The price of rock tumblers may range from £49.99 to £800.

What should I look for when choosing a Rock Tumblers?

One of the most important features that you should look for is the barrel size. The size is often expressed in weight and the standard size is 3 lbs. A 3 to 4-lb tumbler is sufficient for beginners while a 6 to 12-lb tumbler is ideal for more serious folks.

For commercial use, settle for bigger machines that are 20 to 40 lbs in weight.

Another feature that you should pay close attention to is the barrel material. Barrels can either be made of plastic or rubber. Plastic barrels are less expensive but they’re not durable.

We prefer the rubber barrels because they’re less noisy and they offer enough cushion to protect the rocks from damage.

If you want to tumble different kinds of rocks at the same time, look for a multi-barrel tumbler. You may also want a long warranty to ensure durability and extend the life of your tumbler.

What is the best Rock Tumblers? Why is it the best?

The best rock tumbler is the National Geographic Professional Quality Rock Tumbler because it features a high-quality drum and operates rather quietly.

With the adjustable speed and polishing time, you can work with different stones.

Also, it comes with a complete kit so you can use it straight out from the box.

How long does it take for a rock tumbler to work?

Approximately, it takes at least one week for a rough rock to turn into polished stones.

The time may vary depending on the type of rocks and tumbler you used.

Rotary tumblers usually take 4-8 weeks while vibratory tumblers only take 1-2 weeks.

What is the grit in a rock tumbler?

The grit is found inside the barrel and what makes the rocks smooth. It works like the sand that nature utilises to polish rocks. Like a common sandpaper, grit also comes in different levels of coarseness.

What is the best rock tumbler for glass? Why is the best?

The Thumler’s Tumbler Rock Polisher is the best for glass because it does a great job in smoothing the rough edges at a short time.

Using the three grits that are included with the unit, glass is done in about 8-12 days. The construction of the machine is also sturdy which makes it more appealing to buy.

Which is the best rock tumbler for hobbyist? Why is it the best?

The Nationaal Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit is the best for hobbyists because it includes all the things you need to begin polishing beautiful gems.

It comes with a 0.5 lb assortment of rough stones to get you started plus a learning guide and jewelry fastenings to make custom jewelry.

What Rock Tumblers should use for kids?

Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series is a great rock tumbler for kids because it’s easy to use. It includes some jewelry fastenings and semi-precious stones so your kids can create their own jewelry.

Dr. Cool earns a lot of awards including the Kid’s Product of the Year by Creative Child Magazine.

Which is the best rock tumbler for cleaning coins?

ParaCity Professional Mini Tumbler Rotary Tumbler is the best for cleaning coins because it hardens the surfaces quite well.

It adds a burnishing compound and detergent to prevent drags during tumbling. The rotation can be timed and offers five-speed options.

Which rock polisher is best for adult?

The UKGE 5 lb Stone Tumbler is the best rock polisher for adult because it’s made of a high-quality tumbler that can polish up to 5 lbs of rocks.

Its large capacity and powerful motor make it perfect for mass tumbling. You have to option to purchase the tumbler alone with the barrel or with complete accessories.

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