A rock tumbler can transform an ordinary rock into a beautifully polished stone. It can smoothen and polish not only rocks but stones, brass, beads, and even some metals. Even though it is a commercial product, there are many people who buy it for personal use. The product is extremely popular among jewelers, artisans, and lapidary hobbyists.
With the right rock tumblers, you can create unique jewelry design and craft products that will sell like hotcakes. Moreover, you can discover the hidden beauty of ordinary rocks and stones that you find during your trip or even in your backyard. The following is the list of the top 10 best rock tumblers can beginners, as well as professionals, can use conveniently.
List Of Best Rock Tumblers In 2021
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#10. 3A Deluxe Rock Tumbler Kit
By – Lortone
This is a professional rock tumbler which means you can get highly polished and smooth rocks from rough and uneven rocks. There are plastic pallets and a spare drive belt. It comes with a detailed manual book containing all the instructions. The capacity of the barrel is 3 pounds, and it includes hard rubber in order to minimize the noise that originates from the traditional tumblers. Moreover, the operation of the tumbler is super easy, and it sports a highly durable motor that can last up to years.
It is one of the best rock tumblers that jewelry artists, rock hounds, or craftspeople can use to produce eye-catching works. The rock tumbler can produce professional finish to jewelry of gold and silver wire with ease. In fact, it is suitable for beginners to professionals to get polished gems.
#9. Compact Hobby Rock Tumbler
By – Discover with Dr. Cool
The product includes a tumbler with a barrel, and it is capable of polishing and shaping half a pound of gemstones in one go. In fact, it can tumble 9 different types of gemstones that are commercial popular. Apart from that, the tumbler can polish 4 of 4 different grades, as well as one, can do jewelry fastening works. In the package, you will get all the instructions to operate it to get the desired product just the way you have imagined. Besides, coming to the construction of the product, it has a metal base, and the motor is powerful and has high longevity.
Furthermore, the rubber barrel is instrumental in reducing the noise generated during the operation. On top of that, there is a stainless steel lid which is both leak-proof and far better than plastic barrels. Moreover, there is a programmable timer included which will help you to continuously operate the machine even when you are going out. This also reduces the chances of over-tumbling the rocks and the company offers two years warranty.
#8. Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler
By – Tru-square Metal Products
This is one of the elegant looking rock tumblers, and it comes with a 15-pound barrel. It is not a simple barrel as it is made up of steel and has a hexagonal shape. There are removable rubber liners available, and the heavy-duty rotary tumbler is definitely one of the best rock tumblers you will come across. There is a115V heavy-duty motor, and you can do polishing of rocks, brass, and other metal objects with ease. Besides, the motor has a fan to cool it while operating at high speed and that too, for a long time.
Furthermore, the tumbler has overload protection for safety measures. The output product is of professional quality, and it is one of the most widely popular products in the laboratories, hobbyists, and industry as a whole. The company offers five years warranty, and it has won several awards for its quality and durable performance.
#7. Tumbler Rock Polisher
By – Tru-square Metal Products
This is another rock tumbler from the same brand, but this is slightly advanced. It includes a rubber barrel that produces less noise while tumbling the rocks. The motor is quite advanced as well as it is capable of working continuously without heating out. In fact, the consistency of the engine stays the same for years without any servicing. This is one of the great rock tumblers for professional use to get polished gems and rocks. In the package, you will find 4-grade polishing abrasives and jewelry findings and polishers.
On the overall, the weight of the product is less than most others as the motor is lightweight. This rock tumbler is suitable for beginners to get professional results. The rest of the part of the machine is of heavy-duty steel and it can also polish bras, beads, and certain glasses as well. However, the capacity of the barrel is on the smaller side though it is enough for professional use.
#6. Rotary Rock Tumbler
By – Chicago Electric Power Tools
The rock tumbler is primarily of plastic, and hence, the product is lightweight. The plastic construction does not comprise the output quality. It only makes the product affordable. The barrel is made up of rubber and steel sheet metals, and it has a capacity of 3 pounds. Due to the use of rubber, the noise is canceled mostly during its operation. On the other hand, the motor is powerful with 120V and 60Hz rating. The rock tumbler can run for days continuously, and it is effortless to operate for beginners.
You can polish rocks, precious stones as well as certain glasses and metals. However, the only drawback can be that its operating speed is slightly on the low side. Unlike some advanced rock tumblers, there is no control on the speed. But it does not have any tendency to heat up during its continuous operation for days. If you have a low budget, it is an ideal rock tumbler to opt for.
#5. 33B Rotary Rock Tumbler
By – Lortone
This rock tumbler is quite lengthy in comparison to other tumblers, and it is because of its barrel size. There are two different barrels available, and on top of that, there is a second molded rubber. The total capacity of the barrel is 6 pounds. The rock tumbler is useful for polishing stones, jewels, glasses, and even beads. The product is highly versatile, and the dual barrel system is highly valuable. You can do the abrasive work in one and the polishing part in the other. Therefore, the output rate of the rocks or stones will be higher, and it is commercially beneficial.
However, you can always use it as a single barrel mode as well. It is so easy to operate that even beginners can produce professional results. Each barrel has 3 pounds of capacity, and the body of the product is strong and stable. You can do all the cutting, polishing, debarring, and tumbling work for targeted objects efficiently. In terms of overall ergonomic design and functionalities, it is definitely one of the best rock tumblers you can buy.
#4. Starter Rock Tumbler Kit
By – National Geographic
This rock tumbler comes from the authentic National Geographic brand. That is why you can rely on its performance and ergonomic design. It can make the stones sparkle, and the output quality is unmatched. The rocks and stones can get the professional polish to dazzle in the light. In the kit, you can find the tumbler, polishing grits, jewelry settings, and a sifter. The instruction manual thoroughly illustrates how to operate the machine for 9 different types of rough gemstones. In fact, the rock tumbler is suitable for people with varying levels of skill from beginners to professionals.
The operation is super easy and all you have to do it add rocks, grits, water and let it tumble. The barrel has rubber lining for quiet operation. The gems that come out of the barrel are ocean smoothed. The motor is powerful with overheating protection, and the barrel is leak-proof so that you do not lose any valuable part in the process. The product is very compact, and cleaning is easy. The brand is century-old, and you can definitely trust the product.
#3. Professional Rock Tumbler
By – National Geographic
This is another rock tumbler from the same brand, and it is an improved version. In fact, it is the best rock tumbler in terms of design and user-friendliness. The best part is that it can transform any ordinary rocks into beautifully polished gemstones. It includes a tumbler for professional output, four polished grits, jewelry fastenings, and 1 pound of rough gemstones. Coming to the barrel where the magic happens, the capacity is 2 pounds which are on the lower side. However, it has a rubber lining to make it leak-proof.
The product is going to sustain for years, and most importantly, you can control the speed of operation. This is a professional feature that is highly useful, but many rock tumblers do not provide it. Moreover, there is a shutoff timer and depending on your requirement, and you can speed up or down the tumbling and polishing work. The brand offers two years warranty, and it is the most user-friendly rock tumbler you can come across. It can process the common nine types of gemstones, and one can create unique jewelry works effortlessly.
#2. 3A Single Barrel Tumbler
By – Lortone
Lortone is one of the most reputable brands in the rock tumbler industry. We have covered two rock tumblers from the brand, and this one has a single barrel construction. The capacity of the barrel is 3 pounds which are standard, and the motor is its selling point. It is extremely powerful and efficient. It does not get heated up even after the continuous operation. The barrel has a hard rubber lining to minimize the noise, and the motor is highly durable. Additionally, the product is UL approved for maintaining all the safety measures.
The speed and performance are suitable for professional use. It is one of the best rock tumblers for jewelry tumbling. In fact, it has the 4-step polishing kit, and it works on rough rocks. You can make jewelry out of rocks comfortably. There is a spare drive belt available in the package as the vibration of the motor can sometimes throw off the belt and tear it up. The cleaning up of the product is super easy.
#1. Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit
By – National Geographic
The best rock tumbler belongs to National Geographic, and it is the most feature-rich and professional tumbler you can ever get. It is the highest-rated rock tumbler, and it is suitable for all the nine different gemstones that are commonly found and sold. There are four polishing grits available along with jewelry fastenings. The metal construction makes the product highly durable, and the motor is super powerful. It does not generate too much vibration or noise. Furthermore, the barrel is leak-proof thanks to the rubber lining.
Moreover, the rock tumble sports an automatic shutoff timer which is very useful. It can save power as well as the product that is getting tumbled. Besides, it can tumble any ordinary rock and turn it into a polished piece that you can showcase proudly. A lot of users use the product to turn their backward rocks into polished stones for aesthetic purpose. The company offers the regular two years warranty, but with proper use and maintenance, it can last decades. The instructions are easy to follow, and it is so user-friendly that even amateur people can use them conveniently.
What Is A Rock Tumbler?
So rock tumbler is the machine that you use to smooth and polish the rocks especially jewelry, craft, and lapidary hobbyists. It allows you to discover the hidden beauty of rocks as well as minerals starting with a rough piece of rock. The most popular rock tumblers come with a barrel that is loaded with rocks, water, and abrasive grit.
You place the barrel on a motorized machine that rotates the barrel to tumble the rocks that are inside. As the rocks tumble, they grind against one another with particles of the abrasive grit caught between them. This will wear the sharp edges off of the rocks then smooth their surfaces. Rotary tumblers are the type that operates this way, and they are quite common.
Just like sandpaper, the grit has the label of fine, medium, and coarse. In coarse grit, you typically tumble the rocks for one or two weeks and one week for the other two. Once you finish the process, you will see the transformation of the rocks into unique and beautiful polished stones. There are many purposes that you can use rock tumblers for such as:
- Jewelry making
- Holiday decorations
- Vase or planter filler
- Various craft making
Rock Tumbler Types
There are only two types of rock tumblers that you will find, and each of them is unique in their own way.
- Rotary Tumblers: are so common, and they are perfect for beginners to start with. This type of tumbler simple knocks off the edges, shape, and smooth out rough rocks during the coarse grind stage. Normally, rotary rock tumblers will change the shape of the rocks and turn them around.
- Vibratory Tumblers: are ideal for fine polishing rocks that you have already shaped. The thing is this vibratory rock tumbler will not shape your rocks as a rotary tumbler does. It is more for polishing the rocks while maintaining the same shape and angles that they have. You should also use it if you want to speed up the tumbling process after you shaped your rocks.
Other Use Of Rock Tumblers
Apart from rocks, you can also use your rock tumblers for some other objects as well such as:
- Coin: Just throw the stained and rusty coins in the rock tumbler for a nice and clean shine. Make sure the coins are modern coins so that they will not lose their values. Also, remember to never mix copper and zinc metals together as well as silver.
- Glass: Sea glass, to be exact. You should stick to a thick glass-like the kind in stained glass windows or landscaping glass. You have to cut down on the time in each stage especially stage one and two to delicate the process.
- Shells: You can also tumble seashells in a rock tumbler as well, and you should pick the thick ones. However, you will have to change the process a little because shells are less tough than rocks. You should skip the course grit stage, and fill your barrel up as much as possible by using as much filler as you can.
Bonus Video – National Geographic Hobby Series Rock Tumbler Kit
Even if you do not have any professional dealing to sell polished gemstones and crafted rocks, you can open an online store with the polished products you get from the rock tumbler. It is a hobby among many people to discover the hidden beauty of ordinary things by turning them extraordinary. There are different types of best rock tumblers available.
Some offer automatic shutoff timer and speed controls while some have dual barrels. There are various operations you can perform like tumbling, polishing, smoothening or rocks, and stones. Besides, you should check the compatibility of the rock tumbler you are about to buy and the types of stone you are going to throw in it.