8 Best Rock Polishing Kits

8 Best Rock Polishing Kits

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Best Rock Polishing Kits

Whether you’re a hobbyist, budding geologist, or even someone with a keen eye for nature’s beauty, rock polishing could be the perfect new passion for you. Finding unique or geologically significant stones and lovingly transforming these into ornate treasures is a truly rewarding process that will be sure to open your eyes to the hidden beauty of geology. 

To get started, you’ll need a rock polishing kit consisting of a tumbler and varying abrasive grits. Simply load up your rock tumbler with your desired stones, appropriate grit, and water, and allow them to tumble in the rotating barrel. 

For the best results, you’ll need to be patient as the process involves multiple stages, allowing the rocks to smooth and polish over time. Be sure to pick the right rock polishing kit for you, with products on the market ranging from toys (which can regrettably break after a few uses) to industrial machines. 

We’ve included a range of kits in our top 10 recommendations, taking into account usability, durability, and a range of budgets. 

For any metal detectorists out there, this could be the perfect accompanying hobby for you. With a fine-tuned eye and patience already on your side, picking out the ideal rocks for polishing will come as second nature, offering you a wealth of new treasures to be found while out on your trails. Not to mention, these kits will bring out the best in any metal treasures you have in your collection.     

Each of our recommended rock polishing kits comes tried and tested by genuine users. By analyzing customer reviews through Fakespot we pick only the products that have authentic, positive feedback, so you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. 

1.  Wire Jewelry Double Barrel Rotary Rock Kit

WireJewelry Double Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Madagascar Mix Deluxe Kit, Includes 3 Pounds of Rough Madagascar Stone Mix and 2 Batches of 4 Step Abrasive Grit and Polish with Plastic Pellets

This is a high-end, professional-grade rotary rock tumbler with two leak-proof rubber barrels. It comes with three pounds of coarse Madagascar stone and two 15-pound bags of pre-measured grit as well as polish and plastic pellets. It is very easy to use and is suitable for children 12-years and older. Included in the kit are several samples of hard rock such as amethyst and desert jasper as well as softer rock such as orange calcite and chrysocolla. It is also suitable for polishing broken glass bottles into sea glass. For a tumbler of such quality that produces fantastic results, it is very affordable, which also makes it a perfect starting point for those interested in the hobby.

Features:

  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Motor: 120V
  • Designed to run 24/7 for years
  • Minimal sound even with two barrels
  • The quantity of abrasive media is enough for five batches of rough rock in a three-pound barrel
  • 2 Year Manufacturer Warranty & Lifetime Belt Replacement Warranty

What we love:

  • It comes with detailed instructions on how to use the levels of grit from coarse to the final polish, which provides a great learning experience for kids
  • Included with the tumbler is 15 pounds of unique assorted rock types and each one will polish to a high gloss

We don’t like this as much:

  • The lids may leak slightly after a few hours of constant use, which can, however, be patched up.
WireJewelry Double Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Madagascar Mix Deluxe Kit, Includes 3 Pounds of Rough Madagascar Stone Mix and 2 Batches of 4 Step Abrasive Grit and Polish with Plastic Pellets
  • Professional Grade Double Barrel Rock Tumbler with (2) Leak Proof Rubber Barrels to Minimize Noise
  • Powerful 120 Volt Motor Designed to Operate 24/7 for Years
  • 2 Year Manufacturer Warranty and Lifetime Belt Replacement Warranty
  • 3 Lbs Madagascar Stone Mix; Average Size: 1.5" to 2" with 20-30 Gram Weight
  • 2 Batches of Premeasured Grit & Polish (Coarse, Medium, Pre-Polish, Final Polish & Plastic Pellets)

2. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Rock Tumbler Kit

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Rock Tumbler Kit-3LB Extra Large Capacity, 3LB Rough Gemstones 4 Polishing Grits, Jewelry Fastenings, an Educational STEM Science Kit

This rock tumbler is a National Geographic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) series kit that is a great educational tool for children, especially in the area of geology. STEM education aims to allow students to explore the different areas of science in a hands-on, experiential way, to further their interest in the science subjects. This tumbler is specifically designed to meet STEM standards. 

It contains a patented reusable GemFoam that produces a remarkable shine after the final tumbling stage. The kit has everything you need to get started, including three pounds of rough rocks, five jewelry fastenings, four levels of grit, the innovative GemFoam, and a strainer. It’s easy to turn the polished stones into jewelry with the necklace, key chain, ring key, and two clip-on earring fastenings.

Features:

  • Weight: 10.8 pounds
  • Motor: 110V | Automatic shut-off
  • The stainless-steel lid produces 75 percent less sound than plastic tumbler barrels
  • The opening diameter of the barrel is 5.7 x 3.14 inches, which makes it easy to remove the rocks
  • The motor does not overheat
  • It tumbles three pounds of rock at one time

What we love:

  • The kit includes nine gemstones from around the world, can be very attractive for children, and spurs their interest in this educational tool
  • The body that contains the motor is made of metal, which protects the motor much more effectively than plastic

We don’t like this as much:

  • It runs a little loud when beginning the tumbling process, however, it will quickly quiet down as the session progresses 
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Rock Tumbler Kit-3LB Extra Large Capacity, 3LB Rough Gemstones 4 Polishing Grits, Jewelry Fastenings, an Educational STEM Science Kit
  • CREATE YOUR OWN GEMSTONES - Rock tumbling is a hugely popular hobby for kids and adults! This professional rock tumbler makes it fun and easy to turn rough rocks into beautifully polished gemstones, thanks to its simple operation and durable design.
  • A TUMBLER THAT'S MADE TO LAST - The durable motor has time and speed control settings so you can set it, and forget it. An improved, leak-proof barrel features a stainless-steel lid is 75% quieter overall than plastic tumbler barrels.
  • ALL-IN-ONE TUMBLING KIT - This kit has everything you need and then some! You get three pounds of rough rocks with nine different types of gemstones inside, five jewelry fastenings, grit, a strainer, and our innovative new GemFoam rock polisher.
  • USE GEMFOAM FOR DAZZLING RESULTS - This rock tumbler kit stands apart from others thanks to our new, reusable GemFoam rock polisher! Add GemFoam and water to the barrel after your final tumbling stage and your gems will have incredible shine!
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – The National Geographic STEM series provides kids high-quality educational toys that are a whole lot of fun! If your experience is anything less than extraordinary, let us know so we can make it right for you.

3. Tumble-Bee Rotary Rock Tumbler

Tumble-Bee Rotary Rock Tumbler | Includes Rock Grit Polish Kit | Model TB-14, 1X4LB Barrel

This is a good starter kit for beginners to this fascinating hobby. The tumbler holds four pounds of rocks at one time and features a rubber barrel. It also comes with an Allen wrench, oil, and an illustrated manual for ease of use. It will tumble large quantities of stones, glass, and metals, and includes a four-step polishing kit with pre-measured grit, polish, and rocks. The housing is ABS plastic with a metal-reinforced bottom.

Features:

  • Weight: Five pounds
  • Motor: 115V | Rust-proof housing
  • Lighted on/off power control
  • Built-in barrel guides
  • Can polish broken glass to perfect smoothness
  • Quieter than most other tumblers

What we love:

  • It is safe for children to remove the stones because it has no sharp edges that can hurt their hands
  • Spare parts are widely available and inexpensive. This is a big bonus because you may need a spare part right in the middle of a tumbling session

We don’t like this as much:

  • The turning shaft may become polished after a few months which will gradually inhibit the rotation. It may need to be roughened to increase friction
Tumble-Bee Rotary Rock Tumbler | Includes Rock Grit Polish Kit | Model TB-14, 1X4LB Barrel
  • Polishes stones, glass and metals. Excellent choice for tumbling larger quantities at once.
  • 4-step polishing kit includes pre-measured rock, grit and polish. Makes a great starter kit for beginners.
  • Includes one 4lb. capacity rubber barrel, oil, Allen wrench, and complete written and visual instructions.
  • Powerful 115V fan-cooled AC motor with thermal overload protector. Designed to tumble 24/7.
  • Rust-proof housing with no sharp edges. Lighted on/off power switch. Very easy to use.

4. Tru-square Metal Products Single Barrel Rock Polishing Tumbler and Geology Kit

Tru-square Metal Products Single Barrel Rock Polishing Tumbler and Geology Kit with Grit and Accessory Kit

This is a small but useful single barrel A-R1 tumbler that is suitable for children 12 years and up. It comes with four grades of polishing abrasives from coarse to final polish. The motor is in a vented metal casing and the barrel holds three pounds of rock. It comes with a generous supply of polishing rock and five different jewelry clasps. This fantastic tumbler kit will fit nicely into a small space, with the dimensions being 4.75 x 12.5 x 15.75 inches.

Features:

  • Weight: Seven pounds
  • Motor: 110V
  • Rubber barrel
  • The tumbling barrel is one quart and holds three pounds of rocks
  • The barrel interior is 4.25 inches in diameter and four inches deep
  • Four grades of polishing abrasives

What we love:

  • This kit can make smooth, rounded sea glass out of a broken soda bottle, which is great for art projects and even jewelry
  • The running sound level is low, which is a huge bonus because rock tumblers can be very noisy

We don’t like this as much:

  • We’d like to see the addition of an on/off switch, as this kit currently turns on as soon as it is supplied with power
Tru-square Metal Products Single Barrel Rock Polishing Tumbler and Geology Kit with Grit and Accessory Kit
  • One model Ar-1 rock tumbler
  • It runs on 110V, 60Hz
  • 1 quart rubber tumbling barrel, holds 3 lbs of rocks
  • The barrel interior measures 4 1/4" diameter x 4" deep (107 x 101 mm)
  • 4 grades of polishing abrasives

5. Wire Jewelry Single Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Eco Kit

WireJewelry Single Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Eco Kit, Includes 3 Pounds of Rough Madagascar Stone Mix and 5 Batches of 4 Step Abrasive Grit and Polish

This tumbler is designed for jewelry-grade rocks. It has a single rubber barrel that minimizes noise and includes three pounds of coarse Madagascar rocks. It also has five batches of four-step abrasive grit from the coarse grit to polishing grit. This is enough grit to tumble five batches of rock at three pounds each. This tumbler is very easy to use and comes with a clear, step-by-step instruction manual. The bag of stone includes 12 types of stone with a Mohs hardness of 2.5 to seven. It is best to always batch stones with similar hardness together.

Features:

  • Weight: 13.75 pounds
  • Motor: 120V
  • Leakproof rubber barrel
  • The barrel holds three pounds of rock
  • Strong frame and case
  • Lifetime belt replacement warranty

What we love:

  • The grit is packaged in reusable craft bags, which means it is easy to save and store for the next polishing session
  • The loose rocks are beautiful, high-quality crystals, but you can also polish the rocks you collect. Just make sure you group them with rocks of the same hardness

We don’t like this as much:

  • The motor parts are plastic which may need to be replaced after extended use

6. VIYUKI Professional Electric Rock Tumbler Kit

VIYUKI Professional Electric Rock Tumbler Kit 3LB Rock Polisher

This complete rock tumbling kit includes a rock tumbler base, five replacement belts, a three-pound capacity barrel, one pound of assorted rough gems, and four bags of polishing grit, which is enough for the four-step process and jewelry settings. The grinding noise can be likened to that emitted by a normal clothes dryer. Also included is a color-illustrated instruction manual. The dimensions are 8 5/8 x 6 ¼ x 4 ¾ inches.

Features:

  • Weight: 8.48 pounds
  • Durable metal case
  • Noise-reducing, leak-proof, three-pound barrel
  • The barrel has raised grain for increased friction
  • The rubber tumbler is 4.72 inches high and 4.45 inches in diameter
  • Remove the barrel from the machine to add the rocks, grit, and water

What we love:

  • The jewelry fastenings include a necklace, key chain, clip-on earrings, and a ring to get young jewelry makers started, but you can buy more in a craft store
  • It is suitable for children as young as eight years old, which makes it a great science education tool for young children

We don’t like this as much:

  • It has some sharp edges, so adult supervision is necessary when young children take off the lid to check the progress of the polishing
VIYUKI Professional Electric Rock Tumbler Kit 3LB Rock Polisher
  • COMPLETE KIT – Includes Rock tumbler base, Replacement tumbler belt(5pc),3 Pound Capacity Barrel For Grinding More Stones,1 Bag Assorted Gems 1 Lb(460g),4 Bags Polishing Grits For 4 Steps,5 Jewelry Settings,and 1 Color Operating Instruction Manual.
  • NOISE-REDUCING BARREL - A 3LB leak-proof barrel which makes less noise than other tumblers.
  • DURABLE QUALITY - Metal case and high-powered motor give you a workhorse machine that will last for years
  • EASY TO CREATE YOUR OWN GEMSTONES - Easy operation and durable design. Learn the fun process of rock tumbling with this professional rock tumbler. It will turn rough rocks into beautifully polished gemstones. It is a hugely popular hobby for kids and adults!
  • A FUN AND EDUCATIONAL GIFT : It fascinates children and adults when they open the box. It fosters a love for science, geology and mineralogy in a fun and exciting way. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I will give you a satisfactory reply within 24 hours.

7. Professional Advanced Rock Tumbler Kit

Professional Advanced Rock Tumbler Kit, include Rough Gemstones, 4 Polishing Grits, with 3 Speed Settings and Digital 9-Day Timer

This is a professional-grade rock tumbling kit that contains nine different types of rough gemstones, four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, a sifter, and a full-color instruction manual. It has a useful timer control where you can decrease or increase the number of days the tumbler will run for, and the dimensions are 12.99 x 9.06 x 5.91 inches. The manufacturer mentions that it is suitable for three-year-olds, but it is recommended that they have adult supervision at every step. A three-year-old may not be able to clean the barrel up to the required standard between each stage.

Features:

  • Weight: 2.27 pounds 
  • Three-speed setting
  • Noise-reducing, leak-proof barrel
  • Automatic shutoff
  • LED timer display
  • Forward and reverse rotation switch

What we love:

  • You can pause the tumbler and resume it without changing the speed setting or timer, which is useful if you want to check your rocks every day
  • The included gemstones are amethyst, lapis lazuli, red jasper, white quartz, rose quartz, aventurine, and sodalite, which gives a great selection

We don’t like this as much:

  • The pellets for the final polish work well, however extra caution is advised when opening the barrel, as they may be flung outwards
Professional Advanced Rock Tumbler Kit, include Rough Gemstones, 4 Polishing Grits, with 3 Speed Settings and Digital 9-Day Timer
  • COMPLETE ROCK TUMBLING KIT - Everything you need to create polished gemstones: tumbler, low-noise barrel, half pound of gemstones (9 different types), four polishing grits, sifter, jewelry fastenings, detailed full-color learning guide.
  • TURN ROUGH ROCKS INTO POLISHED GEMS - Make any stone sparkle and polish everyday rocks into dazzling gemstones! Simple operation and durable design.
  • DURABLE QUALITY - This high-quality tumbler has a powerful motor that will last for years. Noise reducing leak-proof rubber barrel with stainless steel lid.
  • EASY TO USE - digital 9-day timer (with automatic shutoff feature), 3 speed settings, beautiful LCD screen.
  • EDUCATIONAL AND FUN GIFT FOR ALL AGES - Rock tumbling is a fun activity for children of all ages and promotes an interest in geology and science. Exquisite packaging, fashionable appearance. If you need more belts or other accessories, please contact our customer service. We will send it to you for free.

8. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit - Complete Rock Tumbler Kit with Durable Tumbler, Rocks, Grit, and Patented GemFoam Finishing Foam Polish, Educational Stem Science Kit

The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit is an educational STEM science kit that is ready to assist you on your rock tumbling journey. It has all of the features you would need, as well as nine semi-precious gemstones to polish that come with the kit. It also includes the patented National Geographic GemFoam which provides superior shine on the last tumble. The dimensions are 13.86 x 5.04 x 8.15 inches and this kit is recommended for children eight years and up. It’s called a hobby kit because it is smaller than the previously mentioned National Geographic tumbler. When the exceptional GemFoam runs out, it is very straightforward to order more, making consistent operation a breeze.

Features:

  • Weight: 5.29 pounds
  • Motor: 110V
  • Comes with ½ pound rough stone
  • A timer which can be set for each tumbling stage
  • The tumbling barrel keeps the sound 75 percent lower than tumblers with a plastic barrel
  • It comes with four levels of grit and an illustrated instruction booklet

What we love:

  • National Geographics sells one-pound refill rock packs with agates, petrified wood, jasper, and other gemstones that includes the Mohs scale, so you know which rocks to tumble together
  • It is a hands-on science toy specifically designed to STEM standards for educational purposes

We don’t like this as much:

  • It tends to vibrate and will likely need to be secured to the tabletop or workbench. You can do this by setting it on a non-slip rubber sheet or by taping the feet to the platform
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit - Complete Rock Tumbler Kit with Durable Tumbler, Rocks, Grit, and Patented GemFoam Finishing Foam Polish, Educational Stem Science Kit
  • CREATE YOUR OWN GEMSTONES - Rock tumbling is a hugely popular hobby for kids and adults! This robust rock tumbler makes it fun and easy to turn rough rocks into beautifully polished gemstones, thanks to its simple operation and durable design.
  • A TUMBLER THAT'S MADE TO LAST - The durable motor has time and speed control settings so you can set it, and forget it. An improved, leak-proof barrel features a stainless-steel lid.
  • ALL-IN-ONE TUMBLING KIT - You get one pound of rough rocks with nine different types of gemstones inside, five jewelry fastenings, tumbler grit, a strainer, and our innovative new GemFoam polishing foam.
  • USE GEMFOAM FOR DAZZLING RESULTS - This rock tumbler kit stands apart from others thanks to our new, reusable GemFoam rock polisher! Add GemFoam and water to the barrel after your final tumbling stage and your gems will have incredible shine!
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - The National Geographic STEM series provides kids high-quality educational toys that are a whole lot of fun! If your experience is anything less than extraordinary, let us know so we can make it right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the benefits of buying a complete rock polishing kit?

A complete rock polishing kit will have everything you need for the four-step process right from the beginning. If you are a beginner, it’s good to have your supplies close at hand when you read the instructions. 

Rock tumbling kits include packets of the four types of grit. Some include enough for several sessions. With a rock-polishing kit, you don’t have to wonder which rocks to polish together, as all instructions are provided. They come with a variety of rough rocks and a list of the Mohs scale. Hard rocks take longer to polish, so you don’t want to put them together with soft rocks. Most rocks that are good for tumbling have a Mohs scale of seven and can be tumbled together. 

You can stop the process at any time if your rocks have reached the desired result, but to get the shiny high polish, you need to follow all four stages with each stage taking about one week.

What is usually included in a rock polishing kit?

Your rock tumbler will have a metal frame with an electric motor inside. There is a barrel inside that is either rubber or rubber-lined metal. Plastic barrels are also used for smaller tumblers, but they tend to be noisier than metal barrels. The size of the barrel will determine the weight of rocks that you can tumble at one time

The contents of rock tumbling kits vary, but most kits come with abrasive grit, which is a granular material similar to sand. The grit is labeled coarse, medium, and fine for the four above steps. Some kits contain enough of the four types of grit for several polishing sessions and some only contain enough for one session. You can always purchase the four types of grit separately. Kits can be purchased with or without plastic or ceramic filler.

Also included in the kits are crushed rock with some gemstone-quality rocks, final polish grit, a strainer, and an illustrated instruction booklet. Tumblers that are designed for polishing jewelry-grade stones usually include jewelry fastenings such as a necklace, two clip-on earrings, a ring, and a keychain.

What is the purpose of rock tumbler plastic pellets?

Plastic pellets made of non-toxic polypropylene are mainly used for cushioning the rocks inside the tumbler. They are only used in rotary tumblers as they are not ideal for vibratory tumblers. They distribute around the tumbler and separate the rocks from each other, and they absorb the knocking and bumping between rocks, which helps reduce bruising and chipping the stones. They also help reduce the sound of the tumbling rocks, but not the sound of the motor.

Plastic pellets are mainly used for stones that bruise easily such as quartz and obsidian. Since they float, it is easy to separate them from the rocks during cleaning time. They can be used many times with the same size grit. Some plastic pellets come with a special storage bag

Some people, however, no longer use plastic pellets and prefer ceramic pellets because you can use them through every step of the process. Plastic pellets need to be removed from the barrel, usually with a small fishnet and washed and saved for the next time you use that size grit.

Rock tumbling is an activity that requires no small amount of patience, as you often don’t get the final results for at least one month if each stage of the process is followed, and it requires regular maintenance of parts, such as the barrel, during that time. It is, however, an incredibly rewarding hobby that provides the means to produce the likes of jewelry and colorful displays that will last a lifetime.

Whether you’re looking for a new, exciting hobby or already have some experience, it’s important to understand the differences between rock polishing kits, as different kits can provide different materials to work with, can be of different sizes, and can produce different levels of noise. 

All in all, this can be a wonderful hobby, the work is all part of the journey, and the results are definitely worth the time and effort spent achieving them. 

If you’re raring to go and want some quick recommendations, why not check out our picks for the best budget, mid-range, and high-end rock tumbling kits:

BudgetTru-square Metal Products Single Barrel Rock Polishing Tumbler and Geology Kit

Mid-rangeKitVIYUKI Professional Electric Rock Tumbler Kit

High-EndProfessional Advanced Rock Tumbler Kit

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