6 Best Rock Tumblers

6 Best Rock Tumblers

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.Best Rock Tumblers

Imagine being able to turn an old rock into a gem-like stone without using a magic wand. You no longer have to be a scientist to unveil the beauty that lies within these natural artifacts. The wonders of geology can now be discovered in your own home with the aid of a rock tumbler. 

What usually takes nature a couple of thousand years can now be done within 2 to 4 weeks. For aspiring metal detectorists a rock tumbler is a very handy tool for cleaning and polishing unearthed material, giving them the shiny look that makes them ready for display. These machines are also great for making jewelry and polishing brass.

Rock tumbling works by adding rocks, water and grit to a barrel that slowly tumbles. It is fuelled by a small motor engine and eventually wears away all the sharp and rough edges of the stone, giving you a smooth silky finish over the course of a few weeks.

The 4-step tumbling process involves:

  • Step 1 – coarse grind
  • Step 2 – medium grind
  • Step 3 – fine grind / pre-polish
  • Step 4 – polish

Whilst hunting for treasures please make sure you’re aware of the laws of your local area to avoid trespassing on private land. In the US and Canada, you may find you need a permit to explore certain areas.

For our research into the best rock tumblers, we read customer reports and took recommendations from people who have experience in rock tumbling and an understanding of the process. We then analyzed our research through Fakespot to pick the best possible products for you.

1. Leegol Electric Rotary Rock Tumbler

Leegol Electric Rotary Rock Tumbler Double Drum 6LB Lapidary Polisher (Double Drum)

The Leegol Electric Rotary Rock Tumbler is among the most affordable rock tumblers you can find that manages to get the job done well. It features a double barrel design, offering you the chance to tumble more rocks at a time. The rubber barrel is also made to be noise-reducing and leak-proof so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up any mess during this process.

As this is a straightforward unit beginners should be able to handle it with ease. It is also a fun process to go through with the family so that older children and teenagers can kick off their interest in rock collection. This comes with walnut shell media too so you can get started right away. With its high-quality motor, you may be able to run it for days at a time. This way you have a better chance at achieving that smooth finish.

Features:

  • 120V/60Hz motor
  • 3lbs. barrel capacity (x2)
  • V-Belt
  • Rubber barrel with aluminum lid
  • Sheet metal body
  • 0.5lbs. walnut shell media (x2)

What we love:

  • Comes with good instructions for an easy setup process
  • It runs quieter than expected
  • Simple to clean the drums after each stage

What we don’t like that much:

  • The belt can be hard to replace if it snaps

Leegol Electric Rotary Rock Tumbler Double Drum 6LB Lapidary Polisher (Double Drum)
  • Packaging List: Includes tumbler, 2×0.5lbs of walnut shell media, five v-belt, and instructions.
  • Power Adapter: 120V/60Hz Barrel Capacity: 2×3LB (Rubber tumbler barrel allows for quieter operation)
  • Professional Features: This high-quality tumbler has a powerful motor, the design allows it to run for days at a time to ensure a smooth finish!
  • Perfect for Beginners: Easy to use, to polish rocks or metal parts, simply add a media and let the self-rotating tumbler do all the work for you.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: With a manufacturer warranty you can be sure you will get a quality gift.If you get a poor rock tumbler,contact with us,we will supply a new one.

2. Dan&Darci Advanced Rock Tumbler

Advanced Professional Rock Tumbler Kit - with Digital 9-day Polishing timer & 3 speed settings - Turn Rough Rocks into Beautiful Gems : Great Science & STEM Gift for Kids all ages : Geology Toy

The Advanced Rock Tumbler from Dan&Darci is a high-quality tumbler that can make anyone feel like a real professional. It comes with advanced features that help you get the best results as well as making it quite effortless to use. You can choose from any of the 3 speed options as well as set a timer ranging from 1 to 9 days. There are even two LCD screens to indicate the speed and the number of days left on the timer, which are clear and simple to read. If you want to pause the process at any time you can do that without worrying about erasing your settings.

The barrel is designed to be leak-resistant and with the inclusion of rubber material that helps reduce noise. Besides that, this product also comes complete with all the accessories you need to get started on your project fast. The kit will give you 0.5lbs. of assorted rough gemstones. You also get 4 grit packages, a mesh strainer, jewelry fasteners, and a storage bag for the rocks. There’s also a detailed instruction booklet and learning guide for beginners.

Features:

  • LCD display screens
  • 3-speed settings
  • 9-day timer
  • Heavy-duty motor
  • Low-noise barrel with stainless steel lid
  • Pause/Resume button

What we love:

  • Easy start-up and operation
  • Compact size so it’s simple to set up anywhere
  • The barrel seals well and appears watertight

What we don’t like that much:

  • At faster speeds, the barrel might slip off the rollers

Advanced Professional Rock Tumbler Kit - with Digital 9-day Polishing timer & 3 speed settings - Turn Rough Rocks into Beautiful Gems : Great Science & STEM Gift for Kids all ages : Geology Toy
  • Turn rough rocks into polished gems: Discover and learn the fun process of rock tumbling with the Advanced Rock Tumbler. Pour in the rough stones and grit and let the machine do its job.
  • Complete kit: Includes: rock tumbler machine, low-noise barrel (1 lb. capacity), 4 grit packets, 1/2 lb. assorted rough rocks, mesh strainer, jewelry fasteners, gem storage bag, and an illustrated easy-to-follow instruction and learning guide booklet.
  • Powerful quality: Runs on a powerful heavy duty motor that will last for a very long time, and includes a leak-resistant barrel that runs quieter than the other brands.
  • Advanced features: Includes speed controls (providing more granular tumbling results), a 9-day timer (shuts off automatically when you desire), all displayed on beautiful LCD screens.
  • A fun and educational gift for all ages: It's not often that a science project can be fun and engaging, but this kit achieves both! It fascinates children and adults as soon as they pull it out of the box and is a perfect STEM project for any age. It fosters a love for science, geology and mineralogy in a fun and exciting way.

3. Tumble-Bee TB-14 Rotary Rock Tumbler

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

The Tumble-Bee TB-14 is a rotary-style rock tumbler designed to handle stones as well as glass and metals with ease. It features a wide barrel that’s well-made, with rubber material to cut down on any potential noise it can produce. This is backed by a powerful motor that’s fan-cooled and which also comes equipped with a thermal overload protector that allows it to tumble 24/7 with a much lower risk of overheating.

Using the Tumble-Bee TB-14 is straight-to-the-point, starting from its brightly lit on/off switch. This is also a 4-step kit so it will include everything you need. It comes with pre-measured rocks as well as 3 types of grit (coarse, medium, and fine) and polish. There are written and visual instructions to further assist you, making it ideal for newcomers or children with a budding interest in rock tumbling. For the sake of maintenance, the kit also includes oil and an Allen wrench. This tumbler is safe to use too since the housing has no sharp edges.

Features:

  • 115V fan-cooled AC motor
  • 4lbs. capacity rubber barrel
  • ABS plastic with metal reinforced bottom
  • Built-in barrel guides
  • Illuminated on/off power switch
  • Rust-free housing

What we love:

  • Easy to maintain the motor
  • The kit comes with a good amount of starter rocks
  • Works at a good pace

What we don’t like that much:

  • Might have to put in less than the suggested weight limit

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

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

The Tru-square AR-1 Rock Tumbler offers professional-level work. It is a sturdy machine that is compact for easy transportation, so you can carry it wherever you need to set it up with little to no difficulty. The barrel is a comfortable enough size for you to tumble numerous rocks at a time without any problem. Along with the tumbler, you will receive a hefty supply of rocks to use, which is ideal if you’re just starting out and need time to get to grips with the whole process.

Additionally, this comes with jewelry findings so you can create something right away. There is no need to go out and buy anything extra to start out with either since this includes a 4-step process. You will notice it comes with coarse grit, fine grit, pre-polish and polish. This allows you to go through the entire tumbling and polishing process with the rocks included in the kit before having to buy more.

Features:

  • 110V/60Hz motor
  • 1qt rubber barrel
  • 3lbs. capacity
  • Rock polishers’ guide
  • 2 packets of grit
  • 2 packets of polish

What we love:

  • The tumbler feels reliable and solid
  • The barrel is sealed well
  • Motor features sealed bearings so it doesn’t need oiling

What we don’t like that much:

  • Lacks an on/off switch so you must plug/unplug it for it to work

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. Leegol Electric Vibratory Rock Tumbler

Leegol Electric Rock Tumbler 18 Lbs Vibratory Tumbler Bowl for Polishing Metal

The Leegol Electric Vibratory Rock Tumbler is designed for use with both wet and dry media. As such, it features a drain hose for easier use if you decide to add a wet medium. Since it is vibratory it tends to tumble at a quicker pace than rotary tumblers. Therefore this might be better suited for individuals who have already acquired some skills in rock tumbling. More so since it is a professional-grade product.

When you’re operating the unit, it should remain stable thanks to the rubber-mounted feet. The drum opening is also wide enough, sitting at 10 ½in. in diameter, so you can add and remove items with ease. With its powerful motor, you may be able to run it for days at a time so you get an efficient, smooth finish. Besides the tumbler itself, this kit comes with instructions on how to use it as well as three bags of 5lbs. walnut shell media. It is a good start to get you going with your projects.

Features:

  • 120V/60Hz/0.5A electrical input
  • 18-gauge steel motor housing
  • 18lbs. vibratory bowl
  • Drain hose
  • Rubber-mounted feet
  • Polyethylene drum and lid

What we love:

  • Features a heavy-duty motor
  • The barrel holds a good capacity
  • Manages to tumble in a short amount of time

What we don’t like that much:

  • The bottom plastic material could be stronger

Leegol Electric Rock Tumbler 18 Lbs Vibratory Tumbler Bowl for Polishing Metal
  • Electrical Input: 120V/60Hz/0.5A Barrel Capacity: 18LBs
  • Packaging List: Includes tumbler, 3 X 5lbs of walnut shell media, drain hose,and instructions.
  • Professional Features: This high-quality tumbler has a powerful motor, the design allows it to run for days at a time to ensure a smooth finish!
  • Perfect Rock Tumbler: Easy to use, to polish rocks or metal parts, simply add a media and let the self-rotating tumbler do all the work for you.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: With a manufacturer warranty you can be sure you will get a quality gift.If you get a poor one,contact with us,we will supply a new one.

6. 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

If you are just starting out or perhaps you are looking for some quality family time with your children, the National Geographic Rock Tumbler Kit is an ideal choice. It can be a wonderful educational tool thanks to the instructional learning guide that comes with this, allowing kids to have good fun and discover something new. This single barrel tumbler features rubber material that is designed to be about 75% quieter when compared to plastic tumblers. The barrel also boasts 3lbs. capacity so that it can hold more rocks at a time.

Since this product is actually a full kit you don’t just get the tumbler. You also receive 3lbs. worth of rocks. There are generally 9 different types of gemstones found within these rocks so the end result will often be different. Included is also a strainer and 4 different levels of grit to get you started. If you are looking to create something this kit also comprises 5 jewelry fastenings. When you want to add a pleasant shine to your rock collection you can use the included GemFoam. Controlling this tumbler is simple thanks to the 3-speed control setup. Also, it’s programmable anywhere from 1 to 9 days so it can go as long as you need it to.

Features:

  • Durable motor
  • Leak-proof barrel with stainless steel lid
  • Noise-reducing operation
  • Automatic shutoff timer
  • LCD screens
  • Speed settings

What we love:

  • Remains cool to the touch for safety
  • Fast tumbling process
  • Simple to use

What we don’t like that much:

  • It might shut off if a lot of rocks are used at the same time

Sale
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.

FAQs About Rock Tumblers

What types of rock tumblers are there?

Rock tumblers come in 2 different types: rotary and vibratory.

If you’re a beginner you’ll want to go for a rotary rock tumbler as they are user-friendly and the most common type in use. In fact, it is probably what the majority of people will picture when they think of a rock tumbler. This covers all the bases too. Throughout the coarse grind stage, it knocks off edges, shapes, and smoothens the rough rocks out. Also, any rocks tumbled using a rotary rock tumbler always change shape to appear more rounded.

As for vibratory rock tumblers, they are less common for novice users. Unlike rotary tumblers, vibratory ones don’t change the shape of the rock. They’re usually used after a rock has been shaped since they focus on fine polishing the rock instead.

What other items can you tumble?

If you’ve found some coins during your metal detecting adventures then you can throw those in the rock tumbler. A rock tumbler will help clean it giving it a nice shine.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that you don’t want to do this for valuable coins. A rock tumbler will completely destroy that value, so they would be worth nothing more than a collector’s item for yourself. Only work on cleaning coins if they aren’t worth more than their face value or if you plan to melt them down.

Other than coins you can also place shells inside a rock tumbler.

As long as a seashell isn’t too thin it can be placed into a rock tumbler, but your approach would need to be modified since shells are far more fragile than rocks. There is no point in going through the coarse grit stage. Only spend a little time on the second stage or you can skip that completely as well, depending on the consistency of the shell.

Make sure to use as many shells as possible that will comfortably fit inside the barrel, including as much filler as you can.

To Conclude:

It is common to come across various rocks while you’re out searching with a metal detector, and if you want to reveal the beauty that lies beneath them you will need the best rock tumbler. These machines remove all the imperfections so that you are left with something smooth, like those stunning gems you typically find in precious jewelry. Rock tumblers are plentiful, however. Finding the right one for your needs can take time. We looked at a variety of products so you can find a rock tumbler with the barrel size you need, the skill level that you’re at, and the features you most require. 

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.