Best Rock Tumblers for Polishing Semi-Precious Stones

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 28, 2017
If you are fascinated by the beauty of stone and want to build your own collection or create one-of-a-kind jewelry, try one of the best rock tumblers to transform rough rocks into glamorous gems. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
RECOMMENDED AGE
CONTROL
Capacity
Design
Kit
Size
Warranty
 
PROS

Speed and polishing time of the tumbler are adjustable so you can get the desired results working with stones of different density. 

CONS

Some customers find it a bit difficult to take off the lid.

OUR VERDICT

All that you need for tumbling and creating custom jewelry comes with the purchase. Featuring a high-quality rubber drum, this is one of the quietest models on the market.

detailed parameters
RECOMMENDED AGE

8 years +

CONTROL

Sensor buttons, Auto shutoff timer, Speed control 

Capacity

2 lbs

Design

Durable leak-proof design, Noise-reducing rubber barrel with a stainless steel lid, Non-skid feet

Kit

Rough gemstones (1 lb), Jewelry fastenings, Polishing grits (4 types), Strainer, Information guide, Instructions

Size

7" x 7" x 8.75"

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Equipped with two 3-lb barrels, this tumbler for rocks allows for processing two loads at a time. The drums can be used both and individually. 

CONS

The tumbler tends to slow down when fully loaded.

OUR VERDICT

User-friendly and efficient, it is a wonderful choice for both novice and experienced collectors. It will become an excellent assistant in creation of handmade jewelry and decor accessories. 

detailed parameters
RECOMMENDED AGE

Adult hobbyists

CONTROL

The device turns on automatically when you plug it into the socket

Capacity

6 lbs total capacity

Design

Sturdy metal housing, Twin rubber barrels with stainless steel lids

Kit

Polishing kit and stones are not included but you can buy them additionally

Size

16" x 9.7" x 6.25"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

An ergonomic count-down timer allows you to monitor the polishing process.

CONS

Adjusting the lid might become more difficult over time.

OUR VERDICT

Buying the Dr. Cool rock tumbler, you'll get a complete polishing kit with fastenings for the finished gemstones. You can gift your kid with this tumbler so that your daughter or son could start creating exclusive handmade accessories.

detailed parameters
RECOMMENDED AGE

8 years +

CONTROL

On/off button, Set button to adjust a count-down timer 

Capacity

1 lb

Design

Metal housing, Rubber barrel with a stainless steel lid

Kit

Rough gemstones (0.5 lb), Jewelry fastenings, Polishing grits (4 types), Strainer, Information guide, Activity booklet with puzzles and games, Instructions

Size

10.8" x 8" x 9.5"

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The unit is simple to operate and maintain. To ensure a longer service life, the manufacturer has included a spare belt. 

CONS

You need to oil the bearings periodically. 

OUR VERDICT

This professional grade rock tumbler for teenage and adult hobbyists boasts a 3-lb capacity. If properly maintained, it will run 24/7 with no issues. 

detailed parameters
RECOMMENDED AGE

Adult hobbyists

CONTROL

Power switch

Capacity

3 lbs

Design

Plastic housing, Rubber barrel, Non-skid feet

Kit

Spare belt, Instructions

Size

10" x 8" x 6"

Warranty

30 days

PROS

This kit will become a great choice for those getting serious about the hobby of creating DIY accessories. Includes all necessary jewelry settings as well as glue. 

CONS

It might crumble lighter minerals.

OUR VERDICT

With this awesome toy, tumbling rocks into beautiful gems will be a riveting experience for kids and adults alike. Using this tumbler is simple thanks to the clear and detailed instructions. 

detailed parameters
RECOMMENDED AGE

10 years +

CONTROL

The device turns on automatically when you plug it into the socket

Capacity

1.5 lbs

Design

Plastic housing, Plastic barrel

Kit

Rough gemstones, Polishing grits (3 types), Jewelry fastenings, Glue, Instructions

Size

10" x 8" x 6"

Warranty

30 days

What is a Rock Tumbler

Is it possible to get a glittering gemstone out from a rough piece of rock? Yes, it is, if you have a rock tumbler. Using a tumbler for rocks, you together with your kid can experience the magic of transforming simple rocks into exquisite and beautiful jewelry. Due to a great range of models available on the modern market, there are rock tumblers for people of different ages and needs. Processing stones in a tumbler is a simple job. All you need to do is load stones with a grit into a barrel, cover them with water, close the lid and turn the unit on. After four stages of gradual transformation (each taking for about a week), you will get well-polished sparkling pieces to add to your collection or to create custom jewelry.

Once you get the feel to creating hand-made jewelry, you'll like an idea of making your working space more comfortable and suitable for your new hobby. Take a peak into the review of the craft tables where we share some of the most popular models followed by tips and guides. And the review on laser engravers if you plan to further personalize and decorate your accessories.

National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler

Simple Start

The manufacturer claims that this product is an excellent choice for both novice and advanced rock hounds. And it really is, thanks to a winning combination of durable leak-proof design and effective performance. Let’s have a closer look at its user-friendly features. To guarantee comfortable and quiet operation of the tumbler, the manufacturer has fitted it with a 2-lb rubber drum which naturally doesn't vibrate as much as the majority of plastic containers. The tool has adjustable speed control allowing you to either speed up the process for faster sanding or slow it down for sparkling polishing results.

New owners of the product, especially young jewelers, will be delighted to find out that the package kit includes all the required elements to start using it out-of-the-box. In the box you'll find four polishing grits, 1 lb of rough gemstones, and even fastenings for your handmade pieces. Put the stones and grit inside the barrel, add water and close the lid. Then, set the time and adjust the speed. When the process comes to the end, the tumbler will automatically shut off.

All in all, it is an awesome choice for both kids and adults who love creating beautiful things and collecting nature’s treasures. 

If you are looking for an engaging toy to develop your kid’s logical thinking, consider getting a marble run.

Review of National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler

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    Manufacturer


National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler
National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler
 

Lortone Double Barrel Rock Tumbler

Twice as Many Stones

User-friendly and durable, this model is an ideal choice for passionate hobbyists looking for a rock tumbler with large loading capacity. It has two independent 3-lb barrels that you can use either individually or both, which is handy if you need to combine several processes. Carefully follow the included instructions and use the recommended grit for each of the four steps. To make stones more polished and smoother, you can add plastic pellets to the container. Please, note, abrasives, and polishes are not included, do not forget to order them alongside the rock tumbler. To add to the benefits of the Lortone tumbler, it is very portable and it will not take up a lot of space in your garage or elsewhere. 

To make handiwork both comfortable and safe for your eyesight, a desk lamp will come in useful.

Review of Lortone Double Barrel Rock Tumbler

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Lortone Double Barrel Rock Tumbler
Lortone Double Barrel Rock Tumbler
 

Discover with Dr. Cool Hobby Rock Tumbler

Turning Rocks Into Gemstones

It is time to discover the beauty of the stone! Turning bits of rock into smooth glittering pieces of jewelry, young explorers can familiarize themselves with practical geology and possibly find their avocation. 

The Dr. Cool Hobby rock tumbler is simple to use, just load stones into the barrel and select the desired speed and processing time. By the way, the drum is made of rubber to minimize noise pollution. When the process comes to the end, the tumbler will turn off automatically. Good news! You can start tumbling as soon as the package arrives, for it comes with a pound of semi-precious stones of nine different types, four grits to polish them to perfection, and detailed instructions. Additionally, you will get a booklet of educational content and an activity guide which you can use to teach your kid some new things and skills in a fun and exciting way. The included fastenings allow you to create one-of-a-kind handmade treasures that you can further use to decorate your place by stacking them on shelves, holders, mirror frames and inside an aquarium. If you are looking for a handy tool for engraving your handiwork, you may find one here

Review of Discover with Dr. Cool Hobby Rock Tumbler

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Discover with Dr. Cool Hobby Rock Tumbler
Discover with Dr. Cool Hobby Rock Tumbler
 

Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Rock Tumbler

Reach a Pro Level

The Lortone 3A Tumbler is a professional grade lapidary tool for beginners and youth. It has a neat and compact design and features 3-lb barrel capacity. At the same time, it has been made to be sturdy and durable to withstand everyday use. This user-friendly device can be easily disassembled if you need to adjust or replace the belt (a spare one is included). Besides, you can buy all the necessary accessories and replacement parts. It is recommended to clean the barrel after each use and oil the shaft after all four polishing stages are finished, to provide a smooth operation of the unit. Keep in mind these maintenance tips and carefully follow the instructions, and this rock tumbler will serve you for years!

If you love creating stylish things, you may be interested in one of these scrapbooking cutting machines that will help you emboss figures and shapes on various materials like paper, leather, or cardboard.

Review of Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Rock Tumbler

Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Rock Tumbler
Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Rock Tumbler
 

Classic Crafts Rock Tumbler

An Excellent Gift Idea

Looking for a present idea for a child fascinated by geology? How about the NSI rock tumbler? This wonderful toy will help him/her learn about rocks through watching the polishing process step by step. After a few weeks, their patience will be awarded. It is a real fun to make shining semi-precious stones that can be further used for handmade rings, necklaces, earrings, pins, and keyholders.

The tumbler comes with three types of grit, one for each step. The first step lasts for about four days; the next one takes a couple of weeks; a final polishing goes on for a week or so. The exact time depends on the results you get after each stage. Please, carefully follow manufacturer's recommendations and thoroughly clean the barrel each time before you load the stones. Easy-to-follow instructions are included in the package. Though this model is quite noisy in operation, it is a good value for the money. It is a good choice for those who love exploring natural materials and wearing unique adornments. 

Today, more and more children are interested in nothing but computer games. As a solution, you can get a toy that will make them spend more time outside, like an RC drift car or RC boat.

Review of Classic Crafts Rock Tumbler

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Classic Crafts Rock Tumbler
Classic Crafts Rock Tumbler
 

Infographics

Comparison of Rock Tumblers for Polishing Semi-Precious Stones

Sources:

1. What is a Rock Tumbler? Geology.com.

2. Anne Marie Helmenstine Rock Tumbler BasicsThoughtCo. March 4, 2017.

3. Rachel Haas BUYING GUIDE: Rock Tumblers, Hayneedle. August 27, 2014.

4. Tumble finishing, Wikipedia. October 9, 2016.

5. Top Rock Tumblers for Beginners, eBay. September 3, 2014.

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