Rock Tumblers have been used for many years to make smooth, shiny polished stones from rough rocks. People tumble pebbles they find on the beach or bits of other rocks they find when out and about. Then there are those that only tumble semi precious rough rocks like Amethyst and Carnelian to name a few. But whatever you are tumbling, in the end you are asking a machine to do in weeks what it takes nature thousands of years to do. Just think about it, how long did it take the sea to smooth out those pebbles on the beach? Rock tumblers do the same thing over several weeks and your stones are polished at the end as well.
A Look at the Rock Tumblers Available
These machines come in many different sizes but all operate in basically the same way. Your rough rocks are placed into a barrel along with silcon carbide grit and water, a lid is placed on the barrel to seal it. It’s then left rotating on the machine so the stones can be smoothed out by the grit and water for around a week before being opened up again. There are usually four steps to the process including the polish.
Some machines will only accept one small barrel, others will accept a number of barrels in combination. Then you have the commercial rock tumblers were barrel capacities are measured in litres instead of pounds or grams. The latter category of machines uses special purpose built barrels, whereas the other machines for the most part, will work with plastic or rubber barrels.
You also get the choice of plastic or rubber barrels for most machines. A word of advice, we started with plastic barrels which found to be very noisy, think of the sound of heavy rain on a tin roof! We also found them difficult to get a good seal, hence we would find the water/grit leaking which is no good. Rubber barrels, although more expensive are the best choice They are almost silent in comparison to the plastic ones and much easier to get a good seal.
Our Rock Tumbler Range
View our complete range of: Rock Tumbler Machines
The entry level: 2lb Beach Stone Tumbler
Entry level kit includes grits and polish: 2lb Stone Tumbler Kit
A higher capacity machine: 3lb Single Stone Tumbler
Higher capacity machine with 2 x 1.5lb barrels: 3lb Double Plastic Barrel Rock Tumbler
3lb Capacity machine with 2 x rubber barrels, grits, polish and rock: 3lb PRO Double Barrel Stone Tumbler
5lb Heavy duty machine with larger rubber barrel: 5lb Beach Stone Tumbler
Evans 2 x 3lb barrel machine, can also run 4 x 1.5lb barrels: Evans 6lb Double Rock Tumbler
Commercial machines by Rotabarrel: Rotabarrel Commercial Tumbler
A Quick Look at our Rock Tumblers Working
View this video on our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/88ayMzKN9FI
We are in an affiliate partnership with the UKGE Group for all of the Rock Tumbling mchines referred to on this page. This means that if you make a purchase on the UKGE Group site we will earn commission for that sale.
We purchase a lot of our Lapidary requirements from UKGE. We have always found that their level of customer service and speed of delivering orders to be second to none. Therefore we have no problem in recommending their products and services to our readers.