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Thread: Tumbler for beginners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2023

    Default Tumbler for beginners

    Hi all

    I’ve just started out with silversmithing so it’s mostly a hobby but I’d like to be able to make a few pieces to sell too. Can anyone point me in the direction of a budget friendly little tumbler please? Also, I’ve read here that stainless steel shot is a good option, does it matter what size/shape/how much you have?
    Last edited by N474lie; 19-04-2023 at 07:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    Hi N474lie, and welcome to he Forum.

    Over the years members on a budget have gone for a National Geographic rock tumbler, combined with stainless steel mixed shot.
    The problem with shot, is that in order to reach all the nooks and crannies it has to contain needles, and they will invariably cause stippling of any flat surfaces. To offset this, use the smallest shot you can find, and go on tumbling for an extended period, even overnight.

    To find out more, use our search box top right, and search with google online. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Recommend you get a decent one. Don't skimp on a cheapie because it will invariably leak, not rotate properly and drive you nuts, then you will buy a decent one anyway.
    I recommend this
    used around the world by other silver workers I know who all recommended it to me when I finally got exasperated with my UK sourced one.
    Look on aliexpress and such sites and import direct.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    My National Geo one doesn't leak and has proved reliable and I'm happy with it. I use it a couple of hours at a time and a few times a week. If I was making on a larger scale I might go for a "proper one" but quite honestly this is good enough for me at the moment and the rubber barrel is nice and quiet.

    I did buy good quality stainless steel shot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    South Australia


    I agree with the lortone recommendation I have had had mine for 20 years, only ever replaced the bearings once a couple of years ag.


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