Solar Powered Rock Tumbler

When you must buy a tumbler!If you are buying a tumbler bereason you desire the satisfaction, endure, and pride of creating your own poliburned stones, then we recognize precisely what urges you! That"s why we own several tumblers of miscellaneous kinds and run them frequently!Tumbling is additionally an excellent activity to share via your children, grandkids, your spouse or friends. It"s an excellent relationship-builder.When you must buy polimelted stones!If your goal is to gain lots of tumbled stones for craft jobs, planters or simply to gain, probably you have to think about the expense of buying them compared to the price of creating them yourself.If you have to purchase the turbulent, purchase the grit and polish, pay for the electrical power, buy a tumbler and also pay for its maintenance, then the price of developing the stones yourself might be greater than the expense of buying them. No kidding. The post on this page mirrors you the math. Commercial producers of polimelted stones buy their grit and also turbulent by the ton, they usage incredibly efficient tumblers, and also they are very efficient workers. Their costs are exceptionally extremely low. They likewise have actually enough experience that they damage exceptionally few batches and also develop exceptionally nice polimelted stones through a brilliant polish.If we didn"t gain tumbling our own stones, we would be buying them instead. Honest!Tright here is nothing wrong with buying stones polished by reliable experts.We are not trying to talk you out of buying a nice rock tumbler - we simply desire you to obtain the best worth for your money! Compare the price!You can buy a three-pound bag of our polimelted stones mixtures for an average price of under $14 per pound. And, if you buy some of our bulk tumbled stones you deserve to get them for around $12 per pound. You more than likely can"t make them for that price, when you take into consideration the price of electrical power and abrasives (in the tables on this page) plus the cost of stormy rock and also the tumbler itself. If you decide to carry out these calculations, save in mind that if you purchase 10 pounds of turbulent, it might yield just 6 or 7 pounds of beautiful tumbled stones!So... if what you really desire is a selection of perfectly-poliburned stones to put on display, you"ll probably save time and money by leaving the work-related to the specialists - and ssuggest purchasing a bag of combined tumbled stones.But on the various other hand, if you"re searching for a fun and interesting hobby, offer tumbling a try! Many kind of world feel that it"s worth the investment to have the ability to say, "I did it myself!" :-)

Electricity + Abrasive Costs

A few human being have written to us about the prices of operating a rock tumbler. To respond to these concerns, we have all set a in-depth price comparichild for numerous of the a lot of renowned tumblers that we sell. Presented below are estimated operating expenses for electrical energy and approximated costs for the grit and polish consumed.We did not incorporate a price for stormy rock as expenses differ significantly. Some people find their very own rocks and also some pay $30 or even more per pound for exotic materials. :-) You have the right to ssuggest add the expense of your stormy to the complete operating prices presented below.These forms of calculations require most assumptions. We define the assumptions that we have used in the sections below. Please feel cost-free to do your very own calculations if you prefer a different set of presumptions.

Electricity Costs

Rotary tumblers operate 24 hrs per day and also typically run seven days a week. We were surprised once we learned just how a lot electricity was forced. To arrive at the worths listed below, we assumed an electricity price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour and also motors operating at maximum efficiency. We also assumed that a batch of rocks forced 35 days in the Thumler"s and also Lortone rotary tumblers (we run the coarse grit action twice) and 7 days in the Lot-O-Tumbler vibratory rock tumbler. (Four days in tool, one in fine and two in polish). Your expenses might be higher or reduced than our approximates based upon how long you operate the tumbler, how much you pay for grit, and how a lot you have to pay for electrical energy.

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Electricity Costs

Tumbler Electricity cost per day Electricity expense per batch of rocks Electricity expense per pound of rocks
Thumler"s MP-1 $0.06 $2.14 $2.14
Lortone 3A $0.08 $2.64 $1.32
Thumler"s A-R1 $0.11 $3.77 $1.88
Lortone 33B $0.08 $2.64 $0.66
Thumler"s A-R2 $0.11 $3.77 $0.94
Thumler"s UV-10 $0.21 $1.45 $0.15
Lot-O-Tumbler (single barrel) $0.28 $1.98 $0.49
Lot-O-Tumbler (double barrel) $0.28 $1.98 $0.25
Lortone QT66 $0.15 $5.15 $0.64
Lortone QT12 $0.15 $5.15 $0.64
Thumler"s Model B $0.14 $4.98 $0.50

Grit and Polish (Abrasive) Costs

Vibratory tumblers need a lot less grit and also polish when compared to rotating tumblers. We have actually all set the table below to summarize these prices. For rotary tumblers, we assumed the use of 2 ounces of grit per pound of rock for each of the coarse, medium, and fine grind procedures for each week in the tumbling procedure. We also assumed one ounce of polish per pound of rock for the final action. (The exception to this was the Thumler"s Model B tumbler, wright here one pound of coarse and also tool were provided per barrel of rock, and one-half pound of fine and also polish were offered - as per manufacturer"s instructions.)For vibratory makers, we assumed 1/2 ounce of grit per pound of rock for each 24 hrs of procedure for the coarse grind step (4 days), 1/4 ounce of grit per pound of rock for the fine grind action, and also 1/4 ounce of polish per pound of rock for the last action.Finally, we assumed a expense of $4.80 per pound for coarse and also medium silsymbol carbide grit, $7.00 per pound for fine grit, and $11.60 per pound for aluminum oxide polish.If you use different amounts of grit/polish or gain them at a different expense, you have the right to recalculate accordingly.

Our calculations present that bigger tumblers mainly operate at a reduced cost per pound of rock. That"s because they make more reliable usage of electrical power.

Our calculations present that the Lot-O-Tumblers have actually the lowest operating price for grit, polish and electric power out of every one of the makers considered. The single-barrel Lot-O-Tumbler produces at a price of just $1.68 per pound of rock processed, and the double-barrel machine produces at a price of just $1.43 per pound. These expenses were much less than fifty percent of the cost of running a rotary tumbler.Using a vibratory tumbler can conserve you the majority of time and also money. Although they expense more to purchase, you will certainly recuperate thatextra cost exceptionally quickly.

Abrasive Costs

Tumbler Cost of grit and polish per batch of rocks Cost of grit and also polish per pound of rocks
Thumler"s MP-1 $3.40 $3.40
Lortone 3A $6.80 $3.40
Thumler"s A-R1 $6.80 $3.40
Lortone 33B $13.60 $3.40
Thumler"s A-R2 $13.60 $3.40
Thumler"s UV-10 $7.05 $0.70
Lot-O-Tumbler (single barrel) $3.52 $0.88
Lot-O-Tumbler (double barrel) $7.05 $0.88
Lortone QT66 $27.19 $3.40
Lortone QT12 $27.19 $3.40
Thumler"s Model B $23.69 $2.37

Operating Costs

We calculated operating prices by including the cost for electrical energy and the expense for abrasives. We did not incorporate quantities spent on optional tumbling media or wear and also tear on the rock tumbler. You have the right to view that larger tumblers have the lowest operating expense per pound of rough rock, and that vibratory tumblers develop tumbled stones for much less than half the cost of a rotary tumbler. Maybe your following tumbler need to be a vibratory?

Abrasives + Power Costs

Tumbler Cost of Electricity, Grit and Polish Per Batch Cost of Electricity, Grit and also Polish Per Pound of Rock
Thumler"s MP-1 $5.54 $5.54
Lortone 3A $9.44 $4.72
Thumler"s A-R1 $10.57 $5.28
Lortone 33B $16.24 $4.06
Thumler"s A-R2 $17.36 $4.34
Thumler"s UV-10 $8.50 $0.85
Lot-O-Tumbler (single barrel) $5.50 $1.38
Lot-O-Tumbler (double barrel) $9.03 $1.13
Lortone QT66 $32.34 $4.04
Lortone QT12 $32.34 $4.04
Thumler"s Model B $28.67 $2.87


Our calculations present that the Thumler"s Model B tumbler had actually the lowest operating expense for grit, polish, and electric power out of every one of the rotating devices thought about. It developed polished stones with an abrasive and electrical power price of just $2.87 per pound of rock processed. The savings was mainly derived by the higher barrel capacity being thrust by a motor that has a power consumption that is not much even more than the motor of a tiny tumbler.

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Adding the Cost of Rough

The best variable in the cost of producing your very own tumbled stones is the cost of getting stormy. Maybe you own a ranch in Arizona and also have the right to pick up a couple of pounds of turbulent while taking your dog for a walk. In that case your price of obtaining unstable is practically zero.If you travel to a pay-to-dig website, you have automobile expenses, admission expenses, together with the prices of tools and also meals. If you purchase unstable by mail, you have the expense of the rough plus pophase. These costs add up rapidly.Let"s imagine that your expense of turbulent is $6 per pound. And, let"s assume that one pound of turbulent will yield around 2/3 of a pound of nice tumbled stones. That suggests that your real cost of makingtumbled stones is around $11 per pound. If you usage the single Lot-o-Tumbler then your expenses will be around $8 per pound. Those are some pretty expensive stones.

It"s Not the Destination however the Journey

We run our rock tumbler bereason we enjoy starting out through unstable rock, utilizing some equipment together with some knowledge, and developing a product that is amazing and pretty. The cost of the stones is not vital bereason the hobby is what we reap.However before, if we had a craft organization that forced turning a profit, we would think about our requirements for tumbled stones rather in different ways. In that case we would either be running a really substantial rock tumbler for performance, or purchasing tumbled stones by the ton from commercial tumblers.

Happy Tumbling!

* Authors

Hobart M. King has actually decades of rock tumbling endure and writes the majority of of the short articles on He has a PhD in geology and also is a GIA graduate gemologist. He likewise writes the articles about rocks, minerals and also gems on
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The World"s Largest Rock Tumbling Library
Tumbling Media - What You Need to Know
How Long To Tumble Rocks?
Save Time and also Money via a Vibratory Tumbler
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Fee Mining and also Digging Sites
Rock Tumbler Blog
Uses for Tumbled Stones
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We highly recommend: Modern Rock Tumbling by Steve Hart. Learning is the fastest means to boost the quality of rocks that you tumble. In this book you will learn from an experienced via comprehensive endure. You will certainly boost your abilities, learn to save time and also money, and have an excellent referral book that you will certainly use aget and also aacquire.
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Gemstones of the World
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We very recommend: Gemstones of the World (fifth edition) by Wtransform Schumann. One of the most well-known gemrock books ever written, via over one million duplicates sold. It has actually about 100 pages of basic gemstone indevelopment and also about 200 peras dedicated to photos and descriptions of over 100 gems and gem materials.
Gemstone and Jewelry Book
Only $18.99
We very recommend: Gemrock Tumbling, Cutting, Drilling and Cabochon Making (by Jim Magnuboy and also Val Carver). This is our favorite book for a person that does rock tumbling and also currently desires to make beads, pendants, and other jewelry from tumbled stones. Includes an arrival to cabochon cutting.

Have a question? Check our rock tumbling library.