Rocks are among the most overlooked and beautiful parts of our natural environment. Since they lie below our feet, many people miss the ravishing beauty that the earth expresses with these stones.

Often, all it takes to transform a piece of stone from a “boring ole rock” into a work of art is to tumble that rock in a rock tumbler. It is in this pursuit of beauty that we have assembled our list of the best rock tumblers on today's market.

You have many choices in selecting a device that can polish your rocks. The internet offers so many options it's difficult to determine which is the best rock tumbler for your money. We scoured the internet and found ten rock tumblers that are worthy contenders for the title of best rock tumbler around.

We will reveal our scores of these products, tell you where you can buy them, and pick a winner by the end of this article. 

​table of comparison

Rock Tumbler FAQ

​1. What Is a Rock Tumbler?

​2. How Are Tumbled Stones Similar to Beach Glass?

​​​​3. Where Can You Buy the Best Rock Tumblers?

​4. What Is a Lapidarist?

​How We Reviewed

​​​​​First, we had to narrow down the plethora of options presented by the internet. After we separated the wheat from the chaff, it left us with a short list of ten candidates for the title of the best rock tumbler. We evaluated each of these candidates according to their features, their price point, their pros, their cons, and what sort of warranty they came with. With these scores in mind, we were able to pick a winner from our shortlist and declare it the best rock tumbler that you can buy on the internet.

​Overall Price Range

​​While you may find used rock tumblers for less, but you can expect to pay around a hundred dollars for one of the best rock tumblers. Some models will ask up to twice this price point, whereas others will undercut this hundred-dollar middle significantly. Ultimately, the features and the warranty ought to provide enough information to discover if the product you are looking at is worth what it asks.

​What We Reviewed

  • ​Lortone 3A Single Barrel Tumbler
  • ​Thumler's Tumbler Rock Polisher
  • ​Discover With Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler
  • Tru-square Metal Products Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler
  • Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Rock Tumbler
  • NSI/Smithsonian Rock Tumbler
  • 6 Lb Rotary Dual Drum Rock Tumbler Lapidary Polisher
  • National Geographic Professional Rock Tumbler Kit
  • Tru-square Metal Products Model Kit Rock Tumbler
  • Classic Crafts NSI Rock Tumbler Classic

​best rock tumbler

Features

​Lortone is a trusted name among rock polishers. Not only do they provide a solid rock tumbler, but they also have many such products on offer. The Lortone 3A Single Barrel Tumbler is an affordable tumbler that comes packed with power. The rubber lining cuts down on noise and the motor is famous for running for years.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Long-lasting motor
  • ​3-pound capacity can polish many rocks at once
  • ​Rubber lining makes for quiet operation
  • 1-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Not the cheapest rock tumbler

​warranty

​This rock tumbler comes with a 1-year warranty.

Features

​Many people love Thumler for their bold design in rock tumblers. We found that this model performed solidly. It boasts a three-pound capacity, uses a single rubber barrel that cuts down on noise, and operates off of a 115-volt, continuous duty motor. The only real drawback is that it's difficult to find this model in stock.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Can tumble up to three pounds of rocks at once
  • ​The motor is powerful and long-lasting
  • ​Rubber barrel cuts down on noise

​cons

  • ​Difficult to find in stock
  • Not the cheapest

​warranty

​This product comes with a limited one-year warranty.

Features

​Kids love rocks. When they find out that they can transform the bits of gravel that are all around them into gems, they will love rocks even more. That is what is so great about the child-friendly, easy-to-read settings on the Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler. Although it does not hold up to some more professionally minded rock tumblers, it is one of the best rock tumblers for a young rock enthusiast.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Great for kids
  • ​The display is easy to read and set
  • ​Comes with rocks that can be tumbled into attractive versions of themselves
  • 2-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Not as powerful as other candidates for the best rock tumbler

​warranty

​This product comes with a great 2-year warranty.

Features

​The Tru-square Metal Products Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler is the complete opposite of the Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler. Whereas the latter is child-friendly in design, the former is designed for the hardcore rock enthusiast. It can tumble a gnarly fifteen pounds of rock at once. It costs about twice the average price, but its capacity is much higher than twice the average.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Extremely long-lived
  • ​Huge fifteen-pound capacity
  • ​Comes with a long 5-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Not the easiest to use for kids

​warranty

​This product comes with a five-year warranty.

Features

​The Chicago Electric Power Tools 67631 Rotary Rock Tumbler is a great option for those on a budget. While it is imported and made of plastic, it will do a solid job tumbling up to three pounds of rocks. This little guy only weighs about seven pounds, which is nice. It costs about half the average price of a tumbler.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Quiet operation
  • ​Easy to read settings
  • ​One of the cheapest candidates for the best rock tumbler

​cons

  • ​Not the most powerful rock tumbler
  • No warranty claims offered by Chicago Electric Power Tools

​warranty

​Chicago Electric Power Tools does not put forth any warranty claims on this product.

Features

​This is another great rock tumbler for kids. It is easy to use, and can easily be the spark that sets a child on the path of geology. It even comes with parts and instructions on how to make necklaces, charms, and key chains. As a bonus, it comes packaged with a huge color poster of rock types.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​One of the best rock tumblers for kids
  • ​Budget price range
  • ​Comes with a key ring, necklace, and charm parts

​cons

  • ​Ultimately, not as effective as the Discover with Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler
  • ​No warranty

​warranty

​This product does not come with a warranty.

Features

​This is one of the best rock tumblers with dual drums. Both can hold three pounds each. This is essential for the lapidarist who wishes to tumble rocks of different hardness levels at the same time. Tumbling can take a while, so it is great that this model can pull double duty.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Two chambers allow for two types of tumbling at once
  • ​The motor is fan-cooled and belt-driven
  • ​Barrell is rubber for quiet operation
  • Low price point

​cons

  • ​Users report that warranty is not respected

​warranty

​This product nominally comes with a warranty, but those that have received faulty products have had trouble getting the company to honor their agreement.

Features

​We included this product as the National Geographic name is so respected. However, its barrel is small and can only hold about 2 pounds of rocks. It claims to be a professional kit, and it is priced about twice as high as the child-friendly models. However, since it comes with a pound of rough gemstones, four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, an information guide, and an instruction booklet, it shares more in common with the entry-level tumblers on this list.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Comes with a pound of unpolished stone
  • ​Bundled with jewelry fastenings to make your own accessories
  • ​National Geographic provides a two-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Only tumbles about 2 pounds of rock at a time
  • Not the cheapest for what it offers

​warranty

​National Geographic provides a two-year warranty on this product.

Features

​On our quest to find the best rock tumbler on the internet, we were constantly impressed by Tru-Metal. The Tru-square Metal Products Model A-R2 Kit Rock Tumbler is no exception. It uses a versatile two-barrel design that can hold up to six pounds of rock at once. Its motor is continuous-duty and fan-cooled. It even comes with overload protection that makes this a great choice for the professional.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​Double-barreled to allow for two types of rock at once
  • ​One of the most powerful candidates for the best rock tumbler
  • ​Long lasting design
  • Motor provides overload protection

​cons

  • ​One of the more expensive candidates for the best rock tumbler

​warranty

​This product is covered by a limited one-year warranty.

Features

​This is a rock tumbler that proudly proclaims it is a rock tumbler on its front. This makes it great for kids who want an excuse to show off the hardware hanging around their room. However, we found that it fell short of other candidates for best rock tumbler in terms of its carrying capacity and how long it takes to tumble stones. Fortunately, it can be purchased inexpensively.

​Pros and Cons

​Pros

  • ​One of the cheaper candidates for the best rock tumbler
  • ​Good for kids

​cons

  • ​The motor is outperformed by other entries on this list
  • Cannot hold very many stones at once

​warranty

​This product does not come with a warranty.

​​​The Verdict

colorful pebbles polished with best rock tumbler

Image Via Pixabay

The major consideration you will have to make when selecting a rock tumbler is whether you are attempting to spark someone's interest in geology or whether you are aiming to put them (or yourself) on a path of professional lapidary. If you aim to spark someone's interest, then you ought to gravitate toward the products that come with clear instructions, unpolished rocks, and jewelry fittings.

However, if you are looking for the best of the best, you cannot go wrong with the 6 Lb Rotary Dual Drum Rock Tumbler Lapidary Polisher. Not only does it provide a huge capacity, but it also runs on a quiet motor. The dual chambers allow for a lot of choices when polishing stones, and this product is among the cheapest items on this list.

The 6 Lb Rotary Dual Drum Rock Tumbler Lapidary Polisher is our pick for the best rock tumbler on the internet.