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Harbor Freight Rotary Tumblers

Hi All,

I’m wondering…has anyone had trouble with the “quality” of the
rotary tumblers, from Harbor Freight ? I have bought two, in the
last two weeks. Dual drums and both of them failed before 24 hours of
use-the belts broke! For a tool that is expected to run continously,
for about 2 weeks, you would think the belts would be made of
something strong enough to hold up longer then 20 hours or so !
Thanks for your help and advice !

Suz Brennan

I have several friends that bought these tumblers had the same
problem they would bring them to me to fix I bought two sheaves and
a new belt from the industry supply house here in town and replace
the one it ship with now they run fine day in and day out. The one
thing you must remember is that the sell for 39.95 which is the cost
of good replacement barrels so you can not expect a lot out of the
base tumblers but with spend another 25.00 dollars you have a good

Rodney Abel

I bought one once. I replaced the belt (they are notoriously given
to breaking) and my DH rebuilt the motor twice before I gave up on
mine. It lasted 3 months. And I didn’t keep the packaging since I
wasn’t expecting any trouble with it.

I bought a dual tumbler from Rio and have no problems with it. I run
it 18 hours a day 6 days a week.


I’ve seen them where the two barrels fit so tight that they couldn’t


We have one in the shop at school. The belts break incredibly
quickly, so we’ve started using the “no metal” ponytail holders (the
thick ones) instead. They work and last a lot longer.

The other problems with these tumblers is that they are really
lacking in power - with both barrels going, there is very little
turning power available, so they move quite slowly. Also, the rubber
barrels are still producing a lot of contamination in the course of
tumbling, so you have to wash your tumblings much more frequently
than otherwise.

All in all, you get what you pay for. I have an Aubin in my personal
shop and truly love it. No contamination from the hard-plastic
barrel, the cant of the barrel to 40 degrees means no spills even if
the top should pop off (which I’ve never had happen), excellent
capacity for larger pieces, and very good speed. It’s also quiet. I
got it from Metalliferous ( and wouldn’t trade
it for anything!

Hope this helps,
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs

I had the same trouble with the first belt on my HF rotary tumbler.
I ordered a couple replacements and installed one, which is still
working. The other is available whenever. FYI, I keep replacement
belts for the two Lortone tumblers I have.

Whenever you purchase a new piece of equipment that has a part (like
a belt or light bulb) that will wear out, just be sure to buy some
replacement parts along with the equipment. Sure saved my bacon a
few times.

Judy in Kansas, where the crocus are blooming and tulips are
thrusting out of the ground. Time to cut some forsythia to force into
bloom inside.

hello Suz

first post. same thing with my tumbler. went to: aero hardware and
supply inc., jax, florida 904-783-4401 fax 904-781-9636 picked up
’o’ ring part # A-342 good quality and cheap… put ’ 3 in 1’ oil
on both support shaft ends ( 2 drops max ) more than that gets
messy!!! i run 3lbs of stainless shot in my drum so have to help
it out ( kinda tight ). works fine

if you or anyone else has a problem with the numbers, contact me off
line and i will do the leg work and problem solving.

best regards
bill taylor

ps: try a local hydraulics supply house, one that services large ram
cylinders, like those on backhoes.

Sorry to hear the HF tumbler doesn’t seem to be a good buy, I’ve
bought many things from them - mechanical and not - and so far
(knock on that wood!) have had nothing but good experiences. It is
always, I suppose, a bit of a risk, though. For tumblers, I’d
heartily recommend When I lived in Germany the
tools could be soooo very expensive, especially after 16% tax, so I
ordered one from Kingsley North (220V, of course) when my hubby was
going to the US on business & he dragged it back with him in his
suitcase. Loved it!! I sold it to someone there when we moved back to
the US, then promptly bought a 110v one, which I’ve happily used
since. I don’t run it constantly, but I run it a fair amount & it’s
never caused a moment’s worry. Good price for it, too!

Designs by Lisa Gallagher