If I understand your comparison correctly, it maybe a little in
error. My impression of the magnetic stirrer is a small plastic
encapsulated bar magnet or magnet material is put in a beaker of
liquid. The beaker is set on a platform that has a motorized disc
with 1 or more magnets attached. When the motor is energized the
magnetic attraction between the magnets on the rotating disc
cause the encapsulated magnetic in the beaker to rotate in
coincidence with them, thus stirring the liquid in the beaker.
The magnetic ‘tumblers’ generally have a plastic container
containing a quantity of stainless steel pins in a liquid
solution containing a non-sudsing detergent. The container is
supported by a nonmagnetic platform, below which a motor driven
disc containing a number of magnets is mounted. When the motor is
running the magnets rotate causing the pins & other items in the
container to rotate. The rotating/tumbling action of the pins &
liquid in the container cause other items to be
cleaned/brunished. The cleaning/burnishing cycle times are quite
short, usually under an hour. The magnetic tumblers are available
in several sizes starting with one that holds about 1 quart of
The pins are available in several sizes (diameters & lengths).
They have just enough nickel in them to prevent rusting, but not
enough to make them non magnetic.
I’ve not used one of the magnetic tumblers, but have used a
small vibratory tumbler with assorted shapes of steel shot for a
number of years. Given the cost differential between the magnetic
units ($400.00+) & the vibratory ($125.00+)(shot/pins included in
each), my vibratory will be around for a while.
It should be pointed out though, that the pins used in the
magnetic units are capable of getting into much smaller spaces
than the assorted sized shot. If you need to clean/polish items
that have small confined spaces, e.g. filigree etc., the magnetic
unit may be the way to go.