This is my first post here, although I have been reading this site
for a couple years now, and have learned much from your experiences.
Thought I could add something basic to this discussion of rotary vs
I believe it all depends what type and volume of jewelry to be
tumbled. For someone like me, who is a weekend jewelry warrior, has
a regular day job, but is nonetheless serious about my work, a 3lb
rotary tumbler works wonderfully. Using a well manufactured tumbler
with 1 pound of stainless mixed shot is all I need. It doesn’t ruin
the jewelry. In fact, for the sterling chain I make, it works
wonders. The quiet, gentle tumbling for 2 hours results in chain
that is highly polished and smooth as a baby’s behind.
The shot and tumbler cost me $70.00 in total.
Also, the comparison of tumbling rock and tumbling jewelry isn’t a
fair one. I am sure if I tumbled my jewelry for days there wouldn’t
be much left of it, and of course it makes sense that it would be
ruined. But 2 hours does indeed give me the results I want.
It’s a matter of preference. One type may be more appropriate for
some than the other. For me, my good quality rotary tumbler is a