Geology And Geophysics

Product Reviews Chicago Electric Dual Drum Rotary Tumbler



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The Chicago Electric dual drum rotary tumbler is a product manufactured for and sold by Harbor Freight Tools.  Often derided for “cheap” tools imported from China, certain products are simple enough for this company to be an ideal source.  The dual drum rotary tumbler is just such a product.

Rotary tumblers are used for a number of polishing tasks.  Most commonly used to polish rocks and semi-precious gems to a high shine, using the proper polishing media they can also be used to polish and shine metals, plastics and virtually any other material. 

The Chicago Electric dual drum rotary tumbler has two drums each capable of holding three pounds of media and material to be polished.  By rolling the stones or other materials along with the media and water the tumbler imitates the actions of sand flowing through a streambed smoothing and polishing the materials to a high sheen.

The tumbler comes with a good instruction manual giving clear guidelines on usage and placement of the tumbler. The warnings and instructions should be read before using the tumbler.  As the machine will need to run 24 hours per day for two or more weeks careful consideration should be given to where it will be located. The manual gives good advice on proper locations.

The guidelines for general use are a good introduction to rock polishing using the tumbler.  Clear step-by-step instructions are included on how to load the tumbler and how long each step of the polishing process should take.  By following these instructions you should get good results from the first use. For more professional results or advanced uses it would be a good idea to reference specialized sources.

With a retail price, at the time of this writing, of $54.99 and a sale price of $39.99, the Chicago Electric dual drum rotary tumbler is a good value.  Competing products sell for $100 to more than $200. The tumbler has a 90-day warranty and a 30-day full satisfaction guarantee. If you are going to be using your tumbler a lot you might consider buying Harbor Freight’s one or two year full replacement warranty.  For less than the cost of a more expensive brand you will be guaranteed to have a working tumbler for the time the warranty coverage is in effect.

Harbor Freight has retail stores throughout the country in most large and medium sized cities.  Their low prices on inexpensively built tools make them an ideal source for the hobbyist who is interested in working on a wide variety of projects and unable to spend large sums of money on tools that will only be used occasionally. The Chicago Electric dual drum rotary tumbler is a perfect example of just such an inexpensive tool.

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