PDA

View Full Version : Which case tumbler should I get?


The Geologist
12-26-2012, 9:29 AM
Lyman, RCBS, Hornady or ......

X231
12-26-2012, 9:34 AM
Great question! I'll be watching this thread.

DucatiSS
12-26-2012, 9:37 AM
I have a Lyman 2500 pro and it works great. My only regret was not getting the auto flow (only $20 more at the time) to make it easier to dump the media and get the shiny brass out.

stilly
12-26-2012, 9:52 AM
If you are just going to clean your brass then you could go with one of the vibrator ones (sorry I have no experience there) or you can go with a thumler tumbler or some other rotary tumbler. I think this question has the ability to turn into a ford/chevy debate but in all honesty I have not seen too many fan boys of one particular brand. I am a fan of the Thumler but after cleaning my brass it tends to take a dull not so flashy look. But hey, it is easy and I do not have to mess with dry media nor do I have to keep buying media and I am fairly confident that I only need to buy dawn dish soap and some lemi shine to keep it running. You know the grass is greener on the other side syndrome? Well I want a dry media tumbler now just to see if I can throw my loaded shells in there to shine them up. You can not do that to them with a wet process tumbler. In all honesty though I am still glad to have my wet process tumbler. I even made a review:
http://www.amazon.com/Thumler-Lapidary-Rock-Tumbler-Tool/dp/B000RAWG50/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Yeah the brass looks all pretty as soon as it comes out but then the air hits it and it tends to tarnish a bit. Just a little peeve of mine, at least I know my reloads at the range.

Also, the one that I am eyeballing right now is the Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-Ez tumbler for about $40 at amazon. I also found one reviewer saying that he just throws in dry rice with no chemicals and it does a great job... Another reviewer stated that you can go to a pet store and get lizard bedding that is like $15 for a 10 qt bag and it is the walnut media but apparently of a better quality... Hmmm. I like the dry rice. I wonder how basatmi rice will work in it...

afrancke
12-26-2012, 1:21 PM
I have a Lyman 2500 pro and it works great. My only regret was not getting the auto flow (only $20 more at the time) to make it easier to dump the media and get the shiny brass out.

RaymondMillbrae on here created a nice "how to" series of videos about .223 loading from start to finish, and in it he discussed the Lyman auto flow feature. His verdict: worthless - FWIW.

J-Rat
12-26-2012, 3:37 PM
I like rcbs with their lifetime warranty. Ive been using the RCBS for over 25 years. wore the first one out. sent it back they sent me another.
Great cust. service.

ap1040
12-26-2012, 4:23 PM
It is definitely a Ford verses Chevy issue. Most of the vibrator tumblers are made in China most likely on the same assembly line but with different labels and colors. If you have had good luck with brand 1 over 2 then get it, someone else here will hate brand 1.

If your just starting to get into reloading, look on Craig's List and buy the cheapest you can find. If you like reloading then when the first one quits can get a better one.

The next issue is which type of tumbler to get, vibrating, ultrasonic or rotary (for stainless steel media).

Fastattack
12-26-2012, 4:36 PM
+1 for RCBS. The tumbler is well made and if you ever have a problem they stand behind their products 100%.

BrianRodela
12-26-2012, 5:58 PM
Harbor Freight is your friend here! It's just a tumbler.

CSACANNONEER
12-26-2012, 6:05 PM
Thumler would be the best. They will outlast the others more than enough to offset the difference in price.

Grizzled Bastard
12-26-2012, 6:08 PM
Harbor Freight is your friend here! It's just a tumbler.

Function and longevity is your friend.

I have a Lyman and an RCBS. Both have been in service extensively for about 15 years. They are both still chugging along.

I have a Dillon also and am a big Dillon Fanboy however, the Dillon died for some reason after a couple years use. Dillon electrical parts do not carry the same warranty as their reloading gear so I tucked it in a box and there it sits with the others doing all the work still.

dbbspider
12-26-2012, 6:52 PM
My harbor freight tumbler is going on 10 years old and it still works fine. I like corn cob for pistol brass and crushed walnut (fine) for 223 brass. I have used stainless steal media in water and it works but not required.

Bill Steele
12-26-2012, 7:25 PM
I think it is hard to go wrong with whatever you choose, having said that, I would steer you away from Hornaday's M2.

I bought an M2 and it started giving me problems after about a year. The good news is Hornaday immediately replaced it, great customer service. The second one only last a few months, same problem. They again replaced it no questions asked, but in the interim I had gone ahead and bought a Dillon. I gave the new M2 away to a fellow Calgunner who didn't have a tumbler.

My Dillon has been going strong ever since, but frankly I think it is more than anyone should pay for a tumbler (except me :o).

Lots of guys seem to like their Harbor Freight tumbler.

Javi
12-26-2012, 7:53 PM
I gave the new M2 away to a fellow Calgunner who didn't have a tumbler.


And he still appreciates it greatly :)

morrow
12-26-2012, 8:10 PM
The best vibratory tumblers you can get are the Dillon or Thumlers ones.
For the cheap-o route I would get the Berry's tumbler, they also make the store brand for Cabelas and some other places. They hold a good amount, have a good tumbling action, and are quiet.
Some of the vibrating tumblers are loud which can be a problem if you live in an apartment.

morrow
12-26-2012, 8:10 PM
The best vibratory tumblers you can get are the Dillon or Thumlers ones.
For the cheap-o route I would get the Berry's tumbler, they also make the store brand for Cabelas and some other places. They hold a good amount, have a good tumbling action, and are quiet.
Some of the vibrating tumblers are loud which can be a problem if you live in an apartment.

ptmn
12-27-2012, 2:02 AM
I can't tell you which tumbler is the best for you, I can only give you some of my experiences and hope that it will help you decide. I first started with a Midway 1292 tumbler. This was an excellent quality tumbler (although a little loud) and it had a lifetime warranty. I worked this tumbler so much, I was basically abusing it and it kept working. After about 10 years of abuse, it gave up the ghost. Midway no longer carried their own line of tumbler, but they honored the lifetime warranty by giving me a Frankfort Arsenal tumbler. Great customer service by Midway. The replacement had a defect in the mounting and Midway, true to their excellent customer service, immediately replaced the defective Frankfort Arsenal tumbler. After two hard years of service, the Frankfort Arsenal tumbler gave up the ghost. Frankfort Arsenal tumblers only have a 1 year warranty, so I couldn't send it back. A contractor buddy of mine was able to repair the tumbler with a soldering iron when he found out the wiring had tumbled loose. This repair gave the Frankfort Arsenal tumbler another year before it again gave up the ghost. I finally went with a Hornady M3 tumbler. This tumbler is HUGE, way bigger than the M2, and it is extremely quiet. The tumbling action is not as aggressive as other brands, so the tumbling time is increased; however, if you are willing to wait, then the large capacity and quiet operation is awesome. I've had this tumbler for 3 years, and it has been abused and it keeps working. I have left it on overnight on a few occasions (its so quiet, you cant hear it), but it keeps putting up with the abuse and tumbling away. My only gripe is that it has no on/off switch. It turns on when you plug it in and turns off when you unplug it.

kylix.rd
12-27-2012, 10:32 AM
Lyman, RCBS, Hornady or ......

I built mine: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=629660

Then again, I love to build stuff. Other than that, there are already some excellent suggestions.

lincoln45
12-27-2012, 3:57 PM
go ss

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=595483

m98
12-27-2012, 4:21 PM
I say go hf tumbler........my generic winchester rebranded tumbler I still got is almost 13 yrs old and it sits outside my backyard or garage only....its still ticking....tumblers are s
o much cheaper today than back then due to the popularity of reloading

stilly
12-28-2012, 1:31 PM
HEY!

I just read at the Midway USA site that they have the Thumlers (out of stock from them until 3/2013 LoL!) ON SALE for around $160 or so http://www.midwayusa.com/product/426185/thumlers-tumbler-model-b-high-speed-rotary-case-tumbler-110-volt

AND, according to their description these things can use wet OR dry media equally well...

I know that I have never thought about running dry media in mine but I was not aware that it was made to do that. I can see how easy it would be though to fill it up, throw in some bullets, then pour in some more media until it is filled to the top and let it spin for a while. Or I guess you can clean shells too and it would all be dry and contained...
Has anyone else ever ran any dry media in theirs? Imma try it out with some rice and some loaded 44 mag rounds...

stilly
01-02-2013, 5:48 PM
I have a solid opinion now.

The answer to this is easy. How much do you want to spend? You can spend your money on the cheap- expensive vibrators and ONLY be able to do DRY media cleaning OR you can spend the money on a Thumler or Some sort of Rotary media cleaner taht tumbles AND do wet process AND dry media cleaning, but it would be your choice.

I am experimenting now but I did this at 1.5hrs with JUST RICE as a cleaning media, I used basatmi rice so that my rounds could have a nice fragrant Indian scent that would remind me of home...
http://www.stillyvision.com/files/cg/rice223.jpg

http://www.stillyvision.com/files/cg/rice223b.jpg

I JUST set the timer to 2 hours and dumped in about 400+ 44 mag shells that were dirty and poured the same DRY BASATMI rice over them.
http://www.stillyvision.com/files/cg/rice44.jpg

When I get home later on I will check it out and if it needs it I will put it on for about another hour or so. Also, If you want to get dry media, I just picked up a 10 QT bag of crushed english walnut from the lizard section at Petco for like, $12.99. That fits nicely inside a 3 gallon bucket with lid from Lowes...

The things you can do with a rotary are quite nice compared to a vibrator. Anyways, I will post pics later on...

shooterbill
01-02-2013, 6:06 PM
I just got a Berry's and it's great. I had a Midway 1292 for almost 20 years and wore out 2 bowls. The Berry's works good. 3 year warranty on motor and lifetime on plastic.

kengotit
01-02-2013, 6:56 PM
Just go this tumbler it fits my need as of now and i dont need my case sparkling new.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Frankford-Quik-N-EZ-Tumbler/20893931?findingMethod=Recommendation:wm:RecentlyV iewedItems

total is $43 OTD

cruddymutt
01-02-2013, 7:04 PM
I made my own vibratory tumbler from spare parts around the house using a 1/2 HP swamp cooler motor. I might have $30 in it and it works great.

Clownpuncher
01-02-2013, 7:13 PM
I have the Frankford Arsenal and it runs great. Going on 2 years now so that's all I can comment as far as longevity but it has been a pretty steady 2 years, probably 4 days a week average. I got the kit with the bucket and separator. If the tumbler ever craps out, I'll probably get one from Harbor Freight since I have the separator now. Just my 1/2 cent.

johnny1290
01-02-2013, 7:41 PM
I'm cheap. I've been putting this off for a while as I haven't wanted to cough up the money. I broke down and bought this lyman 1200 with auto flow (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/450403/lyman-turbo-1200-case-tumbler-with-auto-flo-110-volt). It was on sale for $80 a few days ago.

As another guy said , autoflow was an extra $20 or so. Gotta separate your brass from the media somehow, so I figured I'd give it a try. Supposedly it works OK. Here's a video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA0nywULP7Q)

sjd78
01-02-2013, 11:27 PM
The Cabelas tumbler made by Berry's has served me well.

Wrangler John
01-03-2013, 4:50 AM
My first vibratory tumbler was a Dillon. It lasted about a year and then went bust. I fixed it, but it gave off the aroma of overheating motor windings, so of to the recyclers it went. So, switching gears, I ordered a Lyman Turbo Twin that came with a kit to moly coat bullets. It has been working away for about three years. One fine day the rod that holds the bowl on snapped off (must have been metal fatigue from vibration :)). No problem, I just cut another off a length of 1/4"-20 threaded rod and screwed it back together. Bought a set of extra bowls for it, so now it doubles for bullet cleaning and hexagonal Boron Nitride bullet coating. I keep the extra bowls on hand filled with whatever media I use frequently.

Bottom line, buy the cheapest tumbler you can find, the Lyman Turbo Twin usually is right down there with the bargain basement stuff. Never pay more than necessary for a simple tool where all it does is vibrate. I gotta feeling that most of those tumblers come from somewhere in China anyway, rebranded and made from whatever signature color plastic beads the distributor wants run through the injection molding machines.