May 14, 2008, 04:06 PM
How about some sugestions on tumblers. I know nothing about them other than some vibrate and some tumble. Which is better?

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May 14, 2008, 04:40 PM
The vibrater type seems to be the most popular-why-who knows. Stay away from the Harbor Freight tumbler, tries 4 till I just asked for my money back. Ended up with a Cabelas that garrenteed forever, some other makes do the same, thats just what I happened to get. Media?--I use corncob with NuFinish, works for me. Stay away from anything with ammonia in it though.

May 14, 2008, 04:58 PM
I've used the Frankford Arsenal (Midway) before, and it isn't bad for the price. I couldn't wear it out, tho' I've tried.

The Lyman Turbo 2500 is a nice tumbler (vibrator I guess is technically more accurate). I caught it on sale, so it wasn't much more expensive that the lower capacity models. Even though it has triple the capacity of the Frankford, it is actually more quiet. It does a nice job at cleaning cases also. ;)

I've heard some good things about the Cabelas, but never used one.


May 14, 2008, 05:38 PM
The Frankford Arsenal tumbler is a POS! I made the mistake of reading the positive reviews on midwayusa.com and not recognizing that they were from ppl who had just received it, not owned for long period of time. Mine lasted me less then three months and has since been sent back to midwayusa for a refund. I bought a Lyman Turbo tumbler and have been satisfied at how quickly it works compared to the Frankford Ars. one, it is also alot less noisy.

May 14, 2008, 06:43 PM
I've been using an electric ice cream maker as a tumbler for a long time. Cost me 3 bucks at a thrift store. But it is loud.

May 14, 2008, 06:49 PM
I got the Cabelas deal pack, had a sifter pan, polish and media in the box. It is still fairly new, so time will tell if it is a good one or not. It works fine.

May 14, 2008, 07:00 PM
Well, vibratory tumblers greatly reduce the cleaning time and in my opinion does a lot better job. If you only need to clean hundreds of rounds and not many thousand per day. I would say get the Dillon 500. If you Are doing more than that i would go with the Dillon 2000. I don't have experience with the Lyman brand vibrators but hear they are very good as well.

May 14, 2008, 07:06 PM
My Frankfort has been running non-stop for 2 months now. No odd noises, and still shaking right along.

May 14, 2008, 08:36 PM
Storydude wrote:
My Frankfort has been running non-stop for 2 months now. No odd noises, and still shaking right along.

2 months being the key words here. Mine was fine for 2 months as well...and that wasn't using everyday or anything either. Then...disaster struck.:what:

May 14, 2008, 08:45 PM
My neighbor gave me his old Lyman Turbo 1200 several years ago and it's been great! I've never used another tumbler so I can't say how it compares, but I can say the Lyman will serve you well.

May 14, 2008, 09:17 PM
I bought a tumbler from midway 10+ years ago. I have had zero problems with it after thousands of rounds tumbled.

May 14, 2008, 11:05 PM
No, Literally. 2 months STRAIGHT. MAYBE down for 2 hours total to swap out loads of brass.

The scrap yards here cannot sell range brass to overseas buyers....and they ALL are overseas buyers. I get range brass for 1.00/Lb I have roughly 12 Cubic Feet of brass I am now processing.

The trick to any tumbler/electric motor is to keep it clean and keep it cool.

May 15, 2008, 12:00 AM
I have three: Dillon CV-2001 (large model), Thumlers Model B (rotary type), and a Berry's small vibratory tumbler.

As far as what is best, it depends on what you want. The Thumlers shines brass like no other. I seriously had doubts about its' abilities, but it blows away the vibratory models. If all you need is functionally clean brass, get a Dillon or other comparable vibratory one. If you're looking for bling, get a rotary type. Keep in mind, the rotary ones take a bit longer as they tumble a lot slower. The Dillon is on no longer than two hours at a time. I run the Thumlers for a few days at a time. The Thumler is also realllllly quiet.


May 15, 2008, 08:58 PM
I bought the Cabela's tumbler for around $44. It is a large capacity, is very quiet and light weight.

May 15, 2008, 09:57 PM
Look at the vibrating tumblers from Harbor freight. Sometimes they offer it for $39.00 and I've look at them at the store.. they look first class not flumsey. Thicker walls, and look like its made heavy duty.. If you check the internet and can find it on sell anywhere, print the add off and your local store with honor the price. I've got Thumbler's Tumblers and they are one of the best and also have a Lyman 1200. This Harbor freight model looks nice and some guys have said on different forums that they swear by them. You might try one and see. Seems like they normally go for $59.00.

May 16, 2008, 10:30 PM
I have the HF tumbler. The only issue I ran into was that the nut that holds the bowl on needed to have some locktight applied to it. After that, no problems. I do have to admit thought that HF tools can be hit and miss in their quality.

May 16, 2008, 10:38 PM
I picked up a Cabelas tumbler yesterday. I bought it there only because it was convenient. I was there buying my RCBS Turret Press Kit and other goodies.

Der Verge
May 16, 2008, 11:49 PM
If you are going to go look at the Harbor Freight model, realize that you can buy the one from Cabela's for the same price. Also, the one from Cabela's has a warranty, HF does not. And lastly, the HF one is made in CHINA, the Cabela's one, is made here, in the US. Please help someone keep their job.

May 17, 2008, 11:12 AM
Lyman. No need to go cheap since it's going to last for a long time. Buy the one that fits your needs. The 1200 holds ~350 38spl. cases and the 2500 holds ~1000.

I started with Auto-Flo but have since bought the regular bowl because it has the same capacity and uses 1/3 less media and the rubber plug for the drain goes bad in about 6 months. I bought the RCBS media separator and found it quicker and cleaner than Auto Flo.

Rollis R. Karvellis
May 17, 2008, 11:31 AM
My Frankfort tumbler has been going strong for years.

May 17, 2008, 11:45 AM
As I stated in my first post I had tried4 and ended up getting my money back. The bearings in the motor are sleeve bearing not to conducive to holding up with a weight throwing the shaft out of balance, which BTW is what makes the bowl viberate. Spend an extra $5.00 you'll be happy.

May 17, 2008, 01:00 PM
One additional suggestion, regardless of what tumbler you end up with you'll want to get some kind of media separator as well. I got the one from Midway that fits in a 5 gallon bucket. You can just empty everything from the tumbler into it and then sift it around like a miner panning for gold. All your media falls into the bucket leaving behind your bright, gleaming brass.

May 17, 2008, 06:08 PM
I had a Lyman that lasted for about 20 years before it started making (more than usual) noise and smelling (electrically) funny. Replaced it with a Frankford Arsenal model from Midway and it has been working fine for about 2 years now. If I had more space I'd buy a Dillon, but they're either big or HUGE depending on which model you pick.

I bought a Dillon media separator years ago. (It's the small model, but still pretty big with its catch tub.) Can't remember how many years, or how much I paid for it, but I wouldn't trade it for anything

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