big tumbler from Harbor Freight


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rondog
November 6, 2008, 12:46 AM
Does anybody out there have any experience with these 18lb. tumblers from Harbor Freight? They're big, honkin' mothers, but they're expensive and I don't know how durable they are. They're currently on sale for $50 off, but they're still not cheap. I just have a LOT of brass that I've bought that has to be cleaned up. But that would buy me a lot of primers or bullets.....

Anyway, good or junk? I'm pretty familiar with HF's products, so I know their reputation, but not this tumbler.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96923

And they have rotarys too.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90979

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WNTFW
November 6, 2008, 09:36 AM
I would consider getting 2 smaller ones instead.

You can tumble 2 stages at once: 1 walnut & 1 corncob
You can put .40 in one & .45 in the other with no nesting.
If 1 goes down you still can operate at 50%.
Brag that you have 2 tumbers or sell 1 off after you get to where you don't need it.

My uncle has the smaller tumber from HF & has no problems with it.
The Cabela's tumbler is a pretty good deal also.

ranger335v
November 6, 2008, 10:24 AM
Since you, like me, obviously have to consider the budget, why not just accept the time and use a normal sized tumbler? That BIG HF bugger IS expensive and will only be in the way after you get through with it after the first use!

ants
November 6, 2008, 10:30 AM
I've been using the standard size 5 lb vibratory from Harbor Freight. Same as the ones you buy at Cabelas or MidwayUSA or the other suppliers. It was on sale for $32. I do 2 or 3 batches per week, it runs like a champ.

An 18 lb vibratory is huge. If it registers over 3.2 on the Richter Scale it could cause damage in an earthquake zone.

Walkalong
November 6, 2008, 11:15 AM
If I was going to spend that kind of money, I think I would go with a Dillon (http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/23658/catid/8/Dillon__039_s_CV_2001_Vibratory_Case_Cleaner) or a Thumblers (http://www.thumlerstumbler.com/vibratory.html).

esheato
November 6, 2008, 11:25 AM
I have a small Berrys, a large Dillon and the Thumlers. My brother just purchased the HF unit.

I have yet to see the HF unit, but he has seen my large Dillon in operation. He claims the HF tumbler is extremely quiet and has the capability to do wet/dry tumbling. He likes it more than my Dillon.

I know for a fact my Dillon is loud as hell and I can hear it inside my house from the garage.

He promises me that I'll want one when I see his.

Ed

D. Manley
November 6, 2008, 12:56 PM
If I was going to spend that kind of money, I think I would go with a Dillon or a Thumblers.

+1. I'm with Walkalong on this, for the money the big Dillon.

RustyFN
November 6, 2008, 07:13 PM
I have the smaller HF tumbler and it worked great for a year and seemed to slow down a little. It still works but I bought another tumbler so if something happened I wouldn't be without. The HF tumbler cost $31.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7ce35b3127ccec2095bdc51a400000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
When I bought my new tumbler a friend recommended the Cabela's tumbler. I am very happy with the Cabela's tumbler. It is advertised to hold 650 38 spcl cases. It is light weight and very quiet. You can pick up the Cabela's tumbler in the mid $40.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8dc36b3127ccec3368c89b69d00000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Rusty

Win52D
November 6, 2008, 07:51 PM
"If I was going to spend that kind of money, I think I would go with a Dillon or a Thumblers."

+1 to that. I have used the same Thumblers for 20 years and it still going strong. Quiet too when loaded with enough media

ArchAngelCD
November 6, 2008, 08:32 PM
I bought a Dillon CV-500 used and it's a great tumbler. I don't know how much it was used before I bought it but I've used it at least once a week for over 3 years now. I would think the CV-2001 would be just as good only with a larger capacity.

If I was going to buy new I would probably buy one from Cabela's because of all the good things I've heard about and the low price.

GooseGestapo
November 6, 2008, 11:47 PM
I have a Midway 18lb tumbler. It too can be heard throughout the house when full and operating. It's been to Midway twice. The last time, they said they would no longer honor the warranty as they no longer utilize the Manufacturer or carry parts. It works extreamly well however. The first time it went back, it was the motor that crapped out. The second, the bolts that hold the base (not the bowl) to the motor stripped out. So far, it has held up, though. I have cut off and replaced the center threaded (gets worn to where the nut(s) won't tighten down) post. It has seen a LOT of use through the past 15yrs, however.

I also have a Thumblers "large". about a 7lb unit. It has never given me a moments trouble, and is very quiet. An excellent buy.

rondog
November 7, 2008, 12:45 AM
Thanks for the input y'all, much appreciated! FWIW, I already have a Frankford Arsenal tumbler, and it works well. I've just accumulated so much brass of all flavors in the last few months that I was curious about a larger capacity machine. I've drug home a couple thousand 30-06 cases alone, and more dang pistol calibers than I can count.

But, like I said, I could buy a LOT of primers for that money. And I NEED a lot of primers. Perhaps I'll just slog along with my FA for now. I doubt that tumblers are going to be hoarded, outlawed or taxed outrageously like ammo components might be. But a small HF model as a secondary/backup ain't a bad idea. I think they're on sale too.

offthepaper
November 7, 2008, 05:13 PM
I also have the Frankford tumbler and am very unhappy with it, after only being used 3 times with only 80 pieces of brass each time the motor has died. :fire: I sent it back to the mfg several weeks ago but haven't heard anything back. keeping my fingers crossed

jcwit
November 7, 2008, 06:42 PM
I had 3 or 4 Harbor Freight tumblers before I finally gave up and asked for my money back. The bearings in the motors were bronze sleeve bearings and wouldn't hold up. Went to cabela's and spent an extra $5.00 and got one thats been running for over 2 years now and has a forever warrenty. Just my 2 cents.

rondog
November 7, 2008, 07:19 PM
I also have the Frankford tumbler and am very unhappy with it, after only being used 3 times with only 80 pieces of brass each time the motor has died. I sent it back to the mfg several weeks ago but haven't heard anything back. keeping my fingers crossed

Are you sure it was the motor, and not the in-line switch? If it WAS the motor, did you happen to run the thing on carpet? They have to get some airflow to keep cool, and they breathe from below, AFAIK.

jcwit
November 7, 2008, 07:27 PM
My tumblers have always sat on a cement paving block. 14" X 14"

rondog
November 7, 2008, 07:54 PM
Hmmm, I've heard of the in-line switches failing or the connections getting loose, that's why I asked.

the foot
November 7, 2008, 08:21 PM
I have one of those orange Lyman tumblers, does all the tumbling I need.

I set it on the floor in my reloading room (built on a slab) and there is minimal noise. I don't worry about different-size brass nesting, since I deprime before tumbling and clean each piece of brass individuallyafterwards.

The idea is to buy one that will not wear/burn out, right? Stay away from Harbor Freight when you are tumbler-shopping!

SDefender
November 26, 2008, 02:13 PM
I don't have much time these days to peruse the forums so my response is a little late. However, I have the large HF tumbler and like it a lot. It replaced a FA which does not work well after a year and the largest Lyman, which still works well. The HF is very quiet, stable and seems to be well made. I can do ~ 1300 .40 S&W or ~ 1000+ .45 auto cases in ~ 45 minutes using a 50/50 mix of lyman green cob and some smaller cob (the size escapes me now).

Have only used the HF a few times so time will tell if it lasts longer than the FA. But so far, I am very impressed and that is hard to do with me. Think I paid ~ $140 for mine.

rondog
November 26, 2008, 02:41 PM
Thanks all for the input! I've ordered a ceramic porcelain polishing kit from Cabela's, which is supposed to work fine in regular bowl-type vibratory tumblers, so we'll see how it does. I've seen photos of brass polished in ceramic media, and it truly looked brand-new, so I just have to try it.

Walkalong
November 26, 2008, 03:01 PM
I have a Berrys and a Lyman (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=88128&d=1227389852). My Lyman 1200 lasted over 20 years, so I bought another, only I bought the bigger one this time.

Both are top notch. I need to put an inline switch in the Lyman though, like the 1200 had. :)

the_right_reverend
November 26, 2008, 07:23 PM
My experience with Harbor Frieght..... If it has more then 2 moving parts you are wasting your money I have bought a couple of items and they were trashed after the first use.... we have bought some stuff for one time use and it wouldn't work out of the box....

I had a dillion tumbler and it finally died after 20+ years :eek: I replaced it with a small Frankfort arsenal and a Lyman and they work just fine:D

jcwit
November 26, 2008, 07:30 PM
I bought a H/F reg. size tumbler, the sleeve bearings went out on the motor in the 2nd week. They replaced it with a new one, then they replaced that one with a new one, then they replaced the 3rd one with a new one. Finally they gave me my money back, went to Cabelas and bought their brand, Guaranteed forever and have never looked back. Its been running for 3 years now and have tumbled 10,000's of both rifle and pistol brass. Can't beat it.

RustyFN
November 26, 2008, 08:01 PM
I've ordered a ceramic porcelain polishing kit from Cabela's, which is supposed to work fine in regular bowl-type vibratory tumblers, so we'll see how it does. I've seen photos of brass polished in ceramic media, and it truly looked brand-new, so I just have to try it.
Rondog let us know how good it works and how long it takes compared to the walnut or cob you are using.
Rusty

rfwobbly
November 28, 2008, 12:16 AM
Even adding wax to my media, I'm finding the brass tarnishes before I can reload to the bottom of the bucket. So I've reverted back to tumbling smaller lots in my small tumbler. My large tumbler is sitting idle. So buying a huge tumbler may be "good money after bad".

tdarty
June 1, 2010, 08:01 PM
i read, some one got one from harbor freight and it only last a year. if you want a heavy duty tumbler get a cement mixer, that will last a long time

Roccobro
June 1, 2010, 09:01 PM
Harbor Freight has those on sale every once in a while too! And get a 20% coupon online to take off the sale price. Saw a local .50 BMG loader that tumbled his stuff this exact way.

Justin

bds
June 1, 2010, 11:26 PM
cement mixer
Now, why didn't I think of that! :D

Dump like 100 pounds of walnut media, squeeze in 1/4 bottle of NuFinish and 5 gallon bucketful of brass and we are TUMBLING!

Seriously, Harbor Freight has walnut media on sale (25 lbs of media for $14.99 - coarse/fine) - http://www.harborfreight.com/25-lbs-coarse-grade-walnut-shell-blast-media-92150.html

billybob44
June 1, 2010, 11:52 PM
+1. I'm with Walkalong on this, for the money the big Dillon.
++1 For less than $40.00 more you have the Dillon CV-2001 (184.95) I have used one for 20 years or so with complete satisfaction. Dillon also has a heck of a lot better warrantee than 30 days also!!!!!!!!!

A and O
June 2, 2010, 12:40 AM
FWIW You can get 20% off coupons in several Magazines of late for the HF items. Two mags that come to mind are Guns & Ammo and the other is Cycle World.

If I were to purchase this HF Tumbler for the price shown I would certainly buy an extended warranty with the money saved with the 20% off coupons.

That all said, it looks nice.

SDefender
June 2, 2010, 07:42 AM
I have used this HF large tumbler for over a year and it continues to do a fine job, is relatively quiet and vibration is less than my Lyman 2500. I usually tumble ~ 1200+ .45 auto cases for 2 hours or so using a 50/50 mixture of walnut and cob and the outside of the cases are spotless. Have only tumbled about 22k - 25k so far of .40 S&W, .357 mag., .45 auto and .44 mag, but all is well. My original intent was to use this large unit for large batches and the Lyman (and the FA which burned out) for smaller ones. But I now use the HF for most everything...

Boxhead
June 2, 2010, 07:54 AM
I have been using my old RCBS tumbler for many years without a hitch. It is built hell for stout.

cottonmouth
June 2, 2010, 09:00 AM
I have two of these and they work great. Get some of their walnut media too and add a conditioner to it and you are ready to go. That is if the price is right, my brother-in-law got these two from a salvage store for $1.00 a piece!! they'll hold a bunch of pistol brass! I have a small Dillon too that I use.

J.B.

moe1942
June 2, 2010, 10:59 AM
I'm using the small HF tumbler and it works great. I would recommend that the first thing one does with this tumbler is change all the nuts out with nyloc. Mine fell apart when I wasn't watching it.

mooseracing
June 2, 2010, 11:18 AM
If you have things laying around, assuming since you reload. I used a garage door motor, around 1/2-3/4hp with a weight and built my own vibratory tumbler using other spare parts.

The only thing I bought was some springs and stud stock.

RustyFN
June 2, 2010, 06:18 PM
++1 For less than $40.00 more you have the Dillon CV-2001 (184.95)

Just curious, less than $40 more than what? My Cabela's tumbler only cost $43. That's $140 more.

A and O
June 2, 2010, 06:41 PM
Rusty is getting Rusty. $40.00 more than the $150.00 Tumbler being discussed in this thread.

RustyFN
June 2, 2010, 08:04 PM
Thanks A and O. That's what I get for not looking at the link. I thought it was the $50 HF tumbler. I didn't realize HF had one that big.

billybob44
June 2, 2010, 09:44 PM
Just curious, less than $40 more than what? My Cabela's tumbler only cost $43. That's $140 more.
For $35.00 more than the Harbor Frieght cleaner, you can have the large Dillon CV-2001..I feel the Quality/support of Dillon is a lot better also.

RustyFN
June 3, 2010, 04:58 PM
For $35.00 more than the Harbor Frieght cleaner, you can have the large Dillon CV-2001..I feel the Quality/support of Dillon is a lot better also.

Yes A and O got me back on track. :D I agree with you. I would much rather have the Dillon over the HF tumbler for that little difference in money.

zoom6zoom
June 3, 2010, 05:16 PM
It too can be heard throughout the house when full and operating.
And attracts graboids.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IDkEh7VN_2s/Sq5NWRfBlXI/AAAAAAAABUQ/b6aiP2VUFyA/s400/180px-Graboid.jpg

I have a Thumler's that worked great but it has sat on the shelf for a few years; went to use it a few weeks ago and the motor won't turn at all. Oil port on the motor is not accessible the way they build it.

bds
June 4, 2010, 10:01 PM
Just picked up a 25 lb box of fine (24 grit) walnut media from Harbor Freight for $14.99. Looks like the walnut media I am currently using (The coarse walnut media particles looked too big at 12 grit). Apparently online sales prices need to be "approved" by the store manager (I showed him the online ad on my smart phone) - a printout of the sales page would have been much faster. ;)

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-lbs-fine-grade-walnut-shell-blast-media-92155.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_2451.jpg

SteveW-II
June 4, 2010, 10:23 PM
20% off. Good until the end of June.

http://www.harborfreightusa.com/html/MagazineLanders/3-general/images/20_c.jpg

bds
June 4, 2010, 10:51 PM
20% off coupon on one single item and "Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon" - But still good.

Visionz45
June 4, 2010, 11:03 PM
I bought the dual rock tumbler and have never looked back. Put said brass in the drums, fill with water and a shot of lemon juice and greased lightening. I can take brown range brass and make it look new in an hour. Place the brass afterwords in a vibratory tumbler if you want super shiny brass.

A and O
June 5, 2010, 02:01 AM
For certain, if I were buying this unit I would also purchase the extended warranty.

Palehorseman
June 5, 2010, 03:12 AM
I have one of those orange Lyman tumblers, does all the tumbling I need.

I have that one too and it must be around 30 years old and still going strong.

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