Which is the best tumbler?


September 25, 2011, 12:42 PM
I am going to buy a tumbler in the next week or so, I have looked at 6 different tumblers. I am needing your help to determine which would be the better buy. The choices are 1. Hornady M-2 case tumbler 2. Lyman 1200 auto-flo turbo 3. Lyman 2500 pro magnum turbo tumbler 4. Lyman turbo 1200 pro tumbler 5. Lyman twin turbo tumbler 6. RCBS vibratory case cleaner. Thank you folks for your help.

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September 25, 2011, 01:11 PM
My newest tumbler is a Berry. After 6 months, it is still going strong, but it should be. It runs quiet. Cabelas tumbler is made by Berry and a couple others as well. Reasonably priced.

Lots of folks like the Dillon tumblers. A bit more expensive though.

Not on your list, but I would not recommend the Frankfort Arsenal tumbler. Noisy and and mine lasted only a couple years before it started to vibrate itself apart. I got tired of fixing it. I keep it as a back-up in case my other two tumblers, the Berry and an old Midway, fail.

September 25, 2011, 01:16 PM
I own three vibratory tumblers, two Ultra-Vib UV-18's, but Thumler's, and one Berry's. The UV-18's are both over 20 years old and still going strong, and I run my tumblers almost everyday. The Berry's is about 9 years old or so, and has been a good one. It runs a little faster than the UV-18's, but doesn't have as much capacity.

I can readily recommend either of the ones I own. The UV-18's cost more, but they're built heavier and stronger. They've given me good service over the years. I use them much more than the average reloader will ever use one.

The Berry's is listed here, along with the Rotary Sifter, which I very highly recommend: http://www.berrysmfg.com/product-i14545-c8-g8-b0-p0-Brass_Cleaning_Kits.aspx

I know my two tumblers weren't on your list, but I thought I would just throw out my experience with the two brands that I own.

Hope this helps.


September 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
Another vote for Berry's tumbler. It comes in different colors depending on who you buy from (Blue-Berry's (http://www.eabco.com/store/products/Berry_s_Model_400_Tumbler_Cleans_Polishes_Brass_Cases-2055-58.html), Green-Cabela's (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Reloading/Tumblers-Scales|/pc/104792580/c/104761080/sc/104661180/Cabelas-Model-400-Case-Tumbler/731767.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FN%3D1100197%26WTz_l%3DSBC%253BBRprd731769&WTz_l=SBC%3BBRprd731769%3Bcat104661180), Red-Sinclair (http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=36851/Product/Berry_s_Tumbler)).

I have both old and new FA tumblers and Berry's tumbler is more powerful (larger motor with cooling fan), quieter, with larger capacity and comes with on/off switch on the longer cord.


9mm: 1000
.38 Spl: 650
45acp: 600
223: 450
30-06: 250

Berry's rotary shifter with cover works without having media fly everywhere - http://www.eabco.com/store/products/Berry_s_Rotary_Sifter_and_Media_Separator_for_Case_Tumblers-2059-58.html


September 25, 2011, 01:52 PM
I have #4, the Lyman Turbo 1200 Pro, and it works great. I only wish it was larger, I should have gotten the 2500. JMHO, but I'd avoid any with the "auto-flow" media drain feature. Totally unnecessary. A good rotary separator like the one pictured, or even a Frankford Arsenal, is a must.

Speaking of Frankford Arsenal, don't waste your money on their tumbler.

September 25, 2011, 02:02 PM
I had the FA case shifter and gave it away to a friend. It comes with two small "wings" that clip to the bucket to deflect flying media. Well, it deflects about 95 percent of media and rest ends up on your bench/floor. Also, the construction is not very user friendly and shifter moves around while operating. Berry's shifter with cover captures 100 percent of media into the bucket and don't move around due to the recessed rotation mounts.

I highly recommend the Berry's case shifter at $24 (http://www.eabco.com/store/products/Berry_s_Rotary_Sifter_and_Media_Separator_for_Case_Tumblers-2059-58.html) over the FA shifter at $20 (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=972948).


September 25, 2011, 02:25 PM
Hey rondog, is the 1200 pro very loud?

September 25, 2011, 06:23 PM
All the tumblers that you listed should produce good results and are made by companies with excellent customer service. I have been using a Lyman 1200 Turbo for over 30 years. I did have to replace the base unit about 2 years ago for a cost $30 but nothing will last forever.

September 25, 2011, 06:38 PM
Only one I would stay away from is the Harbor Freight one, I purchased one a number of year ago and H/F replaced it 3 times before I finally gave up.

With that said I do buy their tools and by and large am completely satisified.

The problem with the H/F tumbler was the bronze sleeve bearings that the motor had.

Kevin Rohrer
September 25, 2011, 06:40 PM
1. There is no "best" of anything.
2. All of the tumblers mentioned will do the job. You might look at warranties when making your final decision, which means also consider the Dillon.

September 25, 2011, 06:52 PM
This kit is spendy, but looks interesting!
mmmmm, clean primer pockets :what:


September 25, 2011, 07:36 PM
+1 for Berry's tumbler. I got mine from Cabelas and love it. Quiet, decent capacity and has a on/off switch on the power cable. I also have the media separator and use it all the time.

September 25, 2011, 08:50 PM
I have had two Frakfort Arsenal, one Hornady and one Berry's/Cabelas.

The Cabela's is quieter than any of them, and is (so far) reliable....and I've used it a lot.

My first Frankford quit, they replaced it free, so I am not critical, but I don't expect them to replace it repeatedly. I gave it to a friend who reloads "just a bit" and it will probably last him forever.

The Hornady is a recent purchase, price too good to pass up. It is quite a bit noisier than the Berry's/Cabela model, and I will keep it as a back-up, or if I want to tumble two sizes at once, I'm set.

September 25, 2011, 09:34 PM
" I am needing your help to determine which would be the better buy."

They all good, not much to them after all and there are no secrets about making them. A Berry's/Cabela's is the best dollar value and they have some of the best motors of them all (ball bearings and large diameter shaft).

Most tumbler noise comes from the bowl being too loosely attached to the viberating base and the bowl rattles. Tightening the single, center mounted retaining nut until the racket stops is easy enough.

September 25, 2011, 10:08 PM
Mine is from Midway. It ran fine and regularly for about 15 years. The motor finally went out. I called Midway to try and buy a replacement motor, and they asked if I bought it originally from them, and I had. They sent me a new one absolutely FREE. I was not complaining to them, just wanted to BUY a replacement motor. Talk about customer service, Midway is the best. No, I do not work for them, but do a helluva lot of business with them. My .02c.

September 25, 2011, 10:53 PM
I have a Thumblers UV18 and it has run for thousands of hours and done tens of thousands of rounds and is still kicking. It will do about a stuffed gallon ziplock full of 223 without a hitch. I have overloaded it with pistol brass to the point it was riding to heavy on the springs but I would but again in a heartbeat. Mine is at least 25 yrs old.

September 25, 2011, 11:14 PM
I've been happy with my Lyman 1200 for 5+ years now. I got the Autoflow and disliked it enough to buy a regular bowl and get a rotary separator. The only plus of the Autoflow model is a power switch, but don't let it be a dealbreaker.

September 25, 2011, 11:24 PM
I have a Lyman Pro 1200 and I like it a lot, but if I was to do it again, I'd buy a tumbler that I could use stainless steel media in instead of a vibratory tumbler. That way the insides of the cases would get clean as would the flash pockets.

September 26, 2011, 12:14 AM
Mine's a Lyman 1200 Pro, and it's been perfect for the 6 months I've had it. Might go with a SS tumbler next. I recently bought an RCBS sifter, and now I realize I should have done that right off the bat. Works perfectly and saves a lot of time and effort. Best part--no cleanup of media.

September 26, 2011, 12:32 AM
The versatility of a Thumler Tumbler is hard to beat.. The ability to use stainless steel or dry media (corn cob, walnut) is reall nice.

The other thing that I really like about the Thumlers, they are quiet..!! I had a large Lyman (I forget the exact model #) but I could hear it in the house while it ran in the garage..!! In the summer times, I put the Thumlers inside my hosue to keep it cool and I still do not hear it.

September 26, 2011, 01:34 AM
Hey rondog, is the 1200 pro very loud?

I don't think so, it's far quieter than the Frankford that I had. Works far better too. I can fill it just under halfway with brass, then fill it to the rim with media, put on the lid and it just goes like hell.

The bottom of the Frankford was shaped like a mixing bowl, it was flat across the middle. The bottom of my Lyman is shaped like a bagel, it curves up in the center, and that really makes the stuff roll around in there like mad.

evan price
September 26, 2011, 05:34 AM
None of the above.

The Auto-Flo thing is a gimmick. In my experience it takes a lot longer to empty the bowl, plus it is a lot noisier waiting for all the media to rattle out.

I vote Berry's/Cabela's. I have two. They run literally 24-7 with only brief pauses. Good work, well built, heavy duty, solid, not as noisy as others. I tumble a thousand pounds or more of brass a year. I can easily get 400 223s, 500 45auto, 700 9mm, etc. in there and it swirls well.

I've worn out 4 bowls in my old Midway 1292 and finally fried the motor. It was a good starter tumbler. Just not comparison to the Berry's. Much softer agitation and the deisgn of the bowl causes it to wear out the middle. I put a Broan bath fan motor in it (smaller) and use it with corncob only for polishing rifle brass after resizing to remove the lube.

The Berry's are professional grade and you can get them for $50 from EA Brown. $64 with a complete kit.

Even cheaper than buying direct from Berry's.

September 26, 2011, 10:12 AM
Hard to help you make a choice without knowing what your intensions are. I have a 25 year old tumbler that still dose the job for small batches and it cost under $50. The big Dillon can tumble well over 1000 9mm cases in one run though.

September 26, 2011, 10:41 AM
They are all good IMHO, I would recommend two accessories for whichever one you end up finding on sale:

1. A cheapo lamp timer - set it for however long you want to tumble and forget it.

2. A piece of that foamy mesh shelf liner to place under the tumbler. Quiets it a bit and keeps it snug to the benchtop. I reckon a 1' square of foam backed indoor/outdoor carpet or carper pad would do the same?

September 26, 2011, 01:10 PM
A piece of that foamy mesh shelf liner to place under the tumbler. Quiets it a bit and keeps it snug to the benchtop. I reckon a 1' square of foam backed indoor/outdoor carpet or carper pad would do the same?

I don't know about that, I wouldn't myself. It would likely dampen the vibrating action somewhat, plus it might restrict the airflow the unit needs to cool the motor.

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