As parents, our primary concern is always the safety of our children. When buying something for them, it becomes extremely important to check the safety standards of the accessories that we are purchasing. When it comes to toys like rock tumblers, I personally remain very worried about the possibilities of my child either ingesting these little pebbles or getting harmed from them in any other way.
Therefore, in this article, I shall tell you about some of the best rock tumblers for kids, which are not just the safest options for your child, but also the best in quality.
Top 9 Best Rock Tumblers For Kids 2021
If you have never bought or used a rock tumbler till now, the National Geographic Starter Rock Tumbler Kit will be your best bet. Honestly, this was my first rock tumbler purchase and it turned out to be a fun toy for my child. This rock tumbler works on all varieties of toy rocks and makes them glow during the night. With every box, you get a complete package, containing eight full-color pages and nine gemstones as well. Meant specifically for beginners, this particular rock tumbler package is extremely easy to use and install. The customer service provided by the manufacturers is also splendid. You can contact them for any queries whatsoever and they provide satisfactory assistance every time.
- Easy to use and setup- 5 Stars
- Best for beginners- 5 stars
- Customer service- 5 stars
- Brand reliability- 4 stars
- Complete package- 4 stars
- A bit expensive than other popular models.
I came across the Dan & Darci Advanced Professional Rock Tumbler Kit pretty late, but it certainly is one of the best rock tumbler kits I have had. You can have any type of rock collection, and this rock tumbler kit will help to make it appear smoother and turn into gemstones within seconds. It is the best rock tumbler to create artificial jewelry or any other craft and decoration item.
Another great thing that I found in this particular kit was its prolific working mechanism. It has a heavy-duty motor installed in its circuit, along with several speed controls. Moreover, the shut-off timer feature and the LEDs are thoughtful additions to make the kit more suitable for kids. Kids can play with this as a STEM toy, and it will definitely be a great pastime for them!
- Powerful motor- 5 stars
- Affordable- 3.5 stars
- Safety- 4 stars
- STEM concept utility- 3.5 stars
The main belt of the tumbler tends to come off after frequent use.
There are very few organizations like NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC that make such highly thoughtful play items for kids and The Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit is no less! The kit is best for gifting purposes, especially for kids who will benefit a lot from STEM toys.
Again, like all other National Geographic rock tumblers, it is a complete package containing a tumbler, some rocks, grit, geofoam, and much more. It is a little different from the beginner kit because here the educational STEM utility is much higher. In fact, older kids commonly use this tumbler for their school projects. In all, a reliable product that can provide a fun new hobby to kids.
The NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit is an energy-efficient model, that comes with advanced power-saving features and an automatic shutoff timer. Besides, as a parent, I’m sure you’d be concerned about the mess that your child might end up creating while playing with things like these.
To take care of that, the kit has an efficient leak-proof tumbler barrel. Lastly, the kit allows kids to create stuff like jewelry items by providing special jewelry fastenings. The tumbler does not even make a lot of noise, as the developers have provided for a noise-dampening feature as well.
- Educational programs Value- 5 stars
- Gift option- 4 stars
- Leak-proof- 3.5 stars
- Complete package- 3.5 stars
- There are some issues with the final polishing.
- The output is not the same after a few uses.
If you want something that works with advanced mechanisms, that can polish every kind of stone with a hassle-free setup process, then the Tru-square Metal Products Model A-R2 Kit Rock Tumbler is meant for you.
From polishing grits to gemstones and learner guides, every package of this kit contains all the items that you will need. Not to forget, the bright red color of the product is also very attractive, liked by thousands of kids across the country.
The versatility of this package is excellent, such that you can use its accessories to make different kinds of educational projects. In all, it will provide a hundred percent satisfaction if you just want to gift it as a STEM toy to a young child.
The polish that you get on the stones after using this particular tumbler kit, is by far the best that I have seen among several popular brands of rock tumblers. Setting up the tumbler is extremely easy, as you only need to snap the two largest ports together, and the tumbler is ready for use.
The battery and the motor of the tumbler kit are very strong, and even if you use it for about 14 hours each day for six months, it is still not going to give way. The barrels are also pretty good and do not make any noise as such. However, it sometimes becomes very difficult to take the barrels on and off the kit.
- Design- 4 stars
- Easy to use- 4 stars
- Shine and Polish- 3 stars
- Battery power- 4 stars
Barrels are difficult to open and close.
Dr. Cool PRO Series is also an old tumbler brand, making exciting toys for kids for a long time now. The Discover Dr. Cool PRO Series Rock Tumbler is a favorite among kids and it surely deserves a lot of the praise that it receives.
It has a very sleek and attractive design, which kids usually like the most. While you get gemstones with almost every other rock tumbler kit these days, the stones that come with this package are certainly much more beautiful.
With every package, you get gemstones like red jasper, black jasper, dalmatian jasper, tiger’s eye, etc. The rubber barrel of this tumbler is the best that you can find in the market. It is 75% more effective than plastic barrels in dampening the noise produced while working.
Some people suggest that the kind of polish and shine that this tumbler kit gives to ordinary rocks is almost equal to the professional-grade polish work done in elaborate workshops.
Another unique feature of this package is that it comes with four different types of polishing grit. Getting featured in the Dr. Toy rankings for the best toys across the globe is a big thing for any toy manufacturer. This particular package has been included in the list of the 10 Best Toys for Kids by Dr. Toy. A great initiative by the manufacturers was to include a parents test and parents approval stage in the quality testing of the product. The only concern with this package is that the parts and accessories tend to break off very soon. Moreover, although the company promises a two-year warranty, it is difficult to get an exchange easily through the online mode.
- Reliable brand- 4.5 stars
- Beautiful gemstones- 4.5 stars
- Leak-proof barrels- 4 stars
- Polish and shine- 4 stars
- Very delicate parts, break-off very soon.
- Warranty-related disputes are common.
The Dan & Darci Professional Rock Tumbler Kit with a Digital 9-day Polishing timer is an interesting product. Users have to follow a simple tumbling process where they just have to load the tumbler with uneven rocks, fill the tumbler with water, and then turn off the barrel to wait for the polishing to finish.
However, unlike other common rock tumblers, this one has a special digital polishing timer. The timer helps you know when the process is complete and usually tracks the entire tumbling process for nine days accurately. The efficiency of the tumbling process is so high, that with only 4 cycles, you get an almost permanent smoothness that gives the rocks a unique new shine.
The extraordinary educational value of this tumbler is what caught my attention in the first place. If you have ever used any STEM product, you must be knowing that developers focus more on the academic aspects, and the fun part is usually on the lower side. However, the Dan & Darci Professional Rock Tumbler Kit with a Digital 9-day Polishing timer has both fun and educational elements in a balanced proportion, making it the ultimate gift option for young children.
To be honest, even as an adult, I am fascinated by this STEM toy. The biggest drawback is that you cannot load it beyond one pound, whereas rocks are quite heavy and the one-pound limit is reached with only a few rocks.
- Fascinating STEM toy- 3.5stars
- Easy to use- 3.5 stars
- Digital timer- 5 stars
- Efficiency- 3.5 stars
- Shine and polish- 3.5 stars
- The weight limit is just one pound, so you can process only a few rocks in one cycle.
- The digital timer is accurate but very prone to damage.
The WireJewelry Single Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Madagascar Mix Deluxe Kit is another favorite of mine, and I Consider it to be worthy enough to be called a great rock tumbler for kids. It can be extremely helpful and easy for beginners and offers exceptional value for money as well.
It is probably one of the most affordable rock tumbler kits of this review. Besides being very simple to operate, this rock tumbler can bear greater loads compared to several other kinds of tumblers, and hence, you can add more rocks to it in every cycle.
For the price at which it is available to customers on online shopping platforms, it is surprisingly very sturdy and durable.
As far as noise cancellation is concerned, people have shared their bad experiences quite often in the past. However, on using the WireJewelry Single Barrel Rotary Rock Tumbler Madagascar Mix Deluxe Kit myself, I did not find any major issues in this regard.
Overall, the kit provides you the experience of fuss-free operation and it is best suited for kids because of the additional educational value. The versatility of the kit is also commendable.
- Durable- 4 stars
- Easy to use- 3.5 stars
- Value for money- 3.5 stars
- Educational value- 3 stars
- Frequent noise leakage
- The barrel is not very tight
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC makes the best variety of rock tumblers, and the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Rock Tumbler Kit-3LB Extra Large Capacity is meant specially for those who complain about the loading capacity of their tumblers.
With a capacity of 3 pounds, this tumbler kit offers the maximum capacity when it comes to kits meant for beginners and children. However, even with such a large capacity, the tumbling process is very simple in this particular model.
In the initial steps, you need to go for the coarse grinding of all the rocks that you have put in. Gradually shift onto the medium grinding during the second phase of the tumbling process. For the third step, you need to start the fine grinding of the rocks so that the finishing can be good. In the last stage, you will have to end with the polishing part so that the shine can be provided to every rock.
The robber barrel of this tumbler has a special aluminum lid, which helps in better noise cancellation. Moreover, the battery power and the motor used in the circuit are very strong and long-lasting.
The overall setup process is quite easy and it also comes with a learner’s manual which has very clear and concise instructions. Unlike many other large-capacity tumblers, this one does not get very dirty, and it is easy to clean it from the inside. The only real problem is the V-shaped belt of this tumbler kit. When the motor is working at its peak power, this belt tends to fall out very often.
- Extra-large capacity- 4 stars
- Strong barrel- 4 stars
- Easy set up 3 stars
- Easy to clean- 3.5 stars
- The V-shaped belt comes off very often
- Warranty-related complaints are quite common
Not many single barrel tumbler machines are as good as the Leegol Electric Hobby Rock Tumbler Machine – Single Drum 3LB Rock Polisher. This model is quite old, yet it manages to outperform several new ones launched by the same company.
The motor of this single barrel tumbler kit operates at a high voltage of about 120V. The power output of the motor is 60Hz, the delivery of which is highly Consistent and efficient. Just like the previous product that I mentioned, this one too has an extra-large capacity with a 3 pounds weight limit. The metal sheet makes its body robust and durable, and I’ve seen people using the kit for years altogether as well.
It has a 0.5lbs. walnut shell media, which is quite an interesting feature for a single barrel tumbler machine. The maintenance of the tumbler is quite easy, and overall it’s a good product for beginners.
- Extra-large capacity- 3.5 stars
- Strong barrel- 3 stars
- Easy set up 3 stars
- Old model, so accessories are not readily available.
Factors To Consider
There are not many features that can be regarded as absolutely necessary to have when it comes to rock tumblers. Primarily, a tumbler sold by a popular brand like National Geographic would be ideal. Secondly, the size of the tumbler can be an important factor, depending on the number of rocks that you wish to process in a cycle. Lastly, it would also be better to check the amount of grit that a particular tumbler uses or requires before purchasing it finally.
Q1. Can A Rock Tumbler Be Used For Items Other Than Rocks?
Yes, you can process items like shells, glass, and coins inside a rock tumbler. However, always read the operator manual before proceeding with the processing of items other than rocks. If the guide clearly states that these items should not be loaded, then you should only stick to rocks and stones.
Q2. What Are The Best Practices For The Maintenance Of Tumblers?
The tumblers that are being manufactured these days are very sophisticated and do not require much maintenance. However, general measures like keeping the barrels clean, maintaining proper tension in the belt, and lubricating the machine once a month will benefit you in the long run.
Q3. How Many Rocks Should I Add?
The number of rocks to be added to the tumbler depends entirely on the capacity of the tumbler. Moreover, even if the tumbler allows a 3-pound load, refrain from filling it entirely with rocks so that there is some space left for processing.
Best Rock Tumblers For Kids – Conclusion
So, if you are looking for an interesting hobby for your child, bring home a good rock tumbler today! We have discussed some of the best rock tumblers available in the market in this article. My personal favorite is the National Geographic Starter Rock Tumbler Kit as it has something for all kinds of users. Do tell me which one is your favorite among these. Till then, happy tumbling!
Founder and a 36-year old mother of one who has gone through the usual problems of parenting herself and shares her own experiences through this blog. Ruby is a great writer who researches well before putting forth facts in the articles.