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Old September 13, 2011, 07:52 PM   #1
GregInAtl
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Thumler Tumbler Reviews

I am thinking of getting Thumler Tumbler and sending my Lymans Turbo tumbler back, mainly due to the noise issue. Would like to here from some of you that own or have used a Thumler Tumbler as to the pro's and con's. Also, which model is best. They are not that much more expensive than a high end Lymans tumbler

Here are the models:
Thumler Tumblers
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:17 PM   #2
oneounceload
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Thumbler is the one who makes most of them (like Ohaus does with beam scales)

My Thumbler has been with me for almost 30 years -I had to replace a burned up motor once (my fault - too much brass) - that was 20 years ago
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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Gave mine away when I bought my Dillon FL-2000. Does 10x the brass in 1/4 the time. Save the slow red drum for rocks.

I care about clean brass , not mirror polished.

I use fine walnut with a capful of Dillons Rapid Polish. Fine walnut doesn't clog the flash holes and works FAST.

Corn cob is for high luster polishing. It's too slow for me. It also clogs flash holes and absorbs moisture from the humid air.

Last edited by mkk41; September 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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I see them at the reloading store here in town, the only thing bad (If it is bad) is the high speed tumbler makes more noise but does not clean the brass any faster. I don't know if that is true or not but I can tell you the clean brass they have on display looks very good. It is just some brass aggregate (which they say does not wear out) a little water and some cream of tarter powder. Just rinse off the aggregate and it is ready to go again. The only thing keeping me from getting one is the price. But if I were just starting I might just bite the bullet and make the investment. Not sure what the online price is on everything but here it's just under $250.oo without tax. If you have the money I'd say go for it, I'm sure in the long run it will pay for itself.
And MKK41 makes a good point too.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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Yep, tumblers are slow, that's why I got my Lyman years ago. But if you are loading the tumbler and leaving for the day it really makes no difference, your brass will be sorta shiny when you come home.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:55 PM   #6
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Gave mine away when I bought my Dillon FL-2000. Does 10x the brass in 1/4 the time. Save the slow red drum for rocks.
Has is the FL-2000 for noise. Do you think it is a much better tumbler than the Dillon 1200? I can't stand the idea of having to be limited as to what time of day I can run the tumbler and having to close the door, etc. You can hear the Lyman 1200 anywhere in my house when it is on and I live in a 2400 sq ft 2 story house.
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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My brother has the Thumblers Tumbler. He bought it back in the early 70's as I remember. It's far from being quiet if noise is an issue. It's slow, about 8 hours to a vibrating 2 hours. The most quiet I've ever had was the RCBS Sidewinder and I used a liquid media. It's far, far quicker than a vibrating type polisher but it's expensive to use. The drums do wear out and cost as much as most vibrating tumblers. There is only a 1 year warranty on it as with all RCBS products with electric motors. I've had mine maybe 20 years and I'm on the third drum. Only takes about 20 minutes for black brass to be nice and shiny. Normal brass can be done in about 10 minutes but then you have to rinse it and dry it. From black dirty brass to ready to load in about an hour. But the media is not cheap as you only use it once. If you have a garage or a porch, I'd suggest keeping the Lyman and putting it outside. I keep my vibrating type on a piece of carpet which takes a lot of the noise out. Ask for any carpet samples at some of the box stores. They usually throw them out anyway.
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Old September 14, 2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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I've heard it said that the Hornaday tumbler is pretty quiet. I may try one of those. It doesn't have the auto feature but that is less important than the noise.
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Old September 14, 2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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I gave away both of my Lyman turbo's years ago and went with the Thumlers.Now I use it with S.S. media,nothing better 3 hrs.beautiful better than anything new.No more cleaning primer pockets,picking media out of flash holes and just cleaner inside and out.I have done thousands of rounds with it,no excessive wear on the brass,media is always clean.
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Old September 14, 2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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I just recently switched to a Thumbler with stainless steel media. 3 or 4 hours gets the brass shiny inside and out and is no noisier than the Lymann 1200 pro I have. The best benefit is all the dirt is in the water afterwards and not floating around the room as dust.
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:04 PM   #11
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I have the Hornady tumbler, it came with the Classic kit. I set it on the garage floor and can not hear it inside the house. I would not say it makes a lot of noise and it does a good job with fine corn cob media as well with the fine walnut and takes about 1 to 3 hours. (Depends on how shiny you want your brass) It does not have an on off switch or a timer but I like it but then again it is my first so I really have nothing to compare it to. All I load is pistol brass so if you are going to clean a lot of pistol brass or rifle I would suggest a larger tumbler.
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Old September 14, 2011, 11:34 PM   #12
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Mine's not a Thumbler but it is quiet, and fast. I use a 2.5 liter ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight. It looks exactly like the Lyman's ultrasonic unit but it's less $.

Four 8 minute cycles, rinse and lay the brass out on an old towel to dry overnight. It cleans inside & out with no dust.
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Old September 15, 2011, 12:37 AM   #13
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I have a small “three pound” Tumbler left over from kid’s rock tumbling days. Use stainless steel media, dishwashing soap, Lemishine and water. It's fun to empty the tumbler at the end of the spin and see all the bright brass (we're easily entertained here in Arkansas).

From what I’m reading, I guess the large Tumblers take longer and make more noise, because my small one is quiet and gets the job done – 1 hour to clean or 2 hours for ultra clean and polished pistol brass. While some folks would pooh pooh the little machine as having too small a capacity, I’ll mention that after I returned from the range last Saturday, I polished around 340 pieces of 9mm, 280 pieces of 40S&W and 160 pieces 45ACP between 2 to 11 pm which including de-priming all the brass.

I have a simple system whereby I can dump the brass and stainless media, rinse and separate, but the polished brass into cartridge trays for drying and start the next batch, all in about 5 minutes. I'm just pleased as a pig in mud.
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Old September 15, 2011, 02:28 AM   #14
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had two

I had two and could not keep belts on either one of them, they streatched and loosened PDQ. You could then to "wet" tumble, and polished brass rinsed for 15-20 minutes in mild soapy water was SHINY to say the least.

I scrapped them both when I got a Dillon.
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Old September 15, 2011, 04:25 AM   #15
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This is a guess, but I've had my thumbler tumbler for around 30 years and have used it with a liquid solution to clean a lot of brass. I had to buy a couple of drive belts a few years back, but thats all. It might be too noisy, but it's in the garage, and I'm not.
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Old September 15, 2011, 11:35 AM   #16
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthNul
Mine's not a Thumbler but it is quiet, and fast. I use a 2.5 liter ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight. It looks exactly like the Lyman's ultrasonic unit but it's less $.
Is this the one you have? It's on sale. They actually have a store about a block from me.

What do yuo use for cleaner? Do you have to use the regular cleaner they sell?

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-lite...ner-95563.html
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Last edited by GregInAtl; September 15, 2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old September 15, 2011, 05:13 PM   #17
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That's a sonic cleaner and it takes a sonic cleaner solution. This is completely different than what has been discussed earlier. But I think a lot of people have used them not sure what the results are.
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Old September 15, 2011, 09:55 PM   #18
paulo57509
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I use a standard speed Thumler Model B with SS media. Three hours and I have a two pounds of new looking brass.

Noise? There's some, but I wouldn't call it objectionable.

Best price for a Thumler's is Phil's Hobby. $170 shipped.

http://www.philshobbyshop.com/catalo...5_rock_tumbler
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Old September 16, 2011, 12:15 AM   #19
DarthNul
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Quote:
Is this the one you have? It's on sale
That's the one. It always seems to be on sale.

I've experimented with several home brew cleaning solutions: citric acid and CLR dilutions. I also bought a bottle of the Hornady stuff for comparison.

The Hornady stuff works well. 2-3 oz. of CLR (Silver label not black) in 60 oz. of water with a teaspoon of laundry detergent works just as well. It also looks and smells just like the Hornady stuff. Don't overload and always use fresh solution. I keep the heater on too.

I have not tried using vinegar like some folks do. I have gotten the citric acid and Lemi-shine stuff to work but it ended up being more expensive than the commercial solutions unless you find a good bulk source and buy a lot.

The primer pockets come clean on some cases with no extra effort. Most of the rest of the pockets will come clean with quick twist from a q-tip.
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Old September 16, 2011, 10:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
This is completely different than what has been discussed earlier
I was aware that a ultrasonic cleaner is not the same as a vibrating tumbler or a Thumler drum tumbler, I was just willing to consider it as an additional option.
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Old September 16, 2011, 10:16 AM   #21
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthNul
I've experimented with several home brew cleaning solutions: citric acid and CLR dilutions. I also bought a bottle of the Hornady stuff for comparison.

The Hornady stuff works well. 2-3 oz. of CLR (Silver label not black) in 60 oz. of water with a teaspoon of laundry detergent works just as well. It also looks and smells just like the Hornady stuff. Don't overload and always use fresh solution. I keep the heater on too.

I have not tried using vinegar like some folks do. I have gotten the citric acid and Lemi-shine stuff to work but it ended up being more expensive than the commercial solutions unless you find a good bulk source and buy a lot.

The primer pockets come clean on some cases with no extra effort. Most of the rest of the pockets will come clean with quick twist from a q-tip.
It sounds to me like it might make more of a mess than a vibrating tumbler
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Old September 16, 2011, 05:36 PM   #22
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Thumler Tumbler ?

The Thumler Tumbler is no better than the expensive RCBS rotery tumbler.
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Old September 17, 2011, 02:39 AM   #23
DarthNul
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Quote:
It sounds to me like it might make more of a mess than a vibrating tumbler
I wouldn't say it's messier. It's a wet process so you're working around a sink (laundry tub in my case) and measuring liquids and you have to dry the cases. On the plus side there is no lead dust. It will get cases cleaner than you ever will with a dry vibrating bowl though.

If you want minimal effort get two vibrators: one with walnut for cleaning and another with corn cob for polishing and/or removing lube. Put them on timers so all you have to do is dump cases in, set the timer and sift the cases out some time later.

If you want your cases really clean inside and out, and clean primer pockets too, get a good rotary with stainless steel media or an industrial strength ultrasonic cleaner. Both will be quieter than a vibrator, and they won't generate any dust.

If you don't want dust and you don't want to spend the bucks on the latter options, or only deal with smaller quantities of brass, get a consumer grade ultrasonic or a smaller rotary tumbler.

I still use a vibrator with corn cob if I want to polish or just get the lube off, but I don't worry about dust because I only put very clean cases into it.

As always, YMMV.
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Old September 17, 2011, 06:37 PM   #24
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I have he Ultra-Vibe 18, in the Thumler Tumbler,, It has worked flawlessly for thirty-something years. I however learned, from his forum, how to tweak my walnut media for better results,, and it's all good man!!
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Old September 17, 2011, 08:26 PM   #25
Gerry
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I also have the Ultra Vibe 18 and mostly use mine now with corn cob with Nu Finish added. I find it very quiet compared to other vibratory tumblers I've owned, especially cheaper plastic ones like the amazingly loud Frankford Arsenal Quick 'n Ez. Plus I find things circulate really well in the Thumblers even when loaded right to capacity.
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