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A tumbler is a barrel or drum on finishing and deburring equipment that holds items during the finishing process. Rotary and vibratory tumblers are the two primary types of tumblers used in component finishing and polishing operations. Tumblers come in a wide range of sizes. For example, hobbyists’ tumblers for stone polishing will be smaller than those for cleaning industrial parts.Read More…

Tumblers Tumblers are one of the main components of finishing equipment and deburring equipment, the barrel or drum in which the objects to be finished are placed.
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Leading Manufacturers

North Kingstown, RI  |  401-398-0045

OTEC Precision Finish, Inc. is a world-class supplier of mass finishing equipment and supplies. Our primary products include centrifugal disc, drag and stream finishing machines to meet all of your deburring, polishing, grinding and honing requirements.

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OTEC Precision Finish, Inc. $$$

Kalamazoo, MI  |  269-345-7151

As an equipment manufacturer of both custom and stock machines with over 135 years of experience, Hammond Roto-Finish offers a full line of deburring and vibratory finishing machinery and equipment for descaling, burnishing, finishing, buffing, mirror finishing, and more. We are confident we will meet your deburring machine needs with our wide range of products.

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Hammond Roto-Finish $$$

Apex, NC  |  919-772-0115

ATI Industrial Automation is the leading engineering-based world developer of robotic accessories and robot arm tooling, including Automatic Tool Changers, Multi-axis Force/Torque Sensing Systems, Robotic Deburring Tools, Robotic Collision Sensors, Rotary Joints, and Compliance Devices. Our robot end-effector products are found in thousands of successful applications around the world.

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ATI Industrial Automation, Inc. $$$

South Elgin, IL  |  708-345-5300

Great Lakes Finishing Equipment, Inc. is a leading supplier of the deburring equipment, machines, and supplies for all your mass finishing projects. This equipment includes continuous systems, vibratory bowls, tubs, and high energy centrifugal barrel machines. Let our deburring specialists work with you to find the best deburring machinery for your project.

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Great Lakes Finishing Equipment $$$
placeholder image OTEC Precision Finish, Inc. Hammond Roto-Finish ATI Industrial Automation, Inc. Great Lakes Finishing Equipment

Rotary Tumbler

Types of Tumblers

Rotary Tumblers

Most people picture a tumbler as a barrel or drum turned horizontally on its side. Two parallel rotating shafts support the rotation or revolving of a rotary tumbler. Rotary tumblers have capacities ranging from a few pounds to huge, robust ones that may handle several hundred pounds. Rotary tumblers are simpler to load than other tumbler kinds. Rotary tumblers include a rubber lining that reduces noise.

Industrial Tumbler

Vibratory Tumbler

A vibratory tumbler is the second most common tumbler. The barrel in a vibratory tumbler stays still while it is being tumbled. There are typically two types of vibratory tumblers. A mechanical vibratory tumbler uses a motor to sustain vibrations. An electrical vibratory tumbler uses magnetic energy. The objects in a vibratory tumbler maintain their shape.

For instance, a cube placed in a vibratory tumbler will still emerge a cube, whereas a cube placed in a rotary tumbler will have all its edges worn smooth. In general, vibratory tumblers produce faster results than rotary tumblers. Regardless of the tumbler type chosen, the components will shake, rock, and roll to the proper degree of smoothness.

Tumbler Design & Function

The components and tumbling material mix in rotary tumblers. Hexagonal or cylindrical tubs spin horizontally. This cleans, polishes, and deburrs the components. The size of the barrel, the materials' hardness, and the level of finishing required will affect how quickly the parts rotate. The abrasive media in the vibratory tumblers come into contact and rub against one another. The vibration produces a cyclonic downward motion, and the ensuing friction leads to deburring and polishing.

When purchasing a tumbler, manufacturers should consider the barrel capacity, load limits, volume restrictions, engine size, and the consequent motion or vibration. The motor powering the tumbler must endure continuous duty. To prevent overheating, some tumblers include cooling options for motors. A lubricant, such as water, can be introduced to the tumbling process to promote polishing.

Tumblers with lubricant have a drainage feature to remove the liquid and grit. Industrial part manufacturers and machinists use tumblers for bulk finishing and cleaning, even though small rotary and vibratory tumblers are increasingly becoming hobbyists' equipment.

Vibratory Tumbler

Abrasive media

In the finishing process, tumblers use tumbling or deburring media to generate friction with unfinished metal or plastic parts, jewelry, rough stones, etc. With varying degrees of hardness and abrasion, common abrasive media types include steel, plastic pellets, ceramic particles, walnut shells, and corn cob media.

The friction produced by the motion of tumbling when the abrasive medium is placed within the barrel aids in burnishing, polishing, and cleaning the surfaces of the parts. Industrial producers employ vibratory tumblers with more abrasive media for mass finishing and deburring, whereas rotary tumblers with wet media are used for mass part cleaning, polishing, and cement mixing.

Tumblers Informational Video


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