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Reloading your ammunition is a great way to save while getting better at your hobby. Reloading generally requires the use of a brass or case tumbler. To help you pick one, we’ve reviewed some of the best case tumbler options in the market.
- Our Top Case Tumbler Reviews
- Features to Consider for Case Tumblers
- Main Types of Case Tumblers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top Case Tumbler Reviews
Case tumblers can help you clean an excessive amount of brass. This helps clean your bullet and protect your dies from dirt buildup in a faster, more efficient way.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best case tumblers you can find. They are built and designed to make your cleaning experience easier and a lot more efficient.
Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler with 15 lb Capacity
If you want a durable and efficient case tumbler then the Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler with 15 lb Capacity is the best among them. However, you will spend a bit more if you want to get this case tumbler.
This model features one of the best designs among case tumblers in the market. It’s made out of heavy-duty steel. The steel is durable and will last you for a long time if properly taken care of.
This case tumbler has a holding capacity of around 500 brass shells. It’s quite enough for decent ammunition rounds. It is contained in a 15 lb. capacity steel hexagon barrel that has a removable rubber line.
You can even use this case tumbler in a variety of other tumbling operations like polishing rocks, brash, and other metals.
Unfortunately, this case tumbler doesn’t compare to 1000 holding capacity case tumblers and it’s not one of the biggest case tumblers around.
That being said, this is still one of the best case tumblers around. While it doesn’t meet some features like holding capacity, it has great quality, durability and works fast and efficiently.
- Tough and durable steel construction
- Can hold 500 brass shells
- The motor might be too small for you
- Needs proper maintenance if you want to keep it longer
- Professional Grade Rotary Tumbler
- OUR most professional quality rotary tumbler features a 15 lb. capacity steel hexagon barrel with...
- Used for a variety of tumbling and mixing operations: polish rocks, brass, and other metals. 115V...
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler
This is a rotary tumbler with stainless steel media in a liquid bath. It works a lot faster compared to other types of case tumblers like vibratory case tumblers.
The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler comes with a sample of Frankford Arsenal Brass Cleaning Solution along with a 5 lb. of 304 stainless steel media. It will last you for about a hundred washes.
It works perfectly well with any cartridge size and it has a bigger container compared to other case tumblers. Even larger than the Tru Square Case Tumbler.
It can hold up to 7 liters or around 1000 .223 cases in one cycle. The load capacity is under 30 pounds and any more than that could slow down the motor.
Its cleaning speed is on par with Tru Square Case Tumbler. It might even be faster. We would give the edge to Frankford Arsenal Platinum since it can hold 1000 bullets.
Overall, the Franklin Arsenal Platinum Series could have been the best overall. However, its build quality isn’t as great as Tru Square Case Tumbler.
- Molded rubber lining to protect brass
- Low noise during operation
- Has a built-in timer
- Complicated to set-up
- Can sometimes leak
- SPECS: With a large 7-liter capacity this tumbler can clean up to 1,000 cases of .223 brass at a...
- EASE OF USE: Features a maintenance-free drive train that eliminates the chances of needing to...
- VERSATILITY: This tumbler can effectively clean without the use of stainless steel media pins and...
Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Vibratory Case Tumbler
There’s none better for a case tumbler than the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Vibratory Case Tumbler. It provides you with a fast and economical method for cleaning your dirty brass for reloading.
Its main highlight is its unique bowl that is simple to use. All you have to do is fill around ⅔ of the bowl with media. Add your brass cases and turn the case tumbler on.
The bowl is made out of plastic which makes clear that this case tumbler isn’t built for durability. However, if you properly handle and take care of it, it might last you for a long time.
This tumbler can clean 600 9-mm cases in about 3 hours. It may not hold more than 600 if you put in higher calibers. Higher calibers can still accommodate higher calibers. However, the amount of time it takes to clean may be longer.
It has a clear glass top to keep the media from falling out. You will also see how the cleaning process is going on.
This case tumbler is a lot better than most case tumblers. The downside is that it doesn’t have the durability other models like the Tru Square or Frankford Arsenal have.
- Can hold 600 low caliber cases
- Has an on/off switch for safety
- Cleans well
- The bowl is made with low-quality plastic
- Can’t hold bigger calibers in large numbers
- RELIABLE: Unique bowl design to increase brass agitation for fast, aggressive cleaning that reduces...
- EASE OF USE: Clean lid for monitoring tumbling action with cord-mount ON/OFF switch for saftey and...
- CONVENIENT: Removes lube and oxidation quickly and conveniently; Use in conjunction with Frankford...
Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler
If you want a case tumbler that can hold 1000 bullets then the Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler fits the bill. It has a great build quality and can hold 1,000 bullets easily.
The build quality is comparable between the True Square and Frankford Arsenal Platinum case tumbler. The tumbler is made out of heavy-duty plastic. It can handle the wear and tear with no worries. However, it’s not the same as the aluminum build quality of Tru Square.
It can hold 1,000 .223 brass shells which is a lot if you compare it to other case tumblers like the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ.
It has a solid motor which runs well. However, you may want to check up on it from time to time. The motor runs quietly and does its job at cleaning the brass.
It’s also fairly fast at cleaning. The rotary tumbling action combines with stainless-steel media, liquid cleaning solution, and small stainless pins that make it fast.
Overall, this is one of the best solid picks you can get for a case tumbler that can hold 1,000 bullets. The build quality is decent and the cleaning process is fairly fast.
- Can hold 1,000 .223 brass shells
- Heavy-duty plastic construction
- Fairly quiet motor
- The motor can malfunction often
- Made with plastic
- Great value: includes media sifter and 5lbs of stainless steel tumbling media
- Large capacity: holds up to 1000 pieces of 223 brass
- Less noise: features rubber lining to protect brass and reduce noise
Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17 Reloading Tumbler
The Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17 has a better build quality compared to the Tru Square case tumbler. That is why it takes the spot as the best in terms of build quality.
As you may expect, this case tumbler is on the expensive side. However, its build quality justifies it. The case tumbler uses a high-quality heavy-duty plastic construction that is durable and quiet upon operation.
Compared to the Lyman Cyclone case tumbler, the plastic used in the Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17 is a lot better. Even if it’s not aluminum, it is incorporated so well in the tumbler that you won’t feel it’s plastic.
There’s also a seam welded, durable base with dual motor support brackets. It adds to the durability of this case tumbler’s design. You will probably see this case tumbler lasting over 5 years with proper care and maintenance.
You also get a high-strength powder coating inside the drum that helps with the brass cleaning.
The case tumbler can hold around 700 .223 brass shells. It has a capacity of 17 pounds.
You also get a 5-year warranty on the barrel and liner, 3 years on the unit, and a 1-year warranty on the motor.
Overall, this reloading case tumbler is one of the best in terms of build quality.
- Can hold up to 700 .223 brass shells at once
- High-quality heavy-duty plastic
- The motor can move at speeds of up to 3,000 RPM
- Rollers are decent in quality
- The motor may not last long if left unchecked
- ALL NEW!! Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17^Most Durable
- Heavy Duty
Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler
If you want a great starter case tumbler then you should try the Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler. It is designed specifically for beginners.
It has one of the most silent operations out there compared to other case tumblers we mentioned above. It’s also easier to load since the lid helps you separate the media from the brass.
This case tumbler saves you a lot of time since you won’t have to check residual media inside when you take the brass out.
It contains a spring that supports the bowl so the whole unit won’t move when it’s functioning. It does a great job at cleaning, however, your workspace may get a little dirty.
Another drawback you need to note is that some media will jump out of the tumbler. This is because of the vibration the case tumbler makes. The lid of the case tumbler doesn’t fully cover the bowl since it also acts as a sifter.
This case tumbler can hold up to 350 .223 brass cases or 2 pounds of media. It has just the right holding capacity for an entry-level case tumbler.
Overall, the Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler isn’t as great as your Frankford Arsenal, Tru Square, or Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17. However, the pricing is great. It’s even better than the Quick-N-EZ case tumbler.
- Includes a sifter
- Design is built economically so expect it to last long
- Silent operation
- Creates a dusty workspace when using
- Doesn’t contain an on/off switch
- 115 Volt / Holds 2 pounds of Media
- Built in sifter lid for quick and easy media separation
- No need for separate media sifter
Features to Consider for Case Tumblers
Case tumblers help hasten the reloading process. A case tumbler is a small machine that cleans hundreds of casings in just a few hours without you doing the work. Therefore, the features you should consider should be centered around the cleaning time and how effective it is at cleaning.
The quality of case tumblers can be measured by how effectively they can clean shell casings and how fast they can do it. While cleaning media does have an impact on the effectiveness of cleaning, the quality of the case tumbler also works in combination with it.
While some case tumblers don’t clean efficiently, however; they are faster or easier to use. Other case tumblers can clean shell casings, however, it takes them a long time to do it. You want the right balance between them.
In terms of overall quality, you can’t go wrong with the Tru Square Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler.
Although it only has 500 shell casing capacity, its effectiveness at cleaning is excellent. The time it takes to finish is the same as most case tumblers.
It also has a great build quality and can last you for a decade with proper care. If you put all of its features into consideration, there’s no doubt that the Tru Square Heavy Duty Rotary Tumbler is an excellent choice if you’re looking for quality.
Most case tumblers are either made from steel or plastic. Generally, steel case tumblers like the Tru Square Rotary Tumbler would be better in durability. However, don’t sleep on plastic case tumblers. Being made of steel also doesn’t equate to how effective it is in contrast to its durability.
Steel tumblers are also quite expensive. Some are so expensive that you might think twice about getting one just for cleaning and reloading purposes.
That’s why plastic case tumblers are more popular. Some plastic case tumblers are mostly well-made and will last you for a long time.
While steel tumblers undoubtedly have better durability, Some plastic case tumblers aren’t that far. They’re also relatively affordable.
If you’re going for plastic case tumblers, we recommend getting the Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17 Reloading Tumbler. It uses heavy-duty plastic which fits well with its construction providing you with excellent durability.
Most case tumblers can hold every type of case. There are also case tumbler models that can handle specific types of shells better than others.
You can check the case tumbler’s specification before purchasing. It will tell you what type of shells you can use it with.
If you are reloading many types of calibers, we would recommend you get a case tumbler that can hold more cases of the largest caliber like the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler.
The number of shells a case tumbler can hold is essential information to know. The more shells a case tumbler can hold, the faster your overall cleaning process will be.
Most case tumblers can hold up to 500 cases at the same time. However, models like Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler can hold up to 1,000 cases.
When you are cleaning and polishing more cases at a single time, the more you save on time. Naturally, expensive case tumblers usually hold more than 500 cases at a single time.
The best one under 500 case holding capacity would be the Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler. It cleans the cases fairly fast and it’s relatively affordable.
If you want your cases cleaned in one go to save time, you should go for case tumblers that can hold 1,000 cases.
There are case tumblers that can hold different types of media while others specialize in a specific medium. There are three common polishing media used in the case of tumblers namely:
- Walnut media
- Corn cob media
- Stainless steel media
This media type is the more aggressive and thorough in cleaning shell cases. It’s also an affordable option compared to corn cob media.
Walnut media is mainly used for heavily used cases or cases that are left unpolished after many reloading. This media can be used for both vibratory and rotary case tumblers. It works best for vibratory case tumblers.
Corn Cob Media
The corn cob media is the mild and least aggressive of the three common media for case tumblers. It also is fairly expensive.
Corn cob media is best used for fired rounds as it doesn’t hurt the cartridges in the process. Corn cob media can be used for both vibratory and rotary case tumblers.
Stainless Steel Media
Stainless steel media or pins is one of the most well-known media around. Stainless steel pins require water to work. It will clean all the parts of the brass casing.
The downside of it is you need to dry the cartridges quickly. You can air blow them or let them dry under the sun which can be a quick process. However, the result of this will be a thoroughly cleaned and polished case.
Main Types of Case Tumblers
Case tumblers are commonly classified into two types, rotary or vibratory case tumblers. Both of these case tumblers have their way of cleaning cases.
Rotary Case Tumbler
Rotary case tumblers work with both wet and dry media. It functions by rotating the tumbler with the media and shell cases inside.
If you work it with wet media, you will need water, a cleaning solution, and detergent (optional). We find this method of cleaning far more efficient compared to others.
The cleaning time for rotary case tumblers varies depending on how dirty the shell cases are.
Vibratory Case Tumbler
Vibratory case tumbler commonly works with dry media like corn cob and walnut. It functions by vibrating motion made inside the tumbler. It allows the media to scrub the shell cases.
The cleaning process usually takes hours to produce thoroughly cleaned shell cases as a result. It’s not as thorough as how wet media cleans shell cases hence it takes a lot longer for it to completely clean cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the Stainless Steel Media Work with Vibratory Tumblers?
You usually don’t see stainless steel media used in vibratory tumblers. However, some vibratory tumblers can accommodate wet tumbling. As a rule of thumb, don’t use the same media for wet tumbling and dry tumbling.
Stainless steel media is also a heavier media and it might don’t do good for a vibratory case tumbler. Therefore, you should avoid using stainless steel media if you can.
What is Wet Tumbling?
Wet tumbling is usually associated with stainless steel media. It uses an actual tumbler similar to the ones designed for polishing rocks.
Case tumblers designed for wet tumbling usually consist of a watertight drum, a frame that comes with rollers, and a motor for rotating the drum.
Wet tumbling involves the use of water for cleaning shell cases which are combined with wet media. Hence, the process is called wet tumbling.
How Long Do You Leave Brass Cases in a Tumbler?
It depends on the model of case tumbler you are using. Some case tumblers can take only an hour to clean shell cases. Some can go as long as 3 hours to clean. Manufacturers usually put out the cleaning time of their case tumblers.
Some case tumblers also have built-in timers to automatically stop the cleaning process after a certain time. We would recommend at least to let the cleaning process sit for 3 hours for your first time.
After that, you can periodically check the cases in a certain period to determine how long it takes to complete a thorough cleaning.
These are some of the best case tumblers you can find on the market right now. Each of them has different qualities, case capacity, and even the manner of cleaning the cases. We laid out all the necessary information for you to make the right choice.