7 Best Brass Tumblers in 2021 (Reviews and Buying Guide)
So, you are through with the day’s shooting at the range, and you went through a decent amount of rounds. If you’re someone anywhere near being a gun enthusiast, you know how expensive this hobby (or profession, depending on what you do) can get.
Among the core parts of a gun’s projectile, we have the primer, the powder, the bullet, and the brass cartridge. Unsurprisingly, the casing/cartridge is one of the most expensive parts of the rounds. And that cost can add up to a large sum.
What you need is the best brass tumbler to help you cut down that cost. And it doesn’t just cut down on the expenses; it is something that many enthusiasts enjoy doing, which might be applicable for you. After shooting, the cartridge is usually quite dirty and scuffed up.
A brass tumbler will take that scratched up piece of brass, do its thing for a while, and give you clean and shiny ones in return. This article will provide you with some of the top options when it comes to buying a brass tumbler. We have included products from various price ranges and styles to cater to everyone’s needs.
- Bowl design
- Cord operated
- 13.25 Liter Capacity
- Built-in timer
- Low noise level
- 7-liter capacity
- Easy twist cap
- Leak-proof design
Choosing a brass tumbler for yourself might not be very easy with all the different methods and solutions. Below are the top tumblers for you.
01. Frankford Arsenal Vibratory Case Tumbler
On our quest for the best tumbler for brass, we have a vibratory product for you. Having a decent capacity to hold a decent amount of casings is crucial for most users. That way, you can get a large number of cases cleaned up at a time.
This tumbler can hold up to 600 9mm or 350 .223 casings at a time. Moreover, the bowl capacity is 13.25 liters. This product is relatively easy to use for most users.
Ease of Usage
It features a transparent lid that allows you to monitor the process without having to take it off. Moreover, it comes with a cord-mount switch for simpler powering on and off.
As this is a vibratory tumbler, you need to use dry media with it. You can also use corn cob or walnut options (which you can get from this manufacturer). These are quite reliable and last for a long time.
The bowl design of this tumbler is unique. Once you have put the casings in, this bowl increases the brass agitation. And that mechanism results in a quicker cleaning, which also makes things easy on reloading dies.
- Cost-efficient solution
- It removes oxidation and fouling
- Up to 600 9mm casings
- 13.25 liters bowl capacity
- Cord-mount on and off switch
- Taking the bowl off is tricky
- Durability needs work
02. Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler
If you want the best wet tumbler for brass (which also supports dry media), then our second pick should do wonders for you. The issue of noise is a common one in mediocre tumblers with little quality control.
However, in this case, the product comes with a dual-layer drum, which allows less noise out. Moreover, there is a dampening rubber lining throughout the sides.
It might be crucial for you that the product you choose is able to clean up a large number of casings. And to our pleasure, this one can contain up to 1000 .223 brass cases at a time, which is very impressive.
We think this tumbler has done an impressive job of ensuring an excellent user experience. Firstly, the maintenance-free drive train ensures that you don’t need to replace a belt. Moreover, there is a built-in automatic timer for up to three hours.
Wet or Dry?
As this is a rotary tumbler, you can use it with both dry and wet media without any issues. You could use stainless media pins for a dry option. Furthermore, it’s alright if you use a liquid brass cleaning solution.
- Low noise level
- Up to 1000 .223 casings
- Built-in automatic timer
- Maintenance-free drive train
- Decent quality drum
- Slightly more costly
- Some users reported leaking
03. Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite
At this point, we have another pick from Frankford Arsenal as a worthy option for the best brass tumbler. If you haven’t guessed by the name yet, this product is a more compact and lightweight version of its bigger brother.
Therefore, the drum capacity stands at a smaller 3.3L here, with a cleaning capacity of up to 300 .223 casings. As with most tumblers from this manufacturer, the user experience is quite reliable.
The strategically designed on/off switch and the transparent clear viewing window with its simple easy-twist cap both play a significant role in ensuring that.
This product is a rotary tumbler. And regardless of its size, it packs all the necessary features of the higher-end ones. You can use both dry cleaning media like stainless steel media pins or liquid solutions. The leak-free drum keeps everything safe.
As this is a lite version, the dimensions are probably quite important to the user. You get 12.75” (L) x 12.5” (W) x 9.5” (D) in terms of the measurements. This size makes it easy to store and carry, improving user’s convenience.
- Compact and lightweight
- Leak-proof design
- Works well with stainless steel pins
- Easy-twist cap
- Support for wet and dry media
- The build could be sturdier
- It cannot handle larger batches
04. Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler
It’s time for another affordable vibratory tumbler – a suitable choice as the best brass tumbler for the money. First off, this is a vibratory tumbler.
Therefore, it can only use dry media when tumbling. But if you don’t need wet cleaning, it’s more than sufficient. Moreover, it does an excellent job when it comes to removing oxidation, old lube, and typical brass fouling.
Since this one is a mid-sized tumbler, its capacity reflects that as well. You can pour in around 2 pounds of dry media at a time. And in terms of the casing, this product can hold up to 350 38spl cases per cycle, which should be enough.
Types of Media
The obvious bit is that it only supports the usage of dry media, but which ones? In that aspect, this product is quite traditional. You can easily use things like corn cob or nutshell. Plus, it’s okay if you add in some polishing materials.
This bit is an issue with many tumblers, as they sort of put everything together in a mess and make media separation quite annoying. Thankfully, this tumbler has a built-in sifter lid, which allows for easier separation.
- 2 pounds of media
- Sifter lid
- It is reasonably priced
- Works well with most dry media
- A powerful motor
- Quality control could be better
- The sifter lid leaks some dust
05. Hornady Rotary Brass Tumbler
At number 5, we have the 050220 from Hornady – a great option as the best tumbler for cleaning brass. The dimensions and capacity are some of the most impressive things about this product.
It has a drum with a total capacity of ten pounds, half of which is for the media. That means you can have five pounds of media and five pounds of brass cleaned at a time.
The materials in the tumbler must be durable and prevent any leaking. Hence, the drum comes with a rubber lining to ensure a tight seal. However, some users have reported slight leakage, although it’s not frequent.
This tumbler supports both wet and dry media, making it extremely versatile. But what makes it an even better value is that it comes with stainless steel media pin out of the box. You can use traditional elements like corn cobs too.
Some of the features here deserve extra attention. For instance, there is a digital timer for easy automation for up to eight hours. Furthermore, the motor is powerful and cooled by a fan to achieve high efficiency.
- Superb user experience
- Built-in digital timer
- Stainless steel media pins included
- 5 lb. media capacity
- Lightweight design
- Occasional leakage for a few users
- Slight heating after extended use
06. Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler
When looking for the best brass tumbler for reloading, the 7631550 from Lyman is a name worth mentioning. An efficient and powerful motor is a must-have feature in a tumbler.
This product comes with a robust belt-driven electric motor that operates silently and efficiently. It also plays a part in ensuring the impressive tumbling capacity. The capacity of this tumbler is more than sufficient for almost all of us.
You can clean up to 1000 pieces of .223 brass cases at a time with it. And it will have enough room for the media even after that many casings.
The user experience is pretty smooth. All you need to do is get the media and brass in and ensure a tight seal, and the tumbler should do the rest. There is a timer for up to three hours, and you get five lb. stainless steel tumbling media in the box.
Something that impressed us is the dual sifter system that this tumbler features. Unlike most products, it only takes you a little while to get rid of all the media from the cases.
- 5lb. of stainless steel media included
- Powerful belt-driven motor
- 1000 .223 casings at a time
- Built-in timer
- Low noise levels
- The timer maxes at three hours
- Occasional leaking reports
07. Lyman Pro Magnum Tumbler
As our last option for the best brass case tumbler, we have another product from Lyman.
This tumbler provides a remarkable capacity even with its compact size. Firstly, the capacity of the bowl is two gallons (7.57 liters).
Therefore, you can tumble up to a large total of 1000 .38 special brass casings at a time. The motor is another one of the strengths of this product.
You get a heavy-duty motor that operates through an advanced drive system. It allows for quick cleaning with higher efficiency and plays a role in the capacity.
Value for Money
This product uses dry media for tumbling. And given that it can tumble hundreds of cases without an issue, this product screams value. There is a slight heating issue with the motor, but that isn’t significant.
Noise and Materials
To our surprise, this tumbler operates with a low amount of noise, even with a large amount of media and brass. In terms of the materials, the casing is made with plastic, but the quality is decent.
- Low noise level
- Up to 1000 .38 casings at a time
- Quick cleaning time
- An advanced drive motor
- Decent build quality
- It vibrates quite strongly
- Occasional heating issues
FAQs of The Best Brass Tumblers
01.What are the best brass tumblers?
Since the answer to that relies on some variables, we will try to explain things in a way that will help everyone choose the best tumbler for themselves. The basic principle of this product is cleaning up the brass cartridge of your ammunition.
When you shoot a bullet, the cartridge faces a lot of force and resistance from the target. This bit gets the casing scuffed up and sometimes makes it almost impossible to reload without any fixing and cleaning. And as you probably realize, having a clean casing is crucial for how everything looks, and it also ensures a well-functioning weapon in the long run.
Therefore, the brass tumbler does that job without any manual interruptions. You can mainly find rotary and vibratory tumblers in the market. Whichever you choose, try to ensure that they have sufficient capacity for your loads. Moreover, check out which cleaning media it uses, as that can make a difference.
Furthermore, vibratory tumblers generally don’t work with wet media. In contrast, rotary tumblers can support both dry and wet options. Regardless of the method, see to it that the process is efficient and provides a decent result.
02.Do you need to wash brass after tumbling?
This question mostly comes from people that notice a coat of dust after tumbling their brass cartridges with dry media such as corn cob. And washing brass after using wet media does not make much sense, as it uses a liquid cleaning solution anyway.
So, if you’re wondering if you should wash your brass, the answer is that it’s not necessary. Although the brass would be okay even if you wash it, it’s not an essential step. You could wipe the dust off of the cases if it bothers you too much as well.
03.Is cleaning brass cases necessary?
This question is something many gun enthusiasts have in their minds, and with good reasons. It is not mandatory to tumble your brass cases, per se. But multiple rational reasons make it worthy of your time.
Firstly, there’s the most obvious one – the cartridges look all neat and shiny. But it’s not only for cosmetic reasons, though. Clean cases are better for reloading and better for your gun. Besides, it’s not wise to hand-wipe hundreds of rounds, eh?
04.How many times can you reload brass?
There are various calibers, amount of powder, design differences when it comes to cartridges or rounds. Moreover, not all of them go through the same amount of resistance or pressure. Therefore, there is no absolute number.
However, you need to keep your eye on a few things to figure things out. The essential part to notice is whether the casing has suffered any physical damage that can end up hurting the round’s accuracy or harm the weapon in any way.
05.Can you use toothpaste to clean brass?
While it’s not popular with bullet cartridges, toothpaste is a popular cleaning element when it comes to cleaning brass (not the gels). It is theoretically possible to use it as it does not harm the brass and many people use it.
However, it would be time-consuming to clean each casing with toothpaste and ensure that there is no residue, and so on. That probably isn’t worth the hassle for most people.
06.How do you keep brass shiny?
We cannot avoid the brass losing its shine over time. However, we can certainly slow it down. And this part is something that a brass tumbler excels in, with various options at hand. The first one is using a vibratory dry media tumbler.
These products are affordable and keep the brass clean and shiny for a long time. Among other solutions, you can use ultrasonic cleaners that do a superb cleaning job. However, these tumblers generally cost most compared to vibratory ones.
There are also rotary tumblers available, which support both dry and wet media. Moreover, you can mix your preferred polishing solution with the media to enhance the tumbler’s effectiveness by a decent margin.
Brass casings are undoubtedly one of the expensive parts of a gun’s projectiles, and the cost adds up pretty quickly. Therefore, having a brass tumbler at hand can come in quite handy to keep that cost in check and keep your casings neat and polished.
Our reviews above should help you find the best brass tumbler for yourself. There are various options belonging to different price segments and cleaning styles, so choose one that suits you well, and have fun tumbling.