Best Rock Tumbler For Beginners: Take Your Hobby To The Next Level

best rock polisher for beginner rockhounds and rock collectors and rock tumblers

The Best Rock Tumbler: A Complete Guide For All Rockhounds

Rock tumbling, or rock polishing, is a great way for both kids and adults to take their rock collecting hobby to the next level. But if you’ve spent any time shopping around for rock polishers or rock tumblers, you may have quickly become overwhelmed, especially if you’re a beginner!

That’s okay, I felt the same way when I first started.  And since this Rock Seeker has done all the ‘digging’ for you, I want to share what I’ve found to be the best rock polisher for beginner tumblers and rockhounds.

Why Start Rock Tumbling?

Rock tumbling, or rock polishing, is the hobby of collecting a variety of rocks and literally turning them into gemstones you can use for many different kinds of things such as jewelry, crafts, decor or simply just to display at home.  It’s an incredibly easy hobby to get into and it doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s an activity the entire family can enjoy together.  And like other enjoyable hobbies, the more you do it, the better you become.

What We Looked For While Searching for The Best Rock Tumbler for Beginners

While researching the best rock tumblers, there were a number of specific things we chose to pay very close attention to.


Quality might as well be the most important factor to consider when choosing a rock polisher. You’ll be spending your hard earned money and we want to to make sure it lasts for a very long time.  Make certain you buy one that will last.


If you’re like most rockhounds, you probably don’t have an incredible amount of money to spend on your hobby.  So price is a very important factor in determining the best rock polisher. We all want to take our rock collection to the next level, but we don’t want to spend a fortune doing it.

Ease of Use

When it comes to choosing the right rock polisher for beginners, ease of use is an important factor to consider.  The idea is that over time, kids should be able to use the rock tumbler without a significant amount of adult supervision.  Of course, supervision will be necessary during the learning phase of rock tumbling. But eventually, we want this to be an activity kids can do on their own.


The Best Rock Tumbler For Beginners

Best rock tumbler

About The Best Rock Tumbler For Beginners

The reason we chose the National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler as the best rock tumbler is simple.  When we considered all of the areas that were important to us, quality, price and ease of use, this specific one came back with very high ratings for each individual area, making it the best rock tumbler.

QualityHigh quality metal rock tumbler has a powerful motor, noise reducing leak-proof barrel and comes backed by a 2-year warranty. National Geographic customer service is excellent.
PriceOne of the most affordable rock tumblers available at $69.99
Ease of UsePerfect for beginners. Easy to operate. Features an automatic shutoff timer so you can get bigger results and save energy.
Includes everything you need to get started right away.

  • Tumbler
  • 9 rough gemstones (.5 lbs)
  • All 4 polishing grits
  • Jewelry fastenings
  • Educational guide and easy to follow instructions

Review Of The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler 


  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • Made of quality material and durable
  • Leak proof rubber barrel which should last longer and be quieter than the plastic barrel some other beginner rock polisher kits come with.
  • Has a timer for automatic shutoff
  • Holds up to around 1 pound of rocks
  • Excellent customer service at National Geographic
  • Great for beginner rock polishers of all ages…kids and adults
  • Can be used for jewelry and brass shell casings


  • Like most rock polishers and tumblers, they can be loud. Best to put it in a garage or shed while in use.
  • Size of the barrel.  Is not as big as more advanced models, but still can hold up to about 1 pound of rocks.
  • Rubber belt drive which can eventually wear out, but can easily be replaced.


National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Reviews and Testimonials 

Comments are from actual customers 

“We went with this model over the less expensive after reading reviews and are glad we did. This model is definitely sturdy and the motor has run smoothly for the 20 or so days we’ve used it so far.”

“It’s the perfect mid-range rock tumbler!…sturdy and doesn’t seem flimsy. It’s been running now for over 2 weeks…a nice, reasonably-priced kit that includes everything you need to start tumbling rocks right away!”  

“National Geographic Hobby Series Tumbler is very easy to use and you can see major results, even after the first grit is complete!”

“What a great experience. The tumbler stopped working on day 5. I contacted customer service and we had a replacement in two or three days. National Geographic is spectacular.”

Try the National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler!

Give the National Geographic Rock Tumbler a try.  And if you are new to the rock tumbling hobby, take a look at my Instructional post, How To Use A Rock Tumbler for basic instructions on getting started with your rock tumbler.

If looking for even more family fun, take a moment to look at my review of the Rock On Geology Game. Your young rock hounds will love it!

  • Give your rockhound the best rock tumbler for beginners to get them on their way?
  • An activity for the whole family to be a part of

If you have experience with this rock tumbler, share your story with us!  Leave a comment below!

As always…Happy Rock Seeking!