Science Mad Rock Tumbler Review

Product sent in return for an honest review

My boys love collecting rocks and ‘gems’ where ever we go. We have a rather large collection down the side of the house and every crevice in the car is filled too! We’re lucky enough to live near the North East coast so we’re also avid sea glass collectors too.

We’ve toyed with the idea of buying a rock tumbler before to help smooth some of our sea glass but they’ve always seemed very expensive so when we were given the chance to try out the Science Mad Rock Tumbler we were very excited … me just as much as the kids.

The rock tumbler transforms rough, natural pieces of rock and stones into polished and smooth stones. However, it is worth noting, it isn’t a quick process. It can take weeks or months to have a fully polished stone with the level of finish you want so patience is required.

Inside the box you can expect to find –

* Rock Tumbler machine

* AC mains adapter

* 100g rough agate rock

* 100g rough jasper rock

* 100g rough amethyst rock

*  1 small bag of polishing powder

* 1 empty keyring

* 2 ring mounts

We had a good read of the instructions before we started. It’s pretty simple to get started. You choose the stones you’d like to use – the ones included in the kit or your own.

We used a selection of the stones that came with the kit and included a couple of larger pieces of sea glass that still had quite rough edges. The tumbler will hold up to 452g of rocks but the instructions recommend using 226g for the best results.

You need to wash off any dirt or dust from the rocks thoroughly, we gave them a quick scrub with a nail brush before adding them to the barrel of the tumbler.

Once you’ve added the rocks, you need to cover them with water. You don’t need to fill the barrel, just add enough water to cover the rocks. Seal up the barrel tightly and place it back on top of the tumbler unit and cover with the plastic lid.

Then you’re ready for the tumbling ( and the noise). I would wholeheartedly recommend using the tumbler in a garage or shed if you have an electricity source as it’s very noisy. Unfortunately our garage doesn’t have a plug socket so we had to use the tumbler in the dining room. You can cover it with the cardboard box it came with and stack some thick books on top which does help reduce the noise a little but it is still quite loud. The machine is supposed to be on constantly while it’s tumbling but we did turn it off when we needed to use the dining room, otherwise the noise was a bit of a pain.

We checked the rocks every day and on day three decided they looked clean so we decided it was time to add the polishing powder which is the next step in the process.

It’s just a case of washing the stones and barrel and then putting them back in, covering with water and adding the polishing power. The instructions didn’t tell us how much to use so we guessed at half the packet.

We then tumbled for another 3 days ( when you’ve added the polishing powder it’s advised not to stop the barrel from tumbling for a long period of time as it may set around the rocks like cement inside the tumbler). We did have to stop ours during meal times and homework when we used the dining room but otherwise kept it running and didn’t have any issues.

We felt after the 3 days our rocks still needed a bit of work so we washed them and the barrel and then put them back into the barrel with some fresh waster and the remaining polishing powder for another 3 days.

After a further 3 days the rocks looked ready. The majority of them were nice and smooth with rounded edges. We did have a couple that couple probably have done with another few days but we’ll know for next time.

My eldest really enjoyed putting his polished rocks into the ring mounts and the key ring. They were easy to use and look really cool.

To attach the rocks to the ring mount you will need a glue gun or superglue and a little bit of pressure.

The Science Mad Rock Tumbler promotes an interest in geology and science for older children and is part of a wider range of kits including a crystal growing kit, weather station and a chemistry lab. A range of the kits are available in store and online at Smyths. My eldest already asked Santa for the Chemistry Lab! The kits are a great way to conduct real scientific experiments in an easier format for children and encourage them to learn more about things like chemistry, physics and electricity.

The love people at Trends UK are offering one of my blog readers the chance to win their own Tock Tumbler – just in time for Christmas! Head over to my Facebook page for more information.



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