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Rock Tumblers: Where to Put Them & Proven Safety Tips

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Rock tumbling is a rewarding hobby if you have patience. Remember that nature has done what you are doing in a couple of weeks for hundreds of years. But where should you put your rock tumbler, and are they safe?

To keep rock tumblers in good shape, put them somewhere near water. They also need power. Since they work for hours on end, you will need to check on them from time to time. To do this, you will need good lighting to see both the machine and the specimens you are crumbling. The device needs to be kept in a safe place where kids and pets won’t be able to get to it.

Now, that may sound easy, but there are plenty of places in your home where you can store your rock tumbler and ensure it doesn’t get out of control. Here is what you should consider!

Where To Put a Rock Tumbler?
Where To Put a Rock Tumbler?

If you are interested in the best rock tumbler made by National Geographic, you can find it by clicking here (Amazon link).

Where To Put a Rock Tumbler?

A rock tumbler will work countless hours and days to give you the desired results. Because of this, you need to consider its safety so that you can quickly check up on it and that no other factors disturb your machine or the machine doesn’t disturb you.

The best places to put your rock tumbler include your garage, basement, closet, or shed. Visiting these areas shouldn’t be inconvenient because you must check your rock tumbler several times daily. At the same time, the machine shouldn’t disturb you or your family members while it works.

Think About a Secure Place With Electricity and Water

If you have children or pets, you can imagine how their curiosity can get the best of them and might interfere somehow or by accident with your rock tumbler. This can be potentially dangerous, not just a setback in your efforts to have shiny rocks. Who knows what will happen if the pets or children trip on the rock tumbler’s power wire and fall? 

Because of this, you might want to keep your rock tumbler somewhere safe to easily get to everything you need to work with your specimens at certain times.

If your house is set up in a certain way, a closet might not be the best place for these tools because they can be loud.

With power and water nearby, you should keep your rock tumbler in a dry place. This is because you need water to fill the barrel and clean it. If you want to power your rock blender, don’t use an extension cord. It’s easy to trip over it or spill water on it.

Noise Levels

Rotary tumblers with flexible rubber barrels are an alternative to plastic barrels, which are the noisiest barrels available for rock tumblers. Although they are among the quietest barrels, vibratory barrels are more efficient.

Nevertheless, they emit a whirring noise that may be unsettling. As a result, it is recommended that you store the rock tumbler in a detached garage, heated shed, or any other area of your home that is not in close proximity to your bedroom and has the requisite instruments for operation.

At night, you might be able to hear this type of rock tumbler, so you should consider adjusting its working schedule a bit differently, such as rinsing the rocks in the evening and restarting the process in mourning.

TIP: Rock tumblers require maintenance; you must oil them regularly to keep them running smoothly. Find out the complete guide about oiling rock tumblers in the article below:
Step-By-Step Guide: How To Properly Oil Your Rock Tumbler

Consider Temperature Levels

Your rock tumbler should be stored in an area where it isn’t too cold for the water to freeze or too hot. The machine will also get hot as it works, so if you place it in an already hot environment, its thermal protection might make it shut off and end the process prematurely.

In case you don’t notice, the mud will be harder, and you will need to do a lot of work to clean it up if you don’t start the process again soon.

In other cases, some rock tumblers don’t have thermal safety. This means that if the temperature gets too high, the motor could break, which would cost you more money.

There Will Be Some Mess

It’s easy to see why working with a rock tumbler can result in a mess, especially if you accidentally knock it down. So you need to store your rock tumbler in an environment where there isn’t much clutter, you can move around freely, and where cleaning is easy, such as an area with concrete or tile floor.

You will regularly work with git and polish, muddy water, and oils. There is no way to avoid creating a small mess, so you should consider this when choosing where to place your rock tumbler.

TIP: Kids love seeing ordinary rocks transform into dazzling gemstones before their eyes. It brings science to life for them. Check out the best tumblers for kids in the article below:
Best Rock Tumblers for Kids in 2022: Options For Diff Ages

Don’t Use the Rock Tumbler Outdoors

You might be tempted to place your rock tumbler on your porch or patio to eliminate the noise and not make a mess inside your house. However, this isn’t a good move. Since rock tumblers use air to cool off, running them outdoors is risky, especially in summer when temperatures get high.

You can risk overheating your rock tumbler quickly, but even direct sunlight can lead to this. If the temperatures are too low, the water in your rock tumbler can freeze, leading to leaks and disturbing the barrel’s balance, leading to falls and machine damage.

Apart from this, there is also the issue of electricity. You can’t always anticipate rain, dew, or snow. Even outdoor precipitation can lead the rock tumbler’s electrical cords to become wet enough to cause damage or even hurt you in the process as well.

Don’t Place The Machine on Workbenches

Don’t place your rock tumbler on a workbench because it could slide off and damage it. Apart from this, it will create a mess. Rock tumblers make vibrations and move a lot. It’s easy for them to fall if placed high above the ground.

TIP: One of the most important aspects of rock tumbling is to use the instructions with your tumbling machine or search for them online. Check out great tips on rock tumbling in the article below:
13 Clever Tips & Tricks For Rock Tumbling You Should Know

Are Rock Tumblers Safe?

Are Rock Tumblers Safe?
Are Rock Tumblers Safe?

Rock tumblers are generally safe machines to use, but you do need to be careful. Some devices have more protection features, such as thermal protection, so you should choose your rock tumbler wisely.

Overheating can be dangerous, leading to fires or other electrical issues. That is why investing in a suitable rock tumbler is as essential as checking up on it several times a day or preventing children or pets from interacting. Check the outlet if your rock tumbler is very hot and emits smells commonly associated with burning.

Call authorities if the outlet plastic seems affected, the wall is hot or emitting smoke, and don’t try to touch the outlet. Also, you should be careful when working with water near outlets and ensure that the rock tumbler works in proper conditions and under the correct temperatures.

These machines are harmless if you store them properly, check them, and take care of them, but remember that they are a fire hazard like any device operated by electricity.

Regular maintenance can help you reduce the risks. Consider cleaning your rock tumbler regularly to prevent dust or dirt accumulation on the motor, which can lead to cooling issues.

Don’t place your tumbler in dusty environments, as their engines require significant air volumes to function correctly, and they can quickly gather too much dust.

Keep the bearings and motor lubricated and clean, or replace them if they don’t work correctly. Another aspect to consider is not overloading the barrel because it can lead to overheating and other potentially dangerous situations. 

TIP: Rock tumblers must run continuously for weeks or months to do their job, so their motors work very hard and must be durable. Check out the cost breakdown of tumbling in the article below:
Is Rock Tumbling Expensive? Complete Cost Breakdown

FAQ About Rock Tumblers Safety

Still did not find the answer to your questions about rock tumblers’ safety? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:

Is it Safe to Leave a Rock Tumbler On?

You can leave your rock tumbler on for several hours, even days, as long as you check up on it regularly and ensure that nothing interferes with the machine, such as high temperatures in the room. Check your rock tumbler and outlets for overheating. Consider taking a break if anything gets too hot.

Are Rock Tumblers a Fire Hazard?

Rock tumblers operate through electricity, making them a fire hazard like any other electronic device. Starting a fire isn’t risky as long as you take care of your rock tumbler through regular maintenance and ensure it doesn’t overheat.

Will a Rock Tumbler Freeze?

The water in your rock tumbler barrel can freeze if you place the machine in unfavorable conditions, such as unheated rooms in the winter or outside. Freezing will damage the device, and you might need to replace it.

TIP: If your rock tumbler leaks, some grit or debris might cling to the lid’s rim. Check out the main reasons why your rock tumbler is leaking and how to fix it in the article below:
6 Reasons Why Your Rock Tumbler Leaks and How to Fix it

Can I Turn My Rock Tumbler Off at Night?

Every rockhound has its technique when it comes to rock tumbling. Some enthusiasts work with their rock tumblers for days, even a whole week, without pause, while others prefer to turn off their machines at night and only let them work through the day.

While you can turn off your tumbler at night, you need to consider that you might lengthen the process by doing so, and you will use more electricity to turn it off and on than letting it run all the time.

If you turn off your rock tumbler at night, the grit could settle, which could cause problems later on when you try to tumble the rocks again.

You should try it out and see if turning off your rock tumbler at night is worth it. Do this with some rocks that you don’t care too much about. Tumble them for seven days straight to see what happens, or tumble them on and off to see the difference.


Rock tumbling is fun if you take good care of your machine and put it somewhere in your home where it won’t bother other people or make a mess.

They are safe tools as long as you keep them in a safe place, check on them often, and fix any problems that you find.

TIP: Rock collectors know how hard it is to find perfect specimens for tumbling. Check out the best places for finding these rocks in the article below:
7 Best Places to Find Rocks for Tumbling in Nature