The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit is a complete rock polishing kit that allows your kid to turn rough rocks into gemstones. Tumbler kit by National Geographic includes one pound of rough gemstones, eight packets of polishing grit, a storage pouch, and five jewelry fastenings. The tumbler base and motor are built to last and the tumbler barrel is designed to be low-noise and leak-proof. It has a built-in timer and automatic shut-off switch too. Now your kids can create beautiful keepsakes from your favorite specimens.
STEM toys are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math based products that are geared towards developing useful skills in all areas of learning. This product focuses on the core subject: science.
Purchased this as THE Santa gift for my 7 year old son for Christmas. He loves gemstones and was excited to receive the gift & start the process. We followed the directions exactly and set it up in our garage where the noise level was unnoticeable inside the house. The first two rounds of grits went great. The tumbler worked and we could see an obvious difference with each step. However 20 days total into running the tumbler, and 7 days into the third round of grit, we came home to the tumbler not running and all the lights blinking. I tried resetting it, by unplugging it and plugging it back in, but each time it wouldn't tumble for more than a minute or so without stopping again. When I removed the barrel the base will turn but as soon as the barrel is put on it stops quickly. We left it off overnight and tried again the next day with the same results. Since we were only one day short on the third round of grit being done we went ahead and cleaned it out and tried to put the barrel back with just the rocks and water to see how it would do. It ran for a bit but then the lights started blinking again. There is virtually no trouble shooting included with the rock tumbler and I cannot find anything online. Needless to say this will be returned to the store tomorrow and a new tumbler, of higher quality, will have to be found. Then I get the fun task of explaining how Santa replaced his broken rock tumbler with a new model. I am very disappointed in the quality of this product and surprised since it's from National Geographic. The tumbler only ran for 20 days before giving issues, even if looking for a beginners model look elsewhere.
The picture in the yellow bowl is after the first round of grit, the picture where you can see the corner of the sink to the left is after the second and the picture where you can see the washcloth is after the third. Obviously if the tumbler would hold up it does work to polish the stones but the machine itself is poor quality.
Everything was awesome and loved the unit at first. My son loved it and had fun, but during the second polishing step, the base stopped working. Won’t spin any longer. Could be an unlucky draw but felt like I should share. If it were to keep working, this would be a 5 star review with zero complaints.
It lasted a little over 2 months and now it quit working. It will start up, but them all the lights start flashing and it stops tumbling. I've tried putting just the tumbler on it, but it still stops. I've tried cleaning the motor thinking it had dust and dirt in it, but it still doesn't work. It seems to be the theme for purchases these days so buyer beware.
What child doesn't dream or hunt for treasure? Boy or girl they love to find rocks, leaves and other fun stuff to collect into their "treasure" box. National Geographic Hobby Tumbler turns this adventure into a learning experience and results are given in beautiful gem stones they either find or gather!
First this great tumbler comes with everything you need to get started right away, it even has a sampling of gem stones provided to get the interest going as they wait for the tumbler to do its magic and turn rough bland stones into jewelry worthy gems. Simply follow the instructions and you are up and running in no time. I highly recommend you read the instructions first together and follow the safety recommendations, after all you do not want to inhale the included grit...
The base is very solid with a padded bottom, that being said it isn't as quiet as you may hope but it is quieter than the one I had as a child so the placement when in use must be taken into consideration. Garage, utility room or a back room where the noise will be muffled as much as possible. DO NOT set the base on a pad or cushion as it has vent slits on the bottom to help keep it from over heating and it will "walk" while in use so my hubby put together a little frame from scrap wood to help keep it in place when in use. Be careful also with the rotating pully wheel, it must remain free of obstructions to work properly and be mindful of looking down at it with long hair as it could possibly get caught up in the pully, our daughter almost made that mistake but remembered what we had said about safety.
The drum is plastic which helps cut down on the noise, it has a two stage lid system that really seals great (do not over tighten the knob on top) and it has a timer that you can set on the front so you can set it for the days you want it to run then forget about it until it reaches the timer setting and turns itself off. The included jewelry settings allows some of the special gems to be made into wearable jewelry.
We are believers in the S.T.E.M. products and National Geographic took a classic and made it better! The final results will be amazing and it allows our daughter to explore the yard and park looking for treasure to be turned into polished keepsakes. It is just an amazing product and has a great warranty. Refill kits are available almost everywhere and the grit also can be found in bulk to help spread the wonders this will produce out for some time to come. Original branded National Geographic kits with actual gems stones are also readily available and you just have to shop around to find what you want.
Now there is a down side to this item but it isn't a bad one, it is TIME! On the average it takes 2 weeks to finish most stones but depending on the hardness could take up to a month so included with the kit is a gem stone book, also I am sure you could search online to seek rocks that you may find in your own yard to use that wouldn't take too long to work with.
We are very pleased with our purchase and look forward to some rewarding results as the Hobby Tumbler works it magic!!!
This is a much longer investment than a few days, this thing has to be going for a month to polish the rocks. Which is fine but not exactly what I was expecting. I did have to explain the process to my son who was not that happy of how long he would have to wait, probably a good lesson for kids these days anyway. I bought this on sale but would not have paid full price.
I bought this for a Christmas present and not only was the holiday shipping speed very impressive, but the quality of the product is as well. My friend has used it for a few days now and it is very efficient and the results are great. Well worth the money, especially for a rock-lover!