Ceramic Media Can Improve Your Tumbled Stones

Rock tumbling media

This is a small scoop from our media bucket. As you can see we have a range of different sizes of ceramic media. We believe that using a range of sizes of media works well for our needs. You probably also noticed some stones. These are small stones that have been through the tumbling process but did not pass our quality test. They work great as media and another trip through the process will improve their quality.

Ceramic media and plastic pellet media are used as a filler or as a cushioning agent in rock tumbling. This video shows how they work for the various applications in a rotary tumbler.

What Is Rock Tumbling Media?

Rock tumbling media is a rounded or cylindrical material added to the tumbler barrel to improve the results of your tumbling. It improves the tumbling action, facilitates abrasion on all surfaces of the stones, and helps to prevent chipped and bruised tumbled stones.

Most media used today is a kiln-fired ceramic that has a hardness of 7+ on the Mohs scale and an excellent tenacity. It is extremely durable, reusable, and easy to clean, and will last through many batches of tumbled stones. We use ceramic media in all of our rotary and vibratory tumbling.

Plastic pellets were the most popular tumbling media of the past. They were used to cushion the stones and reduce bruising caused during tumbling. Today most people use ceramic media, but some have used plastic pellets for decades and still prefer them for rotary tumbling. (Plastic pellets are not suitable for vibratory tumblers). Ceramic cylinders can cushion just as well as plastic pellets. They are also hard and more effective at grinding and shaping stones.

Benefits of Using Ceramic Media:

When properly used, ceramic tumbling media can improve your tumbled stones. Here are several benefits from using ceramic cylinder media:

1) Cushioning: To absorb impact energy between the stones in the barrel.

2) Particle Size Balancing: Add small particles to a load of large rocks.

3) Filler: Get the barrel up to operating capacity.

4) Improve Tumbling Action: Make the rocks in the barrel tumble better.

5) Deliver Grit to All Rock Surfaces: Facilitates polishing and grinding.

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