Clearly, the Smithsonian Tumbler is built as a toy, so again the cons must not be compared to a professional product. However there are a few concerns with this model which – irrespective of the market level – we feel should be mentioned.
The barrel tends to leak according to other reports. This can be a disaster with a rock tumbler – there are reports of both the barrel wearing through after just a few tumbles and in addition to this, there are also people who have mentioned that the seals do not fully work and the lid can drip. We have also seen reviews where there was no o-ring supplied in the package, thus the lid could not be sealed at all.
The container internal volume is rather small. The size of the container determines both how much of a load it can take, and also the maximum individual piece size.
There is only enough grit and polish for a limited number of cycles – however this is not entirely uncommon with toys, and silicon carbide can be purchased at a multitude of online sites and brick and mortar stores, as can cerium oxide. (As mentioned – a branded kit is also available)
The smithsonian rock tumbler is the middle of the road in price, however we feel the Elenco is probably more hardwaring with reference to its barrel.