Thumlers make some serious tumbling equipment. The MP-1 sits somewhere between the toys reviewed on our site made by other companies and the Thumlers a-r1 model (also reviewed).
We would class the MP-1 as a top of the range entry level model to the world of tumbling. Primarily this is due to cost and size. Whilst it’s not a traditional full 3lb capacity machine (rather a 2lb barrel is included which is slightly larger than the 3 children models) its cost is slightly higher and indeed pushing on the boundaries of the full 3lb models by both thumler and lortone.
It is an ideal starter kit for anyone wishing to embark on a new hobby as it contains the grits and polish required to complete a full cycle. The drive belt and wheel are fully exposed, whereas on the real toy models, the moving parts tend to be covered for safety – which is another reason we say it stands apart from those tumblers classed in the kids range.
It runs quietly (with exception to the rocks knocking around as usual) – and is simple to operate. The exposed bearings make it very easy to maintain with a couple of drops of oil on the bushes from time to time to keep it running without wear and tear.
In summary this is a small tumbler – not a toy – but not quite hitting the mark as a professional useage device.
Thumlers MP-1 Pros and Cons
- The MP-1 is very small and compact in design – a tidy bit of kit.
- Comes complete with enough grit for each phase to perform a complete cycle on the pebbles provided. Enough for the beginner to get hooked by!
- A few jewelry items to convert the polished rocks into presents for friends.
- Sold with instructions which are factually correct and to the point.
- Top brand name behind it for those who prefer to work with known brands – Thumlers are up there with the best.
- One of the main reasons we decided to rate the Thumlers MP-1 as a 3 star is because there have been occasions where the motor has overheated and stopped working completely. Whilst this appears to be a rare event, it is not something we have come across very often and felt it needed a mention.
- Some will feel that they wished they had upped the stakes a bit and gone for the next model which is the A-R1. This would have provided for a 3lb capacity as opposed ot 2lb with the MP-1. There is however a substantial jump in price – at around an additional $40 – $60.
- Reports of low quality manufacture in terms of the rubber barrel disintegrating and the alignment issues have surprised us – however they are out there and should be mentioned. Barrels should be made of an extremely resilient and top specification material for very specific reasons. They are ground by silicon carbide which is hard enough to wear down rock – so it has no problem with other materials.