tumble baskets versus tumble barrels

Tumble Barrels & Tumble Baskets: What’s the Difference?

Media Blast manufactures both Tumble Baskets and Tumble Barrels, but how do you know which is right for your needs? First let’s explore the difference in each product, and then we’ll boil down your decision to three main factors.

What are Tumble Barrels?

Media Blast Tumble Barrels are offered as an add-on option for any machine model – wet or dry – with internal or external separator reclaimer. They work with all abrasive types and sizes. This allows users to select a machine model based on duty cycle for applications beyond just those requiring tumble barrels. The Barrel models offer optional manual blasting station. Some of our Tumble Barrels include upgraded dust collectors with automatic cleaning cycles that are included at one additional cost.

What are Tumble Baskets?

All TB-5 Tumble Basket Machines are complete units. They do not offer a manually operated blast station or upgraded dust collector, so they are truly a specialty, single function machine.Tumble Barrels

What are the reasons you choose a Tumble Barrel or a Tumble Basket?

  1. Tumble Barrels normally process parts faster than Tumble Baskets. This is because barrels use a three directional part mix as opposed to baskets that only offer a two directional mix. Things naturally mix at different speeds, but all other factors being equal, a barrel will process parts faster than a basket. This also means barrels are typically cheaper to operate.
  2. The maximum part load for barrel tumblers is 50 pounds allowing the operator a safe part weight to handle. Baskets are unloaded by removing the basket, this can exceed operator’s safe lifting weight unless smaller loads are used.
  3. Part size and volume can determine the machine type to be used. With large volumes the barrel is better than the basket because overloading a basket type will add additional time to the cycle due to the slower random mix of the basket design.
  4. A Tumble Barrel machine is easier to load and unload and can easily be equipped with pop-out shields that prevent small parts, i.e. rivets and screws, from popping out of the barrel during part processing.
  5. Tumble Basket machines are normally used for larger parts that don’t fit inside the faster Tumble Barrel Machines.

Pro Tip: You can use smaller part loads in Tumble Baskets allowing the smaller basket loads to protect the basket from the blast due to its simple shape.  Baskets are normally removed from the machine to empty and this can limit the load capacity an operator can handle.

To Sum It Up

Application information about the part size and batch volume will determine whether a basket or a barrel machine is best for your needs.

Tumble Barrel machines can be equipped to function as a multifunctional blasting cabinet; this is not possible with a Tumble Basket machine.

Not all parts process at the same part rotation speed, when choosing any tumble blasting cabinet look for variable speed drive and not constant speed drive. Variable Speed will save the added cost many times over based on saved labor time and higher production volumes created by just the right processing speed!