Customer Reviews: Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-Ez Case Tumbler
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on August 4, 2012
I took a chance on this tumbler, given its low price in comparison with similar machines on the market. I have started restoring straight razors and needed a way to get a high shine on the blade. It doesn't work quick and it is not silent but it does the job exceptionally well! My blades come out with a mirror shine you can read news print off of.

This tumbler is not quite but I have heard the same of many other similar products. I have run this machine 24 hours a day, with only short rests, for over a week now. No overheating at all! During the day, the noise is not bothersome. But I am a light sleeper and with the tumbler in my garage 35 feet away, I can hear it. Closing my bedroom door is enough to allow me to drift off easily. I intend to make a box with sound proofing material. I do intend to be running this machine a LOT!!!

I had a concern with the threaded rod being exposed and nicking my blades as they tumbled. I took care of that with a very small funnel, approximately 1 1/2" to 2" tall that I put around the bottom part of the nut and threads. I then used some plastic toilet or sink water supply line which I had to drill out to allow it to slip over the remainder of the exposed thread. It works GREAT! No more worry about nicking my blades and the tumbler works even better. Ends up I did not have to put the supply line plastic on as the way the tumbler circulates, no item in it comes near the upper threads, just the very bottom covered by the funnel. But the upper thread covering gives me piece of mind and when I put the cover on and tighten the wing nut, it compresses the supply line and helps to hold the funnel in place.

Something I learned by observation: the tumbler is suppose to have a horizontal clockwise rotation as well as a vertical rolling or "tumbling" action. I noticed that at times I was losing the horizontal rotation which is necessary to allow the machine to work at its best. I learned that tightening the wing nut down too tight will affect this rotation. Just ease up on the nut a bit. You should see a visible horizontal and vertical rotation and you know things are hunky dory!

Highly recommended!
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on March 20, 2012
I've owned a few different tumblers/agitators, both vertical rotational "drum" designs as well as horizontal vibratory "bowl" designs.
I currently own a RCBS case tumbler and plan to purchase another soon.
I was looking for a sooner-than-later 3rd option to start dedicating mediums (instead of constantly swapping out from one medium to another, depending on operation, etc.)
Keeping costs below what I expected to pay for another RCBS, I stumbled upon the Frankfort Arsenal Quick-n-Ez Case Tumbler.
Pictures weren't really helpful in regards to the quality of construction, noise is always a factor on vibratory units. Price was almost "too good to be true" for my standards.

I'll report that when the unit arrived, the packaging was shockingly well made for such an inexpensive product. Don't be confused though, it was nothing to write home to mom about. ;) Just a cost ratio observation.
Nothing was damaged inside and assembly was finished in less than 5 minutes. "Destructions" were glanced over afterwards, which are well written missing only a binding *chuckle* Pictures make assembly for even a child Poka-yoke. Tumbling Tips are provided as well and a MUST READ for any novice reloader. Take note that even when this unit is purchased independently, it appears that the Rotary Separator Assembly and the Quick-n-Ez case tumbler share assembly & usage instructions. Thought out, controlled documents, FTW! Kudos.
With past experience with vibratory units, I took the liberty to add a medium strength thread locker to the threads, even though star-lock washers were included. (I also replaced the star-lock washers with split-lock washers and relocated them inside the cavity where the square nuts are placed for assembly, this prevents the unlikely chance that if the thread locker fails and the Philips screw falls out, that I don't lose additional hardware in the process.)
The clear plastic lid is robust (thanks to the aggressive molding design) and clear enough to see the cases as they are agitated through the medium.
Measured noise was a little higher than past tumblers I've owned, in the low-mid 70's dB @ 30cm (with lid on + medium + a few dozen 7.62x63MM cases). Very acceptable in my workshop without numbing out any background music.

All in all, doubt I could of invested anymore time searching for anything better, bang for buck - risk worth taken on an excellent purchase and I'd recommend this product to anyone!
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on October 6, 2015
Put it this way: I've been collecting range brass for...oh...20 years or so. Just recently have I been preparing to actually start reloading. I figured I'd start by cleaning...20 years worth of brass. So I grab this thing for $36 on Amazon, and I've basically had it running 24/7 for the last MONTH. Not exaggerating Doing great so far, and I'd say it's already given me my money's worth. I dumped in a pile of walnut lizard bedding and gave it a squirt of Turtle Wax metal polish, and VOILA!! Beautiful brass everywhere. I've changed out the media one time, right at the end of one month of abuse. Buy it.

My only qualm is that the power cord could be about a foot longer. For $36 I put it up on a milk crate, problem solved. For $80 it's a 4-star rating, for $36 it's every bit of 5++ stars.
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on March 25, 2013
I tried a lot of tumblers. I tumble a lot of brass. The Frankford Arsenal tumbler is an inexpensive machine that uses a cheap motor. The motor is an open shaded pole type with exposed bronze sleeve bearings in the zinc end caps of the motor. If you use your tumbler now and then and keep it clean it is OK. If you let any dirt get in the motor it will gum up the bearings and then they will start to wear. The tumbler will get louder and louder until the motor wears through the bearing and the motor fails. You can't get a replacement motor for less than the cost of a new tumbler. I fit the motor out of a bathroom fan from Lowes into mine but it isn't as powerful a motor and it doesn't shake as much.
The tumblers from Berry's are much better with a more robust motor if you tumble a lot of brass. It's the same style motor as this one, but they put better bearings in it and it's larger.
I wouldn't buy another Frankford Arsenal tumbler. I run the Berry's tumbler now and it just keeps running.
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on February 23, 2015
Has done flawlessly for over two years now. Relatively quiet. The only modification I did was to cut a length of poly tubing to put over the threaded rod inside, as it was leaving undesirable chatter marks on my brass and also making a lot of noise. I bought a timer for the plug, and it's a perfect combination. Looking forward to years of service.
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on May 2, 2016
This is a great case tumbler for beginners. I have so far cleaned over 1000 cases with this tumbler and tested it on different lengths of time. it takes about 6 hours to get cases clean (and that is if the cases were not tarnished) and 10 to 14 hours to get a pristine shine. Beyond 14 hours it doesn't seem to make a difference. I have included a picture of six cases. The three on the left were not tumbled and about as dirty as the three on the right were before being tumbled for about 8 hours.
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on December 29, 2014
Works amazing add some crushed walnut and a cap of nu-shinne car wax and it works great
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on December 8, 2015
The tumbler bowl is large and the unit has worked fine so far.

The only thing that I don't like (and it's really annoying) is that unlike previous tumblers I've had, the bowl doesn't easily detach. As a result rather than detaching the bowl and then going and pouring it into my colander that I use to separate the cases from the media, I have to pickup the whole tumbler and go dump it. I guess I shouldn't be that annoyed, but its rather frustrating to me.
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on July 15, 2016
For such an affordable price - gets that brass clean.
No this isn't close (IMO) to my years of use Tumbler's UV-18 Tumbler, but it's effective getting brass clean for a bargain price.
Smaller compact size depending on your size batch needs. Good for those smaller batch needs.
I use walnut media and ran it on the garage work bench and it didn't walk from start location.
It's a little loud (compared to my UV-18) but what do ya expect for the price point.
Assembly required to mount the bowl - instructions so not to over-tighten the fasteners risk of cracking plastic.
Power cord a little on the short side but for my location it makes the receptacle.

For the price, especially for the beginner, or budget, should be an affordable way to get into a vibrating tumbler.
My plan is to get into more range shooting this fall/winter and wanted a separate small tumbler for small pistol brass. So far this tumbler gets the job done - for the price, it works. Just hope I get a few years use.
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on January 15, 2014
I recently got into reloading after months of research and reading up on the mandatory reloading manuals. The first step of reloading your old brass is cleaning it up. This does just that - and well. I acquired my walnut media from a pet shop. It's about half the price of actual "reloading media" despite the fact that it's the same stuff. I got 7lbs. for $10. My first load of 500 .40 S&W rounds took about half the bag (3.5lbs.). The manual says to fill your tumbler 2/3 full. Hopefully that'll help put things into perspective as to how much media you'll need. Also, your media is reusable. After reading up on forums, I did what it seems like a lot of seasoned reloaders do. I put my media in and then I put 2 cap fulls of Nu Finish car polish. Let this run without any brass for about 15-20 minutes. It'll be clumpy at first, but will dissipate within that amount of time. Then add 2 ounces of mineral spirits/paint thinner and let that run for a few minutes. Then add your brass and let it run for a couple hours. Your brass will come out cleaner than you can imagine. Nu Finish is ammonia-free and is one of the only safe polishes to do this with. The mineral spirits (preferably odorless) will help to clean up the carbon deposits and help to break away the crud within the casings. Some will say that running your tumbler for 30-45 minutes is "clean enough." Others, like me, prefer a like-new shine. From what I've read, this is achieved after 2-3 hours. My 500 casings came out shinier than factory new. I also took 2 used fabric softener sheets and cut them into quarters and threw them into the tumbler. They help to attract the light red dusting of the walnut shells and save you some of the hassle of clean-up.

Now, you can buy this tumbler in the kit form that comes with the rotary media separator. No thanks. I've read nothing but bad about that separator. At this moment, the kit is double the price than just the tumbler. Yeah, you get some corn media and polish, but you're better off with walnut and a method of separating that won't break on you. I made my own sifter that was about the size of a cat litter box using some 2x4 and some 1/4" mesh. When I'm done tumbling, I pour my batch onto the sifter over a littler box and give it about 60 seconds of some shaking and it's done. This method won't break on me and it was cheaper, as I already had the material on-hand. After sifting, I dump my brass onto a full size bath towel and fold it over and rub them around for a few. This creates an even higher gloss and also rids the casings of the remaining fine dust.

Lastly, learn from my mistake. My first batch, I mixed in some .357, .38 and 9mm with my .40. Do one caliber at a time. I just happened to pick all the calibers that turned my brass into a matryoshka doll. The .357/.38 fit perfect into the .40. With the walnut in between the casings, it'll look them into place so they don't tumble free. You'll have to physically pick them out and pull them apart. If this happens early on, then you won't have the insides of those casings clean. A few had a 9mm inside of a .40 with a .357/.38 capping it off. Point being, tumble one caliber at a time if they have the chance of mating with one another. It'll spare you from having to run the tumbler again.

All-in-all, I'm very happy with it. It's quiet for what it is. People that complain about the noise, well, it's a TUMBLER! It tumbles brass. There's going to be some minor noise, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I let it run in my well insulated garage and I couldn't hear it once I shut the door. I can't imagine these being any quieter. The noise isn't from the motor. Just the brass in the tub. If you need a tumbler, this is definitely worth the price.
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