Plastic drums are the easiest barrels to care for, and also the most economical option.
Compared to a rubber barrel they can be a little fiddlesome to open and close, and a little noisier. But despite what some seller claim, they do not leak, and they don't jump off your tumbler, unless you are using them incorrectly.
To open or close the barrel you must to warm up one end with hot water. Once the lid is pressed on it needs "burping", so you press it with the palm of your hand, whilst lifting the edge slightly to expel as much air as possible. During prolonged tumbling, the air warms up and expands - if you haven't "burped" it, this can push the lid and cause it to leak. "Burping" the barrel can be difficult if you have long nails or not full hand strength. Have a look at the rubber barrel instead.
It's important that the lids are pushed on as far as they can go.
Don't know which barrel to choose? Call us for advice!
GOOD POINTS ABOUT A PLASTIC BARREL
- Excellent value for money
- Easier to keep clean than rubber!
NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- Not suitable if you have long nails
- A little noisier than rubber
- End caps must be warmed when opening or closing
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This is my first forray in to the world of tumbling, but after nearly killing my arm with hand polishing lots of little copper clay beads I recently made I thought that a tumbler would be the way to go. As most of the items I'm making are really small I thought I would get the 1.5lb barrel(less shot to sift through to find tint things!), it works really well on the mini tumbler which I got at the same time. It definately needs hot water to get the lid on and off, and so far no leaking, which I have heared happens with the plastic barrels, but I've only used it a couple of times so far. The only reason for 4 rather than 5 stars is there are no venes in the barrel, which also isn't stated in the description, but even without them it works fine, and also the difficulty of getting the lid on and off, but for the price very good little barrel.