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The Different Shapes of Tumbling Media Explained

Posted by Michael Wegener on

The Different Shapes of Tumbling Media Explained

You may have noticed a wide range of choices when choosing a tumbling media to work with. In fact, with all the options, you might also feel like your head is taking the tumble! Choosing the wrong shape can result in a completely different finish than you intended. The material and shape of tumbling media vary greatly. But thankfully, they all fall under a few common categories. Here are the different shapes of tumbling media explained.


Round media is useful for any smoothening or melding you may need to do on your workpiece. With its spherical form, it can weave through your tumbler with ease. But be careful with this media, as it’s more likely to lodge itself into your machine. If you want a machine that can handle any shape you throw at it, industrial deburring tumblers are the way to go.


Cylindrical media usually has angular cuts that will prove useful in finishing harder-to-reach regions of your piece. For example, if your workpiece has any holes or rounded or dipped areas, cylindrical media might work best for you. Wedge media can also fall into this category, and vice versa, as they are commonly referred to as V-cut cylinders.


Triangular media has as many uses as it does sides. Working more as a gentle, all-purpose abrasive, it sees frequent use in industrial settings. If you need to reach any tight corners on your piece with a mild abrasive, this shape is the way to go. Its flat borders help smooth out any straight edges while giving your piece a consistent appearance.


This media is not as popular as ovals and cylinders, but luckily, you are here to see the different shapes of tumbling media explained. Cones can hit any curved surface or hard angle and are the most appropriate when your piece requires an aggressive approach. Even after countless uses, this media won’t lose its shape.


Oval tumbling media provides more surface contact than spheres. Moreover, it delivers the best polishing and burnishing with mild deburring. The structure of this media also has a lower chance of lodging itself in your machinery. Keep its smaller size in mind as your finishing time increases. For mainstream usage, oval balls are typically the preferred medium.

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