When it comes to polishing metal jewellery there are a lot of options. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish what will give you the best results for your situation and designs.
One polishing option is the Kitiki Metal Polisher Kit. This is perfect for polishing small and delicate pieces of metal jewellery with intricate shapes or fine patterns (such as metal clay fingerprint jewellery and filigree designs) that don`t need a lot of finishing.
On this page we go into detail about the magnetic polisher, giving answers to many frequently asked questions from fellow jewellers. For example why you should use a magnetic polisher over a rotary tumbler.
There is a motor contained in the base of the machine that spins a heavy disc with four high-powered magnets attached. This creates a magnetic field which in turn makes the magnetic steel pins that get added to the acrylic pot along with your jewellery, jump around randomly. This gradually polishes and burnishes the surface of the metal.
The magnetic polisher is great for more delicate work such as metal clay finger print jewellery and filigree designs. If your work has delicate detailing then it can be lost when tumbling in a rotary tumbler.
It is also MUCH quieter and quicker than a rotary tumbler. It is also easier to fill and empty. However if you are going to be polishing larger pieces of jewellery or designs with larger smooth areas that may need more thorough polishing to achieve a high shine then you may prefer the barrelling machine for polishing metal jewellery.
A magnetic polisher is very economical to run and will only cost about a penny to run it all day! As you can polish many items at once this reduces the cost even further.
The magnetic polisher’s very compact; in fact it’s about the size of a small kitchen blender. It measures 11.5cm x 11.5cm x 24cm and weighs about 2.5kg. Acrylic drum size, Internal measurements, 6.7cm Diameter - 7.4cm Height
- You can polish many items at once - just fill it and go.
- It frees up your time so you can get on with something else.
- It will get into corners and hollows where polishing mops might not and it is good with detailed work.
The magnetic polisher is an extremely easy product to use and much quicker and easier to fill than the rotary tumblers .
1. simply quarter-fill the acrylic drum with water,
2. Add the stainless-steel pins, your jewellery designs and about a quarter of a teaspoon of cleaning compound. You will only need to use about a quarter of a teaspoon of cleaning compound each time you fill your polisher.
3. Put the lid on and press go!
*Top Tip* - Initially, the stainless steel pins will have straight-cut ends, so it's a good idea to run the polisher with some scrap metal for an hour to begin to round them off slightly.
*Please Note* - The drum is made of clear acrylic but the continual impact of the steel pins will gradually give the inside a matt finish. This is completely normal and will not affect the performance of your polisher.
To give you a rough idea the acrylic drum will hold about six or seven average sized finger rings.
30 minutes usually does the job; however you will need to experiment with the amount of water, the number of steel pieces and the running time until you get the desired finish. To begin with, check your work after about 20 minutes to see how it’s looking until you get a feel for how long things will need.
We really recommend you experiment first as we can’t guarantee that gemstones won’t get damaged during the tumbling process. However, we do advice not to put gemstones like for turquoise, amber, emeralds or pearls as they can lose their polish from being tumbled. You should also be cautious of your setting getting water trapped underneath the gemstones. Remember that this polisher won’t polish stones, so if you are looking for a stone tumbler click here.
As this polisher is much more gentle than the rotary tumblers, your hollow work should be absolutely fine in it. However we do recommend you run a test to check before putting a finished design in, just in case.
Shot is the generic name for the small stainless steel shapes that go into magnetic polishers and metal tumblers. They are used to burnish and polish the metal.
The 'shot' you receive with the magnetic polisher is made from tiny 5mm x 0.3mm pins made of stain-resistant magnetic stainless steel. This shape and material has been tried and tested and has proven to be the best mix to get into the finer and diverse shapes you might create in your jewellery.
Cleaning compound (also known as barrelling compound or gallay compound) is a special soap used to keep the shot and drum clean, lubricate the pins helping the polishing action, and minimise rust. It’s only as hazardous as other household detergents.
The magnetic polisher is designed to be used for periods of 20-30 minutes as this should be sufficient time for achieving the finish you want. The motor is fan cooled so will happily run for hours, however if you are finishing large batches of jewellery it may be good practise to give the tumbler time to cool down a bit before running it again. Manufacturers state it has been tested and won't overheat if left running.
This polisher is compact, safe to use and is quieter than rotary tumblers, so completely house friendly! It is CE-marked and complies with EU safety standards. The motor is rated at 230V, comes with a 1.5m cable ending in a UK 5A-fused plug and can be used in a regular mains socket.
It should be noted that you shouldn’t stand the polisher right next to anything magnetic or electronic.
The cleaning compound is designed to help keep everything clean during polishing. However, If you feel as though you do need to clean the polisher you should do so with washing up liquid and make sure you rinse thoroughly.
Your magnetic polisher is guaranteed for a year however in the unlikely event of an accident or a fault, replacement parts are readily available so please contact us if you think you need to replace something. We can put you on to the UK distributor who will be able to supply you with the new part and if necessary, talk you through the replacement process on the phone.
As with all electrical equipment, don't get the motor part of your polisher wet and don't touch it with wet hands.
We provide a Kitiki Magnet Polisher Kit which contains an electric motor base, a lift off acrylic drum with a plastic lid, 25g of tiny rust resistant magnetic stainless steel pins and 175g of barrelling compound. To view this kit click here.
For any further advice regarding the contents on this page or for any other general jewellery making enquires, please feel free to get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
If you have any further questions, feel free to call our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you some advice through Facebook, Twitter, Email or simply calling us on 01872 573888 8.30am-4.30pm.
Alternatively, for more information and how to's on all areas of jewellery making visit our other Gemstone Setting Advice pages.