For many industries, barrel tumbling–the act of placing a product in a barrel and removing the excess material from it–has been useful for maintaining a pleasing product that is both uniform and without blemishes, important for appealing to a customer base that approves of aesthetics as well as substance.
Tumble finishing, the category in which metal tumbling or barrel tumbling is branched, is by definition a technique for smoothing or polishing a rough surface by working at small parts. In many cases, tumble finishing follows a similar method: a horizontal barrel is used; the product is put into the barrel; it rotates; the excess material slips off the product, due to the presence of gravity.
The tumbling drum is a crucial part of this process. The most used barrel drums vary in length–usually between 18 in