Harbor Freight Ultrasonic on sale

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May 22, 2008
Dallas / Ft Worth, TX
This might just be at the Harbor Freight store in Irving, TX but the large (2.6 quart) ultrasonic machine rings up at $59, and when you use a 20% off coupon you end up paying $48; I was expecting $79 ($64 w/ coupon).

Haven't used it yet, so I can't state much from personal experience, but it is well received on the internet. If it can handle 100 rds of pistol brass in a 10 minute cycle I'll be happy.
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Sounds good, I saw the ad this weekend. I'm sure it will handle more than 100 rounds because I have one that's a lot smaller and it will do 50-60.
Do these ultra sonic cleaners replace tumblers? Or is it just used to get the brass cleaner? I have been using vibrating tumblers but with the dust andd noise i'm open to changing over to something different.
They replace the tumbler, work faster, are quiet, and don't prodce dust. The downsides are they are smaller for the same price, and your media removal step might take longer.

I'm planning to
* Clean with warm, soapy water
* Spin water out in a salad spinner
* Dunk brass in alcohol bath to extract water drops
* Spin again to recover alcohol

That should leave me with dry brass.
I can't even hear my tumbler out in the shed. The ultra sonic cleaners are suppossed to do a great job, but I never wanted to fool with drying the brass, so I will just stick with a tumbler. I sprinkle a little water in the media if it gets dusty. Between that and the polish it stops the dust.
That's exactly what went through my mind when I saw the thread title. Now that is something I'd spring for.
I believe cleaning guns in an ultrasonic bath is the original purpose of M-Pro7. I always wanted to try it. I suspect it would do a fantastic job, although I'm not sure about getting fouling out of the barrel. I'd love to hear some reports from someone who has done it..
I use 50/50 water and white vinegar with 1 drop of Dawn dish Detergent per every 8oz of liquid. 30 minutes in the ultrasonic. Then I rinse in water. Then I put the brass in a cutoff leg of a pair of jeans and tie the ends shut, tumble in the dryer to dry. I do this after I de-cap and resize so the primer pockets clean out.

I believe this is the one advertised? If so, it's the real deal for cleaning just about anything.

Here's some .223 lapua brass that I cleaned in mine.


I wonder if one of these would work to clean gun parts.


For cleaning gun parts, you can't beat the ultra sonic cleaners. I use mine with this cleaner made by shooters choice.


It also works for brass, BUT it contains a chemical that eats zinc for breakfast! That's what I used to make that .223 brass so clean in the above pic. I posted these results on TFL, a guy answered that the chemical would weaken the brass over time.

I put my entire lower assy of my glock M-22 in the US with the aqua clean. Ran it through two 8 minute cycles with the heat on. It came out completely clean, every nook and cranny spotless. Did the same with the slide, same results. Have you ever tried to get a trigger assy from a remmy shotgun/rifle really clean? A dunk in the US cleaner will do it WITHOUT taking it all apart!

Now a warning. As stated in the linked threads, you have to rinse well, and immediately oil well. Any bare steel will instantly rust! It pulls ALL the oil off the parts.
They replace the tumbler, work faster, are quiet, and don't prodce dust

The bolded statement needs a big disclaimer. The noise level relative to a tumbler is subjective. They emit a high pitched buzzing sound which will most likely freak out pets, and some people find it far more annoying than the droning of a tumbler.
I just got back from my gunsmith and he had an action sitting in one soaking. Pulled it and showed on to me and it was pretty clean.
"...If it can handle 100 rds of pistol brass..."

I'll believe it will handle 100 rds, but how many more after that?

That's my big question. I'm okay with HF for some things, but for the most part only things that I only need to work once. I love a good bargain as much as the next guy, but just can't bring myself to buy a tool that I know is going to break on me (and no, I can't afford a chest full of SnapOn tools either). So...any reports of the robustness/longevity of this presumably China-made piece?
The model is the one as in Snuffy's pictures. I used a coupon from American Hunter, but those coupons show up in so many magazines it's not funny, plus they accept the printouts from their website and from digital magazines.

And yep, I plan to use it for other things besides brass; if you haven't seen an ultrasonic machine work on old parts you haven't lived. :) Not long ago, I was trying to clean a clogged idler jet from an old ATV carburetor. Nothing worked until I snuck it into the little lady's ultrasonic jewelery cleaner and watched the gunk disappear in 90 seconds.

To Magoo, I hear ya. I bought an electric impact wrench from HF that worked on the car twice before it stopped working as an impact device (now it's just a power wrench; worthless). I took a gamble with this one because it has no moving parts; the circuit should last as long as they aren't overloading the transducer. Also, there are some good finds (see here and here noting that my impact wrench is in the Don't Buy list).

I didn't intend to make an ultrasonics thread, but ah what the heck: There is a lot of info on cleaning brass at the 6mm Bench Rest site.
Oh there is something else that I want to mention to the group: You can use inflammable liquids (alcohol, solvents, etc.) in ultrasonic cleaners. The trick is you have to remove the vapors and prevent them from finding a spark.

Now the HF cleaner is not designed to be spark-free, but at the same time isn't designed to spark. And when you read on how these machines work (billions of little cavitation explosions that are hotter than the sun) you think Egh-ads! But it takes more than that to ignite these liquids (oxygen, for one).

Depending on the resonance of tank, the ultrasonic might increase the vaporization rate, and the heater won't help that either, but it all comes down to dealing with the vapors.
That's my big question. I'm okay with HF for some things, but for the most part only things that I only need to work once. I love a good bargain as much as the next guy, but just can't bring myself to buy a tool that I know is going to break on me

I purchased the two year replacement warranty extension for $10 when I bought mine today. If it breaks, I go get me a new one.
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