Need Recommendation for Large Ultrasonic Cleaner

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I use a Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner and have really good results with getting my brass cleaned.

However, it is only good for a maximum of 480 second cycles. I typically use about 4-5 cycles to get my brass clean.

With that said, I get tired of resetting the machine every 8 minutes when it would be nicer to just leave the brass in the US cleaner for about 30-40 minutes.

It would also be great if I could get a larger cleaner as I reload a lot of cases.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an industrial size cleaner that would clean up 1000 .223 cases or about 500 .308 cases?
 

mrtoyz

Armchair Commando
Belligerents
Jul 11, 2009
458
51
34
Western WA
I have the large layman and like it. Honestly can’t remeber how long that timer is though. I’ll have to check
 

Doublezranch

Private
Belligerents
Aug 6, 2013
1
0
2
North Dakota
I have one from RCBS and Hornady. I prefer the RCBS cleaner due to it’s many options. Hornady does have a very large model that you can put AR uppers in. Might be the one your looking for.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I was looking at this model which, even on sale, is a little pricey. Yet it has a lot of features. It's capacity is 1.5 gallons:

https://www.ultrasonicsdirect.com/ultrasonic-cleaner-sh180-6l.html

Lyman makes an US cleaner that sells at Midway USA for much less and has about the same capacity as the one from Ultrasonics Direct:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/118839/lyman-turbo-sonic-6000-ultrasonic-case-cleaner

According to each manufacturer's manuals the Lyman operates at 35 KHZ while the more expensive one operates at 40 KHZ.

I'd have to add a side mounted drain to the already expensive one for $125 and pay extra for a fine mesh basket to hold 9mm cases. The Lyman already has a side mounted drain and a basket configured for small cases.

The more expensive version has a sweep frequency feature to ensure more uniform cleaning but I don't need that for cleaning brass cases.

I have the large layman and like it. Honestly can’t remeber how long that timer is though. I’ll have to check
I assume that you meant Lyman. Do you know if the Sonic 6000 is the version that you have? I also looked at the manual and it looks like you can set the timer for up to 30 minutes. It also warns to not use the unit for more than 45 minutes. Regardless, a 30 minute cycle beats having to restart the one I have every 8 minutes.

So it seems like a "no-brainer." I will probably get the Lyman US cleaner. Either one of them has a gallon more capacity than what I'm using now. I'd still appreciate more advice.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
Thanks Evintos. Have you had experience with the Bald Eagle Cleaners?
 

Evintos

Private
Belligerents
Sep 19, 2008
76
13
12
Thanks Evintos. Have you had experience with the Bald Eagle Cleaners?
Only the Grizzly 9L 35khz Hornady hot tub style version (model Model: BE1167). The plastic basket seemed flimsy to me so I've only done 200qty 308 brass at a time.

It worked pretty well, but really noisy (as loud as my vibratory tumbler). It was the first ultrasonic cleaner I got and it was on sale in the low $300's (was cheaper than the Hornady version) range. Depending on how the brass is positioned, carbon "sludge" gets stuck in the case (kind of like mud in a bottle from a river) unless you shake the brass in a clean water tub. The way to get around that is to position the brass vertically but that limited the amount of brass you can clean. In addition, primer pockets didn't always get 100% clean at 30 min. Not to mention the bullet seating friction.

Other than that, I thought it performed very well. Sold it because ultrasonic cleaning brass isn't my thing. If I ever decide to try again, I'd probably get the larger 13L ones that can use a metal basket and has 40KHZ freq. Worked very well for AR bolts, bcg's and firing pins.


Edited to add - I used the Hornady One Shot case cleaning solution.
 
Last edited:

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
The 13L looks pretty good to me as well. The Hornady One Shot solution is what I use as well. It doesn't get the primer pockets as clean as I have seen in some photos and videos but pretty darn close.
 

mrtoyz

Armchair Commando
Belligerents
Jul 11, 2009
458
51
34
Western WA
I was looking at this model which, even on sale, is a little pricey. Yet it has a lot of features. It's capacity is 1.5 gallons:

https://www.ultrasonicsdirect.com/ultrasonic-cleaner-sh180-6l.html

Lyman makes an US cleaner that sells at Midway USA for much less and has about the same capacity as the one from Ultrasonics Direct:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/118839/lyman-turbo-sonic-6000-ultrasonic-case-cleaner

According to each manufacturer's manuals the Lyman operates at 35 KHZ while the more expensive one operates at 40 KHZ.

I'd have to add a side mounted drain to the already expensive one for $125 and pay extra for a fine mesh basket to hold 9mm cases. The Lyman already has a side mounted drain and a basket configured for small cases.

The more expensive version has a sweep frequency feature to ensure more uniform cleaning but I don't need that for cleaning brass cases.



I assume that you meant Lyman. Do you know if the Sonic 6000 is the version that you have? I also looked at the manual and it looks like you can set the timer for up to 30 minutes. It also warns to not use the unit for more than 45 minutes. Regardless, a 30 minute cycle beats having to restart the one I have every 8 minutes.

So it seems like a "no-brainer." I will probably get the Lyman US cleaner. Either one of them has a gallon more capacity than what I'm using now. I'd still appreciate more advice.
Yes Lyman.
I have the Power Professional model.
https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands/lyman/turbo-sonic/turbo-sonic-power-pro-barrel-cleaner.html
When I find a deal on the oil accessory tank I’ll get that as well.
 

Evintos

Private
Belligerents
Sep 19, 2008
76
13
12

BrentMac

Private
Minuteman
Apr 25, 2018
21
2
6
I use a commercial us cleaner built by Sharper Tec out of Detroit. It holds 1.6 gallons and is heated.... It has 3 transducers and is VERY effective. With my “homemade “ solution my brass is spotless in less than 20 minutes. I would highly recommend one!
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I use a commercial us cleaner built by Sharper Tec out of Detroit. It holds 1.6 gallons and is heated.... It has 3 transducers and is VERY effective. With my “homemade “ solution my brass is spotless in less than 20 minutes. I would highly recommend one!
What is the recipe for your homemade solution?
 

BrentMac

Private
Minuteman
Apr 25, 2018
21
2
6
In 1.6 gallon water, about 20 ounces distilled white vinegar, maybe 1/3-1/2 cup Lemishine and a pretty good squirt of Dawn dishwasher detergent... It works pretty damn good.
 

mrtoyz

Armchair Commando
Belligerents
Jul 11, 2009
458
51
34
Western WA
In my experience you can skip the vinegar and just do Dawn and Lemishine. I haven’t found any other combo that cleans or shines better.
 

Milo 2.5

The Dalai Lama of the Reload
Belligerents
Aug 7, 2014
1,423
555
219
Gillette, WY
Do a search on Amazon, look at sonic wattages and heat wattages, find a balance of the 2. No use buying a firearm co manufactured sonic cleaner, no bang for the buck.
 

BrentMac

Private
Minuteman
Apr 25, 2018
21
2
6
Also look at the number of transducers. It makes a difference. I preheat the water and dump it in the cleaner. My cleaner takes forever to warm up. Hot solution seems to cut the cleaning time quite a bit.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I got the Bald Eagle 13L US cleaner. Without counting, I think I was able to put about 2,000 .45 ACP cases in the basket.

Before putting the basket in the tank, I filled it up halfway with water and 5 ounces of the Hornady One Shot US Case Cleaner. The basket was completely full of .45 ACP cases.

When I submerged the basket, I had to add more water which brought it up to the maximum level. So by my estimation, there was about 7 liters of water for a 13 liter tank with all the cases.

Hornady recommends a 40:1 water to solution mix for their case cleaner. Seven liters is about 237 ounces. So that comes to about 6 ounces of the case cleaner.

I cleaned the cases for two 30 minute cycles at the maximum temperature and power setting.

Afterwards about 90% of the cases looked new. The primer pockets weren't as clean as I would like but still not near as dirty as they were before.

I must mention that the cases had already be put through a vibratory tumbler with crushed walnut hulls.

The bottom line: I'd give the Bald Eagle US cleaner a 5-star recommendation.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Bald-Eagle-Ultrasonic-Cleaner-13-Liter-Multi-Purpose-Cleaning-for-Dental-and-Precision-Instruments-Jewelry-Auto-Parts/BE1236
 
  • Like
Reactions: Evintos

Deadman Pointers

Town Fool
Belligerents
Sep 21, 2008
110
90
34
Scottsdale, AZ
@Longshot231 l'm in about the same situation you were in.

How does Grizzly's pricing work? I see a $150 off offer for today, but it seems like it might be Kohl's style pricing where you buy a pair of socks and save $80 of their "regular price". Do they regularly have real sales or discount offers?
 

Evintos

Private
Belligerents
Sep 19, 2008
76
13
12
@Longshot231 l'm in about the same situation you were in.

How does Grizzly's pricing work? I see a $150 off offer for today, but it seems like it might be Kohl's style pricing where you buy a pair of socks and save $80 of their "regular price". Do they regularly have real sales or discount offers?
They occasionally will have 5-20% off coupon codes. They're like Harbor Freight codes though in that not applicable to a lot of items. They can be found in some of the catalogs.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
@Longshot231 l'm in about the same situation you were in.

How does Grizzly's pricing work? I see a $150 off offer for today, but it seems like it might be Kohl's style pricing where you buy a pair of socks and save $80 of their "regular price". Do they regularly have real sales or discount offers?
The price on the BE1236 was $399 when I bought it on 11/5. I got it yesterday, 11/8. They charged me $23.99 for shipping. They will add the sales tax for your state of residence.

I wonder if the Dawn + Lemishine would yield an even better result.

I don't know but will give it a try. I might use that recipe on some 45-70 black powder cases and see what happens.

I forgot to add that if you want to run it longer than 30 minutes, the timer knob has a fixed "ON" setting to run continuously. The owner's manual does not recommend running the unit more than 24 hours.

I cleaned the 2nd batch of 45 ACP cases this morning (about 1500 cases). I read a recommendation to leave the cases soak overnight in the Hornady solution to get cleaner primer pockets. I did that, and it was a little better for the primer pockets. Soaking the cases overnight made a HUGE difference in how the insides looked.

I'm sold on this Bald Eagle US cleaner so much that I'm giving the Harbor Freight cleaner to a friend.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Evintos

BrentMac

Private
Minuteman
Apr 25, 2018
21
2
6
I’ve also found that stirring the brass around in the basket every 5 minutes or so while it’s running helps quite a bit too. Let me know how it works with just lemishine and Dawn.... Thanks.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I don't have Lemishine but Citric Acid instead. Lemishine is made up of Citric Acid. Anyway, I tried some Citric acid; about 6 ounces with about 1.5 gallons of water and some Dawn on a basket full of 9mm cases.

The cases came out clean but there were a few that had a strange red tarnish to them. That didn't bother me as the cases were still clean but just tarnished. Of course, I realize that the US cleaner will not remove tarnish or polish the case.

My goal is to get the cases clean. I'm going to shoot the ammunition not look at it.

Anyway, I did another batch of 9mm cases with the Hornady One Shot case cleaner. It performed a little better than the Citric acid/Dawn recipe.

I think that the comparison between the Citric acid/Dawn recipe and the Hornady One Shot cleaner are inconclusive as I would like to continue evaluating the different solutions with different cases.

I did use the Citric acid/Dawn recipe with steel pins in a tumbler and the results were outstanding. I just don't like messing around with steel pins which is why I prefer US cleaning.

Does anyone remember the RCBS Sidewinder Liquid Media? That stuff was great for use in a tumbler but I can't buy it anymore.

I'd like to find out what was in it and try it in my Frankord Arsenal tumbler.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/516387/rcbs-sidewinder-liquid-media-case-cleaner-8-oz
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
Here is an update on the Bald Eagle 1236 US cleaner now that I've had it for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday evening, I had de-primed fifty 45-70 cases that had been shot with blackpowder. I pre-washed them in a bucket of soapy water then put them in the US tank with the solution of citric acid and dawn soap.

Previously, I learned that leaving the cases in the cleaner for about an hour got everything pretty darn shiny. There was always a little residue in the primer pockets but I could live with that.

Now for the bad news. Instead of setting the timer for 30 minutes then letting the machine run and setting it a second time for another 30 minutes, I used the fixed "ON" setting of the power/timer knob. Then I would return an hour later to get the brass out of the machine.

Last night, the unit only ran for a half hour. I could hear it in the first floor from where it's located in the basement. Just prior to shutting down, I could hear the unit buzzing loudly for about a minute then it got quiet. Sure enough the unit was shut down but all the lights were on. When I put my ear to the unit I could hear a faint (almost 60 HZ) hum.

I played around with the power/timing knob but nothing would work. I turned the master power switch off and on a few times but that didn't work. When I turned the unit completely off with either the master power switch or the power/timer knob the faint humming noise went away.

I removed the brass and finished polishing it in a tumbler with steel pins. About an hour later, I poured some water in the US cleaner and turned it on.

This time the unit worked. So, I put some more brass back in the unit and let it soak until this morning. Same thing; the unit only operated for about a half hour then shut down.

I waited an hour and tried it again. This time it only worked for about 6 minutes. BTW, just prior to shutting down the buzzing got louder for about a minute then quit.

I call the customer service number at Grizzly and talked with tech support. Somehow, I don't think the technician understood what I was telling him; which is what I just explained above.

He emailed me an RMA number and UPS shipping label. Fortunately, I still have the box to put it in.

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences like this?
 

Evintos

Private
Belligerents
Sep 19, 2008
76
13
12
Anyone have any thoughts or experiences like this?
I'm wondering if there's a built in overheat protection circuit for the ultrasonic element. If there is, may be faulty. Sounds like how some DC electric motors will self-protect itself from damage.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
After my last posting, I tried to use the machine a few more times without the heating element turned on. I let it run for about three hours before it quit.

During that time the heating element was turned off. Nevertheless, the entire unit got pretty warm. The water also got hot. I measured the water temperature and it got up to 130 degrees; like hot tap water.

I drained the unit after it shut down then let it sit overnight. With cold water in the tank, I turned the unit on without the heating element on. When the unit came to life it sounded like a sick lawn mower tearing itself apart.

There is one good thing about that issue surfacing this morning. Several times in the past when I have had to return something for warranty service, it has come back with a note saying that they didn't find anything wrong with it.

Now that this thing is making a racket they shouldn't have any trouble realizing that something is wrong.

I'll get it boxed up and sent back today. Hopefully, they won't take to long in either repairing it or replacing it.
 

BrentMac

Private
Minuteman
Apr 25, 2018
21
2
6
I cleaned a bunch of 6.5 x284 brass this weekend with just Lemishine and Dawn. Works great! I’m NOT going to use vinegar anymore.
 

Longshot231

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2018
571
1,522
99
I almost forgot about this thread. Grizzly sent me a brand new cleaner.

I've only had a chance to use it once. It worked like the cleaner I had before it broke down.

Anyway, I got some more brass to de-prime and will use it again today. I will withhold any further recommendations till I see how this one holds up over the long run.

If you get one, don't throw the box away till you have used it and are confident that it won't break down.