Titan ReloadingMidSouth Shooters SupplyGraf & SonsStainLess Steel Media
Inline FabricationLee PrecisionRotoMetals2ADvertise here

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Harbor Freight Ultrasonic Cleaner

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    164

    Harbor Freight Ultrasonic Cleaner

    I got one of these, but it doesn't appear to be cleaning very well... Also, does anyone know how to make it go for longer than 8 minutes at a time?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Taylor, Michigan
    Posts
    1,077
    I have a small Hornady cleaner....it will only run for 3 minutes at a time before you have to hit the button again. Twice through does a pretty good job with only water lemonshine and a drop of dawn. I have never used the commercial stuff that Hornady sells.

    What cleaning solution do you use? I wish mine would go for 8 minutes without stopping.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    farmerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    St. Francisville, Louisiana
    Posts
    1,272
    Mine cleans fine. Don"t overload it. I stir the brass several times while the cleaner is on. I use citric acid and dish soap in the water. One 8 min cycle to start then two 1 1/2 min cycles over 30 min with soak in between. I bought a Frankford Arsneal Rotary Tumbler (FART) at Christmas when they were on sale for about $125 to speed things up.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    barry s wales uk
    Posts
    1,311
    Wife got me mine for Christmas ,runs 15 mins max so I do two cycles with citric acid and washup liquid,tip it out refill with fresh solution for 5 min rince and leaf to dry then polish in tumbler.it's a quart capacity.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    6,426
    Depending on the wattage, will mean how much you can do at a time. Overloading diminishes the action. The better ultrasonics carry a serious price tag.
    Buyer beware.

    Shiloh
    Je suis Charlie

    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    “Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one.” – Joseph P. Martino

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

    "Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns; why should we let them have ideas?" - J. Stalin

  6. #6
    Boolit Master pertnear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Heart of Texas
    Posts
    182
    I bought the Harbor Freight Ultrasonic Cleaner for de-carboning .22 RF cases as part of the bullet jacket making process. Let's just say, I've not been very impressed with the HF unit.
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    farmerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    St. Francisville, Louisiana
    Posts
    1,272
    Quote Originally Posted by pertnear View Post
    I bought the Harbor Freight Ultrasonic Cleaner for de-carboning .22 RF cases as part of the bullet jacket making process. Let's just say, I've not been very impressed with the HF unit.
    It is definitely not a commercial unit. But it does work. It is much slower and has a smaller capacity.
    For the small time user it is fine, no need to spend thousands, but it got to be too slow for me so I got a FART.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,582
    I have a HF unit.

    I use my wife’s outdated concentrated lemon juice, dawn dish soap and pour in pre-heated water.

    The circuitry is cheap and light weight. You can not run long cycles back to back, that is just the way it is. But the alternative is spending a lot more money to save some time.

    Best regards

    Three44s

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,677
    Mine was a $500 unit off ebray at a 70 % savings. You can load it to the max and it cleans as good as if it were lightly filled at any time you choose to dial in.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    164
    I "don't overload"... That's probably my problem. I filled it pretty full with shells, I'll take some out and see if it helps.

    I'm using the Harbor Freight powder - lord knows what's in it... And a little dawn.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in SE PA
    Posts
    8,866
    I got rid of the Lyman version of that US cleaner. It's the same thing but it comes w/ a basket. It worked but the eight minute cycles, weak heating element and only one transducer caused me to upgrade. Expect to have to run cases through a minimum of three cycles to get them clean. Hot, close to boiling, water and dawn help a lot. You can buy a unit w/ more transducers on Amazon or eBay for a little more money. They're worth it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,566
    The HF machine is just a toy......likd so much of thier Chicom stuff. Mainly sold to clean simple jewelry in small batches. Has no power to really clean at all! I have several very high wattage industrial units for cleaning clocks and those really make the dirt and grime “shake”. They have up to 8 tranducers on the bottoms. The solution you use is critical also. Water will do virtually nothing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,566
    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    I "don't overload"... That's probably my problem. I filled it pretty full with shells, I'll take some out and see if it helps.

    I'm using the Harbor Freight powder - lord knows what's in it... And a little dawn.
    Try taking MOST of them out!!!!!!! US cleaners need room to work. And that little toy HF unit can clean only 1 or 2 things at at time. Do not treat it like a vibrator casing tumbler you fill to overflowing!!!!! Can’t do it.

    Try using a cleaning solution of citirc acid powder and water. Get it in the canning secetion of food stores.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in SE PA
    Posts
    8,866
    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    The HF machine is just a toy.....
    It's not a toy. I used one successfully for years. Use it w/in its limitations and it will serve you well. A reloader doesn't need the industrial units you have. There is no denying they work a lot better. But their price puts them out of range for most.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    8,566
    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    It's not a toy. I used one successfully for years. Use it w/in its limitations and it will serve you well. A reloader doesn't need the industrial units you have. There is no denying they work a lot better. But their price puts them out of range for most.
    If one is seriously into a hobby (which I am in several venues, besides guns), “out of range” price is not in the vocabulary! If one can determine the tight limits of something like the HF cleaner and get it to work for their needs repeatedly, then great! I buy the tools and equipment I need to get a job done effeciently and rapidly when I need them. And having all those “widgets” on the shelf the next time around is really nice.

    I acquired 3 of those HF cleaners in a box of junk I bought at a sale for $12 sometime back. After playing around with them and observing their limitations as to what I needed, I elected to donate them to Goodwill. More power (pun not intended) to those that find them sufficient for thier cleaning needs.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,025
    Brass is an excellent absorber of ultrasonic energy and the HF cleaner is woefully weak. It took me four eight minute cycles to clean a maximum of 18 45ACP cases. Any more than 18 and it just acts as a vibratory cleaner which means you are just as well off by shaking the tub with a soapy solution.

    True ultrasonic cleaning should be achievable with nothing more than tap water and a drop of Dawn detergent. The brass needs to be separated and not touching each other. When the true ultrasonic action works, you will see tiny bubbles come from the brass and the soot coming off like smoke into the water and soap solution.

    Obviously with such a slow process of needing to push the button 4 times every 8 minutes for just 18 pieces of brass, it was traded in for a vibratory tumbler and I haven't looked back.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    164
    I gave up, gonna return it. Back to the the pack in a ton of shells into the vibro cleaner.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    245
    I returned mine. It needed 3 8min cycles to clean one layer of cases. Bought a LYMAN & LYMAN Cleaner "juice". Now I clean 100 223's in 8 minutes. Made a 300 case drying rack. By the time the 4th 100 are clean the 1st 100 are dry.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    10 miles east of Saginaw, MI
    Posts
    33
    I LOVE my HB unltrasonic cleaner. I only use it for tarnished brass, and only put in a single layer of .30-06 brass. or what would be about the same for handgun brass. Have had it for 3 years and use it a lot. No malfunctions yet. Of course, having said that, I imagine when next I use it, it won't run. But I would get another right away.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in SE PA
    Posts
    8,866
    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    I returned mine. It needed 3 8min cycles to clean one layer of cases. Bought a LYMAN & LYMAN Cleaner "juice". Now I clean 100 223's in 8 minutes. Made a 300 case drying rack. By the time the 4th 100 are clean the 1st 100 are dry.
    The Lyman TS-2500 and Harbor Freight units are the same unit in a different box. If you bought one of the larger Lyman units they are different.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check