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Old 10-30-2020, 02:13 PM   #1
John_schaffer
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Default Ultrasonic cleaner vs. Tumbler

Iím new to reloading and Iím still trying to get all the stuff I need, but I was wondering if a ultrasonic cleaner is better/worth the money?

Or does a tumbler do the exact same thing?

I was looking at the Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner 2L

Thanks for any advice!


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Old 10-30-2020, 02:25 PM   #2
stevieray54
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I have had very successful results with the vibrating cleaner or tumbler
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
cobbc03
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I am currently looking to get into reloading, so I've done a fair amount of reading. I'm going with the ultrasonic cleaner because it will easily clean out around the primer much better. Again, I have no experience so take that for what it's worth.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:44 PM   #4
cm12setx
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My friend and I both have used tumblers for over 20 years. Work just fine. His son went with a wet tumbler with steel pin media. The brass looks just a little better than what comes out of my tumbler. And so far our guns cant tell the difference.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:50 PM   #5
dclifton
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Wet tumbler with SS pins is the only way to go. I have washed thousands of pcs of brass with a homemade one that aint fancy.. And it will clean primer pockets an all. Every once in a while i get some pins stuck in primer holes but i always just do a once over when drying them. Way better results then ultra or vibratory. You can make old corroded range brass shine like a diamond. I use dawn and lemishine added in the water also.
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Old 10-30-2020, 04:00 PM   #6
JakeGraves
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I dont like anything with water or getting cases wet. I dry tumble with corn cob and brass polish only. Stainless tumbling can and will ding up case mouths as well as clean the interior of the case mouth too much and remove carbon that is beneficial
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Old 10-30-2020, 04:07 PM   #7
pdevoto
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Regarding Ultrasonic Cleaners and the fluids used in them.
Remember that the Ultrasonic cleaner can atomize the fluids you are using to clean your gun and that you will be breathing those atomized fluids directly into you lungs. Much stronger than the off gassing odors evaporating from cleaning solvents alone.
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:35 PM   #8
M16
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Wet tumbler with pins for the win.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:58 PM   #9
Mike D
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I have a sonic cleaner, traditional vibratory tumbler and a wet rotary tumbler.

Nothing gets them cleaned and polished better inside and out including primer pockets than the wet rotary tumbler.

I mainly use the sonic cleaner to clean really dirty gun parts and serviceable suppressor parts.

I hardly ever use the dry vibratory tumbler.


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Old 10-30-2020, 07:02 PM   #10
Mike D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeGraves View Post
I dont like anything with water or getting cases wet. I dry tumble with corn cob and brass polish only. Stainless tumbling can and will ding up case mouths as well as clean the interior of the case mouth too much and remove carbon that is beneficial


Iíve not seen any dinged case mouths on mine. I usually deprime, resize and then tumble to get the case lube off. After that I do my traditional case prep (trim/deburr/chamfer). I also lube case necks with dry graphite although I have seen little benefit to that extra step.


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Old 10-30-2020, 07:17 PM   #11
Lonestar Angler
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Wet tumbler and stainless pins for me. Add dawn soap and about a spoonful of Lemmi Shine detergent booster.

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Old 10-30-2020, 07:18 PM   #12
John_schaffer
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It seems like the SS pins in a wet tumbler is the only way to go!


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Old 10-31-2020, 08:00 AM   #13
zac221
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Stainless homemade kit for me and Iíve done thousands of rounds and tools. Never an issue and they just about come out looking new every time.


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Old 10-31-2020, 08:02 AM   #14
Tommyh
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Pecan shell and Meguiars car wax in my vibrating tumbler, and they look brand new.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:51 AM   #15
cva34
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I had both.and both work fine.. But Wet Ultrasonic is personal fav cause it will clean Carburetors and lots of other things also...
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:09 AM   #16
MUZZYSLINGR
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Got a bud back in AZ that uses both methods to clean his brass.

Tumbles 1st, then wet tumble.


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Old 11-01-2020, 03:41 AM   #17
Button
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I have a wet tumbler with SS pins. As spoken above I used dawn + lemishine because people on the internet recommend it. I use hot tap water to fill it, tumble until water is black with carbon, then drain water and refill with hot tap water and tumble a little more. Maybe excessive? I dunno. But they come out clean.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:13 PM   #18
hooligan
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Are the brand wet tumblers worth the money over a harbor freight rock polisher? $60 for the HF dual tub vs $160 for the Frankford arsenal
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Old 11-01-2020, 05:31 PM   #19
Button
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I have the Frankfort and its been great so far. Can’t speak about other brands.
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Old 11-01-2020, 09:29 PM   #20
Wanlail
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Wet tumbling!

Be careful with how much cleaner you end up using. Some of the ultrasonic solutions are acidic and will weaken the brass. If they end up pink, you've got weakened brass from dezincification.
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Old 11-01-2020, 09:31 PM   #21
Wanlail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooligan View Post
Are the brand wet tumblers worth the money over a harbor freight rock polisher? $60 for the HF dual tub vs $160 for the Frankford arsenal
The HF ones work fine, but have a lower capacity. I think I only got 60 300WM in each run before it would slow down or stop. I think my Thumlers could do 10x that np.
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Old 11-01-2020, 09:52 PM   #22
cricman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanlail View Post
The HF ones work fine, but have a lower capacity. I think I only got 60 300WM in each run before it would slow down or stop. I think my Thumlers could do 10x that np.

This. I had used the dry case vibrator cleaners for years and they work, but not like the wet tumblers. I kept mine for drying cleaned brass. I have a HF polisher and it works great, but has limited capacity (6 total pounds). Having said that, my Thumler's Model B is a beast and has over twice the capacity (15 total pounds.) You can find used Thumler's on ebay. There is also an interesting 5kg (11 pound) capacity tumbler with a clear polycarbonate drum on ebay for $75.


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Old 11-01-2020, 11:20 PM   #23
mengle
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Wet tumbler with SS pins. Use Dawn. Come out sparkling clean.
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Old 11-02-2020, 04:06 AM   #24
jjam
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Pretty much the same for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Button View Post
I have a wet tumbler with SS pins. As spoken above I used dawn + lemishine because people on the internet recommend it. I use hot tap water to fill it, tumble until water is black with carbon, then drain water and refill with hot tap water and tumble a little more. Maybe excessive? I dunno. But they come out clean.
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Old 11-02-2020, 06:16 AM   #25
Outback
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I do the ss pins wet tumbler method. Bought mine at harbor freight. Been working for 3 years.

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