- 1 Top 5 Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners Review
- 1.1 1. Hornady 043320 Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner : Our Best Pick
- 1.2 2. Famili FM8000WW Ultrasonic Cleaner : Best For Budget
- 1.3 3. Hornady 043310 Lock-N-Load Hot Tub for Sonic Cleaners : Best For Professional Use
- 1.4 4. RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2 : Best Case Cleaner
- 1.5 5. Lyman Products Turbo Sonic Power Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner : Best For Large Guns
- 2 Things To Look For Before Buying An Ultrasonic Cleaner For Gun Parts
- 3 How An Ultrasonic Cleaner Works
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Final Verdict
Firearms are becoming more and more accessible to the public these days. I’m not here to give any opinion on that, just stating that observation.
There are various reasons. Usually, it’s for protection. However, some people do make a sport out of it. Whatever it may be, what happens when it gets dirty?
You could clean it normally, but there are some places where dirt can collect, but you can’t reach. And washing just doesn’t do it sometimes. Fear not. An ultrasonic gun cleaner is what you need.
That’s why we are gonna bring the best ultrasonic gun cleaners out there to you in this article.
Let’s get the show on the road.
Top 5 Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners Review
Now, there are so many choices on the market right now, so you might be confused. That’s quite understandable; I’d be too. But that’s okay. Lucky for you, we have a list of the best gun cleaners out there. Enjoy.
1. Hornady 043320 Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner : Our Best Pick
Got a glock that needs cleaning? Not a problem anymore. Need some extra reach to get into the tight spots of your bersa? Toss it in here and see the magic. Got a CZ? Fret not. This model, manufactured by Hornady, is very effective at cleaning and works well on a large variety of firearms.
Perhaps it cleans a little too well? Its technology will wipe clean everything. Even lubricants aren’t safe. And that can be a problem for some. Expect that you have to re-lubricate your entire assortment of weapons. While that’s not a problem for many, some don’t like to lubricate all over again.
One concern that many gun owners have is that on the condition that they own heavier firearms, they don’t fit the casual type of gun cleaner. This is simply because they are just too big. This one, while being on the smaller side, can still fit the bigger guns, just one at a time.
While it does a pretty good job on bigger guns, it does an excellent job of smaller guns. Chances are, you own one of these, as getting heavier firearms usually needs special permission. Therefore, this model is perfect for you. It can really be a lifesaver as picking at the tiny parts of a gun can be tedious, to say the least.
Don’t lump in all the components at once, though, unless you’re willing to wait. That is to say that you should expect that it’ll take a while if you increase its load. Yes, unfortunately, it is sort of sensitive to excess load. So, you could try to avoid that if you want a fast clean.
- Can clean a wide variety of guns
- Fits bigger guns
- Cleans very well
- Suitable for small parts
- Sensitive to load
- Takes off lubricant
2. Famili FM8000WW Ultrasonic Cleaner : Best For Budget
Don’t own a gun? Not a problem! This model can clean just about anything, really. It’s a quite versatile machine. You could use it to clean tools, glasses, and even jewelry! As long as it will be fine in the water and is generally metallic or solid, you could technically clean it. Get creative.
It’s not the biggest machine, either. While that can be a problem for the big gun owners, it’s not really an issue for the average user. You probably just have one for protection. Therefore, you don’t really need all that space. You can even cash in on the benefits of owning a small machine as it’s easy to carry and store.
On top of being tiny, it’s also not very loud. Noise can be a really annoying thing, especially if you’re living in a neighborhood. It’s especially distressing if you have little kids or infants or even pets in the house. Therefore, the less noise it makes, the better in general, particularly if you’re living in an apartment.
The cleaning action is very effective. It employs the very precise action of ultrasound. Ultrasound is sound that vibrates at a frequency that is higher than the hearing range. Increasing frequencies increases energy. Therefore, the vibrations are powerful and can pull off the dirt.
Despite being tiny and low profile, it’s very durable and lasts for a long time. You can be set with one for life. Unless you treat it with excessive roughness, things should be just fine with them. It’ll last you years, even decades! You shouldn’t have to worry at all.
- Highly versatile
- Will last a long time
- Produces very little noise
3. Hornady 043310 Lock-N-Load Hot Tub for Sonic Cleaners : Best For Professional Use
Horandy’s more “professional” is truly a monster. It can brave through just about anything. The capacity for this is nine liters. Therefore, if you own a bigger set of firearms, which can be the case if you own a large property, you should be able to clean them quite well with this as there is ample space for that.
Its capacity extends beyond just power. It can also take on more than one gun. In fact, it can take the load of as many as five guns! Now you might be wondering what the penalty is. Usually, more items in the cleaner increases dwell time. However, not with this. It more or less stays the same. It’s a very powerful machine.
In fact, if you have smaller weapons or even a few large ones, you can just dunk it all in there. Sure, that might increase the time taken, but you should know that you can just have one cleaning day when you simply toss everything in there and let the magic happen. Everything will come out squeaky clean.
It’s also quite versatile. All guns, as in all types, are welcome. You could have pistols, or nine-millimeters, no problem. Or even the more “professional” stuff like rifles or shotguns. They’re all compatible, and they’ll all come out with no grease or dirt anywhere. It’s got it all.
One of the more persistent types of dirt that stick to your firearms is carbon-based particles and grease. This is usually an amalgam of gunpowder and lubricant, which takes on the form of a slimy grease. However, the extent and power of the vibrations on this can loosen them up for the water to wash them away.
- Great power output
- Can clean multiple weapons
- Breaks up gunpowder
- Good for all types of weapons
- Professional grade
4. RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2 : Best Case Cleaner
This is probably the first “user-friendly” entry here. Yes, this is quite user-friendly, as the controls are easy, and you can make sense of the settings with no prior knowledge. It’s simple stuff. There is the dwell time, frequency and that’s pretty much it really. It’s quite suitable for the average user.
Despite its more “home-friendly” build, don’t think that it’s fragile! No, it’s definitely not. It has quite a rigid and strong build that can tolerate some rough use with no issue at all. You can rest assured that it will last you a long time. Therefore I definitely suggest that you get this, especially if you’re a homeowner.
Another plus point that definitely makes it more for the home is that it’s got a really low noise profile. It’s rather quiet, and as such, you can rest assured and perform your operations with it rather seamlessly. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about neighbor complaints if you live in an apartment.
While it can’t incorporate the biggest of guns, it can still hold guns and firearms that are up to ten inches. That falls within the size range of a few smaller rifles. That means that you are free to get those. However, it is more suited for the smaller types of guns such as pistols.
Small pistols come in a wide variety of sizes, and it can fit almost all of them. You can rest assured that whatever your firearm is, as long as it’s under or equal to ten inches, you’ll be just fine. It’ll be compatible. It can clean uncommon types such as RCBS models, as well.
- Solid build
- Low noise profile
- Compatible with a variety of guns
- Limited to 10″ firearms
5. Lyman Products Turbo Sonic Power Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner : Best For Large Guns
If you’re worried about how to clean your rifles, calm down. This model, made by the wonderful people at Lyman, can do just that. Its space is enough for all types of rifles, especially AR rifles. Now, I’m not a gun expert, but I know that AR rifles are pretty cool. They are high-maintenance, however, so something like this can be of great help.
The power on this is absolutely monstrous. You can have this for yourself and watch as it grinds down on firearms and cleans them very very effectively. The ultrasound it uses is powerful and employs a phenomenon called resonance to clean your weapons.
It also has an excellent capacity. It can take a load quite well. Therefore feel free to dump in all of your stuff and witness it working the magic. It’s very powerful, and while it does increase the dwell time a bit, it doesn’t really matter as it’s not much. The fact that it can clean multiple weapons in a relatively short span of time is a big asset.
You might be wondering that since it’s got all of these wonderful perks, it’s definitely quite expensive. Actually, it is not all that. While yes, you do have to invest a bit. It’s definitely worth the price. Relative to many big brands on the market, the return from investment is huge.
There is one downside to it. Or if you’re like me, you’d consider it a trade-off. It’s a bit on the heavy side. While that bolsters its strength and makes it a good build, the reinforcement does add weight. It becomes a little less portable. However, you’re free to see it as a plus if you want.
- Good for rifles
- Reasonable price
- Powerful output
- Solid build
- A bit heavy
Things To Look For Before Buying An Ultrasonic Cleaner For Gun Parts
There are certain factors you need to keep in mind while purchasing to get the finest cleaner on the market.
While this might come off as simple, adequate power is a must-have. Otherwise, the dirt will simply remain. It’ll just be sticking there. You need to get something that can really scrub all of the dirt off so that they can be rinsed off in the water. Otherwise, there is no point in shaking up some metal in a chamber.
The frequency of the sound waves that are generated is key here. They need to be ultrasound as that’s the energy level that can really shake up the dirt and grime particles that are clogged up in the guns. Some models use resonance to really shake off the stuff. That can be a big plus.
That’s definitely just as important for people who use multiple firearms. I’m talking about the ones who shoot as a sport. This is essential for you people. That’s because if it has enough capacity, you can toss everything in and let the machine clean it all up.
If you’re a more casual owner, as in someone who has a pistol just for protection, it’s not all that important, unless you use this to clean other stuff too. In that case, perhaps you should look out for capacity. The bigger the container, the more stuff you can dump into it.
Arguably just as important as power output or capacity, it’s something that’s often neglected. However, this can mean so much. Your machine shouldn’t take forever to clean something. Yes, some time is needed, but you should see whether the time taken is reasonable.
This is particularly important if you dump in multiple stuff. The time taken for some machines when you do that increases dramatically. That should be a big drawback. You shouldn’t have to wait for hours just because you put in two pistols instead of one.
Lucky for you, there are models that don’t take forever. You can find some of these on this list. Instead of dramatically increasing the time, they either increase proportionally or remain the same. That’s because a different type of technology is employed in these altogether.
This shares some points with the “capacity” section as some classes of guns are classified based on size. However, that’s not the full story. There is a wide range of guns and firearms, and you should have a machine that incorporates all types. So a versatile machine is definitely a big asset.
Pistols, especially automatics, are quite simple. However, there are many different chains. Revolvers need a particular type of vibration, and rifles have their own niches. If a gun cleaner can’t clean a particular type of gun, what’s the point of it?
Versatility can even extend beyond that. I’ve already mentioned this before, but many machines can be used for cleaning other things such as small metallic objects, jewelry, among other things. If you want something like that, versatility is of utmost importance.
While this isn’t something that is extremely important, perse, it still is worth talking about. If the machine is fragile, it might break, in the sense that it might spring a leak. That’s actually happened to some customers who have used less than quality stuff. If it leaks, it’s time to get a new one. So, better safe than sorry.
This also extends to the electrical capacity. While most models come with an adapter, some don’t. You need to be very careful with those types, as those are the ones that are at risk of getting overloaded and subsequently combusting.
Not only would that mean that your machine has been ruined, but it would also pose a serious hazard. So it’s better advised to be careful.
Ease Of Setup and Use
This applies to all types of contraptions, but here it is particularly important. That’s because it can be a sensitive instrument, and as such, if you mess around with it, it might blow up, as high voltages are often involved.
This applies to both the setup process as well as the use process. It should be compatible with the voltages of your home or garage, and you should not need to re-work your power supply. The best ones are those that come with a power adapter. That makes things much easier.
While not as important for professional users, it is still worth mentioning. While professional users or gun enthusiasts who partake in sports have multiple cleaners, it’s still important that your cleaner stands the test of time in some cases. You would be disappointed to see it rust or corrode when you’ve only used it once or twice, for example.
For the average user, this is highly important. That’s because you folk tend to use it far less. A professional user wears the machine down from use, but yours run the risk of falling victim to the elements or even just temporal flow. Therefore, you should always be on the lookout for that.
Usually, this is something that is often overlooked. I, for one, think that’s inexcusable. Safety is of utmost importance. You should definitely not get something that can endanger you or anyone you care about. While most gun cleaners are safety tested, you should still maintain your own measure of safety.
An important thing that you should consider is the power input. That’s very important. Many cleaners are a bit on the sensitive side, so they might not appreciate generous inputs of voltage. You should always prefer one that comes with an adapter. Otherwise, it can be troublesome.
How An Ultrasonic Cleaner Works
The ultrasonic gun cleaner works by agitating a liquid medium. The liquid medium then cleans through the gun. It’s quite an effective process.
A frequency generator is just that- a device that generates frequencies. In this case, it is frequencies of sound. It is usually done with the help of a transducer. It is a sort of converter which converts electrical energy into sound and does so very effectively. The conversion is to the point, and that produces sound waves very precisely.
Such precision is needed as ultrasound is produced. The electrical current provided has a frequency that corresponds to the ultrasound. As such, the sounds come out in the range of 20 kHz to 40 kHz. That makes it perfect for cleaning as it is quite effective at loosening up dirt.
The ultrasound alone is useless, as you need a liquid medium. That’s because what actually loosens up and drags off all the dirt is the liquid. The ultrasound agitates the liquid, and this causes it to vibrate. This vibration causes the liquid to scrape off dirt from the gun.
What the liquid is can vary. Usually, water is the basic type of liquid used, but that is with the addition of some sort of surfactant, or detergent. For other purposes, it’s a different type of solution altogether. It can be organic or inorganic, but it has to transmit ultrasound well.
Finally, let’s talk about the final part, the place where it all happens. The ultrasound is generated by the source and advanced through the liquid, and then it does its job. To prevent leaks and keep the liquid in, the container is to be of a solid built.
The container is made to be chemically inert to the liquid medium so it can contain it indefinitely. It is also reflective of ultrasound so that sound that leaves the area of action and can be re-directed and made to work on the item to be cleaned again. This increases the efficiency of the machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the cleaner affect polymer type pistols?
The ultrasound itself does not have any bearing on that at all. In fact, polymers probably clean better. However, you should really watch out for the type of cleaning fluid you use. There are some that can actually react when exposed to certain types of plastics or polymers. Therefore, it’s a matter of the fluid rather than the machine.
Do I need a special solution?
That depends on what you’re cleaning. Usually, soapy water is enough for most types of guns and most metalware, however, you might prefer premium stuff for your particular needs. You might also consider that if you’re going to use something other than metal. Polymers are sensitive to certain types of washing liquid.
What frequency does it operate at?
Usually, the frequency is listed on the machines. But typically, the frequency is between 20 and 40 thousand hertz. Usually, higher is better, but here, it should match the natural frequency of what you’re cleaning. The closer the match, the better the resonance and the more effective the cleaning action.
Can a cleaner fit multiple guns?
Short answer, yes. But I know that you’re here, so the longer answer. That is, that the high power ones can do it without breaking a sweat. The low power models struggle a bit, and you may have to wait for a longer time for it to be done. Therefore, if you have many guns, go for the high power ones.
Do I need a heating element?
You can do without that, usually. However, you might need it for thicker, oilier stains. The heating element is there to heat the water and make it engage with the dirt more. That’s just a simple physical phenomenon. Usually, however, you don’t need it. In case you do, you can always preheat and then pour it over in the container.
I hope that this list can help you find the best ultrasonic gun cleaner. The choice is yours; I just present things as they are. Know what you want, and you’ll get what you want. Happy hunting.
Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.