Sonic cleaner or tumbler?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by ronzxcvb, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb New Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    milwaukee wi
  2. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    For me it would be the Cabelas tumbler. Well I do actually own the Cabelas tumbler. The Cabelas tumbler will hold 600 9mm cases easy and I tumble for 1.5 hours and they come out clean and shiny. I add 1/2 cap full of Nu Finish car polish and that helps with the shine and keeps them from tarnishing. The Cabelas tumbler is also light weight and very quiet.

    I have never used a sonic cleaner but from what I have read they don't hold a lot. There is a lot more hands on time because of the drying time. The good thing is it will clean the inside of the case and primer pockets. For me that's not an issue because I don't clean primer pockets and have never had a problem.

  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Welcome to TFF Ron; what volume are you loading and are you loading for match, plinking or hunting purposes?

    If low volume, the sonic cleaners are great and you can use them for alot of other stuff around the house too. If you're going high volume, then stick with a tumbler.
  4. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I wasn't impressed with the sonic tumbler. My tumbler did a better job. Jim
  5. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb New Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    milwaukee wi
    Guess it would be considered low volume 200 a week
    Still have my original single stage press and usually only do about 200 or so at a time mostly 45s
    Was mainly plinking but I’m thinking about joining a bulls eye league that starts in a couple of weeks
    I haven’t shot a lot in the last few years just starting to get back into it
  6. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Welcome Ron
    You should have both, obviously for separate reasons.
    The hassle with sonic cleaners is the liquid aspect,
    filling it, using a solution, and rinsing, and drying.......
    but makes things pretty. And at $75, not bad.
    My tumbler is a Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-Easy
    around $35 on Amazon w/free shipping and does
    a fine job, with a clear lid, so I can see inside during
    operation. I don't know of any tumbler that is quiet,
    and I use it in another room with the door shut. This
    one doesn't 'walk' on the table, unlike some others I've had.
    I did add a rubber washer under the wingnut to keep it
    from loosening [vibration].
    I also use regular cheap white rice for my media [95% of the time]
    and it not only cleans well and fast, it is cheap to replace often,
    and easy to tell when it is dirty.
  7. NEILT

    NEILT New Member

    Nov 19, 2011
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    I have a small ultrasonic cleaner that holds up to @ 60 .357 cases. I put the cases in, add warm water to the full mark and a dribble of dishwashing liquid and run it for 3 eight minute cycles. The cases are in a basket, so I take out the basket and rinse under the faucet. If I'm in a hurry I can put the cases in the oven for a little while, otherwise I leave them on the radiator for a day or two.

    The ultrasonic cleaner doesn't put the same polish on the cases that a tumbler will, but it doesn't produce the dust that a tumbler does, and it doesn't clog primer pockets with media. If I want to give the outside a polish I can do that with a plastic scouring pad and a Lee zip-trim.

    It's good for small-volume reloading.

    For my small-volume operation it works OK for me.

    Ozo, if I get a tumbler I'll keep the rice in mind. Great idea.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Im also a cabelas tumbler fan. i aint much on the sonic cleaner idea for brass cases anyway because i liek the fact that i can sift the clean cases out of the tumbler media and immediately load them up. with a sonic cleaner and solution id have to rinse them and dry them first.

    Im far too lazy and impatient for that..
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    As for the clogged primer pockets and flash holes.. Fine media.. I bought 20 pounds at a gunshow and it works great, no clogged flash holes.
  11. *Hoss*

    *Hoss* New Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    The Cabela's 400 has a lifetime warranty on parts and 3yrs on the motor; they are currently selling the kit with media and polish for $61.99 here in WI which is a bargain.

    I am going to try the lizard litter from the pet store that someone else suggested which is basically walnut hulls.
  12. I, like others have posted, prefer a tumbler simply for the number of cases that can be cleaned at once.
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