The GUN Forum

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

home Forums – The GUN Forum Ammunition Reloading Rotary tumbler, ultrasonic cleaner, or dry media tumbler?

  • Rotary tumbler, ultrasonic cleaner, or dry media tumbler?

    Posted by james on November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Which one should I get? What are the pros and cons of each?

    james replied 10 months, 3 weeks ago 2 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • Revlimiter11

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Wet FART

  • Strong-ishninja

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I’m a fan of the dual rotary tumbler from harbor freight. In the quantities I’m doing it works wonders, and it’s cheap

  • GunKatana

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Rotary for cleaning cases.

    Ultrasonic for cleaning triggers, bolts, your wife’s jewelry, your dad’s dentures, and your kid’s mini bike carburetor.

  • mikeD707

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Wet rotary tumbler is the cleanest method. Vibrators tend to be dusty but it can be minimized.
    Sonic cleaner is ok for small batches but I don’t use mine much since I got a tumbler.

  • Levigne25

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Nothing better than stainless steel wet tumbling . Dry tumbling does not clean , it only polishes . After dry tumbling you will be left with dust on the surface of the brass and also on the inside of the brass . That dust is very bad for your good quality dies .

  • creepyjeff1234

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Ultrasonic is extremely low volume. Crud tends to want to stay inside the case. Needs to be rinsed and dried afterwards. Drying a pain in the ass because the surface tension keeps the water from wanting to pour out in the smaller bottle neck cartridges.

    I’m not really a fan of wet tumbling. Clean brass doesn’t really matter except for flexing here on reddit.

    If you have a lot of brass to tumble, a cement mixer works great with some walnut or corn cob media.

    If you don’t have so much, the vibratory bowls work really well.

  • non-number-name

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I picked up a used dual rotary tumbler for $35.

    One $15 pulley replacement later, and it was running like new.

  • royboh

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Anyone into firearms should get an ultrasonic cleaner. They’re great for cleaning parts with caked on crud in hard to reach places with almost no effort.

    For brass, get what is appropriate for the amount you will be cleaning. Wet tumbling will get you the best looking results. Generally a FART is recommended as it can handle several hundred .223 cases at once. If you’re doing 20 30-06 cases every once in a while, you don’t need to spend $150+ and the ultrasonic is probably good enough for those small batches. The wet tumbler with stainless media a bit of lemi shine and dish soap will take care of any brass in about 90 minutes. The ultrasonic will be less work and usually much quicker, but you probably won’t have as consistent results that tumbling gives you. You will usually have to stir the brass in the basin to make sure everything is cleaned evenly.

    Use an oven as low as it will get to make wet stuff dry. If you share an oven or just don’t want to put gun stuff where you cook get a cheap food dehydrator or dedicated toaster oven and dry stuff in that.

    I advise people to avoid dry tumbling dirty brass in the home if they can. Dry tumbling means dust. Lead dust bad. If you have a shed or garage and take proper precautions (see: more work and more laundry), knock yourself out. Some folks dry tumble their clean and processed brass to polish it. There is no functional benefit, but if you want *extra* shiny brass, go for it.

    Also remember that any tumbling will require some sort of media separator. A sifting pan and a bucket is fine.

  • MGT01

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Get all three. They all have their special uses.

  • Tigerologist

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I have a vibratory with corn cob media. I don’t really like it, and plan to get the FART some day. The media has become sticky at this point, I might try putting rice in it.

  • jonnymobile2

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Wet tumbler, hands down. Too much dust with dry media, and (with the right mix) wet tumbler has gotten me better results in cleaning primer pockets and better shine!

  • DonBosman

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Rotary because it can do both wet and dry tumbling.

  • cmonster556

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I use a vibratory with walnut. Works just fine.

  • Nonothinghoss

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Bucket , detergent, vinegar and hot water. Some agitation occasionally letting them soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Cheap as can be. May not be polished like a tumbler but clean

  • AverageAussie

    Guest
    November 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I’d rather use filthy brass than clean media out of primer pockets again.

Page 1 of 2
Reply to: james
Cancel
Your information:

Start of Discussion
0 of 0 replies June 2018
Now