Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Schatz70, Oct 19, 2019.

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  1. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
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    I found this Harbor Freight 2.5 L ultrasonic cleaner priced at $79.99. Based on the user reviews people are using this mostly for gun parts, lawnmower carburetors and jewelry. Would this be suitable for clock parts?

    2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    I have one that I use all the time and have been using it for maybe 15 years or more, can't remember. Looks like the new one has larger control buttons and there is no way to know if the insides are the same. The size is OK for most clock movements but not large enough for really big grandfather clock movement plates. You should never clean a movement without taking it apart and this little US is fine for parts and most movement plates. Another advantage of the small size is that if the solution becomes contaminated you just dump it and it doesn't cost a fortune to refill. It is fairly low power so don't overload it. I find that about 8 minutes does a good job. If I were running a high production shop, yes, I would go for a larger more powerful unit but this one suits me fine. I'm thinking of getting a second one.

    RC
     
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  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    I have often said that if you are going to get equipment, get the best you can afford. Otherwise you'll have one or two laying around representing the wasted money.
    I tried smaller units but finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a 4 gallon cleaner. Haven't looked back.
     
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  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    love mine... but sometimes wish i had a larger one when those big plates can't be completely submerged in solution...
     
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  5. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Me with RC and Bruce. The times when I thought I might want a bigger one are scant. Does everything I want it to.
     
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  6. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    There is no heater and no drain if that is important to you. I have one of these, it is now in a closet. Not really good enough for my needs. I bought an L&R and there is no comparison, the L&R does a much better job.
    Ron
     
  7. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    The HF. 2.5L has served me well for many years and still works. Recently, I purchased a new 10L with heat from flea-bay for about $50 more than what your looking at. Now I can put both time and strike wheels in at the same time. It will also handle the larger plates. I'm a hobbyist but have been on it long enough to know that I will never tire of it and want better tools.
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    The HF unit does have a heater but the temp is preset. The heater can be turned off. Indeed there is no drain but it is so small and light it can just be picked up and dumped. Not for everyone, but if one is OK with the size it is an adequate little cleaner.

    RC
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Correction: It does have a heater. No need for drain; just pick it up and pour it out.:emoji_grinning:

    Bob beat me to it. :(
     
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  10. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    I started with one of the Harbor Freight units and it worked splendidly. But I really wanted a larger one, so I bought the following Oriental creation:

    New 6L Ultrasonic Cleaner Stainless Steel Industry Heated Heater w/Timer 806808177162 | eBay

    Actually, I believe I bought the 10-liter version of this--there seem to be dozens of these at eBay. Mine has performed flawlessly for years, thought it's becoming encrusted with icky clock crud. Note, however, that a larger-sized tank may tempt you into doing intact cleanings of movements, a practice strictly prohibited in Leviticus.

    I clean all sorts of stuff in mine, some of which pertains to clocks and some of which doesn't. (It did a marvelous job on wind-up phonograph frame parts a couple of years ago.) I keep it filled with not-necessarily-very-clean Zep Fast 505 industrial degreaser. Immerse anything in the tank, turn on the heat, set the timer to a maximum of 30 minutes, and start the thing a-buzzing. It'll clean anything and damage nothing.

    M Kinsler
     

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