Hornady has given us some of the nicest cleaners. In the list below, you have four of the best that the company can offer. Prices vary from a little less than $100 to almost $400. It might not be wise to focus too much on the price. The important thing is to get the best Hornady ultrasonic cleaner that will suit your different cleaning needs, e,g parts cleaning, carb cleaning for industry etc.
We start with the Load Sonic Cleaner II. Notice the size of this unit. It’s a bit smaller compared to other Hornady units. The cleaning tank is roughly 7 inches long and that’s just about half of the length of other tanks in the other models of the company. The small size should not be an issue if you have 200 to 300 cases to clean. For example, this tank can hold 150 pieces of .308 and around 200 pieces of .223 cases.
This model also works well in cleaning small gun parts. It can handle slides of most revolvers and handguns or parts of Beretta, Springfield XD, Glocks, AR-15, etc. For brass and gun parts, make sure that you use the Gun Cleaning solution, also prepared and sold by Hornady. The solution works for items made of stainless steel and steel. This unit’s tank is made of stainless steel.
This Hornady cleaner does not consume much power (only 80 watts) to heat two liters of water, which is the capacity of its tank.
Some users don’t even have to heat prior to actual cleaning. This is especially true for brass casing cleaning. Try not heating the solution and then check if your items will still come out clean and sparkling. It can save huge amounts of energy. Here is a full review for Hornady Lock N Load Sonic Cleaner II.
Having interior dimensions of 25.5 x 7 x 4 inches, this is largest of the four units in this review. It comes with two tanks. The larger tank can hold 9 liters of liquid while the smaller one can hold 1.6 liters. With only the large tank in use, one can put in and clean a 16-inch AR-15 upper.
This is the best unit to use if you need to include different batches of items in one cleaning cycle. Use the smaller tank to put another group of items. You can clean two groups simultaneously using two different solutions. You can buy additional tanks with exactly the same sizes (1.6 L and 9 L) if needed.
More features for this model include its degas function and wide range of temperature settings (37 – 60 o C). You will find hanging cords in this unit. That is where you can hang large objects to make them easily accessible to the ultrasonic waves. Additionally, you will get drain pans and a basket for small parts.
This is Hornady’s most expensive unit. It is multi functional and offers users different options for cleaning their items. The greatest advantages of this model is its ability to accommodate large items, its degas function, and the ability to wash different items in one cleaning. You will love the degas function because it will make your cleaning solutions more efficient.
Following the hot tub model in terms of price and capacity is the 110 VT model. It can hold 7 liters of water solution. It also comes with a smaller 1.6-liter tank for smaller batches of items that need to be simultaneously cleaned together with other items in one cycle. The large tank alone can hold 100 .308 and 200 .223 cases.
Note that the display is illuminated for easier adjustment of time and temperature. That feature will allow you to monitor everything during operation — heat and ultrasonic functions, degas, solution temperature, and time. Consider this feature if you’re going to do your cleaning in a basement area where it can be possibly dark.
If you are cleaning brass, you may not use the heat function. In fact, heating your brass may do more harm than good. There are reports that tell about users destroying their brass’s appearance because of heating. Just put the right solution into the tank, turn the machine one, do 20 or 25 minutes of ultrasonic cleaning and you’re done. Re-lube your guns after cleaning as this machine can remove all the oils on them.
This device can clean Glock, CZ and Berza. Full-size firearms can fit in but you will have to maneuver your items to make them sit comfortably inside. You may use a simple green degreaser but don’t forget to re-oil your items after drying.
This unit is probably the precursor to the first cleaner (the one with the symbol “II” in its name) featured here. Prices of these two units don’t differ much, with only about $14 difference. However, the former is priced higher than the one that followed it. Interestingly, the original type can hold only 100 .308 cases compared to the 150 that the precursor can hold. What accounts for the higher price of the original model?
For one, it comes with a one-year warranty. Another advantage of this unit is its quiet operations. You can hear small sounds, but it’s still a lot quieter than others. You may also like the small dimensions that it has. This is good if you are trying to conserve space in an already crowded area.
However, it might not be the best unit to recommend to people with large quantities of cases and items to clean. It’s good as a gift to friends who don’t shoot much or have a lot of time in their hands.
Each cleaning cycle takes 8 minutes and the manufacturer recommends doing three cycles and then letting the unit rest. That will make you consume a lot of time, especially if you have so many items to clean in one sitting. That said, the unit might disappoint people who just squeeze cleaning time into their busy schedule.
Note: Hornady has case and parts dryer that come with three trays. It can help you much if you need to shorten your cleaning time.