Comparison of Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners

Sonic Systems Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners

The following Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner comparison is republished courtesy of our friends at

Sonic Systems Ultrasonic Gun Cleaners vs The Competition

Over the past few years, other manufactures have brought out super low cost ultrasonic cleaners as brass cleaners with the secondary use as gun parts cleaners.  The problem is that while they may clean brass ok, they are inferior as a firearm clean and lube system. Cleaning brass has a completely different process and chemistry than firearms.  Customers have purchased them and tried to clean guns with poor results.  Internet reviews are rife with complaints and a lot of confusion.  We provide the ultimate gun cleaner.

We have been in the ultrasonic firearm cleaning business for over 20 years and have a huge amount of experience in delivering commercial grade high performance firearm systems that work extremely well.  We only sell systems that are built to our specifications and were developed using the best chemicals, process and equipment that we have personally tested.  The systems we have put together are based upon many years of experience and millions of guns cleaned.  There seems to be a lot of confusion on the internet with people not really knowing what the correct process is or what chemicals to use so we made up a comparison chart of the various low cost ultrasonic gun cleaner units out there to show people what is available and what they are actually buying.

The chart is self-explanatory and you can easily see the comparison in ultrasonic gun cleaning systems and understand why there are price differences. You do get what you pay for.


Company Sonic Systems Hornady Hornady Lyman L & R
Model # HG 575 Hot Tub Cleaner Lock & Load Cleaner Turbo Sonic 6000 HCS 200
Liters 6 9 7 6 4.5
Tank Construction & Included Accessories All Stainless Steel body, tank, 2 baskets, 2 lids, full size lube pan 1 Plastic Basket, Plastic lid, Plastic body with stainless steel tank , 1 small parts pan 1 Plastic Basket, Plastic lid, Plastic body with stainless steel tank , 1 small parts pan 1 Plastic Basket, Plastic lid,  Plastic body with stainless steel inner tank Steel body, stainless steel tank, 1 basket 1 lube pan, 1 lid, gloves, brush
Total Watt Draw 480 500 380 290 98
Ultrasonic Power Watts 180 *240 *180 *120 98
Heating Power Watts 300 *260 *200 *170 0
Ultrasonic Watts Per Liter 30 26.6 25.7 20 21
Heating Watts Per Liter 50 28.8 28.5 28.3 0
Frequency 40,000 35,000 35,000 35,000 43,000
Tank Depth 6″ 4″ 4″ 4″ 4″
Actual Cleaning Solution Depth 4.5″ 2.5″ 2.5″ 2.5″ 2.5″
Heater Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Transducers 3 4 3 2 2
Cleaning supplies included? Yes, 150 gun cleans Sold Seperately Sold Seperately Sold Seperately Yes, 30 gun cleans
MSRP $ $695 $625 $425 $369.95 $475

*Manufactuer only publicly displays total watt draw. Numbers based on Industrial 60 watt transducers.  Formula: Total Wattage – (60x(Number of Transducers) ) = Heating Wattage.  Some competitors may be using 50 watt transducers.

Comparison of Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner

  1. Tank Depth:  The actual cleaning solution depth is very important for proper parts placement in the wire basket.  Parts need to be placed with the grip and sights facing up and the dirty portions of the gun part down on the basket for proper cleaning. This placement faces the transducers at the dirt parts and allows some of the heavy debris to release and drop out and off the parts. Laying gun parts on the side may cause damage to the finish, reduce ultrasonic ability, slow down the cleaning process, and cause removed debris to redeposit on the parts.   Having only 2.5 inches of actual cleaning solution depth is not enough to clean field stripped gun parts properly.
  2. Cavitation Development:  There needs to be free space between the tank bottom and the bottom of the basket  for proper cavitation, some of these systems have their basket resting on or too close to the tank bottom which adversely affects the transducer’s ability to create sound waves.
  3. Baskets: The plastic baskets supplied with these systems absorb sound and make less energy available to the parts.  Stainless steel baskets allow sound transmission better and are obviously stronger than plastic. Some manufactures have claimed that stainless baskets scratch the parts, but the reality is that when the parts are arraigned properly in the basket, there are no such issues. ( millions of guns cleaned with no damage).  We provide two stainless steel baskets, one dedicated to cleaning, one dedicated to lubrication, so you do not cross contaminate the cleaner and the lube.  The competitors use one basket that go back and forth between the cleaner and lube, which cross contaminates solutions reducing the overall effectiveness of the process.
  4. Ultrasonic Power: The competitor’s effective  power levels start off lower and are actually much lower when you take into consideration the plastic basket resting on the tank bottom design. The remaining energy is simply not enough to properly clean guns in a reasonable amount of time.
  5. Heat:  We provide more heat than industry standards to get the tank up to temp fast. The competitors units use less heat and take forever to heat up, thus extending the cleaning process time.  We use rubber heaters whereas the competitors use what we have found in the past to be troublesome ceramic heaters that have a high failure rate.
  6. Tank Construction:  We use stainless steel throughout: tank skirt, covers, baskets and lube pan.  The strength, life cycle performance, and appearance of stainless steel is far superior to plastic.
  7. Chemistry:  Our chemicals were designed from the beginning to clean guns. They have been used on firearms for over 20 years with very high customer satisfaction and millions of guns cleaned with no damage issues.  They are non-hazardous, high yield (4 guns per .oz of cleaning concentrate), safe on all finishes, and are readily available from us and our distributors like Brownells.  We include an ample supply of start up chemicals with each kit. The cost is about 15 cents per gun at retail price.  The newer competitors have offered optional chemicals that require distilled water and are primarily designed for brass cleaning. They have a questionable track record of gun cleaning ability and customer satisfaction.
  8. Process: We have the fastest process in the business with typical clean/lube cycle times of around 10 minutes total. There are many factors that affect the process duration but when you complete it, the gun will be restored to factory new cleanliness.

Please feel free to contact us any time to answer any questions on the comparison sheet and if you have any questions on our process and equipment or if you have interest in larger gun cleaning tanks.