With so many different ultrasonic models on the market, it can be hard to decide which makes the most sense in your store. Selecting the right equipment is simply a matter of applying the correct criteria.

What ultrasonic frequency do you need? 

Most ultrasonic cleaners operate between 35 and 45 kHz. This frequency range is well suited to the vast majority of cleaning tasks. 

Here is a general list of frequencies that are most common:

  • 20-40 kHz - Heavy duty cleaning 
  • 40-80 kHz - General cleaning, very good at removing small particles
  • 80-200 kHz - Ultra fine gentle cleaning 

When cleaning delicate parts you should always choose an ultrasonic with a high frequency. Note: The lower the frequency, the more noise is produced during operation.

With their ultrasonic performance of 37 kHz, Elmasonic Xtra TT devices are rated for continuous heavy-duty operation.Pictured: With their ultrasonic performance of 37 kHz, Elmasonic Xtra TT devices are rated for continuous heavy-duty operation.

What size tank do you need?

When looking at different sized ultrasonics, start by thinking about the characteristics of the parts being cleaned, then match those dimensions with the proper tank size to best fit your needs.

Consider the following: The dimensions of the largest parts to be washed • How much each part weighs • The number of parts being cleaned

Once you have identified these dimensions, be sure to match them up with the inside of the parts basket, not with the inside dimensions of the tank.

This is a larger machine (1.2 quarts) with a 1.2qt tank size.

A common error is buying a tank that seems large enough, but not allowing for the slightly smaller size of the basket.  

Note: The working depth is the distance from the inside bottom surface of the basket to the surface of the liquid in a filled tank. 

Is a basket necessary?

Baskets and trays play an important role in supporting your ultrasonics cleaning efficiency, therefore they are highly recommended when ensuring the life cycle of your tank.

Universal baskets, like the one featured on the right, are designed to fit virtually any ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. This is due to its side-mounted hangers making it practical to use with smaller and larger units.

Do you need a heater? 

Most cleaning operations are much more effective with heating. If you are removing grease and oil, heat is very important. 

Note: Generally, ultrasonics work best between 130 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Understand that when it comes to ultrasonic power, the important number is watts/gallon (or watts/liter)

While more power usually indicates faster and more effective cleaning, more power is not always better. Too much power can damage electronic parts, the surface finish on a soft metal (e.g. aluminum), and other delicate items. 

Consider purchasing a unit with an adjustable power feature for cleaning extremely sensitive items (such as the Elma P70H Ultrasonic).

Do you need a sweep mode operation?

Sweep Frequency circuits are more effective at the high-end range of frequencies, i.e., 60 kHz up.

Entrained or dissolved air inhibits cavitation, and cavitation is the mechanism that accomplishes the cleaning. A Degas mode will enable you start cleaning sooner after you fill the tank.

An ultrasonic cleaner without these modes will also degas your solvents, but will do so at a much slower rate.The following units feature Sweep, Degas, and Pulse control functions:

                                                                   23-5928                                   23-5929                                 23-5950

Note: If you are cleaning parts, keep in mind that every time you fill the tank with fresh cleaning solution you must degas the solution before the unit can clean effectively. 

Call Stuller’s Tools Tech Team 800-877-7777, ext 4300, or visit Stuller.com/Tools for more information.