DWADE REINSCH wrote:
> I was in the local Northern Hydraulics store this afternoon (repairing
> lawnmower - uck!) and saw that they have a 3.5 gallon parts washer for
> $49.95. The picture on the box was just like a big one: tank, pump,
> spray hose; but only about 18" by 24 ". And opinions on this?
Dwade and Tool Heads,
The NH 3.5 gallon unit has some advantages: small, inexpensive, requires
only 3.5 gallons of solvent. It also has some disadvantages: small,
inexpensive, contains only 3.5 gallons of solvent.
Depending on what you will do with it, it could be great or become a
dust collector. The inside tank dimensions are 16"L x 12"W x 9"D.
Great for cleaning carb parts, nuts, bolts, etc., but probably not big
enough for a cylinder head, axle shaft, etc.
The pumps on these cheaper imported units are notorious for failing
after a week or two, then they basically become a big soak pan. The 3.5
gallons of solvent would need to be changed quite regularly if you
actually use it much. It also will eat up a good portion of your
workbench compared to the floor standing units.
Having just spent about six months deliberating, comparing, analyzing,
etc., different parts washers before buying one (though that doesn't
mean I made the right choice, it only means I spent way too much time in
"analysis paralysis" on this issue), my suggestion would be that if this
3.5 gallon parts washer really meets your needs, you probably don't need
a parts washer--just buy 5 gallons of varsol,use a pan/cut drum to soak
the parts, and then pour the solvent back into the container for the
On the other hand, if you have some old cars and bikes, and are going to
do your own work on them (especially if any of your vehicles start with
letters like (BSA, MG, Triumph, Austin, Norton, Velocette, (I think you
get the picture) I would get a larger, more robust parts washer. I also
would try to by a parts washer made in the US, or at least one that has
a US made pump. The one I bought from Northern Hydraulic is a 30 gallon
unit made in Minnesota, has a 240 gallon/hr. Cal-Pump (it is made for
fountain/pond applications) and is a drum mount (the solvent stays in
the drum when not used instead of in the washer--less evaporation, less
fumes, safer). I bought it this month so I cannot give you a long-term
progress report, but so far it has been great--just a tremendous pump
(two-year warranty, and large 34"x26" wash basin (big enough for a crank
and a set of heads).
I know the list probably is sick of the Super Agitene discussion, but
this stuff also has been great to work with--it actually smells good,
works great but IS pricey.