Choosing a drywasher for a mostly 1-man operation

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I am deciding on a drywasher, and have my eye on the Keene 151 and 140HVC.

I like the hot air feature and higher air capacity of the 151. It looks like it would do the best ob of separating, and can handle slightly damp soil.

On the other hand, the 140 blower can double as a vacuum which is versatile. If it is barely adequate as a vacuum or for powering the washer, that is no advantage to me.

I will be using it as a 1-man show more than 50% of the time, but expect to have several helpers at times too. Is the 151 a bit too extravagent for 1 person as far as capacity?

Cost is not too big an issue, nor is weight/size, in this buying decision.

What is your experience with these machines?

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Hello Goldmember,

First I would like to welcome you to the forums! :D As for the drywashers, I have used them both personally. I owned both models many years ago and spent a lot of "dirty" time behind them. In my opinion, the Keene 151 is more of a production unit. You can use it as a sample unit, but it's much bulkier and tougher to pack in/out of locations. However, if you find a spot and really want to get serious, the Keene 151 will keep a couple guys busy the entire time shoveling.

As for the 140, it's more of a practical drywasher. You can use it in combination with a Vac-Pac and works great. It's very important to break up the crevices/cracks and use a Vac. You're leaving the best nuggets and gold behind if you don't use this method in my opinion. The 140's are smaller, much easier to pack around. You can even get a "Hiker's Backpack Frame" and pack the entire drywasher in and out of locations. Kind of tough to do this with the 151 due to the engine size and weight.

If you're going to use the unit mostly yourself, I would suggest the smaller 140. The 140 can handle one guy shoveling all day. If the ground is pretty much dry, you won't loose much with the 140. Worst-case scenario, you run the material a couple times through the drywasher for best recovery.

Both work great. Hope this helps a bit,

Rob Allison

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hi ,i use a dwc mighty midget i believe it is ,it has battery power and crank ,it works just fine and just have to run moist soils couple times but it will handle all the dirt ya can throw in it.picked my up at local coin shop who sells keene products for 700 bucks.


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