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Thread: Harbor Freight Tools

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Palos Hills, IL (southwestern suburb of Chicago)
    Posts
    108

    What I buy from Harbor freight . . .

    I buy hand tools and wrenches that I don't have, but need to use about once a year. I bought a tow strap that broke the first time I tried to pull my riding mower out of the wet ditch--the strap was rated for 4500 lbs, my rider is no where near that heavy. I will try to return it, but will not buy another one. I have bought casters for things that I probably won't move but once or twice a year. I did buy some small jorg style clamps that have worked okay so far. I was not satified with the sand paper quality.
    I did buy a packet of beef jerky there one time--it was satisfactory.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Forest Grove, OR
    Posts
    1,167
    There is some stuff at Harbor Freight that is truly junk, but there is at Sears and Home Depot, too.

    A lot of their stuff is produced in the same factory as some of the more name brand tools. Their little metal working lathe, for instance. Their big roller bearing US General tool chests are a screaming bargain, especially on sale. They sell Norton abrasives alongside their house brand at my local store, and they are cheaper there than at the borg. Their welding wire is made in Italy, and their grinding wheels are made in Russia, while most of the other locally available stuff is Chinese.

    Most of the tools that I have bought there are good enough. Some of them are crap. The biscuit jointer is a mixed bag- it works fine, but the fence and alignment features are junk. All the drills I have gotten there are fine. The variable speed Sawzall tool has been fantastic. I've dropped it off of several ladders, left it out in the rain, and had it bind the blade up so bad with drywall dust that it made horrible grinding noises, but it is still going strong after 5 years.

    When I need a tool that I'm going to enjoy using, I shop around. When I need something to finish a project, like a close quarter right angle drill, I go to Harbor Freight.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,850
    Just to be contrary, I've only bought one thing from HF, and I've been pretty happy with the value. I bought a floorstanding sandblasting cabinet that was about half what I could find anywhere else. Yeah, its thin walled, but given the amount of sandblasting I do, it will probably last a lifetime. And it beats the heck out of doing it open air.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,638
    I have heard the jointer is functional. I don't know anything about the sander. I buy a lot of stuff from HF. It is true that there is some junk there. It is a great store for stuff you use ocassionally. For something like a jointer that I would be using quite a bit, I think I would look at CL first. Be careful, you can get junk off CL also. Never walk into HF without a 20% coupon.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    West Central Illinois, Rural Wataga, IL
    Posts
    139
    I'd check out the Ridgid 6 1/8" jointer. I just picked one up a Home Depot... Origionally $429.00 it was marked down as a close out for $299.00. They only had the floor model left and they gave me an additional 10% off. I tried to see if they would let me use the 20% off Harbor Freight coupon, but the wouldn't go for it... I've heard some Home Depots will honor it. They are being sold out at the stores discretion... some stores still have them at full price. I also simply love me Ridgid Oscillating sander... comes with a belt and drums... it's $200.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg,Va.
    Posts
    12,388
    Rob,you produce something as cheap as the Chinese,and see if your product is always up to par. I think greedy customers have a lot to do with it.

    My helper had a side business of making an 18th.C. multi tool for working on gun locks. He met an East Indian who ran a small factory in India. The Indian said that they could make high quality products,but the Americans wouldn't pay for them. My friend agreed to pay a proper price for these gunlocks,and still got them at less cost that anywhere else he could get them. He sold their tools for many years and made a good profit.

    It isn't well known,but some of the best British machine tool manufacturers got the main castings of their machines made in India for many years. They exerted quality control.

    The great mass of buyers of HF tools are the occasional handymen who do not know any better,and just do not want to invest in better tools.That said,I have been a professional for many years,and I still have a few HF tools. Nail guns. I haven't used them on a daily basis because I don't use many nails except for household repairs. The guns still work,but if they die,I'm not going to be put out with HF,because I knew what I was getting into when I bought them.


    What I REALLY object to is when the Chinese poison baby formula,etc.. I would NEVER buy any kind of food made there.
    Last edited by george wilson; 05-28-2010 at 9:36 PM.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,693
    a 6" rabbeting jointer for $229.
    I was in HF yesterday and checked out the jointer.
    I'm by no means an expert on such things, but, the 6" Ridgid I picked up appears to be light years ahead of the HF display model.

    The HF appears very crude.

    Not saying it bad or anything - matter of fact, there was a review of the 8" HF jointer done here at SMC not too long ago.
    The reviewer was quite pleased with his purchase.

  8. #38

    harbor freight in general = Crap or at best mediocre scrap metal. :)

    I would really be suprised if anyone denied this. I have some stuff from there and it will do for what I need it to do. SO I am basically satisfied. Will an odd wrench or somthing like that work for my project when likely I wll never use it again or rarely will for sure. Yes is the answer.Buying it for pennies on the dollar for the use I have for it somtimes makes more sense. I bought a huge blue tarp from there and it worked ok.. I also own teh cheap dust collector.. work ok, but make no mistake it is hardly finely crafted.

    Chris
    "I have worked myself up from nothing to extreme poverty." Groucho Marx
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheChrisPineWorkshop

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