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Thread: I love harbor freight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Lake George NY
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    I love harbor freight

    Lol, ok,ok let me explain. I have a pretty eclectic tool collection, Festool,Grizzly,Bosch,Ridgid etc. Sometimes you just need a tool that you rarely need, but have a need sometimes. So for me,I rarely need a hammer drill,but I did need one for a job I was doing. I went to Harbor freight and bought a Chicago Electric hammer drill, 32 bucks with the 20% off coupon. To my surprise it seemed pretty well built and worked perfectly. It will probably collect dust for 2 years before I need it again, but have it,and it only cost 32 bucks. I also bought a brick/ tile wet saw a few years back for 200 bucks and let me tell you, it’s a beast and I have run thousands of feet if granite veneer through it. Sometimes they do have good buys.
    Last edited by Rick Peek; 10-05-2019 at 10:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Glad to hear it. Thanks for letting us know.

    There are several lists of "Harbor Freight Gems" out there. You ought to search for one and add yours to the list. Heck, there might be one here on SMC that I've forgotten.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Lake George NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Glad to hear it. Thanks for letting us know.

    There are several lists of "Harbor Freight Gems" out there. You ought to search for one and add yours to the list. Heck, there might be one here on SMC that I've forgotten.

    Fred
    I detect a note of sarcasm Fred. Sorry if I offended you.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Peek View Post
    I detect a note of sarcasm Fred. Sorry if I offended you.
    Oh my. No Rick. Not one drop was intended. I'm sorry if I gave you any idea like that at all. Those lists are real. I read them and sometimes buy off them for things like you described.

    My apologies.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Oh my. No Rick. Not one drop was intended. I'm sorry if I gave you any idea like that at all. Those lists are real. I read them and sometimes buy off them for things like you described.

    My apologies.
    Fred
    Thanks Fred, my apologies for misinterpretation of your post. 🙂

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DFW, TX
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    102
    Rick, as you said, Harbor Freight has a place in the scheme of things.
    They're great for electric tools that you will probably only use once or twice and don't demand a lot of accuracy.
    A lot of their hand tools and basic supplies are worth saving money on as well.
    You just have to take into consideration what your expectations are and buy accordingly.

    And as Fred commented, there are a lot of lists out there of "gems" that HF has to offer.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,925
    Ha! I envy you. I can’t even do it when it’s a tool I’m only going to use a couple times. If it’s a new tool I’m gettin the nicest quality tool I can afford.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    696
    A few months ago I picked up their small dust collector with a 25% off coupon. I think it's a 1hp? The two I have are much bigger and noisy enough so I can't use them when I'm turning in my basement if people are sleeping upstairs. I wasn't expecting much and was fully prepared to return it. But it's super quiet and the only issue is the plastic guards inside the ducts collect anything more than dust and will block it off. Once they were removed it works great. It's super quiet. I use it with my band saw and to clean up dust and shaving on the floor. I usually don't buy much from them but, like you said, sometimes you need a tool for that very rare time.

    Another thing I picked up is a 10" tile saw when I built my house. HF replaced with what looks like a circular saw on an arm. It was cheaper to buy it from them than to rent one. That was 15 years ago and I have lent it to almost everyone I can think of and it just keeps working. It was my first violation of my "never buy anything electric from HF" rule.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    WV
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    3,881
    My problem is whenever I walk out of that place I am usually sick for a day or so. I know its the stink/chemical/whatever in the air because I have had the same experience at Tractor Supply and was recently at a tool sale where a booth with loads of off-the-boat stuff and literally just walking down the isle that booth was in was nearly unbearable.

    My only things from HF at times of desperation are urethane wheeled casters that are a bargain that are hard to turn away from. But even those have to sit in the end bay of the shop or sometimes get wiped down with mineral spirits or lacquer thinner to even be in the shop. Im shocked the chinese are not dropping like flies from some type of cancer or some other malady due to whatever is in the goop/oil/whatever that creates that overwhelming stench.

    I was once in a Tractor Supply and literally had to leave feeling like I was going to pass out from that trademark smell. Maybe Im just allergic to it, or maybe Im a canary in the coal mine. I stay as far away as I can from whatever is in those products.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  10. #10
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    I love it for those times when you really need a power tool but rarely need it. I remember years ago most specialty tools were so expensive that renting one was your only option. You had to call reserve it,go get it and by the time you got home with it,half the day was gone. Then half the time it was incomplete or parts were broken on it and you wound up loosing the whole day. You always underestimated the time you need it and by the time you were done you could have almost bought one.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    Mark, your strong reaction to the chemical stink in HF is interesting, and sorry you are so susceptible to this.
    I also think the place stinks and I don't enjoy being there.
    It can't be good for the poor Chinese workers in the factories. And their government is so controlling and repressive that I have little faith we'll ever get to know the extent of the toll on the workers' health.

  12. #12
    I agree with Rick's assessment. It's much better than renting something that's been dogged. The few times I rented stuff
    it had missing parts. And broken parts.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    696
    Nothing like renting a rototiller only to find out the blades were used to till rocks by the last person. Now you either have to spend hours returning it and hope they have a good one or sharpen them yourself.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
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    5,732
    I bought one of their SDS hammer drills as well, the cheaper Bauer model. Itís been awesome. Iíve drilled a hundred holes probably from small Tapcon sizes to bigger 3/4Ē holes and it doesnít break a sweat. Iíll likely buy a wide chisel for it when I rip up my tile floor as well.

    HF is a great store. Folks knock it but itís a great match of price and quality. For instance I bought a beam trolley and hoist from them, cost probably $100 total. I couldnít have gotten the chain hoist for that from a store like grainier, and itís the same thing!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lake George NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    I bought one of their SDS hammer drills as well, the cheaper Bauer model. Itís been awesome. Iíve drilled a hundred holes probably from small Tapcon sizes to bigger 3/4Ē holes and it doesnít break a sweat. Iíll likely buy a wide chisel for it when I rip up my tile floor as well.

    HF is a great store. Folks knock it but itís a great match of price and quality. For instance I bought a beam trolley and hoist from them, cost probably $100 total. I couldnít have gotten the chain hoist for that from a store like grainier, and itís the same thing!
    .

    Fred, I bought the Bauer 15 gauge finish nailer and itís been great. Have shot thousand of nails through it without a single jamb. Works much better than my Bostich.

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