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Thread: Horrible Fright hand tools now cost more then Home Depot or Lowes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    4,963

    Horrible Fright hand tools now cost more then Home Depot or Lowes

    Harbor Freight has been trying to up their image by raising prices, not that I see any improvement. Ratchet wrenches have about tripled in price in the last year. They invent a new name and multiply the price and drop the older model with the lower prices. I do not see any real difference in quality. It used to be I drove past Home Depot and went to harbor Fright without comparison shopping .
    Looked today and 3/8" ratchet is 15$ at HD. about 23$ for a similar item a HF. Both with lifetime guarantee. But I bet in five years HF brand name will have changed and they will not replace the tool with a identical one since the name has been changed to protect the innocent.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 09-24-2020 at 10:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2020
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    Lancaster, CA
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    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Harbor Freight has been trying to up their image by raising prices, not that I see any improvement. Ratchet wrenches have about tripled in price in the last year. They invent a new name and multiply the price and drop the older model with the lower prices. I do not see any real difference in quality. It used to be I drove past Home Depot and went to harbor Fright without comparison shopping .
    Looked today and 3/8" ratchet is 15$ at HD. about 23$ for a similar item a HF. Both with lifetime guarantee. But I bet in five years HF brand name will have changed and they will not replace the tool with a identical one since the name has been changed to protect the innocent.
    Bill D
    They're making their move...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Elmodel, Ga.
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    586
    Was in the market to replace n 18" adjustable wrench that was lost/misplaced by one of my children.
    Went in to HF to see what they had. $19.99 for their offering. Looked at the Craftsman at Lowe's, $49. Then went home to look on-line. Low and behold, I found that HD had a Crescent 18" for $22 with free shipping. Guess which one I bought? It pays to do your homework sometimes.
    SWE

  4. #4
    Itís easy to pick on them. However for years they have served a great need for me. To bash them during these hard times especially amidst killer competition from online seems insensitive. So they are trying something new and sometimes there is not appropriate price parity. Give them a break I say. But to each his own.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    54,252
    Yes, and they are paying associates about $15 an hour to start, at least at the new store near me just over in NJ. They have their place and I've benefited from having access.

    That said, regardless of where you buy, including HF, know what you are looking at and made decisions based on your need for quality, features and support.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Apr 2013
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    Maybe its harder to find cheap suppliers now. I've lost track of where we are with tariffs on Chinese goods.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    I stopped in the other day. Wanted to pick up a small level for my tool box at work. Was kinda surprised at what they cost. Pick on up anyway but later noticed a like item at Lowe's was cheaper.
    I worked in retail for many years, When a new store opens they have to be the lowest price to build a customer base. But after some time you have to make money. Remember years ago all the tool deals we would get from Amazon? don't see deals like too often now days.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Itís easy to pick on them. However for years they have served a great need for me. To bash them during these hard times especially amidst killer competition from online seems insensitive. So they are trying something new and sometimes there is not appropriate price parity. Give them a break I say. But to each his own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Yes, and they are paying associates about $15 an hour to start, at least at the new store near me just over in NJ. They have their place and I've benefited from having access.

    That said, regardless of where you buy, including HF, know what you are looking at and made decisions based on your need for quality, features and support.
    100% agreement to all the above ^^^. Like many of us, I have some HF tools and and some "good" tools but know what I'm buying. They clearly serve a need. I helped in stall a quarter-million-dollar CNC router not too long ago. The bubble level we used was a German unit that is calibrated to 0.001" accuracy and probably cost at least $500. But, every anchor hole drilled in the concrete slab (close to 50 holes, between the machine and the pressure mats) were done with my Harbor Freight hammer-drill. Both tools did the job. Why bash? Just my opinion.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Maybe its harder to find cheap suppliers now. I've lost track of where we are with tariffs on Chinese goods.
    Regardless of the tariff situation, the manufacturing "cycle" moves on as it always has. Asia is the global manufacturing powerhouse and China is where nearly where Japan was when they were on top. I think that HFT is working to move perception by offering more choice. I recently bought a "Bauer" branded impact drill/driver, ostensibly for a one time project where I needed that functionality, but I'm actually pretty impressed with the tool, given I only paid $59 for it. I'd consider others based on this if there was something unique that would benefit a project.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    HF tools are a little like Ryobi tools to me. Both include what I would call "gems" and "gunk". I have purchased examples of both from both. I have a big HF hammer drill and I would put it in the "gem" category. Half or less the price of similar tools when I bought it. The gearbox leaks which is an annoyance and if I used it every day it might be more than that but the darn thing works fine. I recently outlined a hole I wanted to make in my driveway for more drainage that was almost 10 feet long by about a foot wide with holes every 1-2 inches. I then broke it out with a rented jack hammer. But the HF drill (and bits) made hundreds of holes through my driveway with no complaint. I've also used it as a demolition hammer to take down a lot of brick. It did not work well in this mode on the driveway but it would do it (just very slowly). But my point is I've used this quite a bit and it still works fine and it cost only about $100. Try to find a similar deal anywhere else.

    So they have their place. Not everything is cheap there but the offer some very servicable tools at a good price. You just have to be a little careful. Unless you can afford Festool everything I don't know of a brand you don't have to look at closely before a major purchase. (I have a few Festools but generally I buy something similar that is significantly cheaper but the few Festools I own are very nice tools)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Regardless of the tariff situation, the manufacturing "cycle" moves on as it always has. Asia is the global manufacturing powerhouse and China is where nearly where Japan was when they were on top. I think that HFT is working to move perception by offering more choice. I recently bought a "Bauer" branded impact drill/driver, ostensibly for a one time project where I needed that functionality, but I'm actually pretty impressed with the tool, given I only paid $59 for it. I'd consider others based on this if there was something unique that would benefit a project.
    I stopped by the tool aisle at my local Lowes the other day for a clamp or something and certain sections were totally empty while others seemed normally stocked. I asked the associate if they had anything more that was not on the shelf and she made a comment to the effect of "Oh, we haven't been able to get those for a while". Interestingly, HD right up the road's tool aisle had plenty of clamps (Bessey). I suspect we will continue to see a disparity between certain brands and certain retailers for a while and none of it may seem logical.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    379
    HF has fantastic car jacks, guaranteed to hold your car up at least 90% of the time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    I stopped by the tool aisle at my local Lowes the other day for a clamp or something and certain sections were totally empty while others seemed normally stocked. I asked the associate if they had anything more that was not on the shelf and she made a comment to the effect of "Oh, we haven't been able to get those for a while". Interestingly, HD right up the road's tool aisle had plenty of clamps (Bessey). I suspect we will continue to see a disparity between certain brands and certain retailers for a while and none of it may seem logical.

    Erik
    Shelves here in Seattle are well stocked. But a buddy of mine in Tulsa sent a picture of the clamp aisle and lowes and it was nearly empty.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    983
    Personally I feel that Craftsman has become a tool I would no longer buy. I think HF quality is actually higher now. As always, I'm looking at getting another tool box and was unimpressed with how cheap the Craftsman boxes felt. I was very interested since they say they are made in the US.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2003
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    McKinney, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Mayer View Post
    HF has fantastic car jacks, guaranteed to hold your car up at least 90% of the time.
    Bought a floor jack there just the other day. Took it back the same day because the handle wouldn’t fit.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

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