Choosing tool quality

I think I often tend to overbuy when buying tools. How do you folks decide on the quality of tools to buy? When do you spend the extra $ for pro quality as opposed to consumer or Harbor Freight quality?
I know this is a pretty wide question, but feel free to ignore me. A lot of folks do :)
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I've never bought anything from Harbor Freight and probably never will. With some possible exceptions, (brad nailers, clamps) I've heard too many bad things about them.
Some consumer tools are OK for limited use. When I needed a miter saw, I b ought a Delta 12" for $300 and I've been using it on a regular basis for almost two years. For the guy that is going to put up some molding in two rooms and never use it again, I'd say get a $99 special
Cheap had tools are more expensive than good ones. Strip a screw head with a 99 screwdriver and you may have far more problems than the cost of a good screwdriver.
I've never wished I had a cheaper tool.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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This is Turtle.
Any Tool I'm going to use for life / long time / good while, Will be a Good Tool .
Any Tool I'm Going to use for one time and never use it again. It will be a Harbor Frieght Special tool on sale. They are made just for this one time job and forget about it.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

To some extent I agree, but there are some tools so cheaply made that they will not work properly for even one use. They can do a lot more damage than they cost.
If I figure I will be putting the tool in my tool box and not dumping it when I am done, I buy nothing be top quality. It is cheaper in the long run.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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If you want a hand tool that will last forever and is guarnteed forever, even tape measures no questions asked you go to Sears. But not for Sears power tools. There price is a good determiner of inexpensive cheap crap and quality, to a great extent. And name brands to follow.
I would not waste my time with Harbor Crap , When I need a tool I need it working the whole job. Who wants to deal mail order on repairs, and junk Local is better by far, at least you have a chance of a return-exchange dealing with a reputable local.
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m Ransley wrote:

No you don't. Sears handtools are mediocre at best.
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Mark and Kim Smith wrote:

That's been mmy experience with Sears tools period.
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wrote:

More years ago than I care to think about, I bought a Sears tool set. I never had a problem with it and really liked the quick release ratchets. Over the years a lot of sockets got lost, and it was cheaper to buy another set rather than replace individual sockets. The new set has exactly the same style sockets and ratchets as the old one, BUT....... All the sockets are just enough larger than marked to make them a bit sloppy on a bolt head or nut. The 1/4" sockets will all drop off the ratchet by themselves (must be auto-cuick release), and the guts of the 3/8 ratchet fell out on the ground the first time I used it. Sure, you can take them back, but it's hard to when the car's on jackstands being repaired. I'm using SK now and have no problems.
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Man I hate those sears tape measures.
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I got a RATION taking a Phillips screwdriver back to Sears. DON'T need that any longer!
On Sun, 20 Mar 2005 05:49:25 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

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Depends upon how much you will use the tool. If your not going to use it much, then Harbor Freight is fine, and possibly cheaper then renting (and you can take your time). If you plan on usng it a lot then get a good one. Problem is that I have ended up using certain tools way more than I initially planned, espically my angle grinder, heat gun, and air compressor.
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I have a brad nailer I purchased from HF, however my other nailers are Senco. I've used it quite often and am pleased with it. I also purchased an oil type air compressor w/ 25 gallon tank from HF a year ro so ago. No longer needing a commercial grade compressor for production finish work, I sold my double tanked Emglo a few years back. But, I found myself needing one again for garage and shop so the HF one works fine for that.
Most of my power and even my hand tools were purchased over the years and prior to the cheapie stuff coming along but I've bought a few items recently. Biscuit joiner for one. I bought the DeWalt so I could get the FF capability.
Other power tools I own include incl. Skil, Porter Cable, Ramset, Hilti and Makita, and as i said mostly the older well built stuff so I really have no need for HF's. I do purchase tarps, bungees and the like from them.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I'll add in, available accessories. I bought a Porter Cable 690 router, mostly because everything is available to fit it. And also service, I'm partial to Milwaukee, since the local store is a service center for them.
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I've had some good and some bad with Harbor Fright. I like their pipe wrenches, and don't like their flare wrenches.
I try their stuff, and use it for awhile. If I make enough money from the junk, I use the money to buy better stuff. Thier $3 volt ohm meters are accurate enough for most things. I used one last week on a repair call. Thier aluminum pipe wrenches have worked nicely for me, for years. I've got two drill master 12 volt drills in my van for locksmith calls,a nd they have paid for themselves over again.
--

Christopher A. Young
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