Good and bad.
Some of the stuff is good quality and identical to what the other stores
are selling for twice the price, just a different package.
Some of the products are not top quality, but will get the job done.
Good value if you need that tool for just one job.
Other stuff is junk.
Assess your needs, use caution.
On Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 8:14:38 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Overall, I've had good results. Just bought a set of socket
extensions and a 3/4" breaker bar for a fraction of what something
like Craftsman would cost. They worked fine. Something like that
breaker bar, I use maybe once a decades, so it doesn't have to be
super tough, but from what I can see, it seems perfectly fine.
Example of something that was total crap was a pair of snap ring
pliers I bought. The tips were so soft that they just bent instead
of opening the snap ring. Also bought a cheap VOM to use on the
boat instead of the Fluke. At first it was OK, a year later the
readings are off by 30%.
I got one of those cheap digital VOMs. I got it for use on car repairs,
rather than get my expensive meter all greasy. I probably used it 5
times in a year's time. Most of the time it sat on the shelf in my
workshop. The last time I tried to use it, it just quit working on all
ranges. It was never exposed to improper voltages or settings, or
dropped or abused. Changing the batteries did not fix anything either. I
believe I paid $7 for it at HF. It's now in some landfill. I bought
another cheap meter at Walmart for about $15, that one has served me
well ever since. That one is made by GC Electronics.
I'll never buy another HF VOM.
By the way, I have an analog VOM that I bought in the 1960's which still
I have one from hf about $40. Fantastic. Cheap price for what It does.
Most of my hf tools are workin great. A jig saw lost it screws for the
assembly, but my other stuff without failure. Only junk was a set of
If it turns out to be junk, and you find out during the return period
you can bring it back. I've not had a problem returning things. Most
of the stuff I've bought from them has been fine for my limited
hobbyist type use.
I've had few HF products totally fail. Fortunately,
none of those were mission critical.
Yes, I'm a regular at HF. For some reason when
they ask my phone number, my mind goes blank. I
am sorry, I can't recall.
Generally the fewer moving parts the better. A Harbor Freight moved in a
couple of blocks from where I work so I can interview the merchandise
personally. The wrenches aren't too bad and are what I carry in the tool
tube on one of the bikes. If it gets ripped off I'm only out about $50.
A floor jack spit the cradle out at me when I tried to use it. I
replaced the failed rivet with a bolt and it works. I use the electric
impact driver infrequently but it's been there when I needed it. A bench
vise was so far past fixing I took it back. A chain breaker worked fine
as did a 27mm impact socket.
Other stuff is pure crap. None of it is up to day in day out
You get what you pay for. Some of their "better" power tools are OK
for a homeowner but the cheapos may not get you through one big job.
I bought the cheap red 18ga finish nailer and it was simply shit. I
went back and got the purple one and it works fairly well. I am still
not using it every day like the guys who will want a Bostitch or
It's a bit of a gamble. I've had several which are
quite functional. And a few which were useless. The
Pittsburgh flare wrenches of 20 years ago were
You can share your findings on:
You and many other consumers can write reviews.
I bought a flaring tool for a one-shot job and it wasn't up to the task.
It amazes me when they screw up something like a flaring tool. It must
cost almost as much to make something that looks like a flaring tool as
it does to make one that really works.
HF isn't alone in that. Motorcycle manufactures have a tendency to make
things that look just like a motorcycle saddle but turn out to be a
naugahyde covered 2x4. Great business for the third party suppliers.
I bought a set of their crows foot wrench for 12 bucks for one job and
they did okay. Not as shiny and pretty as name brand stuff but it did
the job. My wife likes those blue LED flashlights they give away now
and then. I bought one of their auto scan tools and it does what I
expected. When I go in there I am usually looking for something cheap to
complete a single job. I don't expect it to last 10 or 20 years.
It really depends on the tool AND what you expect from it.
I have a HF lathe. I expected to work well for years. It has. Years after
purchase, it needed a drive belt; HF had it.
I have a HF 4" angle grinder. I paid $15 for it, you can get them for $10
now. I didn't expect it to last long but got it because they had an
accessory shoe for it; that and a little diamond blade allowed me to cut a
series of grooves to a precise depth in a concrete slab so I could then
easily break out what wasn't cut. As I said, I didn't expect it to last
long but it is about 3 years old now and going strong.
I have a HF bridge style tile saw (the one that sells for around $185). It
works fine too but needed modification as it had a lousy (read "no") way of
making repetitive cuts the same width. I have a little more tile to do and
will be selling it; I expect the new owner will use it for years. I have
used it and its HF predecessor (same style) to lay about 4000 sq.ft of tile;
lots of cuts as window trim and baseboards are also tile, all about 3 1/2"
cut out of 12" tiles. The predecessor ultimately gave out, steel table
rusted out. The new one has an aluminum table, plastic tub.
I have a HF "score & snap" tile cutter. I prefer it to the wet saw IF the
tile has a smooth surface, much less edge chipping and what there is is
easily removed with a stone or belt sander.
I have a HF detail tool; about $20 or less. Works fine, don't like the
slide switch, doesn't slide well (same on the angle grinder). The blades
for it are expensive at HF, those from Grizzly much less.
I have a bunch of HF bar clamps. They work fine, have for many years. Same
with some HF hand screws. Only bad thing about the bar clamps was that, on
some, the pin at the end of the bar was rough/sharp...a couple of strokes
with a file fixed that.
I have a HF hammer drill, cheap one, about $32. I don't make holes in
concrete all that often but when I do, it does the job. The chuck rusts
As you can see, I am happy with my HF tools. They work but sometimes lack
the finesse and attention to detail of pricier versions.
I worked helping to set up a new harbor freight in pittsburgh. they actually had a day of traiing. nice people to work for. my knee got so bad i had to quit.
they track returns, many items have multiple stock numbers to track back the junk quality trash. most items appeared worth the bucks.
but its not designed for heavy duty industrial use. but neither are the prices
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.