Harbor Freight

What do you think of Harbor Freight tools ?
Their prices are so much lower than other brands.
Thanks, Andy
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On 7/4/2015 7:45 PM, Andy wrote:

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.
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Per Ed Pawlowski:

Nicely said.
+1
--
Pete Cresswell

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On Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 8:14:38 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

+1
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%.
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On Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 7:43:47 AM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

Thanks for all the input.
Andy
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On Sun, 5 Jul 2015 05:43:43 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

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 works too.
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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 plastic clamps.
Greg
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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.
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On 7/8/2015 4:27 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

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.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2015 17:33:03 -0400, Stormin Mormon

It's 354-532-5698
Write it down.
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On 07/04/2015 05:45 PM, Andy wrote:

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 professional use.
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On Sat, 4 Jul 2015 16:45:40 -0700 (PDT), Andy

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 Hatachi
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On 7/4/2015 7:45 PM, Andy wrote:

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 useless.
You can share your findings on: http://hfreviews.com/
You and many other consumers can write reviews.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 07/05/2015 06:10 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

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.
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On 7/4/2015 7:45 PM, Andy wrote:

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.
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Andy wrote:

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 easily.
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.
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What I've purchased works. I've bought simple hand tools mostly. I don't use tools nuch.
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when something closes the door from the inside.
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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
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On Monday, July 6, 2015 at 8:34:04 PM UTC-5, bob haller wrote:

I agree with the gentleman who said " You get what you pay 4."
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On 7/6/2015 10:37 PM, Andy wrote:

For the most part, you are right. Once in a while though. HF will have the identical item the major stores carry but HF will be $4 and the big store $10. There are a few jewels amongst the garbage.
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