Harbor Freight sells GARBAGE

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Not sure if the OP knows this but HF tools come with a lifetime guarantee. Of course electric and common sense items are not included in that. But things like sockets and wrenches etc. See store for fine print..
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On Thu, 2 Aug 2007 21:58:10 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Great. Now i know that I can take my busted ratchet back for a new junky ratchet after I sprain my wrist and put a $1000 dent in my car because the damn rachet broke. No thanks. I buy quality tools that dont need a lifetime guarantee, and if no one told you, that "lifetime" guarantee means that they will replace it till THEIR life is ended, which in most cases means that they change their business name. Even if I only need a tool one time, I'd rather use quality tools, not Taiwan crap. Besides that the reasle value of quality tools is high, whereas you cant give away that HF junk once it's gotten dirty.
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On Fri, 03 Aug 2007 04:18:30 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@thebar.com wrote:

Everyone would rather use quality tools. Most people don't have the money to buy a quality version of every tool sold, or they're saving the money for something else.
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wrote:

May be false economy. Cheap tools can cause a lot of damage, not to mention the mental anguish that can go with it. I've never been in a Harbor Freight store and have no plans to go.
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wrote:

I have no argument with that. There's something about the phrase, "I'd rather use quality tools" and similar phrases that gets me, and makes me want to say, "Everyone would rather use quality tools".
The last time I heard the phrase it was about an entirely different subject.

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wrote:

I needed to take out a tile floor. I went and bought a $25 air chisel. It worked great for the job, and is still working great. I better watch it, though, as I know it's lurking there waiting to do "a lot of damage."
Steve
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Sure, they work sometimes but saws that don't cut straight, wrenches that round off nuts, screwdrivers that damage screwheads are very common with cheap tools. Not just HF, but all cheap tools. Your money, so you can take the chance if you like.
At Christmas I got a Bosch jigsaw. Tried it to make one cut and promptly got rid of my Black & Decker.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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My Dad used to say that cheap tools are dangerous, cause you have to force em to work, and that's the time you get hurt.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Your family will be a lot safer if you wrap that air chisel in a black cloth. So that it can't see all the neat stuff around it that is just begging to be air chiselled. Don't rope it up too tight, you'll cut off its circulation.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
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I buy stuff at HF. Stuff that I will either use lightly, or stuff that is lower in price, and of comparable quality as other goods. Some of their stuff shines in its performance, others not. The trick is to be smarter than the tools, and know what you're doing, and whether you need a $40 chisel when a $5 HF one will do as well for this one job.
Steve
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Not only you need to be smart in selecting which items to buy and not to buy. You must also know when to buy. If you are on their mailing list, you will get further discount when you use their flyer, I believe 10 or 20% on any items on their shelves.

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I needed to put in a bamboo floor (T&G) and I checked what a rental for a pneumatic nailer would be. $50/day and I knew it would take me 3-4 days to do the job (yeah, I'm slow, but I'm fussy.) I went to HF, bought the nailer on sale for $125 - (including nails!) it worked flawlessly and I still have the tool in the garage if I ever need to do a repair on the floor. If I had rented, I would've had to use a well-used nailer and I would've had to buy proprietary nails from the rental joint (not available anywhere else) for triple the cost of what HF sold me mine for. Sure, HF sells some junk - and often you get what you pay for - but their "cheap" tools have got me through many jams I could not have otherwise afforded to resolve. Some hand tools I buy from MAC - but even they break! (I have also returned both Craftsman and Snap on sockets and wrenches that I have broken) but in general they are also worth what I paid for them. It's not just a matter of the tools being cheap, it's a matter of using the tool properly and maybe cheap tools are a little less forgiving in that respect.
I also bought a fold-up utility trailer (made in China) which has been TERRIFIC (and fun to put together too.) I don't expect it to be super heavy duty and I am careful with it - but for less than $300, what do you expect? It serves the purpose and folds up and rolls into my garage neatly.
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*Of course* they do. That's why we go! If you don't need "top quality" tool (I bought a rubber mallet there -- how much can you expect from it? It's still going (c: ), they're a great deal!
FBt
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On Aug 1, 1:31 am, snipped-for-privacy@ooooooooo.com wrote:

Blanket condemnation like that doesn't make sense. The answer is probably 'yes'. Some of it might be junky. But when you (we) buy 'anything' we must use our knowledge and judgment of what it will be used for, how often, how heavily and how much we are willing to pay. For example: We have an commercial 230 volt electric drill purchased in 1953. Works fine, electric cord still good, the Jacobs chuck is strong etc. Built a couple of houses with it but otherwise its received fairly light use. But it cost, even back then a weeks salary. Recently my son gave me a dandy little lightweight electric screwdriver (about 10 bucks) for taking screws out of radios. Light usage I'd guess and if it lasts five years will be satisfied. So you gotta know what you are buying; and talking about!
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I agree with Walter. I'm sure a lot of what they sell isn't well suited to heavy use by tradesmen. However, for the price, if they have what you need for light occasional use, they are a great source. If you're expecting top notch goods for a low end price, then I think you have unreasonable expectations.
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On Jul 31, 8:31 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ooooooooo.com wrote:

I purchased their 1 1/2 Cu Foot cement mixer and have out 200 bags plus of Quikrete cement, no problems yet, except for a small bolt comingout that Inever tightened .
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On Jul 31, 10:31 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ooooooooo.com wrote:

Anyone who buys tools will know what they are buying, you have to be picky and not generalize. I bought a sheet metal brake that I use to make electronic chassis (I like to build tube powered guitar amps) it works great I regularly use it to make boxes out of 1/8 inch aluminum stock and similar steel stock.
I bought their resistor assortment a few weeks ago:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber860
I've used them in amps recently, they are as good of quality as anywhere.
I have their electric spot welder, again for making chassis, it's the first one I've ever used that did not destroy aluminum and still be adequate for steel spot welds.
I also set up one of their security cameras outside my home, pointing at the back yard so I can see the dogs, etc. It has been running non- stop for about 4 years through 4 Chicago winters, that says a lot, I modulated the signal to one of my unused cable TV channels.
Would I buy a cheap ass set of Chinese screwdrivers or sockets anywhere, no, because I know better than that. Would I but a painting scaffold from them? probably not, Would I buy a case of paint rollers? probably yes.
I did buy a cheap pocket multi-meter from them for $3.50, that did stop working, but I never expected to get a B&K or Fluke quality in a $3.50 digital multi meter, and I may have blown it myself testing a circuit with the range setting wrong.
Their rolling project carts are a great value and as good as Rubbermaid or other steel ones, I use them in the shop to keep separate in-progress projects organized, all parts on each cart for that project. I like to restore old guitar amps, so sometimes I'll have 3 of them on carts in various states of dis-assembly, or 3 separate speaker cabinet projects.
I think you got burned and you're just venting, because in reality everybodys shop contains some crappy tools, and yes we all use them. If your shop has no crappy tools I would probably question that. We all cant live in a "Norm Abrams" fantasy world where every tool in the shop is received gratis and of top quality.
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With so much stuff being made in China and India these days, The Harbor Freight situation is kind of like the Family Dollar situation. You can buy name brand athletic shoes for $100.00 at a sporting goods store, or you can buy a nearly identical shoe made in the same factory by the same people at Family Dollar for $10.00. You just aren't paying for the name. Most of the tool companies who used to make quality tools are having their stuff made in China now, so the impact wrench that you get with a "Pittsburgh Tools" sticker on it at HF is the same as the Rockwell or Ingersoll one that costs 3 times more. I own a machine shop so I HATE that everything is going overseas, but at least Harbor Freight is selling the imported stuff at a reasonable price without trying to portray it as high quality by selling it under a well known brand name.
wrote:

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I bought a spiral saw from HF after seeing the roto zip commercial and seeing that it cost $70 or so.. Sure the HF may not be as trim and nice looking but it works fine. I dont use it everyday but I have it. I also bought a $19.99 recip. saw. It works okay but definitely is not as nice as a genuine sawzall. For craftsmen who use a tool daily it's worth paying more. But for homeowners, HF allows us to have a wider variety of tools without breaking the bank.

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There is some truth to what you are saying, the name brand is greatly overpriced but often the cheap stuff is cheaply made. Same with some, but not all of the tools. China is capable of making some good quality, equal to what the US has made, but they also make junk. You have to be diligent.
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