Harbor Freight sells GARBAGE

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A large part of the price difference is due to far less parts and service support on the cheap stuff.Then,better tools have better materials,tolerances,finer machining,better assembly and quality control.
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Jim Yanik
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And just when I put in a good word for Harbor Freight, they turn on me! I've bought maybe a dozen things from them in the last several years and was always satisfied. For the price, what you got was usable and a good deal. I especially agreed with the person who said they were good for the type of tool you might need once in a blue moon, so you didn't have to have top quality, just something that functions for very light use, once every few years.
So, my Honda Harmony mower transmission craps out. To take it apart, I needed slip ring pliers of two different sizes. It looks like you could spend over $100 for a set of Snap-On, or $30-45 for even a mid- range set. HF has a store near me, so I looked online and they had a set listed.
Went down yesterday and for $7 I got a set of 5 small ones. Now, for the very low price, I'm not expecting anything great. By that, I mean they don't have to have nice comfy handles. The tips don't have to be machined to the finest tolerance. I don't need a chrome finish. And they don't have to last a long time. But, I would expect them to be USABLE for the intended purpose. If they worked for this one job, for the price, I'd be very happy, as it will likely be a long time before I need to use a pair again.
When I tried to use them, the little tips, .047", instead of being hardened steel, just start to bend when you use them to open the slip rings. On the second slip ring, they started slipping out of the ring because one tip was clearly bent. I used a pair of pliers to straighten it and finally got that ring off. OF course you know where we going. After straightening it twice, on the third ring the little tip broke off. Fortunately the set included a 45deg version of the same size, so I managed to get them all off. Not sure if they'll last to get them back on.
So, this is the first example of something I would say really is garbage. There is some minimal level of functionality one expects in a product. And if they can't make something that is suitable for even very minimal use, then they shouldn't sell it regardless of the price.
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My experience was with the Pittsburgh flare nut wrenches. Oversized, and rounded the flare nuts. Oh, well. What to do?
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Christopher A. Young
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On Aug 11, 5:49 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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Not too much information on this ............... but in some countries they have what might best be called "Fitness for use" legislation. In other words a product should not just work it should also perform for a reasonable length of time. So if your fridge conks out after less than a couple of years, say, or your sewing machine jams, or the bristles fall out of a toothbrush, or auto tyres fly apart in less than a few months, they do not meet the "The fitness for use" requirement and the manufacturer/supplier must replace or reimburse. This is not to say that a fridge should be expected to last 35 years, a sewing machine to not show some wear an tear after say ten years, etc. etc. Although our fidge is at least 20 years old, our dryer is 45, and we probably all know of 100 year old treadle sewing machines eh? maybe we need that kind of legislation in relation to other than food in North America?
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I disagree. I own a machine shop, and we make industrial valves that are shipped all over the world. Because of some crazy "Fit for use" claims by customers in our industry (not against us thank God), we have to mark our prices WAY up when we ship to countries that have Fit for Use laws because of additional mandatory insurance coverage and higher interest rates on loans if the materials are going to one of those countries. It's like any lawsuit situation. It doesn't matter if the customer SHOULD KNOW that MacDonald's coffee is hot. If he pours it on his balls and sues them, they still have to spend money to defend themselves! Even if the tool doesn't have a guarantee, take it back to the store next time you are in the area. Ask for the store manager and politely explain how bad it is and how it failed. If they hear it from enough people the word will get back to the boys upstairs. OR he might just say "what do ya want for $7.00?".
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Not sure exactly what the legislation in those other countries spells out. But here in the USA under existing law there is the concept of "warranty of merchantibility", which has been around for a long time, perhaps hundreds of years and is applied in civil cases all the time. It means that if you sell a product, it has to be reasonably fit for the purpose intended. For example, if a store sold you a brand new chair and it broke apart the first time a 150lb person sat in it, that would not meet the warranty of merchantibility and you would win the case, even if the chair did not have a specific warranty.
And in the case of my pliers, I think it's pretty clear that they fail that standard. I may tell them those slip ring pliers were crap when I'm there again and see what they say/do.
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