Harbor Freight Tools

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I have bought from them quite a few times during the life of my never ending, ever expanding remodeling project.
My experience is their hand tools are really good, at least to a layman like me, I like it, and I like their prices too.
However, their power tools are junk. Prices are attractive, but you really get what you pay for. Much heavier than the competitive brands, bulkier and not as functional.
What are your experience?
MC
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great for tools only needed now and then, like a hammer drill, i use mine perhaps every 2 or 3 years.
pro tools are far bettyer but costly
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Well, they're a good way to find out if you need the tool. I bought an angle grinder for, like, $7.98 or something. My Lord, I never imagined the uses to which I could put the tool! I've used it for:
* Removing the concrete nails from carpet tack strips (actually just cutting them off). * Cutting window screen frames * Undercutting trim to lay flooring such as laminate or tile * Trimming branches - a lot less trouble than a chain saw
On "Black Friday" I'm gonna find out how well their $40.00 knock-off of a MultiMaster works.
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On 11/13/2008 6:58 PM HeyBub spake thus:

Please report your findings back here afterwards. I'm interested in this tool too.
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HeyBub wrote:

I'll second that angle grinder motion. Mine has lasted several years and I must use it on something or other about once a month. With the right wheel installed I can even do a pretty fair occasional job cutting and shaping a ceramic tile or two.
I have bought some "not too often needed" tools like a set of glass drills from them, but I swear the most useful tools I've bought from them are their sets of two strap wrenches. I just ordered a bunch more of those from them for stocking stuffers this year.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber@198
OTOH sometimes their tools are real shite. I added a set of stubby ratchet handles to an order earlier this year thinking they'd come in handy as space under the hoods of my cars shrinks. They were awful. One didn't even ratchet and the ratchet action on another of the three was intermittant at best. I returned 'em and got full credit.
Jeff
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re: I swear the most useful tools I've bought from them are their sets of two strap wrenches...
Just so we get both sides of that story, I bought a HF strap wrench and the strap broke the first time I used it. I wish I could remember what I was using it on but I don't. It was way too many projects ago.
The only powered tools I've bought from them was a Drill Doctor knockoff (sucked big time) and a rechargable screwdriver set with six million bit and sockets. The battery lasted about 30 seconds, which was longer than the magnet that holds the bits stayed inside the shaft.
Oh wait, I forgot. I bought a nose hair trimmer at one of their sidewalk sales. Been using it for years. Fine tool.
I also bought an air compressor similiar to this - does that count as a power tool?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93796
It seems to work fine, but the capacity is just about useless, at least for what I use it for. I can't even blow the dust out of a single computer or off of a project without recharging the tank 2 or 3 times, at about 10 minutes per charge. I did blow up - and I mean *blow up*! - a basketball with it the other day. My daughter is not happy, It was her best outdoor basketball. I guess we'll be going to Dick's this weekend.
As far as gloves (work and vinyl), wire brushes, tarps and other throw- away items, their prices are the best, especially if you can catch one of their deeply discounted sidewalk sales.
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-snip tales of [mostly bad] HF tool reviews-
They sell lots of junk- which sometimes is 'good enough'. [air nailers and angle grinders for <$10 come to mind] They also occasionally have name brand stuff at 'junk' prices.

The capacity is pretty evident. 2 gallons is 2 gallons whether you buy at HF $80 or Amazon for $369 [ (Amazon.com product link shortened) ]

Note the HF blurb says it is good for air-brushing, inflating, and brad nailing. Cleaning stuff with a blowgun takes a lot of air.

You aren't implying that a better compressor would have saved the basketball are you?

My 'best deal' is their $2 rubber knee pads. I paid $20 for a pair from sears a few years ago. Now I have 4 prs lying around. My old knees need the pampering and my jeans seem to last longer, too.
angle grinders--- I keep my good one [Hitachi?] with a metal cutting disk. But for $10, it is easier to have one standing by with a grinding disk in it already.
Brad nailers- again, for $10, it is sometimes easier to have 2 lying on the bench with different size nails.
I count myself as very fortunate to have a HF store nearby. I wouldn't order from their catalog because their shipping is high- and you can't look at anything before you buy.
Jim
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And something I didn't know until I bought the unit. Now I know why some people have those huge tanks in the cornor of the garages. :-)

Nope...that was nothing more than a tale of woe.

I got an Arrow elecric brad nailer as gift. Convenient, and not bad for getting the brads started, but 90% of the time you have to follow up with a tack hammer to set the heads. Maybe I oughta pick up HF $10 nailer to see the difference.

Same for me.

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-snip-

I've got a 10gallon tank that I cart to wherever my compressor isn't. If it has a full charge of 100 lbs I can usually clean a keyboard off before I might better blow on it.
My compressor is from HF, too- I think it is 2 HP & 10 gallons. It needs faster recovery time to die-grind or use an air cutter. It works on a sand blaster, but it is slow going.
-snip-

I think I've got the same stapler- but labeled 'Stanley'. I love the little brad nailers HF sells- not as pleased with their stapler/nailer.
Jim
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Oops.... sad to hear that the compressor has such a low output. Yeah, they are supposed to be oilless. One 12 volt compressor I got, years ago, needed a drop of oil into the air intake every now and again. To keep the piston walls lubricated.
I use small scissors for nose hair trimming.
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Can you get wood saw blade for angle grinder? That could be very useful. Much of what you describe sounds more like sawzall.
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That is essentially what he biscuit joiners are.
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In all seriousness. Might I buy one of these, and use on my angle grinder?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberG401
I'm quite new to the "biscuit joiner" concept.
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On Nov 15, 8:58pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I certainly wouldn't use a biscuit joiner blade in an angle grinder. Serious kickback comes to mind.
Stick with the blades made for a grinder, like the Lancelot chain blade mentioned earlier or this one:
http://www.kwiktoolusa.com/c7badblade.html
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

One cool thing you can get for the angle grinders (though I haven't seen them at HF) is structured carbide carving wheels, there is also a version that uses a short section of chain saw chain around a wheel. Carve your self a totem pole or something with one.
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wrote:

I haven't seen them in the store- but the one online is actually one of the name-brand tools- http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumberv97 Lancelot 4" disc- $35 at HF - $45 from the manufacturer.
Jim
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That could be totally useful for small limbs. I've always used loppers (hand power) or sawzall.
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Man...that thing looks dangerous!
Olddog
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Will this cut tree roots?
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-snip-
It will- but it will also dull quickly when you hit a rock. My go-to tool for tree roots is a special axe that I keep just for tree roots. It's a little heavy for everyday use. I sharpen it on a rough grinder at a steeper than normal angle. Beat the crap out of it and don't shed a tear when a new chip shows up on the blade.
One of those C7-Bad Blades that DerbyDad posted might be a better choice if you really want to use your grinder http://www.kwiktoolusa.com/c7badblade.html [says it will cut steel and iron, so it might be a little more resistant to dulling than the lancelot blades.
Jim
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