Harbor Freight Tools

Page 2 of 3  
We get this question once a year, or so. Turns into one of the longest threads on the group. Anyhow, I'll play.
Hmm. Pittsburgh flare wrenches. Some years ago. Too big for English nuts, and I don't have any metrics. Metal too soft. Ended up pitch em in the short steel.
Hammers. Took me several to find a design I like. Ended up with 24 ounce waffle faced ripping / framing hammer. I can pound staples, and they don't go flying like the polished faced hammers. Ripping claw useful for taking apart sheet metal ducts.
Impact wrench. Got the electric plug in model. Works fine.
Electric sheet metal shear. Needs allen wrench to loosen the "swivel head". But other than that, works fine.
I'll think of more, in the morning. Will help extend the life of this thread.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MiamiCuse wrote:

Their lineup ranges from high quality items at amazingly low prices to absolute junk that they should pay you to take. Given that range, it is pretty much critical to either have a HF store where you can inspect an item in person, or reliable reviews to the specific item. It also helps to have a very good understanding of a given tool and where potential weaknesses would be found.
Items like hammers and the like are pretty safe bets. Many of the air tools are decent if a bit high on air consumption. The digital calipers and the micrometer set are exceptional deals.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 13 Nov 2008 21:34:07 -0600, Pete C. wrote:

Fine for occasional use by the hobbyist, but not for a machinist. As a machinist I want Starret, Mitutoyo, high end SPI, etc., basically just about anything German, Swiss, Japanese, or American, with rare exceptions. OTOH, I did buy a dial indicator, mount, and a few other oddball items from HF to have in case I needed them. Never used them much so didn't upgrade to the real stuff. I ended up using the dial indicator 2-3 times in a year and never for anything critical. If I were to have a real need for them I would have bought a real dial indicator. Their vernier caliper needed to be replaced after only a month of use due to soft "hardened" steel. I bought a cheap $7 off brand from MCS Industrial supply and it lasted over a year and is still in great condition.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

On the other hand, a pneumatic impact hammer for less than $5.00 (on sale with 4 bits) and used for ripping up carpet tack strips is a bargain even if it used twice the air. I also got a brad nailer (up to 2") for $20.00 and installed about a million feet of baseboards in eight minutes (not counting breaks). Woo-woo!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bought a great tile saw from them for $199 and couldn't be more pleased with the unit. I had searched other locaions and couldn't find anything nearly as good for twice the price. Nail gun I got from them was fair but for the price, I have gotten several times the value that I paid. Engine hoist has also been well worth the price. Like anything else, you have to be aware of what you are looking for and how you intend to use it.
PS: I have since seen as least two professioinal tile installers who were using an HF Tilesaw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/13/2008 6:40 PM MiamiCuse spake thus:

Recently picked up their "sawzall" (Chicago reciprocating saw) for $20. How could I *not* buy it at that price? It's worked as well as I could have wanted it to on half-a-dozen jobs since then and shows no signs of quitting.
Of course, if I used this tool hard every day, I'd get a "real" (brand-name) one, but for the amount of use I'm likely to give it, it seems to be just fine.
--
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Nebenzahl wrote:

I have the same saw and have been happy with it also. I let a handyman use it to cut out a window sill a couple of years ago and he was impressed with it also. After telling him how much it cost he asked for the catalog from me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought a jigsaw from HF that is a clone of the Bosch 1581,and it gives good service,but only infrequent use. I don't believe they sell it anymore.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MiamiCuse wrote:

I bought a battery drill that is pretty much crap. The price was good, came with 2 batteries, one of which was broken. It has low run time and hardly no power. Had to go buy one at Loew's.
--
Claude Hopper :)

? ?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 14 Nov 2008 09:18:54 -0500, Claude Hopper wrote:

My son bought one and I tried to use it to change outlets and covers in a house we bought (they had up to 3 different colors in one room). The battery didn't last a whole room. In about a year I am also on my 3rd Dewalt cordless hammerdrill. The clutch is junk, driving screws through decking on setting 1 and the locking chuck doesn't, often dropping drill bits. For cordless drills, stick with Milwaukee or Hitachi.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Michael Dobony wrote:

I bought a Firestorm Black and Decker at Lowe's. It the greatest I ever had; better than my old Hitachi. The chuck pops off so you can screw and pops right back on over the screwdriver. You can drill and screw real fast. Has 2 speeds, drill and screw. Came with 2 batteries and a charger with a case and was on sale for $42.00. And the batteries last a long time. I use the 1/4 and 3/8 socket driver often.
--
Claude Hopper :)

? ?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The unstated part of this question is usually something like, "Are the Lowes/Home Depot/Sears tools any better? Usually some fanboy will jump in and make a blanket statement about how their favorite supplier makes a full range or perfect tools.
The fact is that most of the low range tools regardless of where you buy them from are made in China or some other Asian location. Some work fine, others are junk.
HF products tend to not be leading edge, so you won't see a lithium powered Hitachi equivilent.
In my experience, the chucks on their drills aren't quite as good as a quality brand. They don't guide the bit as well when tightening and loosen up while using.
Their drill bits are crap. They may be titanium coated at the molecular level, but they don't clear sawdust while drilling very well. They also don't seem to be very sharp to begin with. OTOH, you can buy a box of 50 and toss them after the job when they cost less than $10 on sale.
Their saws are fine. In fact, I really like my 12" compound chop saw.
Grinders and other hand tools are fine. I wouldn't buy production equipment there, but for household use they work fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree with most of the above and hallerb's opinion. HF is great for a tool that is either essential for a particular job or makes it a lot easier, but that you will only need for only light, occasional use. They do have some tools that could be good for regular, steady use, but usually for that there are better though more expensive options. For example, if I were buying a set of combination wrenches, I would go with Craftsman or similar, because the HF ones are cheap, not precision made, more likely to round of a head, rust, etc. On the other hand, I bought a sand blaster there to do my concrete patio with and for like $75 it not only was fine, but HF was the only place I could find one. I have a local store 15 mins away here that makes it a lot easier.
My only real bad experience was I bought a slip ring plier set a while back. They had such soft tips that they just bent. I returned them and they took them back, no questions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have purchased a ROBOZIP knock off from them for like $29.00 but it was not doing anything for me, so I tossed it.
The hammers, PVC cutters, screw drivers, plumber's pliers I got from them was bargain price, and I found them to be acceptable quality to me at least.
MC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 13 Nov 2008 21:40:40 -0500, "MiamiCuse"

I have purchased quite a few tools from HF over the years. A few are junk. Most are a great bargain. And a few are exceptional values. The way I look at it, I could never justify the expense of a professional quality tool for the amount of use I will give it. And given the choice of having the right tool for the job or not having the tool at all, I am grateful I can buy a cheap tool at HF that gets the job done for the fews times I need it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ike wrote:

That's how I see it. I like it when Homier distributors come around my state. They also have lots of good cheap stuff. I got a hell of a good 30 gallon air compressor for not much money.
--
Claude Hopper :)

? ?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought a torque wrench from them a few years back. Compared the torque readings against one that had been calibrated by a precision measurement lab. The HF one was within 2% of the calibrated one. I was definitely surprised. Red
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

not all chines poroducts are bad.
they may be better than off brand stuff produced in the US, and heres why.
A US producer may cut costs so much, by cheaping out on parts that a chines item of the same basic design is better.
china can afford slightly better materials because the lkabor costs are so low.........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Uh, WHAT off-brand stuff produced in US? I haven't seen any north-america-produced entry-level or generic tools (or much of anything else, for that matter) in years and years. Even the 'commercial grade' stuff is often produced elsewhere, or has a lot of overseas components.
My whine of the year on the subject- I needed to buy a hoe. A simple freaking HOE. I looked six different places, and could not find one that wasn't made in China. This country can't even produce blacksmith-level items any more? Sad, just sad.
-- aem sends....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Even some of our elected officials have foreign made ho.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.