Actually I did get 2 of them almost free. I bought the first one new,
the other two I picked up at an auction for $1 each. (a real auction,
not Ebay). For a buck each, I surely wouldn't bitch. Both worked,
but both wore out or lost those damn guard return springs. They still
work, but are just dangerous with those missing springs. Are you
saying to contact Bosch for the springs? Got a phone number?
On 11/30/2004 12:57 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com took fingers to
keys, and typed the following:
I recently looked for some parts for an old Model 77, Type 3, Skil worm
drive that I inherited. Not the return spring (which still works), but
the little handle to swing the blade guard out of the way, and the
locking lever handles for the plate angle and depth adjustment. The
locking nuts are still there but the quick release levers are gone (they
look like flat socket wrenches) . The newer owners manuals are on line
in PDF format at
There was none for the old 77 Type 13. I downloaded the newer HD77
manual (at the bottom of the above site page) and the parts looked
somewhat similar but were not attached in the same way. I emailed Skil
and got a reply back from Michelle that the parts indeed looked a little
different and that I should contact Skil at:
Skil Factory Service Center
121 Corporate Blvd.
S. Plainfield, NJ 07080
I never contacted Skil or bought the parts though, so I can't say if
they would fit.
On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 02:36:21 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeffrey
J. Kosowsky) wrote:
Against what? A Chicago Electric tool makes a great disposable tool.
IME it doesn't come close to a tool you will want to use for years or
even where you want it to perform the same after a year of service.
No, because you used the word 'serious'. If you are serious about
your work then start at least at the middle price range. I have some
CE tools and every time I use one I wonder, will it work today? Is
today the day it craps out? Can I tolerate the play in the movement
or that awful grinding sound as it turns?
If you use the tool on rare occasions and you are not concerned about
doing quality work (drilling screw holes in framing studs) then go for
it. If you want to do fine woodworking and not spend your time
working around the deficiencies of your tool but working with your
tool. Get a name brand.
Take a look at the latest FWW (no. 174, Winter 2004 Tools & Shops
issue). There is a good review article on 14.4 volt cordless drills.
They show the inside of two drills and how they are constructed to
show why there is a difference in price. Take a look at the difference
between the $90 drill and the $170 drill. Now try to imagine what the
inside of a $29.99 drill looks like.
buying from HF is great for somethings and bad or others, there abr clamps
are great, and if you watch for a sale you can get them for as little as
$3.99 for the 36" 3.49 for the 32" etc. and there pipe clamps are decent
too. There air tools have a decent reputation, I only have a stapler/brad
nailer but for $20 on sale can't complain, just wait to get them on sale,
there 4 1/2" angle grinders go on sale just about everyother week for $15
and last and seem to hold up really well, and for $15 your 2 or 3 just in
case. having said this DON'T buy and persision power tools! they wont be.
also you can't beat there prices on all the little things you need, like
the blue/green disposable gloves, or there storage bins, etc. but mostly
watch for there sales, also if you look on like and they have something on
sale there print it off and the store will honor the price
Jeffrey J. Kosowsky wrote:
I have a pair of HF14.4v cordless drills, which together cost less than a
new battery for my B&D FireStorm. ;-) They run out of "juice" quicker than
my B&D so I use them for drilling instead of screwing. But it's really
handy to chuck up three cordless drills, one straight bit to the desired
depth, one countersink, and one with a phillips or square drive. It's
quicker for me to pick up and set down three separate tools (with no cords
to get twisted & tangled <g>) than to use even my DW "Quick Flip"
Since the 14.4's are still on sale I may buy a couple more to be sure I have
a couple extra backup batteries (& chargers & drills <g>) that are all
interchangeable. When B&D "upgraded" my model drill to make the batteries
different the replacement battery price doubled.
IMO the HF 14.4's work ok for drilling & countersinking, but B&D / DW / ...
/ Milwaulkee / ... are needed for putting in screws.
--- Now for some philosophy --- <g>
I was in college 1977-82. I started as a mechanical engineering student but
switched to computer science my sophmore year.
(1) Increasing tooling allows greater precision.
One of the classes I had as an ME was "Intro. to Industrial Engineering." I
recall little from that class except this illustration from the very early
days of the "Industrial Revolution" that went more or less like this:
"I highly recommend Messer. _______ for the position of Chief Engineer
of your company. While in our employ Mr. _______ supervised and
directed the construction of a large steam engine. He did such a good
job that at no point could a worn shilling be inserted between the
piston and the cylinder wall."
The instructor then talked about current engine tolerances in small engines
such as model airplane engines being measured in thousandths of an inch.
"Engineering Excellence" of one era/application is a dismal failure in
(2) Tools reduce / negate human variation.
Once upon a time only *men* had the strength to swing the heavy sledge
hammers to drive railroad spikes and seat red-hot rivets. However men being
what men have always been, spent much of their time drinking and thinking
about sex, and the railroad spikes were not always driven in as deep as they
should have been and the rivets were not always seated. Structures failed
that *should**not* have failed by the drawing board calculations. Failure
analysis found out the problems. Engineers strove to develop ways to take
the "human factor" out of these critical construction operations. (This
1910's-1940's information comes to me from my late father-in-law, Dr. R.F.
Branch, who ran Army aid stations in the Pacific in WWII and was the
physician who tied the dog tag on Earnie Pyle's toe. I really miss him
alot. We would BS for hours on end.)
The engineers developed a riveting gun that always completely seated the
rivets. In the personnel crunch of WWII it was discovered that "Rosie The
Riveter" could hold the tool just as well as any old Joe. ;-) Joe could go
get shot at and Rosie could build the equipment just as good a Joe could.
The machine took away the variability.
(3) *IF* the HF tools are primarily assembled by machines, they can be as
good as *anything* Sir Isaac Newton, Da Vinci, Einsten, DeWalt, ...., could
have possibly carved by hand. ;-)
I have my NOMEX undies on. Bring it on! <g>
I don't think I would buy anything major from them unless you have a local
for returning defectives. Sometimes it is hard to predict in advance if the
quality will be adequate.
Much of their stuff is good enough for occasional use (most occasional users
are more likely to lose
tools from theft or drop damage than from wearing them out).
The average hobbyist/homeowner will use a piece of equipment a couple hours
a year, but using a really nice brand name piece is kind of cool, though, if
you can justify the extra 400% cost :>)
90% of them are pure junk not fit for the intended purpose. The other
10% are OK for occassional use.
Forget these HF dregs and buy known quality tools that you can trust
and that will help you achieve quality work.
Chicago Electric is a brand name intended to decieve the consumer into
thinking these are made in the USA. Chicago Electric along with
Pittsburg Forge, and Central Pnuematic are farmed out to the lowest
cost/lowest quality manufacturers in China.
Buy quality and you'll only say ouch once. Buy this crap and you'll
curse and swear every time you use it and eventually get so frustrated
it'll go in the garbage can.
email@example.com (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote in message
It all depends. It depends on what you are going to use it for, your skill
level, income, severity of use, etc. Take their cordless drills for
example. The 18v. is a very good tool for the occasional hobbist, home
You are right, the quality is not there, most of the time. But for those of
us who are beginning or occasional hobbists, there is no way we can justify
the added expense of "name brand." Speaking of which, A lot of stuff
Grizzly sells LOOKS an awful lot like the stuff from HF. Are you
suggesting a person buy Grizzly just because of the name? Just kidding!
If price were no issue and my skills warranted it, I would buy top of the
line everytime. However, as they say, this is not a perfect world.
it's NOT? damn! *g*
IMHO, if we could all start this "hobby" with a lot of bucks and a
knowledge of tools, HF wouldn't exist..
But for people like me, who had a new marriage/job/family/home to take
priority over tool budget, places like HF allow you to get a few basic
tools that you'd have to wait years for if you only bought good
It sure isn't a perfect world. (If it was I'd have real shop!) However
look at it this way: The purpose of tools, especially power tools, is
to make your life easier. If the tool makes your life harder on the
balance because it's poorly made, you have to get two or three before
it runs right, etc., is it really making your life easier.
Less money for less quality only works to a point and my experience
with Harbor Freight is that they are perilously close to that point.
You can tell a really good idea by the enemies it makes
I have a HF 14" band saw. I use it for one thing: cutting windsor chair
seats out of two inch thick pine. It works wonderfully for that. So I
would say it depends upon your intended use. You can't resaw with this for
One more thing, is that when even the good tools are made in China, I
shop mostly based upon price. I'm prefectly willing to pay more for
something that's not made in a thirld world country, but the
manufacturers are not giving me that choice unless I want to go out of
my way buy professional grade items that no homeowner would ordinarily
Like I said, it depends on the tool. You're rolling the dice. Several
of there tools that are actually acceptable and represent pretty good
However most of them are unfit for any reasonable use. If you only
get one usable tool for every 4-5 you purchase then you have been
penny wise and pound foolish.
I think their upper end air tools are decent. Feedback on their
cheapy angle grinders is also pretty good.
However I would never touch any of their tools where precision or
cutting is a requirement. An example if their cordless drills. You
can actually wobble the chuck laterally!!
I bought one of their 1/2 HP 6" bench grinders. What total garbage.
The motor is so gutless it stalls out at the slightest load. I
measured the running amperage and it was only 2 amps. (another
deceptive HP rating)
On the other hand I bought one of their $2.99 digital multimeters.
It's perfectly acceptable for basic use. If I need precision I'll dig
out my Fluke, but for simple continuity tests or rough voltage
measurements it's OK.
firstname.lastname@example.org (davefr) wrote in message
I have been eyeballing HF power power tools for about a year. I finaly
brokdown and told my wife to get me a combo disk/belt sander for
Cristmas as an experiment. It was the central machienry brand 4" belt
with a 6" disk. On christmas day I assembled it pluged it in and
fooled around with it for about 10 minutes. It seemed to be
acceptable. I did not expect it to last very long because it was
CHEAP. The other day I needed to use it for real the first time. I
turned it on Its motor was bound up and it literaly went up in smoke.
I dont use some of my more than others this was one I knew I would not
use every weekend but when I had a use for it, it would be very handy
I think this exeriment can be dubed a colosal failure. I tried to
return it but could only get store credit which is fine I love HF. But
I think I will stick to buying thier disposable hand tools, saw blades
I am an avid woodworker and It is a good rule of thumb you get what you
pay for when you buy power tools. HF power tools are great for a one
time project after that the tool will probably just colect dust in a
The argument of buying a cheap tool to learn with I find very strange.
Why not buy a good tool that is easy to use. I makes learning much
easier and fun.
I tend to disagree with you about the clamps.
I have bought some good and some bad things from HF, but the clamps
aluminum bar clamps 24" @ 6.99 and 3/4 pipe clamps @ 3.49 were well
worth the price. As for other items, A set of twist drill bits and
fostener bits were on the good side as well. Other excellent buys were
Tarps, a set of drifts, a dial gauge. Some failures sanding blocks,
alum oxide paper (good for rough stuff and some sanding drums), a set of
internal /external snap ring pliers, a corner chisel.
You must be careful when you order, and return the crap... they will
take it back... They even pay shipping.
Power tools are another thing. I went to the Allentown PA store once and
was surprised at the low quality of some items. One thing I did want
that seemed to be of high quality was a Air Hose Reel. They had some
very good ones for some reasonable prices.
Lobby Dosser wrote:
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