Harbor Freight 19.2V Cordless Drill/Driver.


For civility discussion and exchange views;
The background:
Recently bought a Harbor Freight cordless/driver 19.2v drill, for $29.99 during their sales. Sold my cordless Porter Cable 14.4v last year together with all my woodworking's tools. I need a cordless drill/driver for a small job. To my surprise this China-made tool is solid but crude not as nice, smooth or beautiful compares with Porter Cable. I returned the next day and bought an additional battery ($19.99) and two year warranties ($10). I figure if it failed in two years I still got my money worth of an investment of $65.
The charger is a simple 24V DC. No "memory" or "program" compares with Porter Cable. Just a simple 24V DC charger. On further examination of the battery, it has 14 Ni-Cad 1.2V 1300 mAH cells. Comparable Sanyo's cell cost more than $5 per cell. Harbor Freight replacement battery cost $19.99. Would you not consider it as selling below cost or "give away"?
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On 7/4/2011 3:51 PM, WD wrote:

I would certainly would not consider it to be sold under cost, what would be the point? Think CHEAP from CHINA.
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wrote:

I bought one of the HF drill kits and an extra battery but use it so infrequently that the batts go low before I need them. I'm heading to Homey's Despot this week and buying a replacement Ryobi combo kit for $89. Two batts for my old Ryobi 14.4v cost the same amount, so I get a drill motor, two batts, circ saw, charger (all 18v), and case for the same price, plus I can probably get $30 for the old kit and $20 for the HF kit (if I'm lucky.) http://goo.gl/sdJiO
The Ryobis are light years ahead of the HF cheapies, with much longer battery life (per charge) and at least triple the torque.
Hmm, the kit adding a recip + a flashlight is only $129... http://goo.gl/XM0rG
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On 7/6/2011 1:27 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Unless you have a specific need for a battery operated saw I would suggest not spending the money. I have found that you get extremely low run time out of rechargeable batteries when they are used for any thing much more than a drill or dust buster. For the same money you can get a corded version that will work all day long vs 3~4 minutes per charge.
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wrote:

I hear you. The little cordless circ saws are great to cut laminate to rough size or make quick cutouts/cutoffs in sheet goods, though. Just don't try to make any curved cuts with 'em.
But I want (and will buy) the kit primarily for the drill motor, since the impactor isn't ideal for drilling. And having just seen the need for a cordless recip saw (which doesn't eat batts like the circ saw does), I think the $40 difference for it and the flashlight is probably warranted. Unlike the HF, the Ryobi drill motor stops instantly when the trigger is released, within 1 rev.
My main screwdriver, though, is a lovely Makita BTD141 18v lithium beauty. http://goo.gl/FYK5D
And YES, I've been infected by you guys' rantings on panel saws and am getting crosseyed by keeping one eye on them and the other on reality. ;)
-- Fear not those who argue but those who dodge. -- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
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On 7/6/2011 7:27 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Impactor? Impact drive? The are actually great for drilling relatively small holes. I use Snappy bits.
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wrote:

They will do it, but not as smoothly as a regular drill driver. I hate having the impact kick in. 'Course, I work almost exclusively in soft woods, that wet pressure treated crap. Do you use brad points in Snappy mandrels on hardwoods?

Ditto. Remind me to buy another 1/16" bit tomorrow, for my tiniest Snappy mandrel.
-- Fear not those who argue but those who dodge. -- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
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On 7/6/2011 11:10 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

I don't do critical drilling with the regular Snappy drill bits so I leave the regular bits in. That said I actually have 3~4 sets of counter sink Snappy bits, they came in a large set, and those cut a pretty clean counter sink hole. In the past I use Insta-Bits and the countersink portion of the bits dulled quickly. The Snappy guy was counter sinking steel plates, they probably stay sharp longer.

I'll remind you now to buy several of that size, too cheap to not have a bunch on hand, less expensive than the gas burned to buy a replacement.

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On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 05:27:55 -0700, Larry Jaques

I have an old Makita 3-1/2" cordless circular saw. It's great for trimming cedar siding, standing on a ladder. ;-) I also have one of the 6-1/4"(?) DeWalts. It's very good cutting sheet goods down to size and other quick work (need to lop off one 2x).

Well...
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WD wrote:

Because the charger is a bare-bones model, do NOT let the battery sit in the charger longer than the recommendation - if I recall, it's five hours.
You CAN open up the charger and put a 30-ohm resister in series with the positive lead to permit leaving the battery in the charger indefinitely. Doing so will increase the charge time, so be aware of the trade-off.
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Yes, the instruction said, not longer than 5 hrs and charging is 3 to 5 hrs.

Good advice. I sold my soldering tools, Sanwa multimeter and digital tester. Thanks.
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An alternative would be to plug the charger into a timer with removable setting pins. Install the off pin but do not install the on pin. The timer will then turn off at the specified time.
Depending on the charger, leaving the battery on the charger for a long time (days) after it shuts off may result in a drained battery. Removing the battery the next day seems to work fine, however.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

I like your idea of the timer. Put the battery in place, set the timer for midnight with an OFF at 5:00 a.m., turn on the timer.
To prevent discharge, maybe add a diode to the positive terminal?
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On 7/5/2011 6:30 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Once you buy a timer, install a diode.....might as well have spent the extra money to get a good drill and charger.
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Leon wrote:

Not if you buy a Harbor Freight timer. Don't know if they sell diodes.
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HF doesn't sell diodes or other discrete components. Look online. All Electronics had 1N4003 diodes at 100 for $2-3.
The nice thing about the timer is you don't have to dedicate it to your tool. Use it for something else while you're not charging your battery.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

Yep. I gave up on those fancy-schmancy coffee pots. I had FOUR B&D undercounter units fail in two years. B&D replaced 'em free, but I got tired of messing with the damn things. I now have a $9.95 POS from Walmart (with a spare in the closet) driven by a mechanical timer. Hasn't failed in three years.
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