Harbor Freight Multi-tool WOW!

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I'd been wondering if those things really DO anything but vibrate and was reading all the posts when my wife tells me that she and a neighbor are going to the States Thursday on a shopping trip.. Hmmm... Yuma has a small HF!
So I give her a page out of readers digest with all the coupons, tell her that I'll try the basic one for $34 before I consider the $80 VS model..
Good news: They had them in stock and even with the straight blade that it comes with, I'm flat amazed how well it cuts!
Bad news: Shy happens to mention that "I almost called you about the variable speed one, but you said you wanted the cheap one".. Turns out that IT was on sale for $49, so for another $15 I could have had the newer model.. arggg
Anyway, all I've done with it so far is some plunge cuts in pine 1 x 4 scraps, but I'm really impressed.. She watched me unpack it and put a blade on and neither one of us thought it would even cut.. Hell, it looks just like my HF detail sander...
I'd recommend this tool to anyone that can afford it.. Just don't see how you can go wrong at $34..
OH.. she also bought 3 different blades for it, since I gave her a 20% off coupon.. Cool!
mac
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You now have just the tool to cut through those big ironwood logs you like to play with all the time!
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On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 04:04:46 -0500, "Lee Michaels"

cut it.. I've got about 40 pounds of ironwood on the lathe right now and I'm trimming as I go.. The portable bandsaw is ok, but slow and has a restricted width of cut, the recip saw just sits and dulls the blades and the saber saw is ok but very slow.. The HF tool, with the straight saw blade it comes with, cuts right through it.. Only bad part is that it burns it's way through, which stinks up the house..
mac
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On 2/26/2010 1:08 AM, mac davis wrote:

cool.
Bill
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mac davis wrote:

3 times a week for, cutting drywall for electrical outlets, cutting baseboard when replacing with wider door casing, removing tile grout and many other uses I can't think of now. I would suggest using the Dremel or Bosch blades available at most of your Big Box stores. Those blades fit my older model, not sure about the new one.
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I've had mine for about a year and it's saved me a ton of time, but: Unless you really torque it, the blades tend to vibrate loose. Number One son got me a Dremel as a replacement, but have yet to give it a good workout. Will report back when I do.
Larry
mac davis wrote:

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I thought this was THE major problem with the HF units and made them no bargain. Has someone figured out a solution or are they OK if used only in the occassional home DIY environment?
nb
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On 2/26/10 5:03 PM, notbob wrote:

I've never experience them coming loose.
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On 2/26/2010 6:43 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

FWIW, the blade on an original Fein will come loose too. That's why they went to the toothed drive.
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On 2/26/2010 3:43 PM -MIKE- spake thus:

Apparently the old "multifunction tool" (the one I got for $35 recently) has this problem. After looking at the mounting system for the cutting tools, I can see why: there are 4 little nubs on the mounting plate that could easily get worn down.
The "new" (variable-speed) tool has an improved mounting system, perhaps similar to Fein's new one.
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On 2/26/10 8:54 PM, David Nebenzahl wrote:

That's the one I have. There are no nubs anywhere. There are four holes in the blades that do not correspond with with anything on the tool. The tool has tiny rings that give it some texture. When I take a blade off, I notice how the rings get embossed onto the blades.
It's possible there is a new version of the single speed tool that has nubs. Mine have nothing. I have noticed on the old one that it's easy to mount the blade NOT perfectly centered over a center ring on the tool, which would interfere with it being fully tightened.
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On 2/26/2010 10:20 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

And that problem also occurs with the original Fein.
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wrote:

Sounds as if you got a defective unit.
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On 2/27/10 7:42 AM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Sound like you don't know what you're talking about.
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wrote:

Then your hearing is poor.
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Are you still referring to the Harbor Freight unit (var)? What would be the advantage to one of these tools being variable? If slowed down too much, seems it would lose its effectiveness and bog down. OTOH, I have no experience with one.
nb
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"notbob" wrote:

Edge cuts or where control is req'd..
Lew
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On 2/26/2010 7:51 PM notbob spake thus:

Though I wasn't commenting on that aspect of the tool, I agree that being able to vary the speed isn't a plus in my book either. I was just pointing out that the variable-speed version has a different, presumably better tool-mounting system.
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wrote:

the original tool had flaws. This would appear to be two distinct coies of theoriginal. I would have been more impressed with an imporved version.
Maybe they figure a cheapie model with the bad blade mounting.
And a more expensive model with the mounting problem solved.
They get their foot in the door with a cheap knockoff. Then they "upgrade" you to a better model. Marketing is alive and well at Harbor Freight.
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On 2/26/2010 8:19 PM Lee Michaels spake thus:

Of course it is; marketing is an inescapable part of modern business. That makes them no worse than any other tool dealer or manufacturer, at least.
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