A couple of weeks ago I had time to kill between appointments so I
visited HF for the first time. It was better than expected, with some
cheap crap and some fairly good items at good prices. I had a 20%
coupon so I bought the variable speed multi- tool for $31 and change.
A few days later, I found myself in need of a tool of that sort. It
did the job and did it well. I had to cut the caulk where it was
between siding trim and the first deck board I was removing. I'm
replacing my 25 year old PT deck boards with tiger wood. (Goncalo
It may not perform as well as the $100+ tools, but it did what I
needed at a good price. I don't see myself using the tool every day
so I could not justify spending a lot.
I don't see them replacing a really good shop like Coastal Tool, but
they do serve a purpose.
What makes you think the HF tool won't perform BETTER - or at least as
well - as the high-priced spread? Is your opinion based solely on price?
Wait until you've had to undercut a door jamb or remove a piece of molding
that a saw can't reach or any of dozen other jobs for which the tool itself
is perfect. Then consider the price as being the reason you HAVE the tool.
It all works out.
I said it "may" not. I did not say "does" not.
My skepticism is based on use. It had a lot of vibration in the hand.
Of course, I expected some, but this was more than expected. The
cutting tool loosened up for times during the job. I thought the
force needed was high.
Never having used the high priced spread, I can't say for sure if it
is better or worse. It easily met my expectations for a $31 tool and
got the job done. If I paid $119 or more, I'd have been disappointed
in its performance. At the price, it is a good value.
If you paid $119 for it you would have an expensive tool that you use
once per year taking up space in your toolbox. The HF tool will do the
infrequent job well, and you will have money for the money to but the
expensive tools that you use daily. I have been very satisfied with the
stuff that I have bought at HF.
Right. Like any other story you have to pick and choose. I have
their upper end mult-tool. Once you realize you have to crank the
blade nut down good and tight it does most of its intended work (and
some other stuff) well.
I have posted here about my HF mortiser a few times. It was a guilty,
low cost splurge at $99 about ten years ago. Guilty because I left
the store thinking I hand just thrown the money away on a tool I would
be unhappy with. The material hold-down hardware sucks. The surface
of the bed is cheap vinyl covered particle board. It has good power,
The plunge mechanism is good but the handle is cheezy. The four bits
that came with it are actually quite good. At the end of the day, it
cuts square holes and if you take care with rigging your own hold down
it works quite well. If I had paid $350 - $400 for it I would be very
unhappy. But at $99 I probably got a little more than I paid for.
HF is a great source for expendable gloves, wire ties, etc.. I have
a couple of their cheap nail guns and they are fine. In fact my 18ga
gets about as much use as its Porter Cable companion.
I wouldn't touch any of their heavy woodworking or metal working tools
with a 10' pole.
Sure, what you say is true, but good tools make the job much easier.
It does not take a lot of money either. Take that #2 Phillips
screwdriver. After 100 screw, tell me if you want the $1.50 one or
the $8 model with the better contoured handle.
I can think of one: Where the screws are tiny (0-80, 1-72, 2-56) and
anything with a motor would be too cumbersome.
On the other side of the connection, some model railroad manufacturers
use plastic (or plastic-like) nuts to hold screws. The time to stop
tightening them is before or at the moment the pieces are snug.
Something with a motor would have a hard time stopping at the right place
(not to say it can't be done, just the average drill/driver will have
trouble with it.)
One other place comes to mind: at or below the waterline. I don't know
what you'd be fixing to need to drive 100 screws below the waterline, but
an impact or electric drill would not be a good choice there.
Sure, but Harbor Freight's cheaper. *g*
That "Mini chop saw" is a great buy at around $30. If they'd eliminate
the clamp and install a traditional fence, it'd be even better.
What I needed for driving those tiny screws, though, I found at Lowes.
They have a two pack of screwdrivers for around $2 I think that feel good
and fit the screws quite nicely. With a couple little tangs on the metal
part where it's inside the plastic, they're not likely to suffer from
spinning like many of the cheaper ones do.
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.