harbor frieght tools

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Quick question of some of you more experienced power tool users....can I trust a Chicago Electric sliding miter saw?
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To do what? It will be underpowered. It will break prematurely. It will not give you accurate angles.
So, if you aren't going to use it much and don't need accuracy, it might be a great saw for you.
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (bigdaddy12367) wrote in

Do you have an HF nearby? --- if so, go look.
I was in the store in PDX the other day (picking up clamps); I looked at one of the CMS's (wasn't the slider) -- the blade was binding on the guard as you brought the blade down. The return spring for the miter head looks like it's retained very poorly. Very scary tool.
I like HF for some things -- but I wouldn't trust anything with spinny sharp metal.
Now having said that -- one of our favorite restaurants was having some re-model work done. The guy doing the work was using an HF CMS. I had to chuckle at that.
--
Regards,

JT
Speaking only for myself....
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John Thomas wrote:

I agree. I bought a band saw from them a while back and the blade wouldn't stay on the wheels.
Mike
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On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 11:43:28 -0800, upand_at_them wrote:

I have their 14" model. Once I had made the simple adjustments called for in the directions that came with it, mine worked fine right out of the box.
As did my 12x33 lathe, my 6" jointer, my 12 1/2" planer, my 6" beltsander.
Don't know what, if anything, was actually wrong with your bandsaw, but your experience is not typical. Moreover, when I did have a problem (slow delivery on some accessory parts), their customer service department corrected the problem.
YMMV. Mine certainly did.
Bill
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I have to agree here also. I have their 6" jointer and an el cheapo drill press and they've worked flawlessly. Had a belt/disc sander combo that had the bearings go after 18 months, cost me $6 to fix, kept it for another 18 months and sold it at a garage sale for about 75% of what I paid for it. Also bought their mortise machine - no problems so far.
as you said, YMMV.
Vic
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Wed, Jan 18, 2006, 10:48pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (VicBaron) listeth: <snip> I have their 6" jointer and an el cheapo drill press and they'veworked flawlessly. Had a belt/disc sander combo <snip>
I don' got no jointer, but forgot to say that I've got the bench drill press, wood lathe, belt/disc sander, and a 4" grinder or two. They're all still working just fine.
JOAT If you can't say anything nice about someone, you must be talking about Hilary Clinton.
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Wed, Jan 18, 2006, 6:13pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@intel.com (JohnThomas) exclaimeth: <snip the blade was binding on the guard as you brought the blade down. The return spring for the miter head looks like it's retained very poorly. Very scary tool. I like HF for some things -- but I wouldn't trust anything with spinny sharp metal. Now having said that -- one of our favorite restaurants was having some re-model work done. The guy doing the work was using an HF CMS. I had to chuckle at that.
So? A tool on the floor is put together by someone that doesn't care. I've seen the HF sliders with parts loose, parts on backwards, etc. Not impressitve. BUT, I've also seen them put together right, with everything properly tighteed. And, those seeme to be comporable to tools costing a lot more, with more prestigious names. Would I buy one? You betcha. However, I would not use one every day, and my income would not depend on it. Even so, I think it'd last me well enough.
I have a number of small HF power tools. No prob. I don't have a lot of money to burn, so my saw is, and has been for somewhere around 8 years, an el cheapo HF 10" bench saw. Arouind $59 new, if I recall right. Made a sled for it, bought a cheap carbide blade, and works no prob. Again, I don't use it every day, and I don't depend on any part of my income with it. But, it's still working, and probably will for years to come. I would like to scrape up some money for someing a few steps higher, and convert this one to a dis sander - but until then, I'll keep using it, and be happy that I have a saw, period.
As far as a contractor using a HF tool. Every time I go in the local store, there's contractors in there buying. Go figure.
JOAT If you can't say anything nice about someone, you must be talking about Hilary Clinton.
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HF is the cheapest of the cheap. Remember the old adage, the pain of paying for higher quality fades, but the grief of a cheap tool lasts until you rid yourself of it.
Dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

I agree that Harbor Freight has a pretty crappy reputation... and some of their power tools don't exactly inspire confidence. But it seems to me that more mainstream stuff is actually from places like China and that the quality of everything coming out of China is improving. Truly some stuff is not so great, but other stuff is just fine. I wouldn't immediately discount HF, but buyer beware and YMMV and all that.
Regarding a sliding miter saw. I'm still hacking away on an old B&D I bought for a song years ago. All in all it works pretty damn good... something got bent however and even a new blade wobbles just a fuzz. A new sliding miter saw is high on my "thinking about getting" list. At this point in time I'm mostly settled on the midrange 10" Hitachi even though the orange HF saw costs half as much (maybe even less). The HF saw seems to have a rough slider and the thing is just a little on the flimsy side. The Hitachi feels like a rock.
While I'm all for the idea of buying a cheap power tool if your needs are occasional and light duty, I can just about guarantee that if you buy tools on the cheap you WILL be disappointed somewhere along the line. Just figure that in and determine if that's worth the money you'll save.
Joe Barta
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No, that would be Homier. HF is way ahead of them.
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Wed, Jan 18, 2006, 7:54pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@Yahoo.com (Toller) doth sayeth: No, that would be Homier. HF is way ahead of them.
Amazing as it may seem, awhile back I found one that is possibly even lower then Hornier. They have traveling sales, as does Hornier. I've gone to a couple, or three, and the ONLY thing I could bring myself to buy was the Chinee air rifle they sell - more then worth the price. At the Hornier sales, I actually do once-in-awhile buy a few small, and inexpensive, items.
JOAT If you can't say anything nice about someone, you must be talking about Hilary Clinton.
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Cummins? They do the truckload thing around here two or three times a year.
J T wrote:

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Thu, Jan 19, 2006, 10:28am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@shout.net (MikeBerger) asketh: Cummins? They do the truckload thing around here two or three times a year.
Yep, I'm sure that's the one. Like I said, the Chinese air rifle is the only thing I've seen there I'd consider buying - great deal. I got the air pistol too, but wouldn't buy another.
JOAT If you can't say anything nice about someone, you must be talking about Hilary Clinton.
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid says...

It's not a Hitachi, but it's 1/5th the price. One cow-orker has issues with his (stiff slide bearings) and another likes his. I figured it would be worth it if all I did on it was to cut framing. It's actually better than I thought it would be and well worth the $100 paid.
--
Keith

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I have one that about 5 years old and still working fine. that being said, I use it for rough work only it does not cut accurately enough for any fine work.Built a deck with it, some framing, ect. still on the first brushes. with harbor freight its a crap shoot, brother in law bought same saw at the same time and has had very different results all bad. if you have the 100 to though away you could win or lose.
Good luck
Len

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Thanks for the advice....prob worth a trip to sears then eh? lol :)
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All that being said, I now add that I am very happy with that thirty dollar reciprocating saw I got from HF about two years ago. Bought it for one job, figured if it lasted for just that job, it was worth a shot. And it's been a workhorse ever since.
But my own feeling on those guys is, the more precise the item has to be, and the more complicated it is, the worse your odds get. Not saying you'll always get crap, but I think it gets more and more likely the more you'll be asking it to do.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I bought a 4" grinder once for a single job. It wasn't from HF but it was a dirt cheap made in China sort of thing. It lasted for one job... almost. The thing was the most poorly made POS power tool I ever bought in my life. The good news is I saved a few bucks. The bad news is that if I ever need one again, I'll have to buy one again.
Joe Barta
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wrote:

Funny. One of the very few things I've ever bought from Harbor Freight that had moving parts, happened to be a 4 inch grinder. I was restoring a '51 Dodge and I burned out a Snap-On grinder. Replacing it would have been a $130 ordeal. So, I gave Harbor Freight a try. They had a couple different grinders on the shelves, but I bought a $19 model. It has a trip off switch and the cheaper $15 model had a simple slide switch. I'm not real fond of the trip off switch when you compare it to a well designed grinder with a dead man switch, but the price made me give it a try.
For $20 I really didn't care that much if I toasted the thing so I put it to brutal work. It never missed a beat. I'm still using and abusing it today. I can't really take the position that a cheap tool will always break when you need it the most - that's what my top notch Snap-On grinder did. If I toast this the next time I use it, I'll probably go spend another $19 for a replacement. I can go through 4 of them before I hit the price of a DeWalt and 6 before I hit the price of a Snap-On.
That experience hasn't made me comfortable with much else that Harbor Freight sells that moves, but I do have to say that grinder has held up well.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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