HF MUltifunction tool. . . first impressions.

Yesterday I bought a Multifunction Tool at the local Harbor Freight store. I paid $59.99 for it. I have watched several of the Fein Multitasking tools infomercials for the past year but I just couldn't bring myself to fork over the $360.00 plus that it cost.
Today I had a project that required cutting 1/4 Birch plywood. I had to make several cuts of 24 inches in straight lines. On my first cut I had to stop and retighten my blade. I didn't have a torque wrench so I was probably not twisting the 100 inch pounds the manual required. I put a bit more ooooomph into the tightening and tried cutting again. This time it worked great. I found that the best way to cut the 1/4 inch ply was to go slowly at first and not force the blade. After the blade was an inch or so into the cut it was very easy. I was freehanding following the pencil line and the quality of the cut was better than any of my jig saws or circular saws. Absolutely no tear out and very little sawdust. So far so good.
Tomorrow I am working on a project that requires cross cutting several pieces of one inch Hickory. That should really test the capability of the tool.
Have any of you had a chance to test this tool? Anyone done a headsup comparison with the real thing, the Fein tool? Or the new Dremel clone?
Dennis
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I thought about buying one as a detail sander when they were $39, but the damn things were so popular that they couldn't keep them on the shelves at $39, and still can't at the regular price.
Somebody is buying them but no one is talking. Unless it is a bigger tool, the magazines won't review a HF tool, which is a shame. As the overall quality of the tools we are getting seems to be going down, in some cases th quality of HF is going up. I don't know how long it will be until they meet in the middle.
How are the heat issues with the tool? I have read that some of these new oscillators get quite hot after using them for a while. Also, what do you think of the cutting accessories? THAT would scare me the most about this tool; cutters/grinders that were as soft as a beer can.
I do hope you post a follow up.Thanks for reporting.
Robert
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wrote:

That's an interesting observation. I needed a 3 HP router pronto, and they had a "PowerFist" on sale at our Kanukistani version of HF, called Princess Auto. $ 70.00, (That would be about $ 20.00 to you *G*) I stuck in a 3/4" flat bottom for rabbetting duties only... (The reason for the 'dedicated' router was that we would always know the depth of the rabbett... important to us..)
That thing has worked flawlessly, and it gets used a lot. Going on 2 years now in a daily production setting. $ 70.00...I mean, it is almost disposable should it ever shit the bed.
So cudos to the folks at PA/HF.. with a gentle ribbing aimed at Morris.
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wrote:

That's an interesting observation. I needed a 3 HP router pronto, and they had a "PowerFist" on sale at our Kanukistani version of HF, called Princess Auto. $ 70.00, (That would be about $ 20.00 to you *G*)
Princess Auto? Is that a "manly" store? ;~)
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We're pretty secure with our sexuality up here in Kanukistan. A good friend of mine from the Navy, wears this 'salmon' shirt. (It is pink, okay?) I have yet to see anybody go up to him and make any remarks about it. If I was single, I would be honoured to drag home the wimmen he didn't have time for.... and that ain't many.
Personally, I find those butt-less chaps that cow'boys' wear rather faggy.
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wrote:

We're pretty secure with our sexuality up here in Kanukistan. A good friend of mine from the Navy, wears this 'salmon' shirt. (It is pink, okay?) I have yet to see anybody go up to him and make any remarks about it. If I was single, I would be honoured to drag home the wimmen he didn't have time for.... and that ain't many.
Personally, I find those butt-less chaps that cow'boys' wear rather faggy.
Especially if they are not wearing blue jeans underneath. LOL
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That's an interesting observation. I needed a 3 HP router pronto, and they had a "PowerFist" on sale at our Kanukistani version of HF, called Princess Auto. $ 70.00, (That would be about $ 20.00 to you *G*)
3hp for $70 eh? Princess Auto is cheap for a reason and only out of dire necessity would I buy something like that from them. However, it could be considered as you stated, a throwaway purchase and the end result is that you lucked out in the end. All it would take is for it to screw up on one job site for you to lose any accumulated money and time, costing much more than the $70.
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It is relegated to a mundane innocuous task. It makes a 1/16" x 9/16 rabbet along the bottom edge of a sheet of corian. It is there to stop the front edge from sliding as it is glued on. Not critical. BTW, that router has soft start, plunges, and takes 1/2" bits. The only stupid design fault, is the head of the motor housing is rounded, so it won't stay put upside-down when doing a bit change.
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I had to laugh when I saw the name of it. Purchasing a router with a name like "PowerFist" would send me shrieking in terror from the store.
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LOL... a really cool logo too...
http://www.powerfist.ca /
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Makes me think of a cut rate ninja B movie with masked actors bouncing all over the place. Next time I'm in the vicinity of Princess Auto, I'll have to go have a look around if only to get a laugh.
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Bring some of those foam earplugs...for your nose. The place reeks of cheap Chinese rubber.
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Robatoy wrote:

Tools for Mixed Martial Arts? :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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I saw this tool before Thanksgiving and thought the blades might fit the Multimaster at a greatly reduced price. That said however, Fein instructed me to use a sawing motion, back and forth like you when you cut bread with a knife ,to get the best results with the saw blades. Because the blades do not spin the teeth need to be cleared out with the back and forth motion.

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On Fri, 16 Jan 2009 11:26:40 -0600, "Leon"

on HF power tools. Sure I had heard some of their stuff (lathe chisels) were serviceable but had always thought the power tools should be avoided at all cost. Would love to hear more feedback on other HF tools.
Lenny
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I think it's a mixed bag. An angle grinder that I bought for $14 (or maybe $19), lasted for about 2 jobs and then failed. The fan blade on the motor fell off and made a hell of a racket, enough so that it gave enough of an impression that it was unsafe that I threw it away. Truth be told, the wheel still spun fine. I have a 4" belt/6" disc sander that is working fine 10 years later. I just bought a bench grinder from them. It is a motor that makes a couple stone wheels go around... much like any other bench grinder I have ever used. While assembling, I had to modify the brackets that hold the shields so they would fit better. I have several sets of drill bits that are working fine several (bordering on many) years later.
If you think you are going to get a $140 tool for $14, think again. If you think you are going to get a $500 for $100, think again. If you expect a $50 tool to do the job of a $200 tool, you are probably barking up the wrong tree but with a little extra setup work, it may well come close. Personally, I'd avoid their hand electric tools (drills, grinders, etc.) but on larger stuff (bench tools and floor tools even), I'd consider them with the understanding that they'll need some work to perform.
YMMV
Ed
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On Jan 16, 6:19pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances. That's the HF way.
I have a 4 1/2 grinder that I cannot kill. I made some real attempt by grinding everything to pig iron, hardened masonry fasteners and hard rock masonry slits for flashings. I paid $14. After five years, it still won't die.
I have a 7" polisher. Same story.
My 3 hp backup HF oil splasher compressor ($89 !!) won't leave the rotation.
I have bought a couple of those roughly finished plier sets where you get 5 pliers for $20 on sale. Pretty good quality.
Bought a cheapie set of "T" style hex wrenches to work on my nail guns. Great quality steel, low quality handles. The whole set cost what one "good" wrench would cost.
One of my friends has their biscuit machine which is apparently on sale frequently for $39. He absolutely loves it. It is has a much rougher finish than my PC, but it does the job.
On the other hand....
Small trim router. Paid $14 for it, got $14 out of it and it died. I bought it on recommendation from one of my friends, and his still runs great.
Bought some large Pittsburgh screwdrivers to open paint cans at $.99 ea. Worth exactly that, and only good for opening paint cans.
One of my guys bought a multiple power drive set for his cordless drill. Apparently, the bits were made from plaster of paris as they all broke very easily.
Bought a detail sander about 7-8 years ago. It still runs and works well, but pads no longer available.
Purchased their version of a "Wonder Bar" to use for roofing repair. Great for pulling shingles, but as a pry bar, the metal is so soft it will bend VERY easily.
Truly, with HF it is buyer beware. But for me, it has been that way with tools for years. Now I don't care who makes it, as long as I get the money out of it I paid into it. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Robert
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On Sat 17 Jan 2009 04:08:57a, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" <nailshooter41

use that tool. I wanted a recip saw for one job, and bought it at HF for 30 bucks instead of a good one for a hundred. Used it, liked it, and by the time it died the next year I'd decided I wanted one of those things so I bought a Milwaukee.
When the brad nailer finally dies, I'll get a name brand. It's been six or seven years.
I did buy some screw clamps. I'll never, ever do that again. They're a real nuisance to use compared to the good ones.
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I generally stay away from HF power tools, but have picked up some clamps and other non-strategic stuff there from time to time. My son recently bought an an angle grinder for under $20. When we fired it up to zap out a mis-struck nail, the grinding disk hit the frame. That's pretty shoddy.
I do have their $80 knockoff of the $350 power wetstone still sitting in the box. Just waiting for the temperature to break above freezing so I can get back in my shop.
Larry (WI)
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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TD Driver wrote:

Bummer. Here in Austin Texas (Pflugerville, to be more precise) I spent all day in the shop in a T-shirt with the door open! Ok, so I did have a sweatshirt on in the morning, and it was just chilly enough to cause one of my fluorescent bulbs to finally give up the ghost (weren't we just talking about those?), but other than that it was great. I feel sorry for all you snowbirds. Sorta. :-)
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
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