Re: Harbor Freight quality

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had
I doubt you will be sorry about the 20 bucks you shelled out. I love mine for the price. Their router bits are probably ok if you have a need for a couple of uses, but if you are gonna need them any more than that, (roundovers, chamfers, pattern cutting, etc.) invest in good bits. I have bought one of their cheap carbide sets, and used enough of them to feel I got my money's worth ($19.95), but all the often used are Whiteside or equal. And what the hell, when I throw the cheap ones out, I can use the flip-out tray box they came in, for good bits.
Digger
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C Carruth may have said:

I've bought a lot of stuff from HF, the quality is usually better than the price indicates, sometimes much better, with an occasional turkey in the mix.
Dick
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on
If you look at their online catalog, and study the model numbers, and then go to the store and check the same units and their model numbers, you can pretty easily see how to get virtually anything "on sale" by having them price match with web prices. I stumbled on to this after seeing someone on this group mention a saw on sale and price matching with the web page. looking at the numbers tells the story pretty fast. I questioned the local HF and they said as long as I bring a printed page from their site, with the lower price, they will match. I bought the $319 14" bandsaw for $219 NOT on sale.
Digger
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wrote:

HF sells a LOTof junk. But it does carry a few quality name brands, usually behind glass cabinets. It is one of those stores you need to be careful about quality. I bought a cast-iron stand for my grinder at HF for $30--it is China-made cheap but it doesn't matter to have a low-quality grinder stand for my low-quality grinder!
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It's funny how the people who say that HF stuff is junk don't ever buy it. How can you be an expert when you are not experienced?
I've bought:
14" Bandsaw large drill press Recripricating saw 5" Grinder HVLP Sprayer w/ Turbine Dozens of Clamps 14" metal cut-off saw 7" wet tile saw Various stands Other handtoold 18g brad nailer 15g finish nailer stacked dado set Router bits
In general, all of their disposables and blades are sub-par, so plan on replacing them if you need quality. Otherwise, it's all tool grade, if not heirloom grade. I see pros using their stuff all the time. The only think that I've bought from them that was a POS was a $15 hand plane, which I returned.
I also buy a lot of non-HF stuff when I need real precision (table saw, router, etc). If you want to get something that you'll use for many years, then go ahead and spend the money to buy something nicer.
Good Luck, Matt
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I made a mistake once of buying a grinder at HF.
It was cheap. Only $20. I did not expect great quality for that price.
What I got was a total piece of crap. Parts were missing. It had a terrible vibration when running. I did not think it was safe to use.
I do think you can find some bargains there, but you have to be very careful.

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I agree with that. Some of their stuff is junk, some is worthwhile. I find the tools that I use only very infrequently can be of Harbor Freight quality. Even my shop at work is now buying some of their products.
440 LB electric hoist $59 Sawzall type reciprocating saw $29 Bubble level with built-in laser $9 B&D Workmate clone $11 B&W Security camera $29 Emergency light (wall mount - 2 lights) $19 Tow Strap $8 Tarps $1-$20 Bought lots of 'em Digital Volt Meter $2.99 (got several - accuracy rivals my Fluke!) Pneumatic variable speed drill $19 Digital Clamp on Amp meter $9 Bench top drill press $39 (bought a decade ago)
"I" wouldn't buy their blades or router bits because they appear to be below the level I'll accept. All those items above have been thoroughly tested and work great. I bought a bench top TS that was junk and I subsequently dumped it. Not all their stuff works as well as I had hoped, but the vast majority of it was worth a lot more than I paid, which is why I keep going back.

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In rec.woodworking

See my post on the clamp meter. It MATCHES the Fluke and I could get 15 of them for the same money.
I've had my eye on that $29 sawsall. You are really happy with it?
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wrote:

Let me know in twenty years how that meter is holding up! A fellow I work with bought a VOM from HF. It lasted about 6 months of daily use, and failed when he was not able to replace it easily. He bought Fluke to repalce it! For the home owner, occasional use, I would probably buy one or two also, if I did not have five different Fluke meters in my possession already! Greg
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In rec.woodworking

It certainly could fail at an inopportune time, I agree, though electronics today are pretty reliable. If they work out of the box, they will usually continue to work for years unless mistreated. And you did adress it but for the price difference on the clamp meter, you could buy a new one every year and only be behind after the 15th year.
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Take the price of the Fluke, divide by $2.99, let me know how many SPARES that'll cover! Flukes are good meters, which is why we have them at work. But 99.99999% of the time, that el-cheapo meter will do most everything "I" need whether it be at work (Biomedical field use) or at home. I've already opened it up and had a look at the guts. The main chip is buried in an expoxy blob on the board, the rest is rather well built on a single board. You're probably right though, it may only last 15 years. ;-)
As mentioned in my original post, I bought this for my truck, boat, toolbox, and for field work. The lab still gets the high dollar toys. Oh, Flukes die too. We're getting rid of a Fluke Datalogger and replacing it with a laptop and an IOtech. Fluke couldn't fix it reliably, and having to repeat a 2hr airpack test with human subjects isn't an option. As Fluke says, "If it works, it's a Fluke". Funny, but sometimes true. Money doesn't always buy quality or reliability. We've bought a lot of high end electronics at work and sent them to our calibration lab before use... only to find they failed the initial cal. The equipment, in those cases, were returned.
If your buddy needs it as a daily tool, what's he doing buying a $2.99 meter designed for occasional use by a home owner? :-o I consider Harbor Freight tools great for the occasional use. I don't think many of their products would withstand daily use as professional equipment, but then again, their stuff is a fraction of the cost. If he couldn't afford professional quality equipment, he could at least bought a few spares. :-)
wrote:

daily
if
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Well, would you be willing to stand directly in front of a table saw blade turning at very high rate of speed and wonder if those little teeth(carbide) are going to stay on there ???
Would you be willing to put your hand VERY CLOSE to a router bit that is turning at 22,500rpm and wonder if that edge is attached correctly ???
The same applies to the slot cutter and reciprocating saw....
C Carruth wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net says...

And does paying 2-4 times more somehow guarantee they will???
--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
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No guarantees, but the odds are much better.
If you want to take the risk, do it with your body.
says...

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Pat Barber wrote:

Yes. I do every week. I have several HF blades: they all perform suprisingly well, for what I paid.
Maybe I got lucky...maybe not. My BIL is happy with his HF blades, as well.
--
************************************
Chris Merrill
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bucks
there
a
They
said
Go to the HF site, click on "order from the printed catalog" on the left. When the window for the product code comes up, enter the quantity (1) in the first box, the item number (41168) in the next box, the discount code (5vga) in the third box, and (vga) in the last box. Click add to order, and a page will show the 10" SCMS at $95.99. Print this page with all of the HF logos and stuff and take it to the store and purchase for less than $100. If you look on the boxes, you will see the model number, not the "X"vga series. It's the discount level. They will match it at the store. Have fun.
Digger
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And if anybody wants to browse the print catalog, and doesn't have it with them, go to http://catalogs.google.com and search for "Harbor Freight"
david
--
"We have money to blow up bridges over the Tigress and Euphrates and we
don't have money to build bridges in our major cities. We have money to
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wrote:

I owned their 10" SCMS for a couple of days last year. Got it on sale for $99 took it home and tried it out. It cut ok but I felt that the sliding mechanism was a bit sloppy (in other words it lacked precision.) Also the little interlock button associated with the switch is fragile and easly broken/lost. One good thing about HF is you can take it home and check it out and if you do not like it you can return it and get your money back.
A SCMS is a great job site tool but in the shop an old craftsman RAS ($100) is superior in my opinion.
One great value they (HF) are currently offering is the 6" digital calipers for $19.95 (includes a case and a spare battery.) I have never heard anyone complain about these (except people who have never used them.) Regards Bob
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I've bought a lot of little odds and ends from them - clamps, drill bits, calipers, emery cloth strips and have been pretty happy with what I've botten.
BTW, I bought a Craftsman circular saw blade ($48) a couple of weeks ago and the third night it shed a carbide tooth (WoW! - that will wake you up). Sears replaced it with no hassles I'm happy to say.
On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 18:58:29 GMT, Pat Barber

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Replaced it...heh...they're probably just happy they don't have a law suit on their hands. What a scary thought -- I don't think I'll ever buy a Craftsman blade now....
david
--
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don't have money to build bridges in our major cities. We have money to
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