What is "chrome vanadium" - an HF story

I decided I needed a set of wrenches to adjust/set-up my bench tools, so I ordered a set from Harbor Freight. Made in India. "chrome vanadium". They finally arrive (HF SOP) and they look good, but I found that on one the "chrome" was flaking off. Is this simply a sign of bad manufacturing? I don't know ... is chrome just applied, so if it is applied badly, it flakes off? Or, does this mean, somehow, that whatever "chrome vanadium" is, the term is wrongly applied to these wrenches?
Of course, this may be just another HF story. Any comments? Thanks.
BTW, I added things up and realized that >10% of the stuff shows up DOA in one way or another. I ordered some of their pistol grip clamps. Two different versions of the 18" clamps showed up, one with a broken grip. On the 12" clamps, two of the same version but one had a broken grip. It's starying to be like a pot-luck trunk sale, but with return privileges.
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ordered a

arrive (HF

off. Is

applied, so

whatever
one way or

versions of the

the same

trunk sale,

chrome vanadium is a bit different from chrome plating, the plating peeling away just means that it is a bad chrome job. chrome vanadium is the metal that the wrench is actually forged from.
no big deal, you got what you paid for. you want a wrench to hang on the wall buy from HF, you want a wrench to actually use: go to sears and get a craftsman.
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Chrome Vanadium is the standard in tools. All the big names in tools use forged CV. That's why HF put it on their tools.
I bought a couple of 1/2 deep sockets from HF. One lasted a couple of bolts at 80 lb/ft before it cracked. I didn't even bother to go and get a free replacement from them.
My guess is that they chrome plated some cheap base metal with Vanadium as impurity, and called it CV.
Igor wrote:

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I buy the black wrenches and have two sets of impact sockets. I use them hard and have no complaints. They obviously have some junk, but it's obvious which is which when you see it in the store. Things like spring compressors I'd never pay for elsewhere. Wilson

ordered a

arrive (HF

off. Is

applied, so

whatever
one way or

versions of the

the same

trunk sale,

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I wouldn't do any heavy tourqing with them, especially with the open end. I haven't used any HF wrenches, but am familiar with cheap, chromed ones. The open end can start "spreading" or break on some. They are good for light duty, throw-away<sp> or specialized "chopped" configurations. My Craftsman hand tools do the heavy-duty stuff at home and work. By all means though, hang on to 'em. It's always helpful having extra tools.
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I am a metallurgist.
"Chrome-Vanadium" is not any sort of official designation used in metallurgy. It is entirely a marketing term.
Chrome is used in stainless steel to give corrosion resistance, but you generally need at least 12% to make it stainless. If you see "18-8" stainless, it is 18% Cr and 8% Ni. In smaller quantities, it does some strengthening, but it's not very effective.
Vanadium is used for strengthening and hardenability. But I'm sure that some of the crap that says it has vanadium has nowhere near enough to get those jobs done.
If the tool is being upfront with what it is made of, it will give an SAE/AISI designation or a brand name from the supplier.
"Chrome Vanadium" means nothing. If these things are Cr plated and it is flaking off already, it is probably junk.

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