Tonight, I was in need of a tap wrench (Al is just too damn soft to try to tap "by hand"). A friend suggested buying a T&D set from HF -- which had me struggling to contain my laughter (the taps and die don't appear to be properly hardened -- nor the threads "clean"!)
The idea of buying a cheap set just to salvage the T&D wrenches might make sense -- but, even their cheapest set is more expensive than buying "better" parts a la carte.
[As my friend loaned me a tap wrench, my immediate need has been satisfied]
This got me to thinking what other tools I *might* (not *will*!) consider buying from HF. I.e., the "possible buy" list is considerably shorter than the "wouldn't buy" list!
[We'd looked at a drywall lift and I cringed thinking *that* would be holding the sheetrock while I worked BENEATH it!]
Utility knife (disappointed that the blade was retractable; the quality of a non-retractable one would probably have been better!) was small expense and largely disposable. Blades weren't particularly sharp *nor* hard but, again, disposable. Auto body tools are little more than blocks of steel so kinda hard to go wrong, there.
OTOH, I wouldn't put much faith in their power tools -- at least, not as "investments" (note that I don't consider a YEAR to be an "investment"; most of my hand tools are as old or older than I!)
So, the question is, what tools to avoid, consider and criteria used in making those decisions? And criteria to use in "broad brush" dismissals of whole categories of tools?
[E.g., the drywall lift we considered as a "one time use" so didn't mind the "loss" if it broke. OTOH, I wasn't keen on it breaking while I was *under* it! Hence the reason to avoid it.]
Of course, no right or wrong answers, here. I've inherited a fair number of HF discards (jack stands, torque wrenches, etc.) but don't think of them as "cherished" tools...