I have a chaigo electric Sawzall that I've had for 6 years znd it still works
flawlessly, the first one I bought from HD lasted 5 minutes, lesson learned.....
Do not buy the lowest priced one get the next one up, I bought a set of ratchet
wrenches from hf the 1/2" was stolen at my former job so I got a replacement
single from Lowe's at $21 lesson learned.... For $6 more j could have gotten a
whole set of wrenches again and the Pittsburg ones still work flawlessly while
the koblat has been replaced twice I now have a hf welder, so far so good 26
exhaust systems 10 lawnmower trailers and one floor pan, lesson learned...
Follow thd instructions in the operators manual
My latest Harbor Freight experience was on Thursday. I've had an a 3
gallon pancake oil-less compressor for about a year and it proved to be
handy. I plugged it in and when it got to about 40 pounds there was a
pop and it lost pressure.
After removing the cover against the dire warnings printed on it, I
found the o-ring on the regulator had extruded. The regulator is a slush
metal casting with two gauges and the outlet. I got a new o-ring but
found the threads where the regulator body screws into the casting were
so poor they wouldn't hold. Fortunately I didn't need the regulator so I
removed the entire assembly and replaced it with a quick disconnect. I
salvaged one of the gauges and put together a 1/4" tee with male and
female disconnects and the gauge. So far, so good.
I'd gotten the disconnects and a tire chuck with their air compressor
parts kit. The disconnects work. The tire chuck was crap that I couldn't
get working so I bought a real one.
That wasn't as dramatic as the HF floor jack that had a rivet fail on
the first use. I replace the rivet with a bolt.
Some of their stuff works, some is crap. Caveat emptor.
To get right down to it, most of it IS crap - even if it works - for
a while. Will it do the job? If it isn't total crap, sure - as long
as you don't need to use it a lot, and your standards are not too
Their small hand-held power tools are aften pretty reasonable crap and
worth buying if you ever only use them for relatively light duty use -
for example if you only use the 4.5 inch angle grinder for sharpening
your lawn mower or cutting off a few stubborn bolts - running for only
a few minutes at a time.
Not for grinding 45 feet of weld at a time.
Same with their drills. Drilling a few holes here and there - up to
about 5/16 in 1/4 inch mild steel? - OK. A few 1 inch holes in SPF
Drill 30 3/8 inch holes in 1 inch alloy steel??? Not so good -
especially if you plan on doing it every day for a month - - - -
As far as their hand tools - wrenches and sockets etc???
Some are pretty clunky - but then so are some "industrial quality"
tools like Gedore.
The precision on some of their ratchets is actually pretty decent -
but others have WAY too much backlash. This is critical even in light
Some are REALLY tough and take a lot of abuse, while others are either
too hnard (and brittle) and others way too soft.
You can check the precision of the ratchets, and can see the quality
of the forging - but you can't see the quality of the steel and it's
heat treatment. For light duty use they are often more than adequate
but I'd be a bit wary of using them near the "design limits" in an
application that put my knuckles or other body parts in jeopardy.
I had a ratchet like that that didn't survive its first failure. This
was back in the early '70s when Spain was producing wrenches that made
HF's worst look like SnapOn. There was also a Spanish speed adjustable
floating around the shop. The speed part wasn't part of the original
design. The first time it was used on a nut that required any torque the
knurl stripped out leaving one position where the jaw would slide freely.
For some strange reason I've avoided Llama firearms too.
I'd classify their drill bits as pure shit. The ones at Home Depot or
Lowes are not much better.
I use HF wrenches for the tool tube on one of my bikes. They are useable
and if the tube gets ripped off I'm not out a lot. I use the tools on
the bikes for routine maintenance at home to make sure I have everything
I need but, knock on wood, I've seldom needed them on the road.
I bought an electric impact hammer when I rebuilding the Sportster's
forks. There is an Allen screw holding the damper tube. Not a lot of
torque but if the tube starts to rotate as you break the bolt loose
you're down to trying to jam a broomstick or something in to hold it.
I figured if it worked once it was worth it. I've used it a couple of
times since. Once was when the Amazing Hulk at the tire store installed
my tires. The first thing I do when a tire store touches my tires is to
go home and make sure I can break the nuts loose. When the veins started
to standout on my forehead, I got out the impact wrench. Worked like a
champ and definitely paid for itself.
I carry Craftsman - the old ones . If I need a tool out on the road I
*NEED* that tool , no room for a crap shoot . That said , I have a set
of the HF box ratchet wrenches , top notch and I wish I'd got a set of
metrics too . It's a crap shoot with HF , ya gots to pick your way
through the minefield of crap to get to the gems . Haven't needed a tool
for my bike in a long long time , but old habits die hard and I useta
ride a Shovel . If the right one comes along I might again ...
I know what you mean... I've got three bikes, two pure metric, and the
Sportster that sneaks a little metric in to keep you guessing. I've got
a lot of tool redundancy. The Harley set is mostly old Craftsman with a
10mm combo. The metrics are a mixed bag. The big ones for the axle nuts
are Craftsman. Even with the redundancy half the time I'm wandering
asking myself where the hell the 10mm Allen key is.
My last major roadside repair was pulling the rear wheel on the DR to
patch the tube. 4th of July and hotter than hell. I'm getting too old
for that shit.
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