I might be in the mood for a road trip this weekend, and it will go right
past a Harbor Freight, is there any current "deals" that I should know about?
I receive their flier's in the mail, but I know the instore deals are
different, and they don't send them to me.
Even my truck balks and refuses to enter a HF parking lot!
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On 23 Apr 2004 01:48:51 GMT, email@example.com (ToolMiser) wrote:
Today I was in HF and bought 2 boxes of 1" brush $5.57 (30 box). 3 pcs silver
tarpaulin $1.99ea (6'X8') and sanding sponge $2.99 10/pack. Their 18" Pittsburgh
bar clamp on sale for $2.99ea. Save a bundle shopping in HF.
The only real consistent deal at H.F are 4" swivel casters at $3.99 when
they put them on sale. Worst deal is the $9.99 50ft Goodyear air hose, the
outer material leaches back crap on everything it touches. Had to throw out
the last one I bought and replaced it with a real rubber one made in the
USA bought from a local supplier who could speak English.
I thought the Goodyear hoses say 'Made in the USA' on them? It has been a
while since I was at Harbor Freight.
I bought two Reeltek air hose reels with hose instead of buying a loose
air hose. The Reeltek air hose reels are made in the USA by Reelcraft.
They use a composite reel instead of steel.
Yes - but be careful. Don't buy any real tools there. You can find the
same or better pricing on brand name tools elsewhere - likely closer to
home, and the private label power tools are junk.
Comodities on the other hand are a different matter. Things like brushes,
swivel casters, grinding wheels, rope, and even some hand tools are dirt
cheap. Be careful with the hand tools though. Some of the Pittsburg brand
stuff is good enough for most people's needs and it's very reasonably
priced. You have to adopt the mindset that if the tool breaks under
moderately severe useage, you'll just buy new since the price is so cheap.
If you're looking for real lifetime hand tools, don't bother with these.
I've bought some of their hand tools - deep impact sockets, screwdrivers,
ratchet wrenches and for the most part they've been fine. As I said, if I
break an impact socket I can buy an entire new set for $16.00 as opposed to
paying $20 or more for a single Ingersol Rand or comprable socket. Will they
wear out and get sloppy? Sure, but I really don't need to use them every
day so I've gotten plenty of useage out of them to have made it worth buying
them. I don't use my screwdrivers for pry bars, so the cheap set I bought
there has been holding up just fine. I only bought them because I was there
and the screwdrivers were there also, and I got a wild hair up my butt, so I
bought them. Turns out they work just like real screwdrivers.
I guess it depends on how convenient the trip is for you. I probably would
not drive an hour to Harbor Freight for anything. What savings I might see
on the comodity prices would not justify the time and gas spent to go there.
It is kind of a cool place to wander around in though.
sometimes junk power tools are just the ticket. I know a couple of
tile setters who buy HF's "better" small angle grinders as accessories
to the diamond cutoff disks. buy a disk, and get a grinder to go on
it...<G>. in cases like that, where the machine will be subject to a
very hostile environment- water, alkali, abrasive grit- a $15 machine
will last about as long as a $150 one.
I'd avoid the cheap wheels for bench grinders. the cheap angle grinder
disks seem to be OK...
I prefer some of the cheap chinese putty knives to their domestic
counterparts. they have a better taper- thicker at the handle and
thinner at the edge. YMMV.
although I suspect that they have improved in recent years, all of the
chinese open end wrenches I've had have been made to poor tolerances.
I mean, they are serviceable, but more likely to slip and whack your
knuckles or round off the heads of your fasteners.
firstname.lastname@example.org (ToolMiser) wrote in message
Don't do it.. In all honesty, about 15% of their stuff is "ok", but
most of it is crap.
There are posts in the archieves that tell some of the ok stuff.
If you go there, you don't end up really saving any money, because you
end up eating a lot of crap.
About the only "good" thing they have there is their heavy duty
grinder stand, which
is something like $30-40 on sale. Their workmate clones are ok, and
pipe clamps (pony clones) are ok.
Don't even think about buying anything with a motor there.. Or
anything with a sharp edge (including
jigsaw blades).. Even most of their handtools are screwed up.. (like
Don't know of any in store deals but if you shop wisely you can save quite a
bit on disposables, etc. I like to get their latex gloves and work gloves.
The sanding sponges are usually a good deal as are their casters. Contrary
to others comments, I've bought a drill press and a disc/belt sander combo
from them. Had the sander for 4 years before I sold it for $50 ( cost me
$79.95) and I still have the drill press ( about 8 years old ). Wouldn't do
machinist quality work but for woodworking tolerances it's more than
adequate. Just recently bought their 6" jointer - so far so good. I plan on
replacing the knives anyway but until they get dull I'll stay with them.
The quality on a LOT of their power stuff has improved vastly over the
years - there are some good buys and their return policy is very good.
Just like Sears - some of the stuff is excellent ( despite the anal bad
mouthers) and some of it is crap - you just have to look closely.
Chinee dial indicator and mag base. More than enough for aligning table saw and
drill press. And a few other non critical uses.
I've heard good reports on their pipe wrenches and large wrenches. I've been
told their good for homeowners who don't use these things every day and pros who
rarely need them.
I've heard their reciprocating saws are OK if only a few cuts are needed. Once
again homeowner or non severe duty.
I'm going to make the trip and get some sanding pads, brushes for glue,
Pittsburgh clamps, ETC.
Pretty much what everyone else has said. I have had good luck with
their brad nailer (air powered) which they have for $14.99 on
occasion. Generally stay away from Chicago Electric. Central
Machinery can be ok, not perfect but good enough for hobby use
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