Harbor Freight Stepping up Their Game?

On 3/6/2018 6:42 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Reading the reviews at homedepot.
One guy said they lasted less than a minute and showed pictures of 2 totally destroyed discs... Probably a festering tool employee.
Another guy said they did not appear to be made of sand... Probably a dude rancher...
Another said they were the best things ever made... probably not AVe...
I was going to try them, until I read these reviews, and remembered I have enough sanding discs to last me well past my life expectancy in the shop...
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Jack
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If it was me, or only me and a trusted assistant I would buy Festool for al most all my needs. And yes, under those conditions I would take them out t o a job site when needed. The only tool I wouldn't buy that they make is th eir drills. Too much value these days in the lifetime warranty (and recent brushless models) for me to buy something else.
I have multiples of all the tools I use, and most are of different models f rom different manufacturers. Over the last 40 years of doing this as a con tractor for myself I look for value, durability, and repeatability in use. NO manufacturer makes all their tools in all their models to that standard . I have had DeWalt tools that are garbage. Had DeWalt tools that are grea t. Bosch has a pretty good track record with me and their oscillating tool , the old American made circulars saws were great. PC was a good brand, ne ver great, but they turned out some real crap and have now fallen off the r adar. Makita? Depends on what you are buying. The list goes on.
Festool, and probably Fein are the only commonly available tool that you ca n buy with complete confidence. For those that take care of their tools an d rely on them to make their living, I think in most cases Festool is unmat ched. Personally, I say all that bullshit about "contractor rated" or "ful l time use" and all the other marketing crap is just that. I watch some of the videos out there and always remember that 99% of the uploaders don't a ctually use their tools to make a living. They use the videos to supplemen t their income so it is important to say or do something that attracts atte ntion to their videos for the almighty "click".
I first saw the Festool track saw in use when visiting Swingman and Leon. Swing took out the saw and showed me the setup, cut a piece of plywood, and we talked about the strong points and weak points. For those of us that k now Swing (bless his heart), he is blunt and proud of his opinions. He was enormously impressed with the track saw, and after seeing it in use and its ease of setup, I was too. The cuts would rival or exceed most table saws, and the blade should (literally) last for years.
Leon's opinions concur, and again, having seen the saw, the setup and the f inal product I think it is a winner. If I needed a track saw, I would get that one.
So why don't I have all Festool? What is the place of Harbor Freight and o ther discount tools? Employees that don't take care of your tools as you d o, employees that don't know how to use tools correctly, the very real poss ibility of job site theft, and for almost all the needs on a construction s ite there is no need for the kind of quality work that their tools are capa ble of doing.
Comparing HF, or others to Festool has to be with a grain of salt. I only k now of two other contractors that use Festool out in the field (and one lov es those damn drills) and neither of them have ever had a failure. One is a cabinet installer that specialized in remodeling projects, so Festool's K apex miter saw and his dust collector is his weapon of choice. He is one of the very few craftsmen I trust, and he tells me that the Kapex is as acc urate now as it was 5 years ago when he bought it, used over countless jobs . So what is "job site rated" or the opinion it might not stand up to long term use worth? Festool seems to do just fine with full time professional use. He has small Festool track saw at his shop and since he hates the me ss of his table saw, uses it for all his "one off" cabinet builds, from car cass to shelving, not just breaking down sheet goods.
HF tools have their place. Good for rough work, some good for rough treatm ent, and the thought that you live with varying quality depending on the to ol. No real tears when you see them thrown in the bed of the truck for tra nsport, when one of your idiots is using your miter saw to cut job site tra sh into smaller chunks, and no real fear of lending them to a worker to fin ish up a job, and no undue screaming at your workers when they leave them o ut in the rain while they huddle under the eaves of a roof so THEY don't ge t wet. They are adequate and affordable. They have their place.
Comparing HF to Festool in just about anyway is just stupid. One is a tool designed and manufactured to the highest tolerances for dedicated woodwork ers or exacting professionals, and one is a utility tool that fits a certai n need. I have never heard of a professional saying, "man, one day I would really like to have one of those HF miter saws".
Don't get this one...
Robert
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Bless His Heart!
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On 3/6/2018 9:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You don't get that the fact that you know "pro's" (yourself even) that uses HF tools does not infer that HF tools are great tools designed to last any more that a pro using a festering tool mean they are balls to the wall best tools ever made...
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Jack
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Big Snip

You know Jack that is exactly what he said by my reading.
YMMV I guess.
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On 3/7/2018 12:51 PM, Markem wrote:

Well, it is exactly what I said. What he said was comparing a HF to Festool is stupid. THAT is a strawman. No one compared the tools, Leon made the statement that Festools were good because pros use them. My statement was pros use HF as well, so what. Further more, very few "pro's" seem to use festool, more use HF, so that obviously proves nothing at all, since HF is pretty much junk.
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Leon made the statement that Festools were good because pros use them.
I made no such statement at all.

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On 3/8/2018 9:11 AM, Leon wrote:

Well, I said: "He said the festering TS 55 is not designed for continuous use and abuse that a contractor would need."
And you replied: "And yet pros have been using the Festool track saws for decades.."
I take that as saying festools are good because pros use them. What was it you were trying to say with that statement?
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On 3/8/2018 9:05 AM, Jack wrote:

Exactly what I said.
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With you it really does not matter, if it does not fit your narrative.
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On 3/8/2018 9:49 AM, Markem wrote:

He seems to rearrange words and often gets confused.
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On 3/8/2018 11:27 AM, Leon wrote:

Bull! I quoted exactly what you said, no word rearrangement. Feel free to explain what you meant when you replied, and I quote:
"And yet pros have be using the Festool track saws for decades.."
If it was not saying festering tools are good because pros use them, then what was it you were mumbling?
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Jeez Jack
You said, He said the festering TS 55 is not designed for continuous use and abuse that a contractor would need.
I responded, "And yet pros have be using the Festool track saws for decades.."
So to put that /my comment into words you might understand. My comment was in contrast to the opinion that the saw is not designed for continuous use and abuse that a contractor would need. Because pros have been using Festool track saws for decades it is not a stretch of the imagination to realize that the saws have indeed been holding up for continuous use and abuse by contractors for decades.
Then some where you said, I take that as saying festools are good because pros use them
YOU misinterpreted my comment and added good because pros use them. I never said they are good because pros use them. I simply said pros have been using them for decades.
Do you think pros would be using, for decades, a saw brand that did not hold up to the use and abuse of a contractor?
YOU are the one that said you took the comment, the fact that contractors have been using the saws for decades, to mean they were good.
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On 3/9/2018 8:48 AM, Leon wrote:

OK, you win, you were not saying festering tools are good, but durable. Pros use them because they are durable. My mistake, didn't know you were going to split hairs...
So if "pro's" using a tool proves they are durable (not good but durable) then it follows that HF tools are durable because Pro's use them? Moreover, since more pro's use HF tools, and Bosch tools, and Ridgid tools than Festering tools, then all those must be more durable than festools. Is that what you were saying? Sounds lame whether you use the word good or durable.
I'd rather take Vhe's teardown where he gave Festering tools a rather good review, pointing out strengths and weaknesses, than the fact lots of pro's use HF tools so they must be durable. In fact, Vhe's review of a HF drill he says they should last about as long as their 90 day warranty, or something like that, so pro's using them doesn't cut it with him either.
Personally, I think most HF tools are just as good as any other tools, just their life expectancy is nil. I'd bet money I can drill a really good hole with a HF drill, just not a lot of them, so the tool is good, just not durable...
So if you want to drill a good hole, buy the cheapest tool you can find, probably HF. If you want good and durable to drill endless holes, buy the most expensive tool you can find, probably a Hilti. If you want in between, go for Bosch, Rigid Makita etc.
BTW, a cursory look at Vhe teardown of the silly Bosch toy chainsaw tool the comit posted seemed to be good as far as build goes. So there is yet another review of his that was not just trashing tools, like you inferred he does. In fact, the Hilti, the Kitchen Aid, the Festool and Bosch reviews were good, the HF was not good. 4 out of 5 ain't bad.

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On 3/10/2018 9:39 AM, Jack wrote:

I won nothing, this was not a contest. I was not splitting hairs, I was pretty up front.
I did not say durable either. I said something like, Some one said the saw would not hold up to contractors use. Festool has been selling the saw to pro's/contractors for 40 plus years. "You" probably have to think about that to get from A to B.

Jack you are making stuff up. It is not complicated. The saws have been used by pros for decades. A reasonable assumption is that the saws are likely to be holding up.
That is all I was commenting on. Try to stay on that and not read into my comments something you would like to argue about.

That does not make him or his reviews credible. Things he points out as deficiencies with the products he reviews are not always a concern in the long run. In the real world and with real world use the things he seems concerned about may not be an issue. I'm surprised he is not impressed or unimpressed by the color of a product.
You seem to be impressed by him and if that makes you happy, good for you.

Well I think you certainly seem to have an understanding of the words good and also durable.

You seem to be fascinated with holes! Buy what makes you happy when drilling your hole or holes.

Still I find his reviews irrelevant. Maybe you need a starting point for making a decision on what you would consider buying.
I'm using experience with the actual brands and tools that I work with.
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On 3/10/2018 12:56 PM, Leon wrote:

You are splitting hairs.

So, you were not saying festering tools are "good" because some pro's use them. They are not durable because some pro's use them, but they "hold up" because some pro's use them. Well in the words of Steve Martin: EXCUSE ME!
I didn't make up that pro's have been using HF tools for years. I didn't make up that HF tools are not good, I mean durable. One does not necessarily follow the other, so you saying it has no meaning, even less meaning when you realize more pro's use HF tools than Festools, or that more pro's use Ridged, Bosch, Mikita and probably most any named tool more than Festool. Is it reasonable then to assume that all these tools, including HF tools are likely to be holding up?

When I read your arguments I have to read into them what the words say. When you argue about what I say, or claim I twist your words around, I sometimes enjoy arguing back, otherwise I would not respond to your arguments. How about you, why do you like to argue this crap?

Fascinated watching you claim there is some big difference between a tool being good, durable or holding up.
For your enlightenment, "durable" and "holding up" are exactly the same, and good is a reasonable description of a tool that is durable/ "holds up" for anyone not splitting hairs...

True, I certainly would never spend $700 on a shop vac w/o some investigation.

And your actual experience perfectly matches what AVe said in his festool review. I'm not surprised, his reviews seem rather complete.
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In response to tool reviewers statement that it is not a pro tool, so you keep on yur track.
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On 3/9/2018 2:00 PM, Markem wrote:

The tool reviewer never used the word "Pro" He said not designed for continuous use and abuse a contractor wood need, so you keep splitting hairs
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You keep laying them out so nicely to be split.
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On 3/6/2018 8:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

FWIW if it were not for the high risk of theft and a worker not respecting some one else's tool I believe we would see a lot more Festool out there in the trades.
Snip

I am in the camp that believes that no one makes the best of everything. But saying that and with several of my Festool brand tools being 10+ years old I agree that Festool probably comes closer to that utopia than the majority. The Festool warranty used to be a factor for me but no longer. I have not had to use their warranty so far. I certainly think the Ridgid line of tools have the best in the industry warranty and almost with with one of their drills 15 or so years ago. I ultimately went with Makita, the Makita just felt better in my hand and was much lighter weight that the Ridgid was back then.
Back to the Festool brand, Festool offers a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked. That certainly is not exclusive to Festool but is pretty much all the nudge I need to make the purchase. Because I have yet to replace any of my Festools I am not so much concerned about it holding up so much as to whether or not it will do what I expect. Specifically, the last Festool sander that I bought I was not certain that it was going to be helpful in eliminating the little circles you often get. I in particular was having this issue when sanding cross grain with RTS400 Festool sander. Yes sanding cross grain on face frames happens when the rails and stiles meet. I do not often stain but on this particular job the stain really brought out the circle issue. Anyway I told the Woodcraft guys that was what I wanted to eliminate with the new sander that Festool recently introduced. 30 minutes after using that sander I knew it was a keeper.
Personally, I say all that bullshit about "contractor rated" or "full time use" and all the other marketing crap is just that. I watch some of the videos out there and always remember that 99% of the uploaders don't actually use their tools to make a living. They use the videos to supplement their income so it is important to say or do something that attracts attention to their videos for the almighty "click".

Good to know since mine was an indulgence purchase. And I have to say I have used mine several times and it is great to know that the set up I showed you is exactly what I wanted, in actual use and not just on paper. The length stops are dead on accurate and very easy to flip out of the way when needing to square up the ends of short boards and then cut to length. And with long boards, with both wings up, I can simply square one end of a long board, slide it down to the opposite side wing stop and cut to length. Very well thought out.
So what is "job site rated" or the opinion it might not stand up to long term use worth? Festool seems to do just fine with full time professional use. He has small Festool track saw at his shop and since he hates the mess of his table saw, uses it for all his "one off" cabinet builds, from carcass to shelving, not just breaking down sheet goods.

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