I am a wanna be wood worker. Only a few HFT tools were pathetic to me.
The hand powered water pump, the 16" scroll saw (the issues could have
been the operator) and I forget what the other was (it was many years
ago, cheap and I throw it away.)
All the other items I bought at have done what I need (drill press, hand
drill, 1/3 sander with holes, sawsall-esque, car jack, car stands,
biscuit slot maker, the biscuits themselves, a level, triangles aluminum
and plastic, my tape measures get lost, but not broken.)
On 2/15/2013 5:06 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
On 2/15/13 4:06 AM, email@example.com wrote:
I have their multi-tool and bought their grinder for out tile work and
have had the same great experience. I will add their tile bridge saw to
the list. Bought it with a 20% coupon for $200, sold it for $150.
I haven't found their sandpaper to hold up at all, plus it clogs in
I may try some of the foam blocks per your recommendation.
I have their orange air stapler and I'm pleased with it.
I don't see it on their site, so maybe they're done with it.
I'm considering their 23ga pin nailer.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
I am glad to see this get some traction as it is apparent that HF can
be hit and miss.
On the other hand, what tool brand (not saying this facetiously)
besides Festool, Metabo, etc., isn't? And I mean that regardless of
price. Whether it is a piano player, a baker, a welder or anyone else
that uses their tools for a living, the trick is always to match the
price to the utility value.
I wound up at HF to replace tools that I didn't use frequently and to
buy consumables. Since their return and warranty policy is so damn
easy, I find myself looking at their site or latest ad before buying.
When the new 16 ga nailer broke after 1 day on the job, I went back
and got my Bostitch 15 ga angle nailer to use. A bigger nail hole is
the reason it doesn't see much inside trim use, but I gave my latex
slinger a heads up and he was fine. Took the broken gun back to them
and they gave me back the purchase price, the $10 in store replacement
warranty I purchased and they took back the nails too, even though
they knew I used a half clip. These guns are the newer silver/black/
I have their 23 ga pin nailer that is the old purple model. When I
bought it, I wasn't sure I would use a pin nailer and still don't use
it for much. So when I saw it for $12 - $13, I bit. It occasionally
missed a pin and would shoot nothing, then it might grab a pin and
shear one a the same time. I took the gun apart and found the nose of
the driver blade had a burr on the tip. Removed the burr, polished up
the driver with a bit of emery cloth, put on a tiny spot of vaseline
in the driver guides and it works like a champ and has for a couple of
Their extension cords are nice, too. I only buy 12 ga, so I don't
have any weedeater type cords. A quick price check from HF with their
ubiquitous 20% off coupon got me to $32 for a new cord recently. HD
generic brand price was a made in China offering as well, but was
$50!! (Over 30% price saving...) These work extremely well, have a
great hard vinyl cover on them, and the overmolded plugs stay on.
Their pricing is even better on three taps and 10 ga cords where they
fall to about 50% less than a competitor.
Sounds like most have had better luck with the grip clamps than I
I wouldn't be afraid to try one of their compressors. Our local air
compressor repair shop has a great guy in the back that works on
them. Almost always with any foreign made carry around compressor,
his advice is to throw them away as one part can cost more than the
machine when new. He also told me that their are only a couple of
companies over there that make the head/piston assembly whether oiless
or not. He showed me some of the compressors he had that were the
same head assembly and in some cases were just painted differently
with a badge on them. The ones in his shop he showed me were Sears,
Senco, Makita, Hitachi and Campbell Hausfield. He assured me that was
just the tip of iceberg. However, it is important to remember the
bigger companies carry different quality of lines as well, so YMMV
from actual model to model. I have the $99 Sears hot dog oil splasher
that goes to the job with me for trim jobs and repairs, and at 5 years
or so old, I have gotten back my $99 several times. Same parts as is
found on almost all compressors that size.
I agree with MIKE, their sandpaper is crap unless used for metal, but
you need to try those sanding blocks. Detailing out door panels,
cabinet doors, trim profiles, etc., for painting or refinishing is
much easier with foam, and better when you don't have to break the
bank to buy the right tool.
No luck with their Chinese nail and pin punches. I mushroom out both
ends in no time, so back to Stanley. I mushroom the strike side on
these too, but never the tip. Luckily, HF sells a brand of pin punch
(oddly... made in the USA) that I like at a good price. I like pin
punches to set larger nails on outside trim work when needed, and for
This is an interesting thread. I had no idea so many folks here used
On 2/15/2013 1:04 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When the 1x30 sander shows up, I'll have _one_ HF device... :)
Never been anywhere where there was a local store and when have walked
thru them on occasion nothing ever grabbed that seemed to be on the "too
good to pass up" list so have never bought anything in a store...
There's one of the traveling-trailer shows that comes around about 2-3
times a year--there's more than enough of that kind of stuff available
from it/them if have the urge... :)
I'm very happy with the 12" ratcheting clamps at $1.99 each when they are o
n sale (which seems to be always). I bought their combo disk/belt sander a
nd was disappointed with the fit. I also have the HF wet grinder ($67 on s
ale) and it is OK. No Tormek, but a fraction of the cost. I also bought a
passle of the 300/500 watt halogen bulbs. Some work great and seemingly l
ast forever. Others have died with only a couple of hours of use.
Not to the extent of pay return shipping liberal, is it? That's been
the primary kicker most of the time in decisions against risking HF
stuff since no local (<200 mi "local", anyways) outlets...
W/ the trailer you've got a chance to touch'n smell it first, anyway.
Altho I rarely buy any of it, either...
Indeed. In addition to HF, Sears and Black & Decker are popular no-no
I have a 7" disk sander, two speed, from Sears that I bought in the late
60s; I have used it and used it and used it. I dropped it on a concrete
floor a few years ago and was heartbroken when the aluminum clam shell
casting broke. I liked it so much I had a local shop weld the casting; that
and a bit of JB Weld and it is still getting used with great frequency.
(Less so since I got the HF 1/2" hammer drill because years ago I bought a
1/2" chuck for the sander and used it for a drill too. I'd use it more if I
could find a decent 8-9" softpad; they all seem to turn to mush in a few
Two of my favorite tools are Black & Decker. One is a 7/8 HP router, 1/4"
collet, that is about as old as the Sears sander, Been used at least as
much too, still do. Used it today AAMOF. The other is more recent - a 3/8
VS drill with a clutch as well as straight drive, circa 1988, from their
industrial line. I use it nearly every day.
On 2/15/2013 2:04 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Gotta say I had the same luck you had.
I have a few, a few hold better, but all of the quick grip type have
sucked from them.
I don't trust them for clamping. I use one with a carriage bolt through
to hold my hvlp gun near where I am shooting. But other than that I
don't use them.
Their model size ones did work though.
On Fri, 15 Feb 2013 12:04:16 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote
I'm wary of these.
Bought a 16 ga. cord and used it until the socket end started making bad
contact. I though what the 'ell and tried to put a new socket on the end.
After cutting away the orange jacket, I saw the wire used was 18 ga. zip cord
with no grounding conductor what-so-ever......
This very evening I'm off to HF to take advantage of about 20 coupons I've
cllipped from their recent advertisement. In addition, I plan to pick up:
* 1/2" bandfile belt sander (92158 $30) for a pending project.
* 6" stainless pocket rule for a cabinet remake (93684 $2)
To augment my new MIG welder (also HF but bought off of Craigslist):
* Leather gloves (97033 $4)
* Leather apron (45193 $10)
* 0.035 welding tips, pack of 10 (98108 $7.50)
I'm waiting for the sale at Northern Tool to start this Sunday where I plan
to buy a welding helmet for $8.99.
I've been pleased - or at least amply satisfied - with everything I've ever
bought from HF, the sole exception being the Halloween-colored clamps.
Their bench brushes are on sale for $1.99. I bought a couple of them so
I can keep one on my bench and another somewhere else in the garshop.
They had mini torpedo levels for $.99, but I tried 3 and none of them
gave me the same reading. I think they should be on the "avoid" list.
I don't know...the couple I've tried are too dark at even lightest
setting for arc welding to be able to see anything while welding other
than just a glow...both of these are similar to the HF (one from
Northern, don't recall where the other actually came from). It's nice
to see where to strike but after that it's sailing almost blind so it's
definitely not a full win...
I've not tried w/ a major since do so little welding but I don't believe
these cheapies are the complete answer. Maybe for inert gas they will
work better, I don't know, don't have a setup for it to try.
On Sun, 17 Feb 2013 16:34:53 -0700, woodchucker wrote
I bought the $49 (sale price) unit from Northern. Thin, flimsy plastic body
but it's nice and light weight (and ooh so comfy and secure head band). Tint
control covers a wide range and it has an adjustable return-to-clear timer so
the afterglow won't zorch you.
After years of using the heavy, narrow slit standard helmet, I'll never go
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to mig weld some steel. I can't count
how many times I've placed the torch, dropped the helmet down, made a nice
clean bead, only to then lift the helmet and see that I missed the seam by
Looking at the various auto-dark helmets in the sub $100 range, they all seem
to use the same lens/electronics. What varies is the thickness of the
plastic. If you are not going to be pelted by falling bricks while welding,
the cheap sets are ideal.
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