1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

    Dismiss Notice

Rate the Harbor Freight Tools Thread- Pass or Fail?

Discussion in 'TOOL JUNKIES - TOOLS & TOOLING (Love Tools? This Is Your Forum)' started by Nels, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. JPMacG

    JPMacG Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    73
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Ivyland
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Well.... it's old, but I can't resist...

    What not to buy at HF:
    1. Pacemakers
    2. Parachutes
    3. Vaccines
    4. Fire extinguishers
    5. Scuba gear

    7. Climbing belts
    ....etc., etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2015
  2. Shadowdog500

    Shadowdog500 United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Cape May County
    State:
    New Jersey

    -Return to Top-

    I bought that same tool chest for my shop and it is my favorite. It is well made. I put my most commonly used tools in it and pull it around my shop to whatever I'm working on. I actually bought a crafstman box first to remain loyal to crafstman, but when I got it home I found that the crafstman box was junk. It was light weight metal and the casters didn't work properly. While trying to get the casters working better with lube I noticed a small "made in china" sticker on the bottom of the crafstman tool box. I immediately returned it to sears and bought the HF box on the way home from Sears. I'm not going to pay sears a "made in America" price, for a "made in China Product" especially when the product appeared to be made by the cheapest factory they could find in China. With the HF box I actually got a "made in China" box for a "made in China" price, but it appears that HF went to much better quality Chinese factory that actually makes a pretty decent box.

    Harbor freight has come a long way in the last few years! A lot of thier stuff is still sub par, but I actually dare to say some of thier newer items are now better quality than my older crafstman stuff ever was.

    The better HF tool boxes are on par with my old Mac, crafstman, and Rem line boxes. And are actually better than my two 10-15 year old crafstman Boxes.

    My Earthquake impact is so good that I actually gave my Old Crafstman impact gun to my neighbor after it was just taking up space in my pnumatic droor unused for a year.

    I just bought a earthquake air ratchet after finding out it was a reactionless impact air ratchet that won't jam your fingers. I love the thing. It's made in Taiwan, and the weight fit and finish actually scream quality, and is actually better that my three other regular air ratchets which is saying a lot since one was bought off of a snap on truck a few decades ago, and the other two are 25 year old Japanese made Crafstman ratchets.

    I've been using thier impact sockets for decades and never had a problem.

    Chris
     
  3. markknx

    markknx Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    315
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    Portage
    State:
    Indiana

    -Return to Top-

    The craftsman name is mud any more. I'll buy husky or kobalt before craftsman any more. just like you said made in Chine charging Made in US price and no better quality than the others. and a lot of theirs is made here. Sad! more people should skip craftsman. or do like I did walk in look at it take it over to the clerk and tell them that is why you don't buy from them any more.
     
  4. george wilson

    george wilson United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Williamsburg
    State:
    Virginia

    -Return to Top-

    Going to "Remain loyal to Craftsman?" Forget about that!! They are not going to be loyal to YOU!!:)
     
    markknx likes this.
  5. roadie33

    roadie33 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    476
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Ozawkie, Ks
    City:
    Ozawkie
    State:
    Kansas

    -Return to Top-

    I had done the same thing when I picked up the HF Box. I was looking at the one from Sears also. I was checking it over and saw the same sticker on the bottom. It was smaller, lighter weight and drawers were thin and very loose.
    The last thing I got with the Craftsman name was a 12 gallon wet/dry Vac. The big Red one. It works great.
    The newer ones I looked at the other day at Sears look cheap and poorly built. The HF Vacs look better and heavier. I need to get another one for the outside shop so I will be getting a HF Vac next week and I'll see how well it actually is.
     
  6. uncle harry

    uncle harry United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    267
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Big Bend
    State:
    Wisconsin

    -Return to Top-

    I bought the HF palm nailer last spring so a helper friend & I could nail up paneling on my smaller shop. After following the 'oil frequently' instructions it worked as advertised right out of the box & maintained thru many boxes of nails. Total PASS (so far!).
     
  7. pineyfolks

    pineyfolks Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    Dillonvale
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    IMG_20150417_144524_kindlephoto-526967113.jpg Harbor freight metric hex wrenches. FAIL
     
    SuKi likes this.
  8. GA Gyro

    GA Gyro H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Atlanta
    State:
    Georgia

    -Return to Top-

    At least it did not strip out the set screw... :)
     
    4gsr likes this.
  9. kd4gij

    kd4gij United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    878
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    St. Petersburg
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-


    That is there patented twist flek hex keys.;)
     
    pineyfolks likes this.
  10. David S

    David S Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    530
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario
    City:
    Brockville
    State:
    Ontario

    -Return to Top-

    Yes actually they are very expensive "torque controlled" hex wrenches ...nice find :)

    David
     
    pineyfolks likes this.
  11. hman

    hman Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    753
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tempe. AZ -and- Corvallis, OR
    City:
    Tempe
    State:
    Arizona

    -Return to Top-

    Hey, Bill - look at the bright side. Some folks pay big bucks for decorative ironwork!
     
    pineyfolks likes this.
  12. planeflyer21

    planeflyer21 Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Tucson
    State:
    Arizona

    -Return to Top-

    Oh yeah!! I had a set of those torque-control wrenches from HF. Forgot all about them until I saw the photo up there.

    Many of mine had the twist reversed though.
     
  13. spongerich

    spongerich United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    18
    City:
    Orange County
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    I recently picked up their 500 lb Hydraulic Lifting Table / Cart
    It was around $130 with coupon and since the box was mangled and it was missing one of the bolts for one of the wheels, the manager gave it to me for $100.

    It seems pretty sturdy, has nice hard urethane 'skateboard' casters that lock.
    I wish it was a few inches higher so it would be even with the tailgate on my SUV, but it's saved my back several times already.
    I lifted the column and head of my Clausing mill onto the base with it and it handled the load just fine.
     
  14. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    486
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    San Antonio
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    HF 10inch 12speed Bench top Drill Press,
    looked at the one in the store, Had nice Machined cast table, cast clamp on the post, metal adjustment handle, etc. Wife picked one up for me, and when I got it put together and looked at it I had to go back to the store and verify it was the same one, Pressed steel foot, Pressed steal table, poor quality pole clamp for the table, Plastic adjustment handle for the table, etc. The run out on the chuck was bad but not real bad and could have been corrected, but the slop in the table height adjustment was a killer, along with the fact I would have had a hard time bolting a vice to the table. Took it all back apart, wrapped it back in the bags, box etc, and she is taking it back. Even a Ryobi had better setup than that with better warranty, and such, but with only 5 speeds instead of 12. I guess I'm still looking for a new Drill press.
     
  15. James Kurth

    James Kurth United States Iron Registered Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    City:
    Monticello
    State:
    Iowa

    -Return to Top-

    I have found if they are tools someone is going to use everyday not the best choice. If its something you use a once in awhile then some of the stuff is great.
     
  16. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Huntington
    State:
    West Virginia

    -Return to Top-

    A large amount of HF tools but most of them are old enough that the part numbers are differet now. If the number is different it isn't the same tool even if they do look the same. I'll try to only include those that are current.

    18 Volt 3/8 In. Cordless Drill/Driver With Keyless Chuck, 21 Clutch Settings Item #68239/Item #69651 FAIL

    1/2 In. Heavy Duty Variable Speed Reversible Drill Item #3273 PASS

    1/2 In. Heavy Duty D-Handle Variable Speed Reversible Drill Item #69453 PASS

    3/8 In. Heavy Duty Professional Magnesium Variable Speed Reversible Close Quarters Drill With Keyless Chuck
    Item #95877 PASS

    1/2" MT2 Mini-Lathe Drill Chuck Item #42340 PASS

    12 In. Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw With Laser Guide System Item #61969/Item #61970 PASS

    5/16 In. X 25 Ft. Chain Coil
    Item #47700 PASS

    3/8 In. X 15 Ft. Chain Coil Item #47702 PASS

    2 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane
    Item #69514/Item #60388 PASS

    Automatic Battery Float Charger
    Item #69955/Item #42292 FAIL

    2/40/200 Amp 6/12V Manual Wheel Charger With Start(lated 20 minutes)
    Item #62292/Item #69368 FAIL

    7 In. X 10 In. Precision Benchtop Mini Lathe Item #93212 FAIL

    Carbide Tipped Lathe Cutting Bits 10 Pk Item #2788 PASS

    M2 High Speed Steel Mini Lathe Bits For Metalworking 5 Pc Item #40641 PASS

    9 Speed Vertical Milling Machine Item #40939 PASS

    4 in. x 36 in. Disc Sander Item # 97181 HALF PASS (I only wanted the belt sander so I'm happy but the disk drum has chunks missing)

    6 Amp Heavy Duty Variable Speed Portable Band Saw Item # 47840 PASS(you really have to control cutting speed)

    1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun 572°/1112° Item # 96289 PASS

    40 Pc SAE & Metric Tap And Die Set/40 Pc Carbon Steel SAE Tap And Die Set (all item numbers)
    Item #39391/Item #39391/Item #39384 FAIL
     
  17. jimbob

    jimbob United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    City:
    Citrus County
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

     
  18. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,059
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Barneveld
    State:
    Wisconsin

    -Return to Top-

    You could make some nice twisted "wrought iron work".
    I have run into a similar experience when assembling some office furniture for my wife. They included a 5 mm hex wrench with every chair. I managed to get the ten chairs assembled with the wrenches supplied but barely.
    I tried a spark test on one to see whether they actually were a carbon steel and to my surprise, they have a fair amount of carbon. I heated one to a medium red (until a magnet wouldn't stick) and quenched in water. I polished the surface and slowly heated to a dark straw/light brown color and quenched. The result is a serviceable hex wrench. The steel is not that bad, they just make them soft. Maybe to reduce their liability exposure in case of breakage. Craftsman did the same which is why I stopped buying Craftsman twenty years ago (well, one of the reasons).
     
  19. roadie33

    roadie33 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    476
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Ozawkie, Ks
    City:
    Ozawkie
    State:
    Kansas

    -Return to Top-

    LMAO
    I dang near choked and shot coffee out my nose reading that jimbob.
    Hope you recover from that horrendous ordeal and are able to function normally in a few months.
    The black one I got went together like it was supposed to and I was amazed all of the holes lined up.
    Must have been a good day at the factory.
     
  20. juiceclone

    juiceclone United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Boca Raton
    State:
    Florida

    -Return to Top-

    HF quality varies with the time of day or phase of the moon it seems. I give a fail to any poly ropes from them....bad experience. angle grinders are a pass ...at their price how could u go wrong... i've got two...never a problem I never use a hacksaw anymore :<) got their cheapest drill press, and use it daily .. not perfect but functions correctly ..pass.
    I had one of their early 3in1 lathes, and while it was lacking in features, it was sturdy, reliable, and reasonably accurate.
     
  21. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Battle Ground
    State:
    Washington

    -Return to Top-

    HF 1/2 drive air wrench driven by my puny 5 gallon pancake air compressor....wait for it...PASS!! I had to replace the 3 blades on my Kubota tractor mower today. I have a giant (I'm not kidding) Crescent wrench but it couldn't budge the second nut. Remembering that I had bought this thing precisely for this job I unpacked and set it up. Brrrrrrrrrr rupa rupa oh man effortless, that really saved me some effort.
     
  22. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Huntington
    State:
    West Virginia

    -Return to Top-

    Which one? Item numbers are the only way to know what you are getting.
     
  23. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    486
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    San Antonio
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    Second that, they have at least 4 or 5 diff 1/2 inch impacts that I know of off the top of my head. A couple are fails that I tried. Don't have the numbers so I did not post them.
     
  24. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Battle Ground
    State:
    Washington

    -Return to Top-

  25. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    486
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    San Antonio
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    On that one make sure you keep it oiled, and put a few drops in the air line each time you use it. Or it will Gall and lock up inside. That looks like one of the ones I had problems with. The ones I have not tired are the red ones. I started paying more for other brands as I also use mine a lot, or use to but not as much any more.
     
  26. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Battle Ground
    State:
    Washington

    -Return to Top-

    Yes its rated pretty low so buyer beware but I only need it for this one job every 1-2 years so I didn't want to buy a $400 Snap-on.
     
  27. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Huntington
    State:
    West Virginia

    -Return to Top-

    Actually Snappy/Blue Point aren't that great. Glad the driver bought mine back after I showed him how bad they were beside my IR impacts. I haven't tried any of the HF ones.
     
  28. Lowell K

    Lowell K United States Iron Registered Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    City:
    Cincinnati
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    I bought a 6" buffer, some buffing wheels and polishing compound bars. I have no complaints. I like their stands and tables all my bench top drills, grinders, buffers and an arbor press have HF holding them up off the floor. I have one of their battery powered Sawzall clones, it is okay.
     
  29. jpfabricator

    jpfabricator United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    611
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Henderson
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    I got the scroll bender attachment in the mail yesterday. Its an addition to the compact bender (which I dont have yet).
    I have made some decorative brackets for holding a light over my workbench. The only complant is its limited to 3/16" and under, I needed it for some. .250 square so I see a " mod-by-mill" in the next couple of weeks.

    Sent from somewhere in East Texas Jake Parker
     
  30. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    729
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Battle Ground
    State:
    Washington

    -Return to Top-

    I also have a HF buffer...I looked at HF and their buffers were dirt cheap. As Sears is just down the road I went over to look at theirs and found the exact same buffer for sale at Sears for more than double the cost, returned to HF and bought theirs. No problems with it.
     

Share This Page