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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. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I have a bread nailer/stapler(blue) that I've been using for over 10 years that is great but I'm sure that one is hard to find. I've also had the blue air nailer that shoots any kind of nail that is bearly a pass but for the price it isn't bad but my wife wanted her own to help build the house so I bought the red one that is super light & it works great. Only thing is with the red one is that it will kick back really bad if your not holding it good & it just starts the nail if it does.

    I also have a cement mixer I bought for one job & it worked great. I've used it a few more times after that & it has been in the yard since day one so I don't know if it still works or not but it paid for its self.

    I just bought a sawmill that I still need to put together & the 12,000 lbs winch so I'll have to let you know on those.
     
  2. mike837go

    mike837go Active Member Active Member

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    Any spinning refill item: Wire wheels, grinding wheels, flap disks, etc.

    Pass and/or fail. You don't know until you mount 'em up and start the motor. Warrantee replacement for the imbalanced ones.
     
  3. juiceclone

    juiceclone United States Active Member Active Member

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    ! EXACTLY !
     
  4. GarageGuy

    GarageGuy United States Active User Active Member

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    City:
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    I bought two 8" wire brush wheels at HF last fall. One brass and one steel. The brass wheel had been sitting on the shelf so long the box had disintegrated, and it was on the red tag table at a reduced price. I have to admit that I had pretty low expectations when I bought them, but was pleasantly surprised.

    They are both reasonably well balanced, and the most amazing part (to me) is that they do not seem to throw wire bristles. My wire wheel machine spins at over 3500 RPM, and has a 1.5HP motor. It's a monster. I've cleaned up some big parts and brought that motor to a stall several times, but I never end up wearing any wires. I'm impressed. A definite "better than pass" in my opinion.

    GG
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  5. Chris H

    Chris H United States Iron Registered Member

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    City:
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    I've got two of their 44" toolboxes and love them. They fit neatly under my bench and have good quality drawers and roller ball sliders. You can get them for $349 if you wait (they're running $352 right now, may be the new low price) and they're almost always at $359-369 somewhere.

    I've also added their 48" power strip above the bench for quick "light duty" electrical stuff that needs a plug, like a soldering gun or a trouble light.
     
  6. markknx

    markknx Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Warrantee replacement for the imbalanced ones. Wish I could say that about women!
     
    catskinner likes this.
  7. mike837go

    mike837go Active Member Active Member

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    Seems you've met my ex-wife!
     
    orphan auto and catskinner like this.
  8. orphan auto

    orphan auto United States Active User Active Member

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    or BOTH of mine?
    I seem to keep buying houses and giving them to WACKO's
     
    catskinner likes this.
  9. mike837go

    mike837go Active Member Active Member

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    Just one. I thought I knew what "bipolar" meant. Very expensive mistake. Only 13 payments left....
     
    catskinner likes this.
  10. swatson144

    swatson144 Global Moderator Staff Member Active Member

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    To know what a word means it must be broken down
    bi means adieu, syanara, cheerio, ciao, hasta la vista, etc.
    polar, I'm leaving to one end of the earth, or the other. :)

    I'm aiming on buying the 5 drawer cart when it gets back in stock local.
     
    mike837go and catskinner like this.
  11. kd4gij

    kd4gij United States Active User Active Member

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    Can't go wrong with the 5 drawer cart.^^:aok:
     
  12. roadie33

    roadie33 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Location:
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    City:
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    I used the coupon from the Hobby Machinist mag and got another one on Saturday.
    Great roller toolboxes and they are heavier then what Sears sells size wise and cheaper also.
    Also happened to stop at Home Depot and saw this one. I let the better half know to put it on Christmas list.
    They had both together for $699
    Come with a 6 outlet power strip in the top and on the outside of bottom chest. Very well built and rolls very easy.

    b578b445-132b-4af9-9238-0df05237989a_400.jpg
    4b510b1e-f52e-488c-9a3a-0cb4b2bca310_400.jpg
     

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  13. Mark in Indiana

    Mark in Indiana United States Active User Active Member

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    8 piece drill bit set (#61802). Sizes from 9/16" to 1". Used the 5/8" bit to open up some bushings with no problems. For 25$ with coupon, I can't beat it for my needs. I give it a pass.
     
    royesses likes this.
  14. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I don't know if mine are the same item number but I have a set like that 15 years old now that works great. They even take nice clean looking chips out of cast iron instead of that nasty dust.
     
  15. hman

    hman Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Funnel tray, item number 37081. $3 Big pass! I've found it indispensable since I first bought one a couple months ago.

    I think HF would get a lot of walk-in business if they offered this on one of their "free" coupons. How many multimeters does one person need? And it wouldn't cost them very much to do so. But then again, it won't cost you very much, either.
     
    catskinner likes this.
  16. Anthony G

    Anthony G Active Member Active Member

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    City:
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    I went to HF yesterday for a couple things and just browsed around. I came across a set of 3 T-Handle Tap Wrenches. I don't remember the exact sizes of taps that each wrench would cover (listed on the box), but there was a small, medium, and larger size in the package. They were in a white box and came in a pouch. I took them out and checked them over very carefully. They looked very well built and the finish was excellent and they were "heavy", substantial in weight. The thing about them, though, is that they were NOT made in China. They were made in India. If I were in the market for a set of tap wrenches (I have plenty at the moment), I would have jumped on them. They were $7.99 for the set of 3. Seems like a pretty good deal. I went in there looking for a grinding wheel for tungsten carbide, which they didn't have. I also discovered that the set of boring bars that is shown on their website is not carried in their stores nor did they didn't have any cutting fluid, either. And they didn't have a carbide scribe, either. I also saw that they started carrying the China-made Jacobs drill chucks now. The local one in my area has a parking lot sale coming up in mid-October and the 4" or 6" digital calipers will be marked down to $9.99 and I'll be picking up a set of those, at least.
     
  17. GA Gyro

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

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    This weekend (9/25-27), HF has what I call 'big blue' on sale... a 700# rated two wheeler hand truck. It has LARGE wheels... and is easy to use. I plan to get one... the plastic one I have from HD is not heavy enough for some uses.

    Sale price is $39.95... regular is, I think either $50 or $60.
     
  18. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  19. Chip Maker

    Chip Maker United States Active Member Active Member

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    City:
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    I don't live real close to a HF store but I do buy from them once in a while. My biggest purchases were the large 2.5hp tile saw for $195.00 when I was doing a bath redo. The saw worked really great except the blade from them was NG. They did let me return the blade for full refund. I purchased a guality blade from a tool supplier near me and the saw did great aftyer that. Also bought the 12 ton press for $99.00. This press is fine for what I needed but did a few changes to make it my own. When I bought the press I also purchased some casters that were on sale to put on the press and they seem good for the price.
     
  20. Anthony G

    Anthony G Active Member Active Member

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    Hey Charles. That sounds like good advice and it makes sense, as I have had to modify other Chinese goods I've purchased over the years to bring them up to snuff. If I do buy those HF calipers, I'll heed your advice and give them a good going over.

    About 7 or 8 years ago, I bought some stuff from Victor Machinery Exchange and one of the things I bought was a VME caliper. It was on sale and figured WTH, I'll give them a shot. I never did anything to those calipers such as you suggested and they have been working flawlessly since purchase. I check them with gauge blocks all the time and they measure accurately and repeat each and every time. I've dropped them a time or two, I hate to admit, and luckily they have landed flat each time, so no harm to the edges on the jaws, but even with the abuse they still keep working and functioning properly. Maybe I got lucky with them since, I think, they're Chinese made also. The only thing I've had to do is replace the batteries a few times. Based on my experience with them, I'd buy them again.

    On a contrary note, I have a Starrett dial caliper that broke on me. Something with the mechanism. I took them to Starrett for repair and opted against it because of the cost. I still have them.
     
  21. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I'm sure my calipers aren't the same as ate sold today but mine have lasted many years. I babied then at first but not for a long time. They get used & abused & still repeat within half a thousandths. I know of one bad run of then that the display flashes but even those still measure.
     
  22. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

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    A few more things with a pass are the portable bandsaw 47840 even with the blade that comes with it. The small 3/8 right angle 95877 & 1/2 69453.
     
  23. skipmeister

    skipmeister United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have bought lots of Harbor Freight tools both electrical and manual and have been overall very happy with the value. One way I look for quality on the mechanically items (Wrenches, sockets, etc) is where they are manufactured. I have found items "Made in Taiwan" to be of a much better quality. Especially their socket ratchets.
     
  24. skipmeister

    skipmeister United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have bought lots of Harbor Freight tools both electrical and manual and have been overall very happy with the value. One way I look for quality on the mechanically items (Wrenches, sockets, etc) is where they are manufactured. I have found items "Made in Taiwan" to be of a much better quality. Especially their socket ratchets.
     
  25. MikeWi

    MikeWi United States Active User Active Member

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    City:
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    I have the HF Ball Joint puller kit. It worked fine for some minor uses like U-joints, and when I used it to replace the ball joints on the right side of my jeep, I thought all my troubles were because I didn't have the right adapters and had to "wing it". Last Sat. I tried to use it with a custom bushing puller that I made on the lathe ,and no matter what I did, it kept going crooked. I looked at the end of the screw and found it was bent! Ok, a few minutes on the lathe and it's square again and back we go to the car. No it's still going crooked. Took a step back and really looked at it and that 5 or 6 pound C-frame for the puller was bent! both the cup end and the screw were pointing outwards by a good amount. Turned a quick job into an all-day event as I had to cut out the bushing (front track bar) and that led to other fun. I may write it up since I had to make some tools. :)
     
  26. scsmith42

    scsmith42 Active Member Active Member

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    I'm not a big fan of Horror Freight; it seems as if everything electrical that I ever bought there ended up in the trash. The worst burn was the $300.00 concrete vibrator that I bought in advance of need. The first time that I used it it died in the middle of a 20 yard pour on the hottest day of the year. Then I found out that they wouldn't warrant it because it was five days out of warranty :(

    I have to admit that the MIG welder cart that they sell is a good value for the money though.

    Having "Chicago Electric" on prominent display in my shop was more than I could handle, so the cart got repainted in Miller blue with some Miller decals applied.


    Scott
     
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  27. GA Gyro

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

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    Well done with the decorating.... we all have our standards... <grin>
     
  28. kingmt01

    kingmt01 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I assume your talking about the C clamp style. I've been a auto tech & a parts retailer for the better part of my life. While I've used those style tools & never had the problem with them & the ones I've used were usually already bent from someone else's abuse. It is a common problem. That is a long distance to put a greater deal of pressure on & your going to get flex which changes the alignment. So even if you started with everything in perfect alignment it wrong start that way.

    A suggestion on using this tool is to put what your pressing under load them to smack the piece housing the ball joint with a hammer. It is usually a tapered fit for the ones that look like tie rod ends so they don't even need this tool. All you need to do is have some weight pulling down then start taping the side of the piece the joint is going through. Bushing should work the same way. Apply pressure with the tool then rap on the side of the housing. If they are stobren from carosion wet them with some ATF or kerosene to soak for an hour.

    Hope this is helpful. Tie rod ends come out very easy almost all the time. Kinda like a center in the tail stock of your lathe but you'd be taping on the female part of the taper & not the ball joint itself.

    Sorry this seems harder to put in word then it is to do.

    Sorry to hear your luck. I've been using their tool for years with great luck. I have no more problems with their tools then I do with tools from other places. However if it is in the warranty period the one I shop at will gladly exchange or refund. I can't say that for other retailers. Advance Auto will(at least used to when I managed them) honor the manufacturer warranty. All other retailers I've seen only give you thirty days & make a really big deal out of it that you are the scum of the earth for returning it.

    I didn't even remember them carrying a $300 concrete vibrator. I bought my $80 one about 10 years ago & it is still in the box. However I have bought some stuff that I waited till the warranty was over before using it. I usually just buy another & return the one I had with the new receipt. Most of the lifetime stuff they don't make you have the receipt but some will so I do the same for those.


    I know this doesn't go with the pass or fail theme but I hope it is still helpful.
     
  29. scsmith42

    scsmith42 Active Member Active Member

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    The more expensive vibrator is patterned after a commercial Wico model with 13' of hose. Your 80 dollar model is probably the one that is mounted to a hand drill for doing sidewalks, etc.

    I recall that I have a "pickle fork" style ball joint tool from HF that was a good value.


    Scott
     
  30. alloy

    alloy Always looking for the next tool score H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Bought an HF 2hp compressor duty motor on Friday and mounted it on my "new to me" Jet 1340 lathe. Took the lathe out t Jim Dawson's and got it wired up and running.

    Th motor lasted about 30 seconds before it went bad. Jim thinks a cap went bad in it. I went back and got another one and we ran it in for about an hour. It got up to 209 degrees with no load on it. I will be looking for another motor, but for now this one gets me going with the lathe.

    I wouldn't recommend this motor. I just though a motor was a motor, but apparently not.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/2-hp-compressor-duty-motor-67842.html
     

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