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Rate the Harbor Freight Tools Thread- Pass or Fail?

kingmt01

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Yelp. I looked yours up after seeing $300. Mine is the same one they still sale for $80. Looks like a sawsaw motor on it. If bought it to fill a block wall that I still haven't gotten to. Lol
 

GA Gyro

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Perhaps a little off topic...

In my young days (in the dark ages... :grin: ), was employed as an auto and truck mechanic.

We used the pickle fork looking thing (Snap-On) to remove ball joints and tie rod ends. We called it a 'tuning fork'.
Technique was to back off the nut from the threads... so the nut was a few turns covering the end of the threads, then soak the joint with WD-40, then carefully place the 'tuning fork' in the joint. Give it (the fork) a couple of taps... then give the nut on the joint threaded shaft a couple of taps (note TAPS, not whacks). Repeat the taps on the tuning fork, then the nut, until it comes loose.
A bit less 'exuberance' and a bit more 'finesse', usually loosened the joint without damaging the other parts, the tools, or the workers knuckles (or ego).

Hope this helps... :)
 

scsmith42

Active Member
Active Member
Perhaps a little off topic...

In my young days (in the dark ages... :grin: ), was employed as an auto and truck mechanic.

We used the pickle fork looking thing (Snap-On) to remove ball joints and tie rod ends. We called it a 'tuning fork'.
Technique was to back off the nut from the threads... so the nut was a few turns covering the end of the threads, then soak the joint with WD-40, then carefully place the 'tuning fork' in the joint. Give it (the fork) a couple of taps... then give the nut on the joint threaded shaft a couple of taps (note TAPS, not whacks). Repeat the taps on the tuning fork, then the nut, until it comes loose.
A bit less 'exuberance' and a bit more 'finesse', usually loosened the joint without damaging the other parts, the tools, or the workers knuckles (or ego).

Hope this helps... :)
I used a similar technique with the exception of using a brass hammer on the threads. One other thing is if you whack hard enough on the side of the forging outside of the tapered hole that the tie rod stud goes through it will usually spring the hole enough so that the stud pops out.


Scott
 

MikeWi

Active User
Active Member
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.
I'll admit that I can't see any deformation, so it may have been built like this in the first place and it took me this long to notice, but I'll post a pic later. Way out of line. There's no flexing going on here, and the bushing removal required a total gap of less than 4" inside the press, so no long distance involved. It's just messed up is all. We used that rap trick all the time at the garage I worked in, and yes it works like a charm and makes peoples jaw drop when they see it for the first time. Doesn't help much here though.. These track bar bushings are notorious for being hard to remove. The rubber comes out of the liner before the liner releases.
 

MikeWi

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Active Member
Perhaps a little off topic...
In my young days (in the dark ages... :grin: ), was employed as an auto and truck mechanic.
We used the pickle fork looking thing (Snap-On) to remove ball joints and tie rod ends. We called it a 'tuning fork'.
Technique was to back off the nut from the threads... so the nut was a few turns covering the end of the threads, then soak the joint with WD-40, then carefully place the 'tuning fork' in the joint. Give it (the fork) a couple of taps... then give the nut on the joint threaded shaft a couple of taps (note TAPS, not whacks). Repeat the taps on the tuning fork, then the nut, until it comes loose.
A bit less 'exuberance' and a bit more 'finesse', usually loosened the joint without damaging the other parts, the tools, or the workers knuckles (or ego).
Works like a charm on that kind of joint (although I prefer rapping the outside of the joint), but a ball joint holding the hub assembly to the steering knuckle is contained in a can that's pressed into the knuckle. No pickle fork will work on that, so you use this large C-clamp style contraption to push them out.
 

royesses

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Been replacing ball joints for 50 years. Leave the nut on the top of the threads as mentioned. Then use a 2 lb hammer to back up one side of the knuckle and give the other side of the knuckle a good rap with a 1 lb ball pien. The joint will drop out of the taper. Works on tie rod ends too. Just a slight deformation of the taper unlocks the grip. This method does not harm the rubber boot if reusing it. There is no damage to the knuckle either. The pickle fork ruins the boot. I've used the C press also but first do the above to loosen the taper. I've never bent or damaged the C press this way.
 

royesses

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Universal Bench Grinder Stand item #3184 - Pass. I use these for anything that needs to be raised up to working height. Cheap and useful. Weld on a 1" x 1" angle iron frame and mount a wood top on it for drill presses or belt sanders etc.
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kingmt01

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Active Member
royesses
Try some lizard litter from the pet store in that tumbler. It works much better. It won't get stuck in your flash holes.
I forgot to mention it is cheaper also.
 

royesses

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royesses
Try some lizard litter from the pet store in that tumbler. It works much better. It won't get stuck in your flash holes.

I forgot to mention it is cheaper also.
Thanx for the tip. I've heard that before but forgot. Next time we need dog supplies I'll get some and give it a try.
 

Bill Rosselot

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Active Member
I am unabashedly a HF fan, I buy a good bit of 'stuff' there...

I think I have 2 items that jump out as a super bargain and astounding wearability -

First would be the 4 1/2" angle grinder (orange one) that sells for around $15 - I have had mine for some 10 years and it just wont seem to wear out, its a bit noisy now, but still chugs right along, whether grinding, cutting, sanding, etc.

Second would be the air die grinders in the straight and angle versions that sell for around $15-20, I have 5 of the straight and 3 of the angle with different mountings - with a cut off disc being one of the more handy tools in my shop, with a 3" sanding disc being awfully handy, also grind stones carbide cutters, etc. Here again, I have a couple that are some 6-8 years old and they just keep a going.

Nothing comes to mind right off as to 'bad' stuff. Tho there is some crappy stuff there, it seems to be less common than in the past (as does the import tools across the board)
I too have the orange one and I have had it for about 12 years. Had to take it apart once and grease it. But still works even took it to work for about 2 years and used it as a cut off saw on rebar. That is a good one.
 

autonoz

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Active Member
Purchased the 6 ton jack stands today because my others are under my sand buggy. Had to do the brakes on my F350. Well the job is done and I did not get crushed. Pass
They are pretty well built. The box says ANSI approved, but there is no sticker on the stand that refers to it.
 

N8TheGreat

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Active Member
After reading through this thread a bit, it motivated me to sit down and think about what I have bought from Harbor Freight and would give the Pass to

· Torque wrenches (1/2” & 3/8”)

· 2 ton low profile Heavy Duty Floor jack

· 4.5” angle grinder

· 7” variable speed polisher/sander

· 44in. 13 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet

· ½” in Professional Air Impact Wrench

· 20 Bin Medium Portable Parts storage case

· 10 in sliding Compound Miter Saw

· 1500 Watt Heat Gun

· ½” breaker bar

· ¼” Air angle die grinder

· Automatic Battery Float Charger
off the top of my head this is what I have/have used and never had 1 problem or complaint with. As you can see I have a addiction to Harbor freight :) the only thing I wouldn’t buy from there would be their wrenches or sockets I would spend the little extra for a little better set :)
Evertime you go make sure you take your coupons/20% off coupons and your coupons for free items. Their free volt meter works great, 25ft tapemeasure is awesome and even their cheap LED flashlights provide plenty of light and yea and did I mention they are all free with the coupon :)
 

Bill Rosselot

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Active Member
I own several HF tools mostly woodworking so they don't get used much. But I do have a lot of hand tools screwdrivers, wrenches, and such mostly because they are cheap and they keep the kids away from the Snap-On and Craftsman boxes. But one thing I do buy at HF and probably nowhere else is grinding disks, cut off disks they have the best price and they do last a long time. But I do notice now they have a professional grade of tools now not sure if it is any better or worse price didint change much. I just bought a 1/2" drill and it is basically the same as my old Black and Decker that burned up. I also have a 12" Sliding Miter saw that I bought about 2 years ago. I had a 12" Yellow One with the Big D. and it was $400 used and the HF saw is better cuts better angles not as loud easier to adjust. But I would say that if you are the average home owner you cant go wrong. You have to do what you have to do when you are trying to make it out there, not everyone can buy Dewalt, or Milwaukee.
 

kd4gij

Active User
Active Member
After reading through this thread a bit, it motivated me to sit down and think about what I have bought from Harbor Freight and would give the Pass to

· Torque wrenches (1/2” & 3/8”)

· 2 ton low profile Heavy Duty Floor jack

· 4.5” angle grinder

· 7” variable speed polisher/sander

· 44in. 13 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet

· ½” in Professional Air Impact Wrench

· 20 Bin Medium Portable Parts storage case

· 10 in sliding Compound Miter Saw

· 1500 Watt Heat Gun

· ½” breaker bar

· ¼” Air angle die grinder

· Automatic Battery Float Charger
off the top of my head this is what I have/have used and never had 1 problem or complaint with. As you can see I have a addiction to Harbor freight :) the only thing I wouldn’t buy from there would be their wrenches or sockets I would spend the little extra for a little better set :)
Evertime you go make sure you take your coupons/20% off coupons and your coupons for free items. Their free volt meter works great, 25ft tapemeasure is awesome and even their cheap LED flashlights provide plenty of light and yea and did I mention they are all free with the coupon :)
They have a line of socket and ratchet sets that are made in Taiwan that are nice. and they are lifetime warranty
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Anthony G

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Active Member
I bought a couple of those hand, squeeze-type clamps from HF. You know, those black, plastic ones with the orange pads on the clamping fingers. Can't remember the size exactly, but about the medium size ones. Anyway, I went to use them a couple days ago and immediately, after placing one of them on the two pieces I wanted to clamp together, the end of one of the fingers broke off and went flying across the garage. It wasn't just the orange pad that came off, it was the black plastic finger that snapped. I do not believe I was overworking the clamp. I used the other one and it did its job. Perhaps they can be inspected carefully before purchasing to look for defects.
 

kingmt01

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Active Member
I've never used those but there is serviceable items along with junk not worth bringing home.

I bought the dust collector after reading the mixed reviews. I ended up with mixed feelings on it. For the price is give it a fail. It doesn't have much suction. A fan in the window would pull as much dust.
 

RJSakowski

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I bought a couple of those hand, squeeze-type clamps from HF. You know, those black, plastic ones with the orange pads on the clamping fingers. Can't remember the size exactly, but about the medium size ones. Anyway, I went to use them a couple days ago and immediately, after placing one of them on the two pieces I wanted to clamp together, the end of one of the fingers broke off and went flying across the garage. It wasn't just the orange pad that came off, it was the black plastic finger that snapped. I do not believe I was overworking the clamp. I used the other one and it did its job. Perhaps they can be inspected carefully before purchasing to look for defects.
If you're talking about their bar clamps, I bought about a half dozen in 18" and 24" sizes when I was working on my kitchen cabinetry. They were cheap and I needed a bunch of extra clamps at the time. I believe that all but one have broken. There is just not enough meat in the plastic to deal with the forces applied. To be fair, I expect a lot from a clamp and probably over-stressed them. My Wolfcraft clamps have held up through the thick of things without breaking. I also have four of the old fashion screw typ bar clamps from HF and have not had a problem with them.

Bob
 

housedad

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Active Member
Just got the 1000lb lift cart. Wow. it really is nice, strong, sturdy and worked great after following bleeding procedures. A back saver and a half.
 

NCjeeper

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I like their 4 drawer tool carts. Perfect to store tooling in. I have one by my lathe and one by my mill.
 

roadie33

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I have 4 of the Black 4 drawer Tool chests.
Just the right size for storing Drills, End mills, Reamers and all of my Cobalt and HSS bits.
I also get the black trays to put in the drawers to keep it all separated.
One by the Lathe. One by the Mill. One with wrenches and misc hand tools for roll around that I use for whatever I am putting together in the basement shop.
The other is in the garage full of hand tools.

I always seem to talk myself into getting another one when they come on sale for $99.
 

Bill Rosselot

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Active Member
Just yesterday I went and bought a T55 Star driver 1/2inch drive. Got the whole set and also a set of left hand drill bits. Well used the crap out of them and no breakage yet. Put the T55 socket on my 1" impact and let her eat still in good shape. Had to take the box off my sons pickup so we could change a fuel pump. I got out of HF for 17 dollars not a bad buy.
 

joebiplane

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I had about the same thing happen with the clamps I bought
But You get what you pay for. Usually , at HF. Cheap tools built cheap for occasional use by hobbiests


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