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Worthless Tools Gallery. What Tools do you regret buying?

gr8legs

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#91
I have a couple of air chisels that seemed like a good idea 35 years ago, but never really get used. I bought them for cutting and separating exhaust system parts. They *will* work for that, but there are many other tools that work better. Even at that time, an oxy-acetylene cutting torch was faster and easier, and nowadays plasma.

Both of my air chisels still work like new (I keep them well oiled), but they haven't been used for an actual job in over 30 years. I smile when I walk through the DIY stores and see new air chisels amongst the other air tools. I wonder who is buying them and what they are using them for.

GG
Air chisels are wonderful for reclaiming used masonry bricks - put a regulator in the air line to drop the pressure to 30-50 psi (ymmv) and the chisel will peel off old mortar like string cheese. We got a couple hundred used bricks cheap for a walkway project and the air chisel was a godsend.

Subsequently used one to remove mortar in a chimney to facilitate remove/replace a brick or two.

Definitely wear your safety glasses AND face shield. Projectiles everywhere!
 

mws

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#92
Good question. It was explained to me about 50 years ago by my shop teacher. Always put a 0 reading (like 0 to 1) mic away with it open a bit, (maybe 0.025 or so) so that if the temperature changes, the mic won't expand and spring the mic frame. There may be other reasons to do it also, but I'm not aware of them. But every machinist I know leave their mics open a bit. It just seems to be the right thing to do. Leaving it open further than 0.025 would be fine, like you I normally leave mine where I last measured, but just not 0.
I learned the same thing from several machinists. I usually leave about .002" the keep crud off the mic faces. I knew a die maker who had a bunch of oil soaked felt disks, cut with a paper punch, that he left between the faces when storing them for a while.
Similar techniques apply equally in other areas as well. Like, never back-seat a valve stem completely, always turn it back in a 1/4 turn or they can weld themselves solid. I confirmed that the hard way. I never (unless I have to leave a set-up overnight) leave any clamps, chucks, collets, tool posts, etc., tight when not in use. I came home from vacation one summer and found a forgotten R8 collet fused into my mill spindle. I had to dismantle the mill and put the quill into the press to pop it loose!
Thermal cycling can do amazing things, it is one of the leading cause of long-term failures in Integrated Circuitry. Which is why I don't turn my home PCs off.
 

OldPhart

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#93
Man, do I feel old...I've owned a BUNCH of the items mentioned here, especially the '70's Cfartsman power tools. Got lucky with their table saw though, it has worked for nearly 40 years.

Probably still have the Solidox set buried somewhere in the basement. Having learned that the pellet is probably sodium or potassium chlorate I just might dig it out someday and give it another go with a larger homemade pellet of same compressed with my HF "12 ton" press.

Got the still-unused air chisel from ~ 35 yrs back, I'll have to try it for stripping mortar off salvaged brick/block-TYVM for that idea!

Gotta stick up for the much-maligned Ryobi cordless tools here. The P234 impact driver is absolutely the handiest cordless tool I've ever owned, and I have a bunch of 'em. I have 9/12/14.4v Makitas, old Cfartsmans, HF no-names, old Skil 12v [darn good drill with light battery that runs a long time on 1 charge-probably why they no longer sell 'em] and a couple I can't recall just now. The little impact driver will drive 3" #10 deck screws into Doug fir with no pilot holes all day long, won't chew up the #2 Phillips heads unless I'm REALLY careless about alignment/pressure, and will do at least 200 of 'em on a single charge of the smallest P100 lithium battery.

The little 5" cordless saw is a workhorse also but don't expect the P100 battery to give you more than a few 2x4 crosscuts in rapid succession before the overtemp protection kicks in. The nicad packs [with all their shortcomings like weight/memory/self-discharge, etc] are MUCH better for a heavy sustained draw.

I can reasonably expect to cut 30-60 lineal feet of 1/2" plywood or probably the same number of 2x4's on one charge of a well-maintained nicad. Wouldn't work for a professional framer but for an old DIY guy like me the hassle of keeping a couple of extra batteries in the 6-slot smart charger is not nearly as great as mucking about with extension cords or a generator if I'm building something in the back 40.

The cordless nailer ZRP320 [now replaced by the P854/ZRP854] is also a very handy gadget for installing panelling or T&G cedar siding. Takes awhile to learn how to hold it for consistent strikes which don't require setting the brad heads flush but once again, VERY handy for sites with no power and small jobs for which dragging out the compressor, hose and extension cord is time-consuming.

The P530 rotary tool is my second-favorite Ryobi tool after the impact driver. Great for switch box/outlet cutouts, etc.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread but Ryobi DOES make some good tools now and the universal battery system helps a lot in reducing the number of chargers and batteries needed to keep a fleet of tools running. Yes, the batteries are not wonderful and aren't of pro quality, but they are not priced like a Milwaukee or Bosch, either...just my $0.02...
 

sk1nner

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#94
I am in no way saying ryobi makes only junk tools. I just had no luck on having a charged battery when I needed it and have it last. All I was saying is that for my money I would rather deal with a cord and have all of the power I need. I do see the usefulness of cordless, but for my particular situation they are not a good fit, wish they were though.
 

rcaffin

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#95
Chinese drill bits: some of them had tips which were ground off-centre, so they all (reliably) drilled about 0.3 mm oversize - until the tips broke through at the other side. They got relegated to woodwork.

Chinese cup-head or allen bolts, on various bits of equipment. Apparently made from mild steel. I found if I replaced them immediately, the rest of the equipment was often OK.

Chinese allen keys. Mostly they seem to be made from mild steel as well. Lean on one and it burrs around in the socket. Lean on a Bondhus or Unbrako, and something ELSE gives. (Hopefully the stiction on the thread.)

and just to prove I am not too biased:
Nice looking German-branded wood-working square - which is out by about 0.5 degrees.

Cheers
Roger
 

bpratl

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#96
Chinese drill bits: some of them had tips which were ground off-centre, so they all (reliably) drilled about 0.3 mm oversize - until the tips broke through at the other side. They got relegated to woodwork.
Chinese cup-head or allen bolts, on various bits of equipment. Apparently made from mild steel. I found if I replaced them immediately, the rest of the equipment was often OK.
Chinese allen keys. Mostly they seem to be made from mild steel as well. Lean on one and it burrs around in the socket. Lean on a Bondhus or Unbrako, and something ELSE gives. (Hopefully the stiction on the thread.)
Roger
I agree 150%, after spending many hours getting rid of the wobblers and replacing them with good old USA ones, from a master Letter/Number set. I now have too many woodworking bits now. Bob
 

4gsr

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#97
Change the subject a little,

Bought a couple of taps that were mislabeled as "ACME taps". Turned out to be ancient "Square" thread taps. One of the old taps has a date of "4-8-19" almost 100 years old! It's also marked " C F SCREW TAPER" Very good chance they came from a old lathe manufacture. Third one is marked "1 ACME 8 by 3/8 L". It's a three start thread with .375" lead! The only place I've seen a three start thread like this one used was on the cross rail on a small planer I use to have and it was a "square' thread form.

Anyways, there are useless to me. Will make more wall decorations for the shop!

DSCN2541.JPG DSCN2542.JPG DSCN2543.JPG DSCN2548.JPG DSCN2549.JPG
 

timvercoe

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#98
First off, I would not say that too loud around here... I don't think I have ever bought a tool that I regretted buying. As mentioned above every tool has a purpose, it just may not be the one that it was originally purchased for. I even like cheap tools, that way I don't feel bad when I hack it up to make it into a tool that I need. I also like having tools that I can "loan" out and not worry about ever getting it back. Being the guy who has all the tools means that friends expect that you can loan them everything. The problem with that is I make my money with my tools and can't afford to have a knuckle head friend ruin a tool because they don't know what they are doing.
I tel em' sure you can borrow it but it comes with an operator, 88 per hr....

Tim
 

EmilioG

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#99
I read that brown and sharpe hole gages were not well made. That the set was horrible, very springy and loose.
I was very surprised to hear this. B&S usually make quality tools.
 

RJSakowski

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I bought a house brand 4" angle grinder from a local building & supply. It lasted about 5 minutes. Since then I am leery about buying cheap tool with an electric motor.
I used to buy Craftsman hand tools in the sixties and seventies when they had an unconditional lifetime guarantee. The 3" aluminum C clamps used to break with disgusting regularity and I would take the back for replacements. One time the clerk said "how are we going to make a profit if you keep returning them?" I "said make a better clamp". I made a deal with them; rather than get new aluminum clamps, I said I would take the less expensive cast iron clamps. I still have those cast iron clamps.
BTW, HF hammers usually don't go too far wrong. And I have quite a few of their $5.00 multimeters. Free right now with any purchase. I throw them in my tool boxes, the car, the boat, etc. At that price, I consider them disposables.
 

railfancwb

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This may not be an exact fit for the thread, but anyway...

HF sells three price levels of twist drill bits. Low end is identified as high speed steel. The middle is noted as high speed steel with TiN coating. The third is called cobalt steel. Among other ways these are available is sets - 1 to 60, letter drills, and 1/16" to 1/2" (by 64ths I think). Pricing is roughly 3 for cobalt, 2 for TiN, and 1 for HHS - so a cobalt set is about $100.

Anyone use HF bits? If so, how do they hold up when drilling steel? Especially the cobalt?

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rcaffin

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Sets of drills are almost always junk stuff, unless they are a really good brand.
Locally made drill bits have this terrible habit of being slightly bent after heat treatment. Put them in a good chuck and the tip wobbles! Seriously.

These days I will only buy Dormer drill bits. And I prefer the stub drills to the jobber drills anyhow, especially in a CNC.

Cheers
Roger
 

4gsr

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I read that brown and sharpe hole gages were not well made. That the set was horrible, very springy and loose.
I was very surprised to hear this. B&S usually make quality tools.
Bought a set of B & S adjustable parallels back around 1980. What a POS they were. They were not parallel, most were out about.0015". They were not ground flat, bowed badly. Gave them to my little brother a few years later.
 

EmilioG

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I won't buy new from a lot of manufacturers. B&S being one. B&S made quality tools years ago,
where you see the old logo, made in Providence, RI. LBS. Go with vintage where you can/
 

RJSakowski

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I had the same setup. You had to weld or braze fast, because those oxygen pellets didn't last very long. They were expensive as heck, and the only way we could get them was by mail order. You could also use Mapp gas instead of propane, but that made it even more expensive. The aluminum pellet canister was prone to corrosion because of the heat and oxygen rich environment. Very nearly worthless. I had forgotten about it! You're right, that would have been around 1976 maybe.

GG
I had two setups like that. One used a 14 oz. oxygen cylinder and propane cylinder. I bought that to do an emergency repair on an outboard motor when I was on an up north fishing trip. The second one was the SolidOx torch that was given to me by my ex father-in-law. I gave up on the 14 oz.oxygen cylinder. I had a larger medical oxygen tank which was pressure tested for 2500 psi working. I made an adapter that allowed me to charge the tank from my larger oxygen tank and made a nice portable stand for it. I use MAPP gas instead of propane. It is handy to take out to remote areas where I don't feel like lugging the large tanks. I used it to weld a splashwell made of 16 g. aluminum for one of my boats once.
 

markknx

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I started my welding career on one of those solid ox torches. I got one as a kid about 14-15 sheet metal was all it was good for I think I got new pellets from sears. yes that far back I knew I wanted to work metal.
Mark
 

RJSakowski

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I started my welding career on one of those solid ox torches. I got one as a kid about 14-15 sheet metal was all it was good for I think I got new pellets from sears. yes that far back I knew I wanted to work metal.
Mark
It (the torch) actually worked quite for aluminum. Its limited capacity made it much harder to create a pool of molten aluminum. Never actually used the SolidOx pellets though.
 

BXPete

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Cheaper brand name tools from "big box" hardware stores... had a particularly bad run with an Ozito keyless church power drill, would never maintain a tight grip on the drill bit and a GMC jigsaw... absolutely hopeless, wouldn't naintain a straight cut and never anywhere near "square" either.

I replaced both with (and tend to stick to) Makita power tools... have had a good run from every one I have owned.

My lesson... buy quality not cheap.
 

core-oil

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My pals (Generous well meaning souls) upon occasions buy me these crap, cheap digital callipers sold at street markets & cheap tool stores, They are far eastern rubbish, When they are away after I have thanked them most profusely, I fire them straight into the rubbish bin! They are useless, You never get the same reading twice on the same component, give me my Brown & Sharp etc vernier scale instruments + good British similar tools of about thirty years ago any day, Quality now gone for ever
 

Bill C.

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Those cheap ones were not made of plastic were they? I thought I was seeing things when I saw them. I assumed they were for beginner's.
 

taycat

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chopsaw for wood was away from home and needed to help mate with job.
went in and got took it back to his place 1st piece of wood we tried cutting snapped end spindle of motor.
was only pine we were cutting.
 

David S

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Those cheap ones were not made of plastic were they? I thought I was seeing things when I saw them. I assumed they were for beginner's.
Oh no those plastic calipers were for our mechanical designers at work. After having them weld a few good calipers when they tried to measure the length of fully charged Nicd cells, I gave them the plastic ones.

David
 

Chuck Torman

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I purchased a Rigid brand 14" band saw from Home Depot some years ago, I was working out of town at the time and the saw sat idle in my basement for over a year before I had an opportunity to use it. The blade guides (entire guide assembly) was made from a very inferior cast pot metal, pressure from even the tiny thumb screws used to tighten the guides would break the housings. I thought perhaps I had gotten a bad run and ordered new replacement parts, but the new replacements were just as bad as the original. Short story is, I punish with my dollars (or lack thereof) I will never buy a Rigid product again and I also purchase very little from Home Depot as a result.
I don't mind buying something that requires a tune up as long as the purchase price rewards my efforts, but this saw was pure JUNK.
Thanks
Chuck
 

coolidge

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Erwin step drill, the thing has become dull and useless after drilling only a few holes in sheet metal.
 

hman

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Short story is, I punish with my dollars (or lack thereof) I will never buy a Rigid product again and I also purchase very little from Home Depot as a result.
I don't mind buying something that requires a tune up as long as the purchase price rewards my efforts, but this saw was pure JUNK.
Thanks
Chuck
Say it ain't so, Chuck! I used to think a lot of Ridgid!!!
Durn ... sounds like a large number of what used to be great names keeps falling down the sewer. Who can you go to now? :apologize:
 

Chuck Torman

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Say it ain't so, Chuck! I used to think a lot of Ridgid!!!
Durn ... sounds like a large number of what used to be great names keeps falling down the sewer. Who can you go to now? :apologize:
Sorry to say it John, but yes a lot of previously respectable U. S. companies have gone to China to drink from the profit well. Some probably had to in order to survive, others simply in order to temporarily boost their bottom line. I am afraid as consumers we are just as guilty. No easy answer "buyer beware". (Oh, sorry for the misspelling "Ridgid not Rigid")
 

rcaffin

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I purchased a Rigid brand 14" band saw from Home Depot some years ago,
The blade guides (entire guide assembly) was made from a very inferior cast pot metal,
Funny - I bought an admittedly 'small cheap' Chinese band saw - but it has 6 ball races for the blade guide. The folded metal support frame was wonky and I had to fix that, but the engineered bits are OK.

Ah - but I no longer buy cheap bandsaw blades from our local equivalent of HD. I buy good bi-metal blades from a specialist. Boy, do they last a long time in comparison.

Cheers
Roger
 

great white

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Don't think I've ever had "tool regret".

Even the cheap ones that often break usually get repurposed or reworked into something useful for me.

Wait, maybe the " Wagner power painter". Never have gotten that to work properly....
 
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