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Harbor Freight Horror Story (MIG Wire)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by adjustablejohnsons, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267


    the problem is there is rice mixed in with the wire and the rice get stuck on the feed wheels,hell i even found a chop stick in one roll!
  2. I thought it was because of the horizontal slit phenomenon, but realized it was Karma. The HF wire was made from old steel beer cans that I spent my children's milk money on in the '60s.
  3. MrNick
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 302

    from Hemet, Ca

    A complaint from many is that all the HF stuff is made in China/Taiwan. Many may be suprised to know that most of our good olde US tools and materials are also made in China/Taiwan. I reciently bought a craftsman drill. You guessed it, made in Taiwan.
  4. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,690


    Good info-explains last summer's "new floors in the Ranch Wagon" fiasco. And while I admit I shop at HF, I do so very selectively, (even more so now), knowing that some of my money goes to such worthwhile causes as slave labor and the ever-expanding buildup of the Chinese Red Army, Air Force and Navy.
  5. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    The problem with poor quality control is that not all products are poor quality, which gives a false sense of security. Some are good, some are bad. Experiences will vary, as will tool budgets, requirements, and expectations.
  6. speedaddict
    Joined: Sep 28, 2002
    Posts: 2,420

    from Austin, Tx

    You guys have a problem with asians? What's with the asian jokes...

    Yes I'm asian...

    One thing I hate about these cheap tool threads is there's always some schmucks that have to throw in some racial remarks..
  7. [quote="And while I admit I shop at HF, I do so very selectively, (even more so now), knowing that some of my money goes to such worthwhile causes as slave labor and the ever-expanding buildup of the Chinese Red Army, Air Force and Navy."[/quote] If they make their weapons using the same processes and materials they use in the manufacture of their tools, I don't think I'll lose too much sleep worrying about it...
  8. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,667

    from house

    There are some simple tests to determine if you have good wire or not. Any ICAR grads around here???
  9. NVRA #84
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 361

    NVRA #84

    I wouldn't think they made wire drive motors that big. Opps there I go hallucinating again.
  10. 2_wheel_nation
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 69

    from hudson, MA

    believe it or not, they ARE very capable of producing high quality. just because they export cheap knock-off garbage to us, doesn't mean they can't make something extremely well. they know they can cut as many corners as they want and enough americans will line up at walmart, harbor freight and the like to make it worth their while. the unfortunate truth is that the major importers of "chinese crap" often encourage the manufacturers to produce crap so they can sell it for less with a higher profit margin.
  11. MarkX
    Joined: Apr 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,232

    from ...TX

    I have never had a problem with Harbor Freight mig wire or any tools i have bought there. I shop there A-Lot and I have no complaints but then again I know how to use tools and how not to use tools.
    I can break Craftsman, Snap-0n, and MAC tools just as easy
  12. ...and to think they probably weld their cherry pickers, engine stands & jack stands together with it. :rolleyes:
  13. yeah, I'm an ICAR grad.:rolleyes: The welding segment I took/paid $45 hr for, consisted of watching a film on how to assemble a Miller mig :confused: :mad: followed by a show and tell of plug welds.....

    What are those tests you speak of? :)
  14. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,667

    from house

    I must have gotten a good teacher.

    Perfect wire should lay out in a straight line. Take a few coils of wire and toss it on the floor like a frisbee. If it stays coiled, and doesnt naturally unroll, its junk. Of course the wire won't go to a straight line, but it should open up considerably. Wire should also not be "springy".....Take a few coils, stick your bare arm through the coil and then drop the wire on your arm. It should stay a fairly close bundle. If the wire passes these two easy tests, you have got a good roll. Shortly after learning this, the shop mig wasn't working worth a shit....I did the tests, the wire was junk.....replace it with a new roll, and the welder worked great. The money I paid for the class was worth these tips. More tips that he gave was to thread a small piece of scotchbrite on the wire before the rollers.....this helped clean the wire before it entered the cable. Also, which I'm sure most people know is to keep the cable as straight as possible while welding. I'm not a pro, but can weld OK.
  15. LUCIFR
    Joined: Mar 8, 2006
    Posts: 634

    from Seattle

    The best is when it says made in the usa with global parts!!! wtf??? I see this on alot of the big name tools... times sure are changing these guys are begaining not to warranty alot of there stuff also due to this..
  16. ShortBus
    Joined: Dec 31, 1969
    Posts: 916


    HF makes GREAT disposable hammers!
  17. The wire I got from them works just fine. It was made in Italy. Where they make Ferraris. Yes I was shocked.
    Chinese products do suck. I'm no racist, but I don't care if any Chinese people get offended when the truth is spoken.
  18. Chinese products suck because North American retailers and consumers want them to. For the most part it has become a cheap and disposable society and we have no one to blame but ourselves for the influx of cheap offshore products because that is what 99% of the consumers want to buy.
  19. JD's 32
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 873

    JD's 32
    from TX

    I was going to buy a eaton compresser but i talked to the owner and he told me the motors are now being made in china, i thought these were suposed to be good compressers, i know this is not wire but sinse were talking about china just thought id throw this in.
  20. 54 chev gasser
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 178

    54 chev gasser

    i work in a garage the guys i work with swear by there harbor freight crap until it breaks or bends and then they wanna borrow my snap-on or matco stuff man that pisses me off or theyll go buy some more of that junk just doesnt make any damn sence
  21. Mozes
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 155


  22. zombo27
    Joined: Dec 8, 2005
    Posts: 265

    from E-town Ky.

    Lincoln by far the best.
  23. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,823


    A lot of stuff that comes from the far east is crap. However some top notch stuff also comes from China. Ever used any JET machinery ?
  24. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    from OKC, OK

    Like I have told numerous poeple I have worked with when their cheap shit breaks " eat shit and bark at the moon, no tools for you". Weekends and building at home that shit is fine. But for everyday, constant work you've got to have quaility you can count on to feed your family.
  25. Chopped26
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 358


    I have bought most of my hand tools over the years at garage sales . The tools I buy are the good old usa made stuff and I have bought them for a buck here and a buck there. I have also bought alot of tools from hf 5 Grinders ,1 hand held band saw, 1 metal chop saw, bench grinder , bench grinder buffer, and a drill press. All grinders burned up ,band saw is on its last leg , grinder and buffer are to wimpy and dog down , drill press is alright but its really a pile of shit.
    Is dewalt made in america ? I know they make good stuff and I coulda bought dewalt by now .
  26. recardo
    Joined: Aug 31, 2006
    Posts: 833

    from Winslow

    I know HF sells Hobart Weld-It rods for my Oxy-Acetylene rig, and they work fine. Don't know what brand the Mig wire is, but I doubt it is Hobart from the sound of it.

    I got some Mig wire from a friend who retired. It was poorly wound as reported above, and I could get it to sorta work by really cranking in the friction. Alas, I finally chucked it out when I had an important job to do, and didn't want to mess around anymore. There was no brand name on it, so I suspect it is the Mexican stuff coming in under the Free Trade/ open border/ no standards plan.
  27. recardo
    Joined: Aug 31, 2006
    Posts: 833

    from Winslow

    My craftsman 3-ton also bit the dust. My HF jack continues on.
  28. jacksdad
    Joined: Aug 2, 2007
    Posts: 6

    from San Diego

    Really old thread, I know, but it was relevant to a search I was doing (Lincoln SP135 jamming since I ran HF wire through it) and I'm bored enough to chip in here. I hate funding China too, but the truth is that a lot of "American" stuff is as Chinese as anything HF sells. I bought a Craftsman drill press a few years ago and it sat in the box for nearly a year. When I needed it the damned shaft was so bent the tip of the drill described a circle with a diameter of a couple of inches. Took it back and was told I'd have to take it to their repair center, and yes, I'd be paying for the repair. I told the guy to shove it and went looking in HF and ended up buying THE EXACT SAME drill press with a different paint job for a lot less. I even dressed it up with all the Craftsman stuff and it all fit, even down to the location of the bolt holes in the cover.
    A few years prior to that I was given a really nice Craftsman 1/2" torque wrench which had been left at 120 pounds for probably a couple of years. I didn't feel comfortable using it, and next trip to Sears I asked if they could calibrate/check it. The guy said no, but as it was a Craftsman it was covered by their warranty and he'd be happy to give me a brand spanking new one. I jumped in the car, drove home in the rain during rush hour, picked up the torque wrench and headed straight back. I was gone for an hour at most, and when I presented him with the wrench he (unconvincingly) denied ever having met me, and told me that they don't warranty torque wrenches as they're "not hand tools". Huh? Suffice to say I was a little miffed and threw a huge tantrum, peppered the air liberally with cuss words and stormed out. If the warranty is all you buy Craftsman for, don't bother. I've had no luck returning anything. Hell, my Craftsman RV floor jack has slowly dropped since I bought it, and I'm at the point where I can't be bothered to take it back because I don't trust their warranty (I throw axle stands under anyway). Quality-wise, Craftsman get a lot of stuff from the Peoples Republic these days, so that's a crap shoot. If you want quality, spend the money and buy Snap-on, Matco, etc. One thing I will say about HF is that if it breaks (and their hand tools usually don't), they do honor the warranty and you walk out with a new tool every time. Beat that, Sears...
  29. railroad
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 242


    I thought I read somewhere a while back to NOT buy, use or weld with any copper colored mig wire. Was I dreaming or was this something related to China wire? I think it was something about the fumes being toxic.
  30. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy

    i love to go to H F , you can buy a lot of stuff with little money,,,, ha,ha

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