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Technical Harbor Freight prices

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ekimneirbo, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Some years ago I bought a 6' level for 20 bucks.
    The third one the bubbles were in the middle when placed against the wall which I
    assumed was plumb, it was.
  2. mountainman2
    Joined: Sep 16, 2013
    Posts: 298


    Agreed and we have all seen an awful lot of crappy work done by guys with the $xx,000 box full of SO tools.
  3. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,714

    from illinois

    Do you have to have a quality garage to work in ? How about live in a quality neighborhood , wear quality clothes ?? The list is endless ...
  4. Dan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,355


    I just ordered some Icon ratchets...will let you know my impressions when they arrive
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  5. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 323

    from Alabama

    It’s hard to buy anything any more that’s not made in China or assembled in the US from parts made in China. We are all to blame for this every time we buy stuff from Walmart, any of the discount big box or home improvement stores and even Harbor Freight. In our quest to buy things cheaply more and more manufacturers started sending more and more products offshore to take advantage of low labor and material costs. US companies that tried to holdout were eventually forced to do the same or go out of business. As a result the US has lost most of its manufacturing ability and a lot of its skilled workers jobs. The Chinese has taken advantage of this by stealing the technology of the products sent there to be manufactured.

    I don’t have the answers. Tarriffs may be the answer but not in the short term. Many of you may remember that one time anything made in Japan was pure junk but they now produce some of the finest products in the world but they have also in many cases are too expensive for a lot of consumers. Chinese products range from pure junk to actually very good quality. I’m sure that quality will improve. It’s just a shame we can not take pride in the good old “Made in the USA” label.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    weps, williebill, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  6. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 851

    Truckdoctor Andy

    Heck Yeah! I have a large straight blade screwdriver that Dad bought before I was born. Wards was all the way across town from where we lived, but Sears was much closer. I just figured that’s why Dad got me hooked on Craftsman.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Deuces and lothiandon1940 like this.
  7. Yet somehow, the smell of that one wall of small utility tires permeates the entire store . . .:p
    Deuces and lothiandon1940 like this.
  8. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 842


    My $.02. and fast depreciating opinion.
    Over the 20+ years I bought and went through lots of Chinafreight tools, I have a store 1/4 mile away. Whether they are going up in price shouldn't even be of real concern, (you get what you pay for). My rule of thumb when entering into a CF store is don't buy any cutting tools, (drlill bits, saw blades of any kind, etc). Know your buying questionable quality on every single purchase you make. By that I mean "questionable quality" comparable to USA expected quality. I accept reduced quality when I do buy, expecting that I'll be just ok with what they sell.
    slack, jim snow and pirate like this.
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,226


    How about PennCraft? JC Penny in the 70s.
    I even bought some drag slicks from JCP waaay back when...
    My tool box is full of a variety of brands, some pieces bought as the need warranted and others bought when I thought that I needed them. These days I shop the pawn shops for the odd-ball socket or end wrench.
    I have a few HFT pieces and keep the receipts.

    williebill likes this.
  10. Dan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,355


    I have a set of "Benchtop" (I think?? is the brand) 1/2" drive sockets that I was embarrassed to buy from Kmart
    back in the '80's...
    they are still going strong!
  11. lothiandon1940 and Truck64 like this.
  12. Binkman
    Joined: Nov 4, 2017
    Posts: 191


    I thought it was just me smelling that.
    It is so bad that I can't be in there too long before I get a headache. That can't be healthy for the employees. It appears to be offgassing of thir products.
    Deuces and stanlow69 like this.
  13. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,095

    from Spring tx

    There are a few things I will buy from there. I bought a orbital variable speed buffer for paint correction, surprisingly good results... I bought one of their US general tool boxes to replace my work bench and get rid of my falling apart craftsman I had. 700 bucks for a good well built box... I cant complain, still not a snap on or cornwell, but affordable with the deep drawers... Went from a 40"long 6' tall craftsman to this 54"long by 3' tall box and it all fit with room to spare. 200 lb drawers are also nice. Their tool carts are nice too honestly. Most of my main use stuff is craftsman, OLD snap on, OLD matco, and air tools are Ingersol, or Cornwell. I have some hand tools from the 30s I still use to this day as they have been passed down to me.

    End of the day, research what you are buying, there are a lot of people doing reviews on that place... some stuff stay far away from, other stuff get it and never look back.

    I do agree, the prices on the quality stuff has been going up lately, some of that is the price of steel being up again.
    '51 Norm likes this.
  14. .......The only thing worse is off-gassing from your Uber driver.:eek:
    5window, Deuces and ClayMart like this.
  15. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,355

    Special Ed

    “The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten”

    Benjamin Franklin
    stanlow69 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,276


    I have shop tools and farm tools the tractor tools are mostly from China the germination of them seams about the same as snapon.
    Joel W likes this.
  17. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,349


    California? LOL

    I thought I read on here that Craftsman was being produced in the US and we're going to honour their old warranty. True/false?
    I've had good success with Princess Auto tools as well as Mastercraft (Canadian Tire) along with Fuller. I do have some old Craftsman as well. I don't make my living off of them however. If I could write my tools off taxes then I would probably buy better quality but some are ridiculously priced like Proto for example. Princess Auto have been increasing their quality the last couple of years as well. You have to know what to buy.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  18. slack
    Joined: Aug 18, 2014
    Posts: 519


    As far as I know, Lowes has picked up the brand. I asked an employee in the tool department if Lowes would honor the "lifetime warranty" and he said: "It depends......" I raised my hand to interrupt him and said: "you've told me all I need to know" and walked on.
  19. Ace Hardware seems to have a piece of Craftsman also, as they sell it too. I had a couple of warrantee/service issues with Craftsman 40 years, quit buying their stuff then.
  20. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,714

    from illinois

    Sears Holdings still produces Craftsman BUT ,so does the Stanley Works , where they are made seems to be a subject not talked about . Basically they're telling you they'll make them where it's cheapest and that it's nun-ur-bidness !! The Sears line of tools and the Stanley line of tools have different designs , prices and point of manufacture . It's like ford builds Ford's and GM can build them too., They can be the same .....or not ...
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  21. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,546


    I have always thought this whole discussion over which tools are better is kind of stupid.
    If you think it make sense to purchase the most expensive tools you can find that's up to you and if other guy's decide to purchase used tools or tools at Harbor Freight that is up to them.

    Just use whatever you want and stop knocking guy's who use something different!

    Just my opinion. Jimbo
    73RR, INVISIBLEKID, chopped and 5 others like this.
  22. Most comes from poorly cured resin products like their dead-blow hammers. My girlfriend left one on the back floor of my OT Chevy on Sunday, we use it at the beach to pound in the umbrella pole. What a stink!
  23. I see people buying the Pittsburgh hand tools all the time. For every so often use, they are good for most people. I buy any tools I need sets of on eBay. Gear Wrench has a nice selection of wrenches, I picked up an SAE and metric set of 6-point combination wrenches for a decent price.
  24. Fomoco998
    Joined: Feb 12, 2018
    Posts: 17


    I remember when I was a young kid starting as a mechanic an old timer said to me it wasn't the brand of tools or the size of your toolbox that makes you a mechanic . Remember that to tis day .
    Randall, INVISIBLEKID, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  25. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,770


    I've bought most of my tools like sockets and wrenches at auctions. I've got boxes of drill bits that I bought for a couple bucks. That said, heck you can get a HF paint gun on sale with a coupon for less than $10 at times. They work fine for painting a frame or something. At that price you don't even have to worry yourself with cleaning it up.
  26. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,372


    I find the stuff great for things like the step drill bits, chip brushes, quilted blankets, welding blankets, cutting discs, etc. I’m not too sure if you’ll find many of those sorts of things made in the U.S., anyway. I’ve also had cheap angle grinders that have lasted crazy long. I had one of those little MIG welders that quit during the 5 year warranty period & they sent me two replacements. I did build my ‘33 with a lot of the stuff & I haven’t noticed any weld breaks or weird things that may have been caused by faulty tools. That being said, I’d be a bit leery on purchasing anything over $100. I do have a lot of American stuff, but not disposable chip brushes. And the whole tariff thing will definitely affect the prices (not meant as a political statement). I have a neighbor that manages one of the stores near me & I’ll ask him about all this next time I see him.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    jim snow and lothiandon1940 like this.
  27. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,869

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    To confirm a level is plumb (accurate), place it flat against a wall, center the bubble. Now run a pencil line against the edge of the level onto the wall. Lastly, clock the level 180 degrees, placing the other edge of the level against the pencil line. Then confirm the bubble centers up. If not, the level is out of sync as the level's bubble cartridge has moved.
  28. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,869

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Sears sold the Craftsman line to Stanley/ Black & Decker. The line is marketed through Low's, Ace, Amazon and others. Sears/K Mart will continue to sell the line as part of the deal was a royalty free waive for, IIRC, 15 years.
  29. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,391


    This is what happens when you start a trade war with China. Prices for cheap stuff goes up.
    hans mercman likes this.
  30. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 296

    from Brooks Ky

    Got my new HF catalog yesterday and saw that they now have officially brought their "Icon" brand of tools to market to compete directly with Snap On. They have extended reach wrenches and flex head ratchets, and the Lifetime Warranty ought to make it very interesting........
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.

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