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OK: How About a POSITIVE HARBOR FREIGHT Thread???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KIRK!, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. Old Heap
    Joined: Oct 10, 2010
    Posts: 257

    Old Heap
    Member

    4 1/2" grinders, 3 of them, cutting, grinding, and flapper disc.

    No luck at all with the zip ties

    10" compound Miter saw, used it for all the trim in my house, still works as far as I know.

    The big red tool box, top and bottom, no issues at all.

    Small blue low profile jack, love it.

    Blue welding cart, love it.

    Jack stands, several.

    Bench vise, have 2.

    I'm also an owner of various Snap-On, Mac, Matco, and Craftsman tools.
     

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  2. thaugen
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 174

    thaugen
    Member

    Cut off wheels: BEWARE! Too many guys on here saying "Never had a cut off wheel explode ..." That's like saying "Never had a fatal head-on." Google the carnage.

    "Similar thing happened to a guy at my old job. Blew through a face shield and sliced open his neck just missing the jugular."

    "The cutting tool, consisting of a bonded abrasive disc, failed prematurely during the routine sectioning of a steel member. The operator was injured as a result. Analysis indicated an improper mixture of the organic constituents comprising the wheel bonding material. Instead of the uniform wear anticipated under normal cutting conditions, the improper mixture resulted in a degradation of the wheel’s mechanical properties, and catastrophic brittle fracture."

    Anyone who is awake knows the Chinese sacrifice quality without regard for your life. IF you make it to the emergency room, you'll pay 100 times the savings you got buying cheap cut off wheels.
     
  3. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,704

    indyjps
    Member

    I buy some stuff there, my last 2 trips I havent bought much.
    I do a lot of house remodeling work and some of the stuff I'll use once every 2 years is worth picking up there.

    If I need a serious tool or something that could break and injure me I dont shop there for it.
     
  4. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Uh, that's not positive, he was looking for people who had positive experiences.
     
  5. i have a large band cut off saw works good
    i wanted to buy american sorry i can not spend almost $4000 for american ( most american brands are made in china now )

    havs stertcher n shrinker that worke as good as Eastwing made in china for less

    there are still american tools made here
    Mac is stanly made in China
    Craftsman made in china

    some HF stough is junk
     
  6. I don't buy much from HF as I have most everything I need in old American Stuff. I do love their step drills, sheetmetal panel clamps and can't complain about abrasive wheels (wear quicker than Norton's but never had one come apart)

    Bought a D-Handle 1/2" drill and it is one torquey bastard. First use broke the pot metal housing where the side handle attaches. Wad of J-B Weld and the thing is great.

    Picked up a 12 speed benchtop drill press last week. Fit and Finish were horrible, mounting holes buggered up and needed tapping, cast table looked like crap with excess castings exposed. Spend 2-3 hours cleaning and tuning and thing runs great. Spins withing .004" of true which is good enough for what I need it for. Can probably work on that and get it tighter also but why bother.
     
  7. magsnubby
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 486

    magsnubby
    Member
    from Fresno,Ca

    I've been doing that for years. Better to heat, bend and cut cheapies than your good stuff.

    I carry an assortment of cheap China tools under the seat of my T-Bucket. That way i have a few tools in case i need to make a minor repair, and if some pos decides he needs them more than i do, i've only lost a few bucks in worthless China crap instead of my good tools.

    Same thing when i had my jeep. I kept a tool box full of cheapie yard sale junk and HR tools for everyday use and when i went wheelin' i replaced them with good tools. Better to loose a hundred bucks worth of yard sale junk than my good tools.
     
  8. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,215

    Koz
    Member

    The store near me has a bunch of early "twenty something" hotties. I'm pretty sure they're american made.
     
  9. I watch every one use Harbor F tools.........I was a Certified Professional Technician for several years.....we were not allowed to buy S_it tools...had to sign an document declaring we would not use them on customer equipment....as they were to dangerous and unsafe..........try hanging on a 2" wrench at the end of a crane boom....and bet your life on it........u'd think twice my friend.

    True Story........when I trained mechanics in Texas.....I used to walk them to a fence, and then describe all the issues with poor tools (holding one of their Chinese ot Taiwan tools) and then chuck it out in to a grassy field.......they would lunge, but too late.......must be at least 50 wrenches and ratchets out there........then I would introduce them to the Snap On, Mac and Matco team.........eventually they would throw all there S_hit tools out there for fun.............

    Mesquite Texas.........next to where the Auto Transport Dock, where they unload the cars from Houston..........most of my trainees went on to become expert mechanics.
     
  10. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,015

    26 roadster
    Member

    I have 10 of there $10 die grinders and use them a lot. five 4.5 grinders, blast cabinet, and get most of my consumables there too. I love the joint, but then I am probably not the mechanic some of you guys are. Cars are my hobby not my job, now if you want to talk handguns or handcuffs I have a real opinion.
     
  11. Grinder stands, dead blow hammer, 1/2 inch drive electric impact wrench (used rarely but still works), 30 lb. aluminum jack--- lifts my roadster with no problem, blue nitrile gloves (good for fiberglassing). That's about it.
     
  12. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None
    Member

    I had used,need to get another one, a harbor freight HVLP paint gun. I use it to shoot small parts,(pulleys and brackets and the occasional figure 8 car). For a $20 paint gun it works preaty well, just have to run a little more pressure than normal. Plus after a few times of not cleaning it out a few times. Pitch it and get another for $20.
     
  13. 64Cyclone
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,496

    64Cyclone
    Member

    They had a sale last year and I bought one of the flux core welders for $80. It's more than paid for itself and got me back into the swing again. I read a bunch of complaints on these here, but good things on other forums. It welds the fine...if you can't weld with one of these, your not a very good welder anyway. Eyeing a Lincoln or Hobart...but I may wait awhile since this is doing all I need it to do.

    I also buy alot of throw away stuff there and have good luck. The only bad luck was their heat guns. I did get the cheapest one and 2 took a dump.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  14. Vin-tin
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 88

    Vin-tin
    Member

    I've learned over the years not to buy anything from them with a cutting edge. It's junk. I just bought some locking c-clamps from them and modified them to suit my needs.
    Costs like 3.99 each plus a couple bucks for the steel to modify them. Works great.
     

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  15. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 756

    slickhale
    Member
    from Phoenix

    great for small cheap stuff you need in a pinch, or need to modify. some freinds of mine like some of their power tools and welders but i've never been able to bring myself to buy any. i like their "disposable" hvlp spray guns for primer. i will not buy anything that attaches to a grinder there, i'll pay extra for anything that is gonna be spinning that fast near my body.
     
  16. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    My 'ol man bought a nice aluminum jack from HF..he still got it and loves it

    I bought one of the more heavy duty all steel jacks from there..so far like 6 years and no problems what so ever
     
  17. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,937

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Have at least a dozen of the free LED flashlights, come with the batteries, and if I lose one so what!
    Best price on micro fibre clothes I have found.
     
  18. thier auto darkening welding helmet works really good ive had good luck out of thier electric impact , soo far

    thier slide hammer isnt the best thing the axle flange adaptor wont fit a 5x41/2 bolt circle
     
  19. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,148

    firingorder1
    Member

    Have a couple of 4 1/2" grinders that I've beat the crap out of and they are still going strong. A 14v cordless drill that I can't hurt.
     
  20. phoneman
    Joined: Dec 5, 2010
    Posts: 62

    phoneman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Missouri

    My dad told me not to buy cheep tools. He said he had a bunch of tools that were not good enough to use, but looked to good to throw away. (good advise). That being said I do have 8" HF Buffer grinder my wife bought me as a gift. I put quality buffing wheels on it and made a shiny pretzel out of a nice peice of trim but thats the only problem I have had with it.
     
  21. locklahn
    Joined: Apr 3, 2001
    Posts: 67

    locklahn
    Member

    I bought their $600 tool box ($300 with coupon) and the drawers still open and close. I'd rather buy a $300 tool box and have a $1000 in tools than a $1000 tool box and only have $300 in tools
     
  22. cakes
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 564

    cakes
    Member

    Ive had a medium duty 8 gallon air compressor for over 3 years and its been abused from hell and back, sat out out he rain, freezing weather all the way to 100 degrees out, it rebuilt my house and I use it in the garage for small stuff. It was 89 bucks and its still going strong.
     
  23. drcliff
    Joined: Dec 22, 2010
    Posts: 9

    drcliff
    Member

    I picked up an HF PLASMA CUTTER in a trade, and to my surprise, it uses tramifet consumables and works perfectly after I replaced the air line to the torch. I got the good end of that deal.

    I have a few HF air tools- 3" cutoff, long & short die grinders. I don't use them every day or push them very hard, so I'm ok with them. They were like six dollars a pop and will last me years.

    All my 4.5s have HF cutoff/flap/grinding discs on them. They work fine by me (grinders themselves are NOT HF)

    Like some other folks, I keep cheapie hand tools around for when I need to 'customize' a tool for today's oddball task.

    Grinder stand, drill press vises, welder cart, center drills, 8" buff wheels, hammers of all types, the vise and the setup tools on the welding table, a couple sets of prybars, air hose & fittings, all doing their jobs nicely.
     
  24. jmthehermit
    Joined: May 4, 2006
    Posts: 66

    jmthehermit
    Member
    from Bath, Pa.

    I was a lead tech at a Sears small engine repair facility. When we first opened the shop we were supplied with Sears air tools. Over the course of time and through hard use and some of them growing legs we needed replacements. We were supplied with Harbor Freight replacements. Most were the air powered small cutoff and 3/8 butterflys. The 10 to 12 dollar price when they were on sale was a bargain. They went through a lot of hard use and lasted a long time. Certainly a lot cheaper that replacing them with Sears units.
     
  25. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834

    Johnny1290
    Member

    most of my air tools are from there and work great. I had a 1/2" impact that was a piece of junk I threw out but I could have just exchanged it I'm sure. All of them work fine for what I need, they just suck air and are leaky and probably noisyer than good tools.

    I used to only use their angle grinders, around $8 on sale. I've cut cords on them by accident and I think one just died, but honestly they lived way longer than I had any right to expect. I finally replaced them all with makita, mainly for NVH reasons

    My 3/8" drill was awful, I have an a 6" ? 7"? buffer/grinder that's worked fine, and my a/c gauges worked fine too, as well as the a/c pump.

    I used to drag my snappy tools to the junkyard because I refused to own cheap ones. Now I've got the good tools at the shop and my HF for junkyard/home/breakdown use. No reason to spend $$$ on name brand tools for applications that don't need it or I'm likely to lose them.

    I don't mind using cheapies as long as it's not every day.

    I freaking *LOVE* my snapon wrenches and ratchets and whatnot. I certainly don't *need* them as I'm no pro, jeez I could probably use all harbor frieight tools for my wweekend warrior stuff. The tool truck stuff is just feels really, really good in your hands and works great.

    Plus since I bought most of them used and they're like gold, you can barter or sell them easily. Even after the zombie apocalypse they'll be valuable!
     
  26. RobsHemiA
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 109

    RobsHemiA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just a note on the anti-China sentiment in some of the posts here . I have two friends that pretty much run their entire businesses with stock from China . One is in office furniture , the other playgrounds . They visit China at least twice a year to order and look at their stock being prepped .

    Many of the businesses over there have deals with the government , in which the companies 'employ' members of the army that aren't on active duty . Better than them sitting around . The government subsidies their employment to the businesses . That means the government gets value from their army , the businesses get cheap labor , and the army guys have skills when they finish their time . It's a win win .

    China uses the same raw materials as anywhere else . They buy everything they can from us in Australia , the same stuff the USA used to buy .

    The question is , why hasn't the rest of the world caught up with the way China organizes itself ? Why aren't the US subsidizing labor to kickstart manufacturing ? Dont hate China because it has its shit together . Look closer to home for that .
     
  27. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep
    Member

    buy only made in the usa! ill let some china shit slip sometimes, but im an american. i support american workers cause i am one! boom done! just wait till inflation hits china hard! cheap labor will end and another country will take there spot on making cheap shit!



     
  28. RobsHemiA
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 109

    RobsHemiA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree Big Creep , buy local anytime you can , but if Western governments had any foresight , you would be able to buy nearly everything made locally .
     
  29. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep
    Member

    i think it has to do more with greedy owners going over seas to get their shit made cheap! so they can sell it cheap. i dont mind paying a little more for american made products. you know vic edelbrock could have moved over seas to china, but he didnt, the built a new plant here, and during a recession! that commands a lot of respect!! i will always buy from him just cause of that!


     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  30. HF Tools I own:

    4.5 Angle Grinder - 5yrs old, no problems
    4" Angle Grinder - 5yrs old, no problems
    Mini Angle Air Grinders - 4 of them, oldest is about 6yrs, rarely oiled, no problems
    Mini Air Die Grinders - 3 of them, 3-5yrs old, no problems
    Pneumatic Sheet Nibbler - 1yr old, no problems
    Air Saws - 2 of them, 2 yrs old, no problems
    Needle Scaler - 4 yrs old, no problems
    Palm Nailer - 3 yrs, used as a handheld planisher, no problems
    Air Hammers - 3 of them, 4-5 yrs old, no problems
    Throatless Shear - 2yrs old, chipped lower blade, easy to replace with upgrade
    English Wheel, 1 yr old, works great for hobbyist/entry level shaper
    Big Planishing Hammer, 1 yr old, works great
    Small Planishing Hammer, 3yrs old, works great

    I also have C-clamps, Vise Grip Pliers/Clamps, Butt-Weld Clamps, Misc Hammers, Dollies, Seal Pullers, etc. I also use their cheap cut-off wheels, zip ties, O-rings, Cotter Pins, Heatshrink Tubes, etc.

    I abuse my tools, I don't oil them often, yet everything has taken the abuse and never given me a problem. I think I've only had to replace 2 mini air grinders over the last 10 yrs when they just finally gave up. One 4.5" angle grinder went south after it was dropped off the workbench. Their furniture dollies make great rolling engine cradles and the smaller ones make great car dollies. The $40 auto darkening welding helmets are also good for a couple years of service, I've had 2 of them before I bought an Accu-Strike helmet, now the HF helmets are what my friends use when they want to learn how to weld. Argue all you want about how cheap HF is and that the stuff is from China, but $9.99 for an air grinder that's given me 6 yrs of use without a hiccup is a bargain, no matter how you look at it. I've seen $150 big name air grinders crap out within a few months even when oiling everyday.

    I make a trip into town just to go to HF about once a month to pick up consumables, maybe some C-clamps or vise grips or grab another cheap air tool when they are on sale. The 20% off coupons in the magazines is always great. I like to have a couple of each air tool so I don't have to change between grinding & cutting discs, or cut-off wheels/grinding bits, etc.

    I don't trust their heavy duty stuff, but for the stuff that I do have, I can't say anything negative about them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
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