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What do you spend on hot rod and garage tools every time you go into Harbor Freight ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 2many projects, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,864


    Harbor Freight Rules!!

    I've got 10 of their die grinders, all with different attachments. I just plug in the one I want to use without having to fool around with any R & R.

    I re-roofed my garage recently (32 square of shingles) with a Harbor Freight roofing nail gun
    for $79.95. My only complaint is that they're now on sale for $50.00.

    I love their 'El Cheapo cable ties and heat shrink tubing, as well as their cut-off wheels and air hose connectors. And where else can you buy a fake security camera for $4.95?

    Summit Racing all of a sudden sells the same stuff as Harbor Freight..............just more 'Yen'.

    So button up your Levi's 501 jeans that are made who knows where in the world ($59.95 - $100.00 a pair) and head for Harbor Freight.
  2. i love to buy tools even ones i may only use once. also like them to have a resale value so i don't buy them at hf
  3. 323wc
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 15


    I just bought a dial indicator and magnetic base and a digital caliper (normally $29.00) for $9.00 each from HF. I doubt I will ever wear them out!!! Used the dial indicator to get my shorten driveshaft to within 3/1000 (factory end was 27/1000 out ??). The auto darkening welding helmet rocks for $39.00 .
  4. ironheads
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 16


    you can get those self darkeing welding helmets for $39 on sale they work great i also get the cut off wheels and yes ive had them blowup in my face to but thats the only things ive ever baught there
  5. Steve1118
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 38


    I don't know. I buy some stuff there, it depends on what you get. I've bought things like test lights, trouble lights, pit mats, stuff like that. I use a battery charger I bought there years back, it works good. We own a lot of everything, MAC, Snap-On, Craftsman, and even some HF struff.

    I don't know that I would make a living with their stuff, but for putsying around a lot of it works OK. We even have some that we take to the races with us...if they get borrowed, lost or whatever it is no great shakes.

    I know guys who own nothing but Snap-On, and they have to take out a second mortgage to pay for them. That is whacked, too. A 1/2 wrench is a 1/2 wrench.
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 251
    from st paul

    Before ya start on hf look closely at where your tools ARE made mac and matco yup mostly over big water and a heck of a lot of snappy comes from there also hey I been at it for years some good and some bad lot of shops are out of biz cause of additude, I own a sweedish (I know I spell like crap) mig welder that finaly gave up the ship after 36 years ya 36 years most of you are not that old.... and I tryed a good old lincon suppose to be all american what a piece shit and most of it comes from some where if these welding cos. would stop building choppers and sponsering race cars and build good stuff I would still pay there prices but I be dammed if I,m payin some punks million dollar salary so HE can Play, hell harbor fr. dont sponsor nothin and the prices are,ll get what ya pay for......
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 251
    from st paul

    Hey man lifetime warrenty, and most of the hotrod stuff comes from china!!! so whats the beef with hf
  8. No stores near me and I use the catalogs they send me to start the woodstove. Most of my hand tools I've had for 25-30 years and are made in the good old USA. I do have some Chinese crap throwaway stuff like a pipe bender that I bought at a local Chinese crap tool store but not much of it. Had a Chinese bench vise once that was a big heavy rugged lookin thing. Tried to use it to press in a u-joint and it exploded and sent a big chunk of cast iron out through my garage window. You get what you pay for...
  9. barslazyr
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 339


    I bought a $10 gravity feed paint gun for painting derby cars figured it would last 1 year and that was 3 years age. works good and a cheap way to get started.
  10. scaryfast
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 71


    There as ceartain NON ESSENTIAL tools & supplies you can buy at HF. Anything you need to count on no matter what has to be a MINIMUM of Craftsman quality. Mac or Snap-On is essential on ceartain items. If money situation dictates you have cheap tools, then you do what you can do, but tools is one area in your life that should not be skimped on if you can help it. Of course, as an ex Mac Tools dealer, I am a little biased.;)
  11. I don't support harbor freight in any way shape or form.
  12. saints
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 553


    Iv had good luck with HF stuff.....burned up a drill or 2 but at 15 bucks you just buy another and life goes on.....Ive had bad luck with spending alot for a tool and then when it break its a year before I can go through all the people and companies to get it fixed or replaced
  13. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Heh, hit and miss with them guys. The less I am going to actually use the tool the more I am willing to chance buying a Harbor Freight tool. Some stuff is good, some stuff junk. I am a fan of their cheapo little 4 dollar tool sets. I got one that I use all the time for little junk.
  14. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    To answer the OP question, I probably drop around $100 or so everytime I walk in there, minimum.

    The only one close to me is still pretty far, so I don't get to go very often.

    I actually have a locker full of HF tools I bought on sale(they're always on sale!) that I intend to use, but haven't needed yet, all in their boxes.

    I've used *many* $8 angle grinders, and still have 3 of them, but I've since moved up to $35 Makita re-furbs, mainly because they're one of the quietest. The HF's certainly are NOT quiet.

    Actually I just bought a set of thin farmer's wrenches the other day to help me set the alignment on the shoebox...turns out they probably weren't necessary after all, but I'll still keep them since I have them.

    If anybody has a better return policy, I'd like to knoww who...I've never heard of anybody getting a hassle from them, and I've gotten cash back on stuff with no receipt(I just re-bougght the item anyway, but was surprised they did that).
  15. C5rider
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 109

    from FLA

    Ever REALLY looked at a new Craftsman tool? I mean really??? Go get one of your dad's or grandfathers, like some that I've got in my boxes and you'll instantly see that the gap between HF and the Craftsman brand isn't so far as some might put it. Sure, they've got the "Professional" branded ones, but why not go with a Snap-On or MAC at that point. I've been shopping at Lowe's lately, have you seen their brand, Husky, I think? Not bad and definitely better than Craftsman. It's gotten to where I hate to take in my broken tool for fear of what I might get in exchange!

    I also do shop at HF. Yeah, the handle on my $3 hammer finally broke. How many times do I have to hit my thumb anyways? The guys who only, always shop the bottom line will have to deal with the results of their decision but the guys who wouldn't be caught dead walking into a HF are missing some good deals also. The call it shopping, not blinded, mindless purchasing. My .02
  16. T.W.Dustin
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 883


    There is one real close to me but I rarely go there. Pretty much a last resort, their stuff pretty much sucks.
  17. Harbor freight has its place.
    1- Extra pliers and screwdrivers for the kitchen drawer. Keep the wife out of my tool box.
    2- Stuff like tarps, hand cleaner (name brand stuff) step drills, wire ties.
    3- Panel clamps for welding body panels. Harbor Freight- 8 for $5.
    I just bought 4 from Eastwood on a 50% off sale and paid $19.95 for 4.

    Talk all the shit ya want but some stuff is cheap and a good value for what your getting. That said, I wouldn't advise anybody to buy jackstands or a welder there.

    And about NAPA. They were ALWAYS the highest priced parts store in my area but the one thing they had goin' for them was that they always sold high quality parts. If their going down the "made in china" road, I'd say the end is near.
  18. Transfer punches....Snap-on 49.99
    Grainger 25.45
    H.F. 9.99
    All exactly the same.....foreign made (China) decide....
    **** Corrected prices from websites****
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  19. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,917


    Shhh, you'll confuse the children:eek:
  20. 1941ihkb5
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 338


    As a weekend warior out in the sticks the last thing I want to do is break a tool on a sunday afternoon. I have a lot of my grandfathers tools, Craftsman ment something then! I baught cheap tools in my younger days,only to have that socket crack or the rachet guts fall in the mud, on a sunday afternoon. The good ol days when your hot rod was your only ride. And the parts stores closed friday! You by cheap you get cheap. Even today the last thing I want to do is stop what Im doing and drive 30 min to get an inferior tool replaced. Bad enough to drive 30 min to return the part that doesn't fit that you special ordered, argue with some pimple headed prick cause the computer doesnt go back that far. They dont have any refrence books, I guess the nazi's must have burned them too! They get a little uptight when I tell them that!
  21. moparmonkey
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Posts: 565

    from NorCal

    I have really mixed feelings about HF. A bunch of the stuff they sell there is just crap. And I hate buying tools and things made in China.

    That being said, I have on many occasions discovered that the tool I was going to buy at sears is the same exact thing as the one sold at HF in a different box. For example, I've got a 1000 # mover's dolly that my 331 Hemi block sits on. I paid about $30 for it at HF. Sears charges 60 something bucks for it. Turns out the Sears dolly is made in China too. Sorry, but if I'm going to end up buying something from China, I might as well pay less for it.

    There's a TON of stuff I would NEVER buy from HF. All of my hand tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets etc) are Craftsman professional stuff, and I wouldn't buy any of that stuff at HF. But a bunch of the stuff with the Craftsman brand is now made overseas. As pointed out, so is a lot of the stuff sold at Napa, Kragen, etc.

    I've got no problem paying more for a higher quality American product. I'd rather spend the money on nice tools knowing I'll never have to pay to replace them than going out and buying 6 of a lesser quality tool. But I'm not going to pay twice as much for something just because it says Craftsman on it, despite the fact that its made in the same factory in China as the HF tool. Now, if Craftsman (or anyone else for that matter) wants to actually go out and spend twice as much money making a better tool here rather than in China, I'll pay twice as much for it. But I'm not going to spend twice as much for the same Chinese tool, and there isn't always an alternative made here. And if that's the case, I'll keep my extra money and buy it from HF. Maybe the American companies will catch on.
  22. well Im not sure what to think about alotta this anymore,shit K-Mart carries craftsman tools and HF offers a life time warranty on their wrenches........and as much as I like snap-on and mac tools they have priced themselfs outa the it is a crap shoot and I wish I could find decent USA made tools,lucky Ive had the major tools long enough andthe money I bought the good stuff but now...........crap
  23. custompainter26
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 55

    from st louis

    Bought a $10 rivet gun from there. Didn't think you could screw up a rivet gun. Broke on the 2nd rivet I used it on. Don't go back much after that. I did find an airbrush stand there for $10. Holds 4 airbrushes. Kinda cool, and hasn't broke yet.
  24. dannyego
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,387


    you guys must be rich. My harbor freight junk works just fine
  25. dino1
    Joined: Jun 20, 2009
    Posts: 28

    from austin tx

    place has a funky smell though....
  26. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585


    I learned my lesson... I quit after buying a beadroller that needs to be "fixed" before it works good, a metal bender that works like crap, jack stands that jam, a plastic blast cab that was a joke and too many soft drill bits and air chucks that quit after a week... I did buy a US made 3 HP electric motor that works fine.

    I've filled my shop with vintage US made tools that hold up well and will far outlast me and my, for the most part, they were cheaper to buy than the crap from HF.

    The drill press I got there is also junk...

    Attached Files:

  27. ritchj
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 27


    Selective purchasing @ the HF.

    Fuses - no, but a 1lb rubber mallet for under a buck - you bet.

    Just like Eastwood - if you wait a week, it will be on sale, have a coupon, or free shipping.

    Before I bought the $400 Eastwood soda blaster, I got the HF unit for $80. I added $6 worth of extra air fittings to improve functionality after using it once. It works fine they look almost identical. HF carries the recommended name brand soda without shipping: to get the same price, I'd have to buy 25 bags, plus shipping, to get the same price.
  28. Cruiser
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 2,240


    I've used Harbor Freight cut off wheels for a long time and have never had one explode on me or break apart while using it. Maybe some guys are forcing them to do things they can't. :D

    CRUISER :cool:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  29. hscott
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 168


    Yea i have a set i have used for about 4 yrs and 1 bit is a gonner. I will my another set. And I had cutoff that explode BECAUSE of my use. scott
  30. Krabman
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 11


    My buddies and I made a list of things not to buy at HF...

    Pacemaker batteries
    Fall Prevention Devices
    5-point harnesses
    20,000 rpm grinding wheels (in conjunction with their safety glasses)
    10 ton onverhead hoists for $159.95
    precision lathes
    fuel filters
    oil filters
    Roll cages
    wheel studs
    jaws of life
    Racing jacks
    scuba gear
    flare guns
    hydraulic line

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