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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. rick goetz
    Joined: Mar 6, 2007
    Posts: 94

    rick goetz

    Keep buying that junk made in China so the peoples republic of China can keep buying our debt. We fought and died in Korea and Vietnam to stop the spread of communism, now we're buying all our products from them, things that used to be made in the USA. Where did all the jobs go? Keep buying that junk from China.
  2. Bought a dial back timing light Saturday $19.99, a 12 volt impact gun in the case with sockets $19.99, a pair of 1000 lb. rated saw horses $24.99 (Yes, the nuts & bolts hardware were crap so I substituted them out with some nyloc nuts I had hanging around).
    Jacks stands, polishing crap, a battery charger, cheap money too.
    I also bought a bottle of 20oz Dasani water while I was there, $1.39, to wash down an aspirin.
    Yeah, I felt like I got fucked on that one. No water fountain in sight.
    Do I feel non patriotic for shopping there?
    Well, I work in an automobile agency, get paid thru a 2 watt light bulb and I need to squeeze every penny I earn right now. I'm happy just to have a job currently.
    Earned money allows me to keep my home, my hot rods and my very important wife & kid.
    That should make things clearer.
    Also my home garage with my personal cars contains Fords, Chevy's, Firebird, an old Lincoln, nothing newer than 1971.
    I do fly a large American flag on the front of my house.
    This is good economical Christmas shopping for a working stiff on a tight budget and I did help pay for some more American workers to run their store that day so they too can pay some bills.
    My total tab that morning was $245 on a cash register tape that measures almost 9" long.
    Thats a lot of gifts for friends and family members and I felt pleased about it.
  3. krackerjack88
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 1,247

    from Fresno,Ca

    I actually bought a little tool set (sockets,wrenches,pliers,wirecutter,drivers,ect.) from there about 3 years ago for 30 bucks. Just to put in whatever car/truck i'm in for emergencies. Payed off more then once. Yeah not the best tools but they've saved me a few times. And i've left them in their little tool box in the back of my truck for about that long and they've never been stolen. But that's about all i'd buy from there. Emergency Tool Kits! haha
  4. Well I have bought quite a bit of stuff from HF. I have yet, as I can remember, to have anything not work or fly apart. I have a compound miter saw from there that works just as well as anybody's. I have a little $1.97 multi meter that works better than my $50 Sears one which has been a POS ever since I've had it. I have a $149 3 layer tool box that is built better than my old cheap Sears 2 layer box I got for $200 years ago. I have all kinds of HF gadgets and clamps and tools. I also have a full set of Craftsman tools. Seems like I always grab up a HF so I don't screw up my Craftsman tools. I just got a $26 sander polisher and I saw basically the same thing at Turkey Run for like $75. I have a bench drill press that I've never had the first problem out of. I have all kinds of electric gizmos from there. Some of it is not too heavy duty but works if you apply it to the job at hand. As far as being made in China, hell you can't tell me that everything you own is made in the USA. The very PC you are posting on here is made in China along with that TV blastin' over there in the corner. Don't give me that "Made in the USA crap" .. half the shit you've got is made in China .I don't like it any better than anyone else but that's just the facts of life ...
  5. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073


    My inlaws and wife gave me a $200.00 gift card from Harbor Freight the first year we were married. I bought a 110V gas/no gas welder, a mask, some wire, and gloves. It's been five years. I had to change the lead liner, a cheap nylon tube, out. I couldn't find parts for it, so I went with a higher quality, slightly modified, metal one. It works better now than it ever has. My only regret was not going for a higher amperage unit. Mine is only 75 amps, works fine for sheet metal, but I wouldn't dare try it on something I needed to rely on. My buddy has a nice miller that I can use whenever I want. I can tack everything together with my unit, and take it to his place to finish weld. It was well worth the money in my opinion.
  6. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,401

    from phoenix

    The main and most important reason for buying a domestically manufactured product, or at least one marketed by a U.S. owned company, is to keep jobs and capitol here and prevent our local economy from deteriorating further. It wasn't so much an issue in the past, but now as our wages go down and the quality of foreign made products goes up, it is reaching a point of serious concern. This is where capitalism can shoot you in the foot or where patriotism should step in.

    I think many here understand that and is why they are so anti HF, not necessarily comparing the difference between ours and theirs as far as quality goes. I have felt that in this particular situation, any company that keeps the majority of their production in the states should get a sizable tax break for at least a set number of years, if anything, to help with unemployment.

    I'll stop now, or it might get political.
  7. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,142

    hugh m
    from ct.

    I totally agree, comparisons about computers and TV's are just stupid. My shop, and my hotrod are as American as I can make them.
  8. Roupe
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 719


  9. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585


    I'm done with Chinese crappy tools... I just wish I could cross off all Chi-Com stuff from my list of things i need but we are pretty much screwed.

    I bought a 10lb. spool of MIG wire last week... I was out and went to the local Farm and Barn... Miller wire, made in China... priced two dollars MORE than the USA stuff I have been buying...cheaper my ass.

    I bought a Chi-Com drill press about 20 years ago... the casting holding the turntable broke TWICE in the first two times I used it... after it hit my foot the second time I sold it and bought an old Craftsman... now I have a 1940's Rockwell that cost $160.00 on Fleabay and will be around lots longer than I will.

    I still have a 1967 Crafsman drill that I bought new... it's built hundreds of projects and has never broke. I also have a lot of vintage machine tools/20 year old grinders/sawzalls, etc all of which will last far longer than any Communist built stuff... buy quality and buy it once!!!!
  10. Leadsled RnR
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 273

    Leadsled RnR
    from CO

    Id love to buy all American stuff...too bad American companies don't want to have their stuff made in America whose really to blame here? Therefore, I buy from HF to make the very little money I make go just a little bit further on tools. The things I have bought from there have performed as to be expected, if not vastly better. Had an angle grinder last about a year and a half from there with regular use. Had a Craftsman last about the same.
  11. doozcoupe
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 310


    You might wanna cut you Harbor Freight budget in half and invest that half in life insurance. The quality of some of those tools is scary!
  12. Very little, things like "Dollies" Tarps etc are all I buy from them. I stick with Craftsman & Snap-on. Owned my tools for years and Sears still honors the warranty no matter how thrashed it is. <O:p</O:p
  13. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,744


    When I was growing up, we always looked for "Made in Japan", on the item, and avoided it like the plague............

    Look at their quality now.............Ya' think China is sitting back?????..............Quality will improve, and they will corner the market on whatever they decide to focus on, ( within reason)..........
  14. 6-71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2005
    Posts: 539


    I go there about once a month.Iusually spend around $50.00 each time. I have been a professional mechanic for over 40 years,and almost all of my "work"tools are brand names off the tool truck.My at home tools are almost all from Harbor freight.I have found that if I use the tool for its intended purpose,the HF tools usually work just fine.If you think you can make 8 butt welding clamps for $4.99,your time and consumables must not be worth much.Bear in mind that some people can break anything,wether its snap-on or HF.
  15. mlagusis
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 987


    There are some things there that I would not buy from them. But they do have a lot of tools/equipment that is plenty good for what I do. I have some air tools from there that work fine. I oil them every time I use them and use them hard. As far as sockets and wrenches, I stick with craftsman. Even if I could afford to by all name brand tools, I would still get some of them at Harbor Freight.

    To answer your question, $20-$40. I am very cheap and low budget right now.
  16. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,917


    Well, just to rub a wound, here's part of an e-mail I received yesterday...

    If it's good enough for Rod and Custom...:p:p:p
  17. Interesting that the one that collapsed looks just like the HF 2-ton non-folding crane. Different color, but the same painted stencils for the weight ratings, looks to be more or less the same design from what I remember (I don't know if the ram mounts in the same way though).

    I wanted to look at the one-ton folding crane today, they didn't have one out on display. I ask a guy, he looks in the computer, they have like eight in stock in the back... he's too fucking lazy to bring one out to show me, he's only going to bring it out if I'm going to buy it. I said fine, I left without buying anything. Not some kid, either, an old guy who didn't want to be bothered carting out something that weighs 166 lbs according to the tag.

    I just figure it might be less hassle to buy one than borrow one to pull a 235 (that I might pop the head off from first to lighten it up some) and replace it with a 350/700R4 combo. I see my buddy who I would otherwise borrow one from replaced the ram on it with one that looks suspiciously like the same orange as the HF ones anyhow. From the looks of things, I probably better pull the grille out of the car first if I use an HF unit.

    As for their cutoff wheels, they only ever seem to come apart and throw shit if the grinder jumps on whatever I'm cutting up.
  18. 210sedan
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 167

    from upnorth,wi

    Don't care how much it cost JUNK IS JUNK!!!!
  19. chopped 35
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 63

    chopped 35
    from australia

    a whole minute and a half............not bad !!........... might get me one :eek::eek::D
  20. mudbus15
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 8

    from colorado

    I bought a cordless impact gun from HF once.
    I had 75 cars I had to change wheels on in the field and only had one day to do it.
    I thought if it lasted one day it would be worth it. It only cost $99
    That was 5 years ago and it still works great, I use it every day.
    I've bought other stuff there that broke the first time I used it.
    You just never know​
  21. junkmonger
    Joined: Feb 9, 2004
    Posts: 653


    Wages are down because of debt; your's, mine, the government's, all of it. This debt exists because we buy everything we want, and no one pays cash for it. That's what caused the housing bubble, and that's why Snap-on is made by the same Chinese that make H-F.

    Until we deal with that, nothing else will change. If you want to make a difference, pay off everything and cash for all your new purchases. Then you can afford to save up to buy quality.

  22. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,401

    from phoenix

    Gotcha. By the way, everything I have, what little there is, is all paid for. Also, I didn't say buying foreign products was the cause of the recession, but it sure doesn't help that most of the goods we buy and use today are produced elsewhere. A factory employs far more people than a warehouse.
  23. jersey greaser
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 145

    jersey greaser

    lots here. what i did find about hft is they have 2- 3 sometimes 4 grades of the same item. buying the highest grade/price one, you do ok. sears, napa,tractor supply all have lots of made in china, northern tools. same item as hft at a way higher cost.just pay attension to the better item in there.

    yes they have lots of junk at cheaper prices, but latly i found some of the higher grade stuff is made in india and really good in build. i have some hand wrenches,now that look just as well made as, my snap-on and mac tools. i retired with after 42 years in dealership shops. thinking mac tools. stanly owns mac now for some time. you can get the near same tool as a mac,just with the stanly name on it on it at walmart.

    i have one of thier 220 volt migs, it would spit and not feed the wire, the fix was a stop at the local miller.air gas store. a miller coiled steel liner cut down and replacing the hft plastic one stopped the problem. also welder wise, hft's are made for hobby use, on thin steel, read the manual and watch your duty cycle. meaning weld so long,turn it off to cool down

    i think we all well know you get what you pay for, just take some extra time with hft and research the other grades of the same item and read the manuals.
  24. Lucky3
    Joined: Dec 9, 2009
    Posts: 652


    Try to avoid HF.........

    Try to support American made (???) and/or American stores.

    I'm American, damn proud of it and try to support our own infrastructure !!!!!
  25. I bought a hand truck from HF in 2004 - the last time I've bought anything there, BTW - and it was rated for 800#. Yeah, 800#, my ass! I moved a SMALL refrigerator that weighed maybe 200# about 30 feet or so - and the WHEELS BENT on it! I took it back to the store. Manager claims I "overloaded" it. I told the manager to get another off the floor, exactly like I had bought, and told him to stand on the truck while I wheeled him around. He weighed maybe 200#. Guess what? The wheels folded like a playing card under the 200# worth of manager.

    I got my money back, and have never been back since.
  26. dickbentoski
    Joined: Dec 19, 2009
    Posts: 3

    from Ohio

    I'll get the disposables there (chip brushes, rubber gloves, etc) but everytime i go in there i have a really hard time making myself buy some of that Chinese crap! Support America!
  27. barslazyr
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 339


    My boss's nephew gave me an auto change welding helmet for christmas, it was the thought that counts. I will let you know how it works/ holds up. the one thing that I noticed is when your welding with it the ark is a red color instead of green.
  28. art.resi
    Joined: Oct 15, 2006
    Posts: 214


    Buy made in usa and avoid inflation later. Even if you get them used.
  29. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,139

    from Austin, TX

    It is getting harder and harder to find made in USA tools, or whatever. Milwaukee & DeWalt now made in China. Rumors that Snap-On is. Why? Cheap labor, no EPA or OSHA regulations, no employee taxes? There is still stuff made here, but the price is usually way high. I understand that quality is not cheap, but the cost of quality has gone way up due to the low demnand, due to the glut of cheap junk on the market.
  30. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None

    I try not to buy much from HF,except for the occasional paint gun for painting demo cars for the locals.I've got a couple of guys that help me in the shop off and on and i don't want to risk having a grinding wheel or tool come apart on them. So even if I have to eat cold Romin noodles for a while I try to buy more professional quality tools. Its one thing to hurt your self but I'd feel terrible if I got some one else hurt in order to save a few bucks.

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