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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. 1941ihkb5
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 338


    Think about it theres no value on human life over there.
  2. Cymro
    Joined: Jul 1, 2008
    Posts: 690


    Incidentally I somehow snapped a 24" long 1/2" Drive Snap On Breaker Bar trying to undo a frozen lug nut, no cheater pipe just a 240lb Welshman on a mission trying to get the job done before the pub shut. I expected a wrangle with the tool dealer as these are not meant to Snap Off, his exact words were "Bloody hell, I'll get you a new one" problem solved.
  3. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466


    Walked in one time looked around and thought the place stunk, I guess they have to coat the bare metal crap with some sort of smelly chit to keep it from rusting.
  4. Herdez
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 357


    Just bought the cobalt drill bits. Been working fine on metal using them at the correct speed. I give them thumbs up. I have bissel?? cryogenic ones and they look the same after use.
  5. jdj9410
    Joined: Sep 4, 2007
    Posts: 324

    from Paris TX

    Haven't bought there in years. Buy older American made electric tools off ebay, garage sales and swap meets. Buy 'em then get 'em home take apart and clean up everything then regrease, buy or make brushes, replace cords and switches if they need it (grounding purposes). Have a tool that may have just lasted for 30-40 years that is now like new and ready to go for another 30-40 years. A little heavier than the plastic junk but hey thats part of what I like about 'em. Been real happy with my electric tools ever since started doing this.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  6. They build the stuff (tools, buildings, etc) they use for THEM from the good steel. They sell the shit to us. Believe it.

    I buy my tools at yard sales, auctions, and other sources these days. I have much of my original Craftsman (USA) tools, as well as various Snap-On, Proto, and other US-built tools. I'd say fewer than 10% of my tools are China-made.
  7. stainlesssteelrat
    Joined: Nov 23, 2010
    Posts: 583

    from ms

    i buy shit there all the time, just nothing that risks my life, like pullers or lifts or jack stands... i avoid those.. they WILL KILL YOU it's not a if, it's a when , they are crap and deadly. but.. they have things like windshield removing kits that work well and don't risk my life and cheep engiens for my barstool racers and other crap thats worth getting there just as long as you or parts of you wont be under em .
  8. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,835


    I got a free flashlight last time I went in there.
    Spent $5.00 on some butt welding clamps the time before that.

    I usually only stop in there about once a year.
  9. heatnbeat
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 184

    from Madera,Ca.

    I bought a 14" cut off saw that lasted 1 cut returned. The next one lasted 10 cuts returned it. Now I have a Milwaukee:)
    the only thing I DO buy there is 6" digital calibers, when they are on sale for $14.00 I seem to drop them :( I would hate to do that with my good one!:rolleyes:
  10. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    I don't go in there much since it's a hike but when I do I probably drop 100 or 150 bucks. I'm always amazed at how expensive it is saving money.
  11. Buick59
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,994

    from in a house

    Shit I bought a lot of my 11-year old sons Christmas tools there. Im tired of finding my good tools scattered in the yard. Now he has his own cheap set, and he can let them rust or take care of them.
  12. bobkatrods
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 656

    from aledo tx

    Have you looked at the DATA tag on the Miwaukee to see where it is made??
  13. jaygryph
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 75

    from oregon

    The engine hoist and engine stands and jack stands from there have been working well for the last ten years. It's hard to screw up tools that are mostly welded steel. If you're worried about jacks dropping a car on you, use jack stands. If jack stands won't hold what you're working on you're probably doing it wrong.

    HF battery tools are mostly junk. The battery drills are a joke, no power, weak everything. Dad loved those, bought probably five of them. One had the battery fall out midway through putting in a screw. The other had, I swear, the entire chuck and motor assembly fall completely out of the end without warning. I was laughing more than I was mad. I bought him a dewalt impact driver and drill set for christmas and he got rid of the junk drills.

    Their tarps are never any size found in nature, at least the cheaper blue ones. The screw drivers have soft tips, particularly the multi bit ones. The trailer a buddy got from there had both fenders wobble till they broke off. I enclosed it without fenders and it's been a great little utility trailer.

    What I've noticed about the place is that they seem to listen to complaints. They *want* to sell stuff to you, if their product sucks they are less likely to do that. The angle grinders now are better than five years ago. They're more like a dewalt. I have burned up at least one by bogging it down but the rest of them have worked great. They now come with a button to hold the chuck so you can change wheels easier which is nice.

    Mostly what I buy in there unless I have a project going on and need some weird thing is consumables. The cut off wheels are a decent buy. The sawzall blades are not, the teeth melt off them if you get into metal. The carbide or whatever it is coated sawzall type blades for cutting cast iron, those things work great. They simply demolish sheet metal. No good on wood though, it catches on fire from friction.

    The red mutlimeters, we've probably got 20 of them floating around here. I can always find one when I need it and this place is a mess so there must be a bunch hiding out. I wired one to my charging system on my RV and set it in the dash so I could keep track of everything in real time. It was a very cheap and easy digital status checker. Having been stranded with a kaput alternator and dead battery on a long trip it was worth the investment.

    The little flux core wire feed welder I got from there works pretty good for small gauge projects. Spattery as heck but there are uses for that sort of machine around the farm. For eighty bucks fully loaded with wire as an out of box display unit sale that was pretty good. If I need to weld bigger the PowerKraft will do it.
    I buy good tools at yardsales. Any more I haven't much faith in a lot of the American stuff. Particularly in the American products that are actually made out of country but neglect to mention this fact.

    Oh, and the rare earth magnets, about the size of an advil, those are a great buy. I take a package of those, line them around the oil filter and then run a few wraps of electrical tape over it to keep them in place. It's amazing what that will trap in the filter and it's a LOT cheaper than buying a premade one that will do the same thing.

    So currently, I might spend $20 a trip every few months for cutoff wheels or something, if I'm building another RV for burningman it gets to be more like $100 a trip every other week.
  14. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    I forgot about the angle grinders! i used to buy those on sale for 7 or 8 bucks each and grab a few extra. Come think of it I shouldn't have given those away when i got makitas, might be nice to have a wire brush or something handy.

    I *hate* changing those stupid wheels.

    I have some makitas I got on sale that are way smoother/quieter/nicer but the HF ones worked fine

    top tip: 18v battery powered grinder from HD, I really like it, real quiet
  15. dorf
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    from ohio

    i bought a can crusher it not only crushed the can but crushed itself. stuff is garbage
  16. lordairgtar
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 416


    As of 2007 Snap-on still has manufacturing facilities in the United States as follows:

    Elkmont, Alabama
    Hand tools

    Algona, Iowa
    Tool storage units

    Natick, Massachusetts
    Pneumatic tools

    Elizabethton, Tennessee
    Hand tools

    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Hand tools

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Hand tools

    There are a number of other facilities listed the corporate site but it isn't clear whether they are all manufacturing facilities or all distribution facilities or a mix. Locations can be found in Mexico, Sweden, Italy, and many others, including

    Snap-on Manufacturing
    King's Lynn, Norfolk, England
    Electronic equipment

    And Canada:
    Snap On Tools / Sun Equipment Division
    Lot Box101-704-5
    TORONTO, Ontario
    M5W 1R6
    Pump and Compressor Manufacturing

    According to<wbr>71205881800.htm, Snap-On has manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and China as of 2005.

    In 2004, they closed two factories, one in Kenosha and one in Mount Carmel, Ill., according to "Snap-on to close two tool factories, cutting 560 jobs"
    The Macon Telegraph ^ | Tuesday, July 22, 2003 | The Associated Press

    Snap-On also sells tools from other companies such as Sioux Tools, Monogram,
    Apex, Grobet, Ernst Manufacturing, and ATI (which still makes some tools in California). Sources:<wbr>sence.nws AND<wbr>40/posts AND<wbr><wbr>lmntNo=234567032792&profile=completeProfile
  18. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,063


    I buy shrink tubing, tie wraps and a few things like that. I absolutely hate products made in China and little respect for U.S. companies that have their products made there. Today I bought a used Hein Warner jack
    from a retired gentleman. I have been doing a lot of that kind of tool acquisition lately. Less than 20$ most times.
  19. I must have a dozen of those coupon things in the van, I keep going in to get whatever's free and use the 20% coupon on something cheap like cutoff wheels, rivets, once I bought a small can of Bondo to seal up some holes in same said van. If I spend $10 it's a lot. I have flashlights all over the place, just got the bar clamp and a screwdriver set. The screwdrivers make great tent pegs for my car show canopy - and the welding gloves are plenty warm for working outside in the winter. The way I lose gloves I have to buy a pile of them all at once.

    I manage to twist the end off on the breaker bars every so often, but the first one they replaced the 3/8ths with a 1/2 because they were out of the 3/8ths, and the second one I just replaced no problem.

    And I probably posted before but I get a lot of milage out of their grinders, I did have one blow up but only after it got sand in it when cutting the motor out of an old Cadillac the lazy man's way (I cut the front frame stub off and dragged it out the front, the sand got in it cutting the trans crossmember bolts off).

    I did once buy a ratchet wrench in there that was a piece of shit, it lasted about three seconds on a clean bolt, but was able to return it no problem.

    By the way, the last time I went in to replace my worn-out Craftsman ratchets, they replaced them with reman kept in a drawer at the checkout, not new. I don't know if that's better, or worse, but now that K-mart sells those tools I suppose you could go there and make them give you the new one.
  20. got my micro mill and benchtop lathe used from my Mac tools guy when he upgraded -they still work - I have fun catching him in there onec in a awhile then on his truck I would joke around about him puting Mac stickers on HF junk I figure I offset what I buy from Snap-on,Mac and Matco with the occassional HF purchase -I have turned on the neighborhood borrowers into going to HF they think my high dollar tools are over rated but now they havent been borrowing anymore-thanks HF !!!
  21. does anybody still have a problem trying to get Craftsman tools replaced when wearing a work uniform ?
  22. Beverly Shear Mfg
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 42

    Beverly Shear Mfg
    from Dyer,IN

    I went into the local HF store to look at the knockoff shear they sell. What I found was a partial machine with NO blades, no handle mounted to the machine and it was difficult to get to. When I asked the help what the deal was, I was told that the handle of the shear has a tendency come down with NO assistance and that has caused injury in the past. Playing devils advocate, I said why not just remove the blades and wire the handle back for display. This is when he held up his left hand and showed my his blackened thumbnail from when the bladless shear pinched his thumb when the handle came down unexpectedly. I offered that it was a GOOD thing the blades were NOT in and walked out. Whats made in China should stay in China.

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