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Posted: 3/29/2009 1:46:11 PM EDT
I wonder who actually buys their power tools and stuff? Most of it looks highly suspect. The only thing I've ever bought there is some canvas drop clothes and some obscure hand tools for one-off jobs around the house.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:46:34 PM EDT
disposable stuff. everything there is disposable.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:47:19 PM EDT
Junk from China.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:47:44 PM EDT
HB is for cheap and now when you want to get it done and you're not looking very far into the future.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:48:04 PM EDT
Stuff I will only need to use once and can't justify buying a $100 item to do the job and I can't find someone with one to borrow either.

Good starter stuff for kids too since the will lose most of it before they are old enough to have good tools.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:48:13 PM EDT
I buy lots of stuff from there. Hammers, wrenches, etc. I've never had a problem. I used to shop at Northern Tool, but Harbor Freight has much better deals on stuff.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:48:23 PM EDT
The small high speed cut off saw is great for making your own carbon arrow saw. Everything else there you can expect to use one time. Any use after that consider it a blessing.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:48:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Furner:
disposable stuff. everything there is disposable.


This.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:48:36 PM EDT
I think they had a halfway decent shop press that was cheap and good enough to build AKs from kits.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:49:08 PM EDT
Their for people to buy stuff and resale for profit at the fleamarkets.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:49:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Furner:
disposable stuff. everything there is disposable.


Exactly. The stuff they sell isn't exactly what you'd be handing down to your kids.

When I wanted to DuraCoat a rifle stock last year and knew the chemicals would be hard on the airbrush, I went to HF and bought a $7 single action airbrush for that usage alone. Worked great, chucked it when I was done.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:49:51 PM EDT
I bought a set of small screwdrivers from there recently.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:52:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 1:53:33 PM EDT by NoStockBikes]

Originally Posted By Furner:
disposable stuff. everything there is disposable.

+1. I was doing a brick paver project, and it was going to cost me $35 per day to rent a wet saw from the local rental center. I sure as heck wasn't going to drop $600+ on a quality unit, so I ordered up a Harbor Freight (Chicago Electric brand, I think) for ~$200 or $250. I have used the shit out of that thing for brick pavers, tile, lending it to relatives... Probably more things that I can't remember now. It's paid for itself a dozen times, and I didn't have to put myself under time pressure for any projects I was doing. It could have died after the first project and it wouldn't have been any skin off my nose. But, it's still going strong, so...
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:53:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By packinheavy:
Stuff I will only need to use once and can't justify buying a $100 item to do the job and I can't find someone with one to borrow either.

Good starter stuff for kids too since the will lose most of it before they are old enough to have good tools.




yep. tools that I will only need a few times and can replace if needed.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:55:52 PM EDT
you can't beat a $20 sawsall for cutting out a tree stump in town. Still ran after finishing too - bonus
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:56:22 PM EDT
I bought my MityVac there. Still works. Made in USA.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:58:46 PM EDT
When I was making considerably less money I bought a surface grinder a small drill press and a 7x10 mini lathe from Harbor Freight. All needed minor tuning but they have served me well for over 10 years. I tend to stay away from their hand tools though.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:02:04 PM EDT
I shop there alot and most of the things I got are still in use of lived a long rough life.

The few times I had stuff break they stood behind it 100% which is something Sears will not do.

I know someone who only buys tools there, he works in the ghetto and around alot of mexicans so his tools always seem to walk off. Better to have someone steal a $5 item then a $20 one
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:03:20 PM EDT
I usually buy their shit when I need a huge wrench and don't want to spend $100 on it, so I buy an entire set for $40. If it gets me through on job, it paid for itself. If I get two, bonus!

I have one of their mill/drills and its a hell of a nice piece of equipment. It has served me well for over 15 years. My buddy has the 7x10 lathe and its been beat to shit for over 14 years without a complaint. We plumb wore it out and will be rebuilding it in the next couple of months.

I like their hammers and cheap crap I don't need to last long.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:03:47 PM EDT
I have the small arbor press.

I needed it to press the bearings on my new cams.

It was either spend $40 to have someone do it and hope they did it right or spemd $110, do it myself and have a tool for something else later.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:03:51 PM EDT
i used to do spray in bed liners and we had a harbor freight angle grinder fitted with a plastic cup wheel brush that we used to scuff up the bed. i used that thing 2-3 times a day in a really dusty nasty environment. i thought for sure that thing would crap out after a few weeks but it lasted 5 months of my hard abuse. the trigger broke and thats why it took a shit.

the boss took it back and replaced it under the lifetime warranty he purchased with it.

i own a few random power tools from HF that i purchased to do a single job. it was cheaper for me to do that than go out and buy the more expensive tool.
other than that all my other tools are craftsman, snapon, matco etc.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:04:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:05:46 PM EDT
I have used the crap out of some of their tools. Angle grinders, belt sanders, hand tools, etc.

Not everything needs to be a $200 tool to get the job done. Hell even built my house with HF air nailers.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:07:23 PM EDT
I bought a sandblast cabinet there about six years ago. still standing after an ungodly number of uses. Not the place to buy tools you would want to make a career with though.
Chain, tarps, drop cloths, grinder wheels, and other consumables can be had a a good price there.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:08:06 PM EDT
I actually had a stocked HF toolbox when I worked on cars. There was no way in hell I was leaving my Snap-On stuff at work.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:08:45 PM EDT
I have been a tool snob for years, and only buy HF stuff for "once a year use". If you are not a full time mechanic, the $6 ring compressor beats a $60 Snap on. The occasional use impact wrench, odd ball sockets, etc.

If you are making a living with your tools... spend the $

For hobbies, HF is fine.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:08:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:09:33 PM EDT
I bought one of thier leaf vac/mulchers, I used it like a $2 whore. Cleared the entire 1 acre yard for 2 years, it sucked up sticks, hickorynuts and all kinds of other stuff, finally it died when it sucked up saftey glass, I had the $10 replacement plan so I took it in, since they stopped making it I got back my purchase price and replacement plan money.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:11:15 PM EDT
single use or seldom used tools.

Pipe wrenches, extra "pliers with a vise like grip", faucet wrench ––- I am not a plumber

Wire strippers and ratch crimpers –– I am not an electronic tech

Cheap assortments of parts like hose clamps, O-rings, terminals, –– I am not a radiator mechanic

tools that maybe be lost or stolen, or extra tools that are inconvient to get to and use –– In the trunk of the car tools –– I have a box of good tools

depending on what you are doing, power tool consumables (sawsall blades, hack saw blades, cut off wheels, grinder wheels, abrasives) –– for my uses, I cant tell the different in performance or how long they last - one job is what I probably all I need

They actually do have a good selection of tarp rigging gear (some cheap some name brand) and the cheap tarps to go with them

Utility trailers to build a tear drop trailer on –– damn I want one of those

Cheap Chinese Junk has it's place at least for me

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:12:03 PM EDT
mechanix gloves 9$...

sides that basic odd's and end,, lil hand tools here or there. I stay away from tehir power tools etc.

They have deals if you look, but power tools and air tools aint them...
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:12:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Furner:
disposable stuff. everything there is disposable.


I get 36 2in brushes there for fiber glassing for only 10 dollars. I also get gloves, and and cheap hvlp gun for gel coating molds. so yeah disposable stuff at very low prices. You can also get cheap tools that you'll probably only use once.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:12:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 2:13:25 PM EDT by pearson]
franken tools that I wont need that often. and I am a poorfessional tech. that uses mostly snapon.

yes I did spell professional correctly.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:12:55 PM EDT
There is some cool shit in HF, like cheap solar panels...
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:19:36 PM EDT

Handtools, wrenches, screwdrivers, punches, tape measures and stuff like that.

I have some of their digital and dial calipers. Their OK for reloading and other measuring around the house. I check them against a standard once in a while. They're still accurate and repeatable. I wouldn't use them at a real machine shop though. For real important measuring, I use my Mitutoyo dial calipers.

I have one of their big honkin' bench vises for working on AR's. Just as good as anything out there.

I wouldn't trust their power tools though.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:20:55 PM EDT
Their big US General toolboxes are VERY well built for the money. They get high reviews over on the Garage Forum where most guys praise Snap-On and other top shelf brands. I got one when the pieces were on sale and used a 20% OFF coupon I found on the web - got the top and bottom both for $522 OTD. I have been 100% happy with them. ........... which reminds me........ I still need to sell the Craftsman top box that I had bought before these.

HF US General toolbox

......
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:22:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 2:23:05 PM EDT by Atomic_Ferret]
I have bought quite a bit of stuff at Harbor Freight. Most of it works pretty well.

The "disposable" angle grinders. I bought several of them, each has a specific wheel on it (cut off, flap, grinding). I have beat these things like rented mules. None have failed so far. Inexpensive giant jackstands for lifted trucks work well, have held up better then my craftsman ones. Spot welder hasn't failed yet (the slide hammer fell apart). Single use specialty tools (oddball vice grips, large gauge wire crimpers). Disposable latex gloves, foam brushes, wire brushes.

The stuff that has sucked. Solar shed light lasted a month. Driveway alert thing is garbage, the cross slide vice for my drill press is sloppy as hell. Any of the abrasives that they sell. I refuse to use their cut off wheels after one flew apart for no apparent reason and almost took my head off. The assortment of coil springs seem to be nothing more then solder twisted into a coil.

Oddly, the Craftsman drill press that I have looks IDENTICAL to a Harbor Freight model, but is about $75 cheaper. Probably made in the same factory.

Sadly, almost everything is cheap chinese junk these days, even the big $ stuff sold at name brand stores. I have a Onan/Cummins genset that is $100% built in China (didn't know that when I bought it).
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:22:44 PM EDT
Was buying waste water pumps from there for 200 bucks a pop, they ran great, still running, and they were used for vegetable oil, not water. The chigago electic winches they sell there finished 3rd in the "winches in hell" contest, only 3 winches finished the contest, warn, superwinch, and the cheap Chicago electric
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:23:03 PM EDT
For us here on ARFcom, they are one of the few places I can find WD-40 in gallon cans!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:23:22 PM EDT
I have their 4 1/2" angle grinder. I've been beating the shit out of it for three years now.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:23:24 PM EDT
As people said, tools. I have there cheap wrench set I keep in my my truck for "just in case" if something happens to them, no biggy
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:25:18 PM EDT
I bought a "disposable" pneumatic finish brad nailer for a project five years ago. That fucker is still humming right along. It was $24 with 5,000 nails and a replacement striker.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:27:50 PM EDT
My arbor press from there has served me well. The drill press has been so-so. But it was cheap.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:28:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By david_g17:
I buy lots of stuff from there. Hammers, wrenches, etc. I've never had a problem. I used to shop at Northern Tool, but Harbor Freight has much better deals on stuff.


this
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:28:25 PM EDT
I have one of their flux core Mig welders that I've been real happy with.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:33:29 PM EDT
Wait for the cheap hvlp paint guns to go on sale for $10 so when I do some painting and get done I canthrow the whole thing away.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:34:06 PM EDT
Sorry to say it but Crftsman tools are all made in China now anyways sooo...
If I can buy something of similar quality, with a lifetime warranty, for half the price.
I will buy it from HF.

Of all the stuff that I bought from there, the only thing to crap out on me so far was my heat gun after using it for almost 8 hours straight.
Took it back and walked out with a new one.

I will also say that a few things have been nearly identical to stuff sold at Lowes and Home Depot AND SEARS.
FOR A LOT MORE.

A few things I have bought;
Heavy duty drill press and X-Y Vise
20 ton Shop press
Spot Welder
Sand Blasting Cabinet and spot blaster
Ratchet wrenches
Welding triangles
Sawz All
Rt. Algle Grinder
C Clamps
Spring Clamps
Heat Guns
Drill Bits
Tap and Die sets
Digital Calipers
File Sets
Socket Allen and Torx Bits
Allen Wrenches
Dozens of air hose fittings, filters
Several $5 Air Brushes

I could go on but why bother.
Point is, If I had bought all of that at Sears or Lowes it would have cost 2-3 times as much
and everything has worked and in the one instance it didn't, it was replaced, no questions asked.

AND the Best part, the money I saved allowed me to buy other things, like guns and ammo.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:37:41 PM EDT
I buy them for throw away tools.

After I finish a job and do not want anyone to find out about it. I toss the tools in the river.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:39:14 PM EDT
ive been looking at one of thier winches hor a while..

they are cheap compared to the others ..

cheap enough that even if it sucks.. its still ok .
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:40:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:41:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kraftwerk:
I wonder who actually buys their power tools and stuff? Most of it looks highly suspect. The only thing I've ever bought there is some canvas drop clothes and some obscure hand tools for one-off jobs around the house.



Good for a bad example. Air gun - used it like 3 x - trash can.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:45:18 PM EDT
I like my HF spotwelder, boltcutters, press for AK building, they work fine. I also have a cherry picker, portapower, floorjack, and drill press that have never given me any problems
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