PDA

View Full Version : TOOLS, this is good, this is bad:



Dawai
10-15-2008, 12:23 PM
HERE:

The harbor freight carbide grinder is still working well for me..

THE hf bead roller has many mods, but the rollers are still going..

The Deep throat metal punch should have been returned.

THe plastic welder, with mods works well repairing plastic.

HF spot welder, 115 volts still going strong..

Pittsburg impact Sockets, not real quality but still working.

HF 3inONE tool.. sold up north somewheres off ebay. The chuck came off and near killed me.. went through the wall.

LEBLOND, old, but good.. until I trash it out.

Mostly Chinese electrical motors suck.. I have gave up on the smaller hf bench grinders and side grinders, went through 3 4" grinders in 30 minutes.

davidh
10-15-2008, 01:29 PM
i have found that most dewalt grinders / drills are made of "butter steel" . the old black & decker model 2750 i think and its exact predecesssor were pretty good grinders. hard to beat a old milwaukee drill and 8" grinder. their 4-1/2" grinders are not up to milwaukee parr. . .

hitachi makes a strong 1/2" d-handle drill for a reasonable amount of $$.

makita 4-1/2" grinders of old, were great tools. then they were improved. probably improved the profit margin cause they were right with milwaukee as far and longinvity.

i have more founded opinions if anyone intersted. . .pertaining to hand tools.

i stock parts for most of the good ones (not a shameless plug) and lots of the not so good ones.

Norman Atkinson
10-15-2008, 01:49 PM
David- the H one!

Granted but in the UK and Krautland and Slap and Tickle land and Frogland and Fandangoland, we have places like Aldi, AldiSud, Lidle and Netto. They flog 'on offer'weeks things like drills and assorted tools and assorted useful crap of Far Eastern origin but it all comes with a three year warranty. One of my angle grinders died an ignominius death n working through a mile of cast iron and warmed the little workshop. However, it had run pretty hard at times and over more than 3 years. Had it run less, I would have got another or my precious lolly back.
Again, they flog digital verniers and one of the almost absent British members here buys or bought them by the handful.

Obviously, the firms buy at a advantagious price and a few blow ups is acceptable. I buy paintbrushes from them- and don't bother to go to the ends of the world cleaning them- and buy a new set cheaper than the cleaning fluids.
Again, we get clothes from who knows where. My new dress suit( no3) came from bud budd land, My service blazer was cheaper than the gold wire badge and so on.

I keep wondering when my wife will stop washing her and my- but you know what I mean. It will be cheaper than heating the stream and finding two stones for her to bash them.

Yes>

Norm

MTNGUN
10-15-2008, 01:54 PM
That pretty much agrees with my experience, David.

I've been happy with HF things that are made out of iron -- lathes, mill, wood planer, carbide grinder, arbor press. You get a lot of iron for your money. But the wiring and the motors suck, the sole exception being the motor on the HF mill.

This week I'll be installing a 3 phase motor and VFD on an HF lathe. The original 1-phase motor is still good but the controls are malfunctioning and I got frustrated trying to troubleshoot it -- no accurate wiring diagram (HF wiring is numbered differently than either the Grizzly or Enco lathe) and no room to work inside the tiny electrical box.

So I said to myself "this is a good excuse to upgrade to 3-phase like I want to do anyway."

More on that later.

Scishopguy
10-15-2008, 05:38 PM
I have found that many of the HF industrial (orange) have been pretty good. I have one of their $17 disc grinders that just keeps on going. I also have their long nose die grinders that seems to be pretty well built. Admittedly, my 25 year old Craftsman 4 1/2" disc grinder (really a Skil) is more solid than the HF but cost a lot more new.

Has anyone tried and evaluated the HF saw blade welder????? They are pricing them now at $125 on sale. Could be a good deal if they are made well.

Fasttrack
10-15-2008, 06:59 PM
Yep - the HF "industrial" tools are useable. Not really "industrial" in quality, but useable. I had one of those industrial angle grinders. I killed it after three years of abuse but pretty good since I got it for 15 bucks or so. It has since been replaced by a much much nicer grinder that is quieter, less vibration and more powerful! :) 'course it also cost about 10 times as much.

Dawai
10-15-2008, 07:19 PM
Makita grinders.. I had one I bought in the 80s.. had three cords spliced onto it since purchase.

I bought two more 4" and a 7".. THE 7" will make you sleep really well if you use it all day.

TOUGH.. I think the Makitas were about $70 each for the two new ones.. not near the grinder the old one was thou.. NOT killed any of them yet.

Working with your tools.. when someone hands you a tool that dies in ten minutes, considering the pay-per-hour have they saved money?

Milwaukee drills/port-a-band saw.. Not thought about them.. they keep going and going.. I have a WW2 vintage all aluminum 1/2" milwaukee drill that will wind you up.. it has a spot for a 3/4" screw in handle.. put a 2 foot handle in it.

Mike Burdick
10-15-2008, 07:51 PM
Good thread David!

The only thing I have bought from HF is their digital caliper for around $20.00 I've used it for a couple of years now and it's still okay. The batteries that come with it aren't too good though!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/47200-47299/47257.gif

Dawai
10-15-2008, 07:55 PM
Mike:

that caliper has a com port on the side of it.. you can put them on mini-mills and presses and anything else you need to measure the stroke on.

think It was BillH that had one on a mill downfeed.

lazlo
10-15-2008, 08:08 PM
The batteries that come with it aren't too good though!

It's not so much that the batteries are bad, but the HF calipers didn't implement the auto-off feature. So even though the display blanks, all the remaining electronics, including the capacitive sensor array, is always on. If you Google "HF caliper", one of the top hits will show a guy who took several calipers apart, including the Harbor Freight, and he showed that the electronics were always active on the HF.

A couple of others to add to David's list: +1 on the carbide grinder, but they typically need some machine-work out of the box to get the wheels turning concentric.

Most of their abrasives are terrible, including the diamond Dremel disks and carbide burrs. But the carbide drills that come in boxes of 20 and 50 are actually resharpened industrial PCB board drills, very nice quality, and work great for removing broken taps or drilling-out a hardened screw.

The green pyramid-shaped silicon carbide tumbler media is good, and seems to last a long while.

The vibratory tumblers are OK -- they have a habit of vibrating the bowl threaded shaft loose, and then the whole tumbler will go dancing across the floor or your benchtop, and several folks in the Austin Metalworking group have reported the motors catching fire, so I won't leave mine running overnight.

The purple paint guns (the full-sized 1.7mm HVLP gun and the detail gun) are OK, but they don't atomize very well, so you get a lot of orange peel, but what can you expect for $40.

Mike Burdick
10-15-2008, 08:15 PM
It's not so much that the batteries are bad, but the HF calipers didn't implement the auto-off feature. So even though the display blanks, all the remaining electronics, including the capacitive sensor array, is always on. If you Google "HF caliper", one of the top hits will show a guy who took several calipers apart, including the Harbor Freight, and he showed that the electronics were always active on the HF....

lazlo,

Very interesting - I'll read the article! Is there a realistic fix for that?

lazlo
10-15-2008, 08:30 PM
Is there a realistic fix for that?

Take the batteries out when you're not using the calipers :p

Teenage_Machinist
10-15-2008, 09:05 PM
I have found the 8by12 lathe ( same as lathemaster 8) to be very good. It is handscraped and there was somebody ( i forget who) who tested everything and the non-adjustable parts were dead on. Only mods it has or needs are a camlock, a leadscrew cover (in progress, waiting on dryer hose bellows) and an A2Z CnC QCTP. I suppose it is blasphemy but I have never wanted any other lathe.

wierdscience
10-15-2008, 09:26 PM
Another yep on the HF tool grinder,mines on a Baldor stand:p
HF long arm end wrench sets,haven't broken any yet and I snap Snap-off brand like candy canes.
HF vibratory finisher,haven't burnt mine yet,but cleaned a dump truck load of bolts and fittings with it.

Power tools-
Old Makita 4" grinder,(aluminum head) lasted 11 years of commercial use.It died and was replaced by a 4-1/2" Makita,it lasted six months.Replced it with a Bosch 4-1/2" Swiss model,it lasted 11 months.Replaced it with a Milwaukee 4-1/2" it lasted 4 years,just replaced it with a "bonus" Dewalt 10 amp 4-1/2",made in China jury still out.

7" Milwaukee 15amp grinders,10,8&6 years old respectively,good solid units even sold at Home Depot.

6" Green case,cheap $40 B&D bench grinder,6 years old good little grinder for sharpening drills and other small jobs.

12" Grizzly disc sander,$129 Chinese,been hammering down for a year or better.

High dollar power tools-

Cleaco-Dresser 1/4" aircraft drill-$289,worth every single penny.(stolen,hope he burns)

14"Milwaukee cold cut chopsaw $456,worth every penny.

Milwaukee metal cutting skilsaw $245 worth every penny.

lazlo
10-15-2008, 09:38 PM
HF long arm end wrench sets,haven't broken any yet and I snap Snap-off brand like candy canes.

That reminds me -- I bought the HF Pitts Tool (or whatever) set of shorty wrenches in inch and metric. It's one of those use once a year tools, so I didn't want to spend a ton of money on them, and they're surprisingly well-made.

Steve Steven
10-15-2008, 10:19 PM
[/quote]Has anyone tried and evaluated the HF saw blade welder????? They are pricing them now at $125 on sale. Could be a good deal if they are made well.[/QUOTE]

I reported here several months ago on my HF bandsaw welder, I have welded only 12 blades so far and it works well. I have welded 6 bimetal blades, which it is not rated for, and they work as well as the carbon steel ones.

Steve

wierdscience
10-15-2008, 10:26 PM
Has anyone tried and evaluated the HF saw blade welder????? They are pricing them now at $125 on sale. Could be a good deal if they are made well.[/QUOTE]

I reported here several months ago on my HF bandsaw welder, I have welded only 12 blades so far and it works well. I have welded 6 bimetal blades, which it is not rated for, and they work as well as the carbon steel ones.

Steve[/QUOTE]

Along those lines I am still trying to find out what the exact diffrence in function is between a CS only and a Bi-metal blade welder.All the catalog pics show machines that look the same with the same rating,but don't go into detail.Is the current type different,do they need inert gas?

J Tiers
10-15-2008, 10:39 PM
Even Milwaukee has bad ones......

had one corded 3/8" drill motor twist the chuck off drilling a 1/4" hole.... It can happen.

dp
10-15-2008, 10:57 PM
Take the batteries out when you're not using the calipers :p
I quit using them. And I have 4 different digital measuring devices from HF - big waste of money.

http://www.fliptronics.com/tip0006.html

wierdscience
10-15-2008, 11:42 PM
I quit using them. And I have 4 different digital measuring devices from HF - big waste of money.

http://www.fliptronics.com/tip0006.html

That link reflects the exact same experience I have had.I have a Chinese quill scale that uses the SR44 batt and eats them like candy,while all of my Mito calipers take two years or better to use just one.

Are there Lith-ion batts availible in that size yet?

GKman
10-16-2008, 06:57 AM
went through 3 4" grinders in 30 minutes.

You buy them three at a time or live really close to the store?:rolleyes:

davidh
10-16-2008, 07:23 AM
i bought a few of these 15 # grinders, figuring they may be a good promo-giveaway item. the first one lasted less than an hour, i opened up the head and found that a steel bushing was used in place of a real bearing. the casting had the hole in it already machined for a bearing but they made one oout of steel to save $$$. so i think it was a #608 or thereabouts and i put one in and its been runningfor a year or more, off and on. i have about 5 or 6 various manufacturers of them hanging on the walls of the garage with various types of discs on them..

Dawai
10-16-2008, 07:49 AM
GKman:

I have a gang box.. Keep the right pad on the grinder.. A sander flap wheel, a grind rock, a wire brush, and the 7" grinder has grind rock, sander pad and Shrinking disc for it. I tried the velcro-scotchbrite pads for them small grinders.. Kinda hard to keep up with them, but if you're working on stainless ohh man are they nice.

I also affix the wrenches to the end of the cord where I have to unplug it to change rocks.

More anal-retentive stuff.. I got three at a time..

That original Makita has a pc cord lap wired into it.. really.. THE big Milwaukee drill has a Mr Coffee pot-cord lap wired onto it.. OKAY.. as electrician I know "how to do better" but.. usually it is just to get by for "today" and then it is there next year.

THE gang box? Good one.. From Dayton, Grainger.. cost $450 when I bought it.. but worth every penny in security.. it is on rollers thou. In one plant I was working in I had to chase it down, a apprentice had bundles of conduit stacked on it pushing it like a wheelbarrow. Rollers make them mobile.

MickeyD
10-16-2008, 10:01 AM
Good:
Harbor Fright ball tipped allen wrenches - Seem to be even better than real Allen brand.

Older Matco and Snap On bright chrome wrenches - They never seem to wear out and are a pleasure to use. Worth stopping by Pawnshops to look for when you are out running errands.

Good Machinery:
Lagun Mills, 7x12 Jet Bandsaw, Sharp Mills (both CNC and manual), Accu-Finish diamond tool sharpeners, 18" metal cutting bandsaw from MSC.

dan s
10-16-2008, 10:35 AM
Firestorm 4-1/2" angle grinder. It costs twice what the HF model does, but runs like a champ and has a paddle trigger (a safety feature well worth the extra cost IMO).

Malarky2
10-16-2008, 10:50 AM
I bought a HF orange color reciprocating saw to cut some small bush branches out side. Dam near electrocuted myself. The orange plastic housing didn't fully cover the die cast motor frame, and left a 1/4" gap. When my finger touched the HOT motor frame ZAP! Called HF to complain, and they said that so long no one was injured no problem! So much for insulated HF hand tools!
DBW

BillH
10-16-2008, 11:45 AM
Mike:

that caliper has a com port on the side of it.. you can put them on mini-mills and presses and anything else you need to measure the stroke on.

think It was BillH that had one on a mill downfeed.
Had it on my micro mill, was a half assed installation but worked. Took them all off as I was going to sell my micro mill. Never got around to doing that.

Jim Stabe
10-16-2008, 06:26 PM
Firestorm 4-1/2" angle grinder. It costs twice what the HF model does, but runs like a champ and has a paddle trigger (a safety feature well worth the extra cost IMO).
HF also makes a paddle trigger grinder http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=31309
They don't go on sale very often but the last time they did, I bought three. Two are still in the box - most used tool in my shop.

Jim

dan s
10-16-2008, 06:53 PM
Thanks Jim, I didn't know that. Every time I walk into the store the only thing I see are the ones with the on/off switch.

This is the one I have:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=136507-79992-FS8500AG&lpage=none



HF also makes a paddle trigger grinder http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=31309
They don't go on sale very often but the last time they did, I bought three. Two are still in the box - most used tool in my shop.

Jim

Jim Stabe
10-16-2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks Jim, I didn't know that. Every time I walk into the store the only thing I see are the ones with the on/off switch.
I had to order them online, never seen them in the store.

Jim

Dawai
10-16-2008, 11:11 PM
You see, as a electrician that has seen fireballs bouncing out of electrical switchgear.. I just don't think "FIRESTORM" is a good name for a product..

I got these scars burned into the tattoos giving a three d effect.. Molten copper I had to pick out with a knife..

Scishopguy
10-17-2008, 03:50 PM
Along those lines I am still trying to find out what the exact diffrence in function is between a CS only and a Bi-metal blade welder.All the catalog pics show machines that look the same with the same rating,but don't go into detail.Is the current type different,do they need inert gas?

Steve...Tnx for the report.

Wierdscience...From what the guys in the other shops on campus (read the ones whose departments supported the needs of their shop adequately) told me. The factory made bimetal blades, such as Starrett were not easy to weld if one was cut or broken. I never got my hands on one and did not personally see anyone mess with them, but was told that the difference in the metals caused holes or blowout spots when trying to weld on a blade welder such as the one on our Grob. They may have come up with a way to do it now but I have not heard of it. They also said that the premade blades would outlast the cs blades by 10 to one, justifying their higher cost. It would be nice to be able to cut off one of the bimetal blades with some broken teeth and make it shorter to fit a cutoff saw or something.

wierdscience
10-17-2008, 07:06 PM
Along those lines I am still trying to find out what the exact diffrence in function is between a CS only and a Bi-metal blade welder.All the catalog pics show machines that look the same with the same rating,but don't go into detail.Is the current type different,do they need inert gas?

Steve...Tnx for the report.

Wierdscience...From what the guys in the other shops on campus (read the ones whose departments supported the needs of their shop adequately) told me. The factory made bimetal blades, such as Starrett were not easy to weld if one was cut or broken. I never got my hands on one and did not personally see anyone mess with them, but was told that the difference in the metals caused holes or blowout spots when trying to weld on a blade welder such as the one on our Grob. They may have come up with a way to do it now but I have not heard of it. They also said that the premade blades would outlast the cs blades by 10 to one, justifying their higher cost. It would be nice to be able to cut off one of the bimetal blades with some broken teeth and make it shorter to fit a cutoff saw or something.[/QUOTE]

I welded one with a mig awhile back to finish a job.The blade worked fine,finished the job and even cut up a bunch of other stuff before the weld fatuiged and broke.
The blade I welded blew out just as you descibed.Same thing happens on our DoAll welder,the joint blows out part way during process.

Still can't figure what the difference is between welders.Here is the bi-metal welder-
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=1802824&PMT4NO=52043340

And here's the carbon steel machine-

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=1802847&PMT4NO=52043340

Not much diffrence in looks huh?:confused:

Scishopguy
10-18-2008, 03:19 PM
I'm glad to hear that the mig worked on the bimetal blades. I have not decided whether to buy a blade welder or not, yet. I know that I can silver solder them but that is a pain. I can't wait to try the mig on blades. I have an old cheapo wood cutting bandsaw I got at a junk sale and found a roll of sawblade at the flea market. Can't wait to get back out west to my shop!!!