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View Full Version : Shares tooling any good?



rp designs
12-10-2010, 03:19 AM
hat say the peope? pluses minuses. Good jumk vrap ets/,,,

Forrest Addy
12-10-2010, 03:38 AM
Some of it is very good, most OK, a few duds. It's unrelistic to expect hundreds of products obtained from dozens of sources sold by a single merchant to be of uniform high quality. It' import tuff. They sell to people to whom price is a big consideraton. There will be a range of quality. If you take a chance and guess wrong or your expectations were too high, you will be unhappy. OTH you may be thrilled.

I've been pretty satisfied with Shars' ER series collets and collet holders. I know quality and I've used the high end ER equipment. The Shars ER equipment seems to be dimensionally accurate as the Erickson equivalents. Hwever, I supect the materials and their heat treatment may not be up to standard but at 1/5 the price I'll replace it more often.

I once bought a "Me-Cal" (yeah, I know) digital gear tooth vernier from Allendale Elecronics, a Brit importer. I was very skeptical but the tool turned out to be a real jewel. Carbide tips, surperbly wrought and finished, equal in function to Starrett's or B&S best vernier gear caliper and the digital display was a lot easier to read than a tiny vernier. The import was $53.58 Pounds(Apr 2009) plus shipping from Blighty and the same size vernier from Starrett or B&S is $350 to $700 on eBay or $1500 or thereabouts new. OTH the import eats batteries. You have to take them out between uses.

I've bought my share of duds too. Even then, I think I'm ahead of the game.

You make these compromises and calculated risks knowing full well that you will eventually buy junk. A good marketer like Shars will replace/refund if you are not satisfied but you do have to give them a chance to make good. You can't beat common courtesy when negotiating over defective merchandise. Flies and honey, you know.

oldtiffie
12-10-2010, 04:56 AM
An excellent well thought out and balanced reply Forrest.

I find it much the same in OZ.

I am prepared to take a few or hopefully minimal risks, and provided that the merchant I buy from is consistently good as regards quality, value for money consistent with my needs and has a sound "returns and refund" policy, with knowledgeable sales people, then I am prepared to pay a premium above the market price.

I am rarely disappointed as the cost-performance results are excellent.

I hopefully don't buy too much more then I really need or spend too much more cash than I need too.

I buy in OZ and from the USA and UK and other than a limited amount of items, most are sourced from China. My guess is that those suppliers go to a lot of trouble to get the cost/value ratio pretty right - and it shows.

The stuff is but either from Europe or bought locally but made in Europe (mainly Germany) is really outstanding in terms of performance and cost. Same applies to most but not all stuff from the UK.

I have not bought anything from Shars yet (I live in Australia aka OZ) and while Shars stuff looks pretty good as regards price, the killer is the freight from the USA to OZ.

I was interested in a pair of the very accurate precision angle plates we discussed here recently and which you commented favorably on.

http://www.shars.com/product_categories/view/52104/Granite

I had a need for them at Shars cost of ~$US100 each for the 10" x 6" x 1" was OK but the postage and handling is:

UPS Worldwide Expedited: $302.50 - each!!!

So a $100 item would cost me $300+ to ship it with a landed cost of $400+ all up.

I'd be better off using a precision Tool Room square in conjunction with my cylinder squares.

This Frame Level (in OZ) at ~ $US250 (I pick it up - 90 Km ~ 55 miles) is excellent compared to the landed cost of the Shars square.
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=Q208

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/measuring/Machinist_Square1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/measuring/Machinist_Square1.jpg
with an accuracy of 0.02mm/m = 0.02mm/1,000mm = 1 : 50,000 = 0.00024" per foot (12") which is as good as the best Starrett level plus it is just as very accurately square as well.

I can buy the Shars precision triangle for quite a lot less if I buy it direct from India, China, Korea or Taiwan all of which have excellent delivery times and costs.

So, I have no previous personal experience of buying from Shars, but I do read reports about them here and my impression is that Shars tools and service is very good.

MickeyD
12-10-2010, 08:02 AM
We stopped by the Shars booth at IMTS and visited with their owner for a few minutes. The stuff that they had on display looked nice and seemed to be on par with Glacern and some of the other higher quality Chinese importers. I asked if they were trying to move up the food chain and he said that they were. They do have a good return policy and will answer questions on the phone, so I would just call and ask about what you are thinking about ordering.

tumutbound
12-10-2010, 08:06 AM
I've had only a couple of dealings with Shars and both were positive.
Prices were OK except for shipping which is out of their control (USPS rates applied)

I still find it strange that I can buy these Chinese tools from Shars cheaper than I can get the same item locally.

j king
12-10-2010, 09:00 AM
I bought a couple aloris style tool holders and the quality was excellent. Only complaint I had I had posted about the physical size being way smaller than original holders. I would have bought a few more if they were the correct size tho.

murph64
12-10-2010, 09:17 AM
I too have had good dealings with them. I haven't called for info, but emails are returned pretty quickly. Being an IT guy, I have a personal WTF about companies whose email is @aol.com, but that's something I can usually keep to myself :D


Andy

tlfamm
12-10-2010, 11:01 AM
Forrest's characterization is true of most vendors of off-shore products: I've had wins and losses with every vendor I've dealt with.

Regarding Shars, I purchased a pair of Chinese thread-mics from them that were quite nice - and cheaper by $15-$25 each than similar (possibly identical) products from other vendors.

On the other hand, it took me 10-12 days to get a return authorization from them earlier this year - and that makes me nervous: in a game where the QA department is the consumer himself, ease-of-return is mandatory.*


*emails went unanswered, phone calls went nowhere. Finally I got through on the phone to somebody who opined, "Joey is in China - he handles RMA's". - Make of that what you will ...

I _was_ able to return the product for replacement, got a somewhat less defective product in return, and called it a wash.

garagemark
12-10-2010, 12:13 PM
My take on tooling is that it just depends on your expectation or your particular job. Some items in my inventory were bought with one time intentions, and others were purchased with longevity and/ or accuracy in mind. Many parts that I make are not space shuttle quality; nor do they need to be. Therefore I don't normally NEED the most accurate or robust watchamajigger. It would be a waste of money.

However, if I want a tool that has the potential to last for a lifetime, or I want unusual (for me) accuracy, I usually go for a better quality instrument or tool. Not all cheaper tools/ instruments are inferior, but by in large you can count on what you pay for.

Bottom line is that in my shop some items are Harbor Freight, some are Craftsman, some are Snap-On, and still others are Starrett or Bison. I know this doesn't help with your question of Shars quality, but it's the overall same thing. Some items will be great, and some just so-so. I don't order from them simply because their shipping is higher than others.

gwilson
12-10-2010, 01:23 PM
I deal with CDCO. I needed a LONG dial caliper. They sell the only real long one I know of. I had one at work that was only off .002" at 15" length,using a B&S micrometer standard. I thought that was pretty good. The caliper is 4' long. I haven't used it for a while. Maybe it's 3'. I'm SLOWLY making a woodworking carving duplicator,and wanted a measuring tool to get the center lines of the router,stylus,live and dead centers all exactly the same distance apart. As long as they are the same RELATIVE distance apart,all will be o.k..

macona
12-10-2010, 01:33 PM
I bought a load of stuff from shars a couple years ago. Got a 12" digital height gauge, little granite indicator block/stand, quill readout, and some other goodies that I have forgotten about. The height gauge is good. Use it at work all the time for layout. The block was half good. The granite itself was fine. The indicator support was crap. The readout worked fine as well. But there is just something about chinese plastic that is just not right. It always looks cheap.

I also bought some tool holders for my Suisse multifix toolpost from them as well. Overall they are pretty darned good. The grinding on them is very nice but the height screws and nuts are pretty bad.

kevindsingleton
12-10-2010, 02:00 PM
...the height screws and nuts are pretty bad.

If the Chinese ever figure out how to make decent hardware, we're in REAL trouble! :D

rp designs
12-10-2010, 02:31 PM
hat say the peope? pluses minuses. Good jumk vrap ets/,,,


Wow, how high was I when I typed this? I've been having some insomnia so I was surfing the net while waiting for my sleeping meds to kick in and I guess I waited too long LOL.

Thanks for the replies guys. Any experience with the indexable milling cutters (holders and inserts)?

whitis
12-10-2010, 05:20 PM
Shars gives you a decent bang for your buck. It isn't top notch stuff but it isn't bottom of the barrel, either. Quality varies a bit from item to item. Usually, the flaws are pretty minor and not critical to the function of the item or easily remedied. A lot of it is actually surprisingly good, considering.

I posted about specific warts with various items here:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showpost.php?p=608304&postcount=53
There were a few items I would be justified in returning but it is probably about as much trouble to fix them up as it is to ship back. If I had paid premium prices it would probably go back; not worth risking the warranty gambling the item is fixable on an expensive item you already paid to not have to fix in the first place.

If I was running a job shop where there is a steady revenue stream, the stuff is going to get used day in and day out, time is money, and a bad tool could result in a botched job or delay delivery to the customer with potential loss of a customer or the cost of replacing expensive parts or materials, then I might spend the extra money for premium tools.

80% of the cost goes into the last 20% of the quality. Sometimes in actual production, such as the extra effort required to get the last tenth of accuracy, and sometimes just in what is available on the market at what price.

.RC.
12-10-2010, 06:29 PM
If the Chinese ever figure out how to make decent hardware, we're in REAL trouble! :D

They already know, but it costs as much to produce that as it does to produce it in the US....

They do put rockets into space and build their own missiles and jet fighter planes...

ADGO_Racing
12-10-2010, 06:40 PM
I do not routinely use Shars, however, I have a couple items. The one that stands out is a Tridex (all three drill sizes, Letter, fractional and numbers). Bought it to keep on the race car hauler, for use at the track. Was either $29.95 or 39.95. Drills are Tin Coated, they have held up great for about 4 years. I figured since they are prone to breakage and being lost at the track, it was a reasonable purchase. I can buy 5 of them from Shars, for the price of one uncoated HSS set from Enco or MSC.

noah katz
12-10-2010, 06:45 PM
Drills are Tin Coated, they have held up great for about 4 years.

Thanks, good to know.

I've been wanting a full set, but figured at that price it was probably TiN over crap steel.

Arthur.Marks
12-10-2010, 07:14 PM
Any experience with the indexable milling cutters (holders and inserts)?

I can only comment on the carbide lathe cut-off toolholder. 3/8" shank, takes the standard 3mm "Iscar style" inserts. SLTHR9.5-3. I got an extra one to keep a steel/aluminum parting insert available without swapping. Works perfect. My other one is the exact same designation but labelled TMX (Toolmex). They are EXACTLY the same. Down to the typeface on the shank. The ONLY difference is the Shars is black-oxide coated and the TMX is this weird goldish-brown color (?). They gotta be coming from the same place...

Works great. Have had no problems. I'm shy of Shar's carbide inserts, though. I haven't tried them.

gnm109
12-10-2010, 07:34 PM
I deal with CDCO. I needed a LONG dial caliper. They sell the only real long one I know of. I had one at work that was only off .002" at 15" length,using a B&S micrometer standard. I thought that was pretty good. The caliper is 4' long. I haven't used it for a while. Maybe it's 3'. I'm SLOWLY making a woodworking carving duplicator,and wanted a measuring tool to get the center lines of the router,stylus,live and dead centers all exactly the same distance apart. As long as they are the same RELATIVE distance apart,all will be o.k..


I've dealt with CDCO quite a bit. He is really quick on shipping and very reliable. I just got my DRO from him.

I've also used Shars for some collets. Good quality and no problem on the purchase at all.