Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: TOOLS, this is good, this is bad:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default TOOLS, this is good, this is bad:


    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.
    Excuse me, I farted.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    northwest wisconsin


    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.

  3. #3
    Norman Atkinson Guest

    Default Tools

    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.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    where the Snake swallows the Salmon


    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Bruno, Arkansas and Tallahassee, Florida

    Default RE: Good tool/Bad tool

    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.
    Jim (KB4IVH)

    Only fools abuse their tools.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Chester, NH


    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    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.
    Excuse me, I farted.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    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!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default unforseen bonus


    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.
    Excuse me, I farted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Austin, Texas


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Burdick
    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.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts