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Thread: Harbor Freight disappointment

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    31,502

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    Looked at the HF angle grinder... WOW, what a POS......

    BIG and FAT, with the switch in a bad place.....

    Went and bought a name brand at a "big box" store..... nice handle, good two hand grip, switch in the perfect place, price not enough higher to make me even CONSIDER the HF.

    You buy on price, and ONLY on price you get whatever they can make for that price.

    If you buy on the tool fitting your needs, and so forth, you may end up AT the local HF, and they may have what you want.... maybe. I won't say you cannot get a tool from them that does not suck...

    I did find it funny, and very "telling" when HF sold a set of large wrenches.... Actually they had a metric set and a US set. Funny thing about it though, was that there was only ONE set in realuty, the labeling was the only difference.... both sets had the same actual sizes, which happened to be close enough that they would fit either. I do not know if the buyer was ignorant, or if it was a deliberate move.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  2. #22

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    My 20 ton HF press works great! After customizing, it I love it! The Swag Off finger brake works perfectly with this press too. Some things they have are not that bad, so I will never be a HF snob!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA MD 21030
    Posts
    5,385

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    Probably 90% of my tools are from Harbor Freight, and I've only had problems with a few items:

    12V battery/car plug searchlight - switch got hot and melted

    brazed carbide lathe tools - not well sharpened, and parting tool broke

    boring head kit - made in India - poor quality but usable

    cordless tool kits and drills - old NiCad batteries - cells failed and charger destroyed

    "vise grips" that won't lock and hold

    dual tank compressor - check valve failed after a few years - fixed and now OK

    mini-lathe tool kit - parting tool broke

    HF has improved quality of many items. Some things I have had no major problems with:

    9x20 lathe, round column mill, 4x6 bandsaw, rip hammer, sledge hammer, dead blow hammer, screwdriver sets, nut drivers, socket sets (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4"), combination wrench sets, 2 flute end mills, drill sets, files, breaker bars, LED worklights (free), tarps (free), multimeters (free), reciprocating saw, digital calipers (guessing sticks - good enough), roofing nailer (Banks - better quality), casters, extension cords, tool boxes, tool bags, gloves, electric pole saw, 12V SLA car starter / compressor, float charger, electrical tape, chip brushes, cotter pin kit, O-ring kit, clevis pin kit, pop rivet gun, hand nibbling tool, heavy duty scissors, jack stands, hand punch, punch/chisel set, circular saw blades, ...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    1,079

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    Just a heads up. Coupon available now for the 26" US General cabinet $279 limit one.
    "35205346"

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ct
    Posts
    2,150

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    Figures...couldn't be the bigger one.

    I'm not a huge fan of HF but Robin Renzetti of Instagram and YouTube fame used two of them together for a base of a massive surface plate
    and he was extremely impressed with the quality level of material and construction.
    Len

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    San Antonio TX, USA
    Posts
    2,680

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcphearson View Post
    In order for me to be disappointed in HF the following would have to occur:
    1) Get kicked in the nuts upon entry to the store, then while lunging forward from the kick getting slapped in the face with a dick
    2) Have a tool purchased from there fail within 5 minutes of using it.

    If none of the above happens I'm pleased.
    I don't knnow if that's a Jers thing or low expectations ?!? made me laugh though.

    I always find it funny how bent out of shape people get by Harbor Freight. They're low price and low to middling quality tools. If you don't like it, don't buy it, can't get simpler than that. Many of the tools I've bought from HF have been for a single use, yet all of them are still working long beyond their expected demise and have paid for themselves many times over., even after I forget what I bought it for. Case in point is my angle grinder, the cheapy that JT lambasts above. It's over 6 years old and has cut through more steel plate (inc. a 2 1/2" truck axle) and nuts and bolts than I can remember. Can't even remember what I got it for. My 2nd hand HF 4x6 bandsaw is the most useful tool in the shop, going by effort saved for money spent. Only HF tool which I haven't used more than once is my vacuum pump and AC manifold gauges that I bought to repair the AC on my Ford Focus. Cost $100 (I think, maybe $150), used once, put on shelf, doesn't owe me anything.

    If I'd had a magic mystery ball at the time I was buying that grinder and a wedge more money, I would have bought a Makita or similar. But on the times that I need it for something it works, then I put it away. I don't feel any less the machinist or fixer upper or weekend warrior as a result.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    I don't knnow if that's a Jers thing or low expectations ?!? made me laugh though.

    I always find it funny how bent out of shape people get by Harbor Freight. They're low price and low to middling quality tools. If you don't like it, don't buy it, can't get simpler than that. Many of the tools I've bought from HF have been for a single use, yet all of them are still working long beyond their expected demise and have paid for themselves many times over., even after I forget what I bought it for. Case in point is my angle grinder, the cheapy that JT lambasts above. It's over 6 years old and has cut through more steel plate (inc. a 2 1/2" truck axle) and nuts and bolts than I can remember. Can't even remember what I got it for. My 2nd hand HF 4x6 bandsaw is the most useful tool in the shop, going by effort saved for money spent. Only HF tool which I haven't used more than once is my vacuum pump and AC manifold gauges that I bought to repair the AC on my Ford Focus. Cost $100 (I think, maybe $150), used once, put on shelf, doesn't owe me anything.

    If I'd had a magic mystery ball at the time I was buying that grinder and a wedge more money, I would have bought a Makita or similar. But on the times that I need it for something it works, then I put it away. I don't feel any less the machinist or fixer upper or weekend warrior as a result.
    Well said.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    3,464

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    +1 on the 20 ton press.
    I also have their gantry crane and 1 ton engine hoist. Might have to upgrade it to the 2 ton model...

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cinti,Oh
    Posts
    488

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    of the plethora of things I would be experiencing after being kicked in the nuts and slapped in the face with a dick, disappointment would not be on the list.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bedminster NJ
    Posts
    214

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Does that mean you'd be happy if #1 happens and the tool fails after 10 minutes? Be careful what you wish for ...
    It means if a HF tool lasts for 6 minutes then it's already exceeded my expectations and it's time to celebrate!

    Oh, I had a HF press in a shop (I didn't buy it) that racked side to side like an accordion. I had the bright idea to weld the frame all together. It wouldn't weld. That was kinda funny. The frame must have been pot metal I guess.
    -Roland
    Golf Course Mechanic

    Bedminster NJ

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