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Thread: Harbor Freight disappointment

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmagpie View Post
    I have never been disappointed at Harbor Freight. They invariably are exactly as I expect. I expect crap and get it.

    metalmagpie
    Plus one on that. I started a shop in 87, had a bit of cash. Opened an account atvtge industrial supplier I bought my machines from. Bought mostly goid quality stuff. Later some import. KBC FOR MOST part is good to upper end.
    We have Busy Bee here, mostly not the good stuff. And Princess Auto.. the Canadian sort of Harbor freight store. And weekend warriors love that place, I go there very little and looking atvtye machining or fab stuff, makes me feel icky..
    Now a lot of amateur machinists, say they can't afford any of the good stuff, and working weekdays can't attend many machine shop auctions... but I feel they would be better off with some exposure to proper stuff.
    And would not be where they are now trying to figure things out.

    Take Croce flycutter set a cheapo.. how do you learn with that ? First you change all the setscrews and clean it up before it is usefull. And it goes on and on.

  2. #12
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    I think that's greatly exaggerated. To be sure, HF's tool quality, for the most part, is not what a serious professional would choose for long term, daily use in his business. Though I'm sure many do.

    But for me, everything I've bought there has served its purpose just fine. The most complex or expensive motorized item I've bought was a little wet cutting, diamond bladed tile saw. I think it was about $59 and worked great for tiling my kitchen walls. Professional quality? ...of course not, but it cost me about the same as two days of rental fee from a rental place.

    Similarly, their little oscillating plunge cutter (about $35) has been a life saver on several occasions for me. Now there are many such tools to be found by the likes of DeWalt, Rockwell, etc., at higher prices, but I don't think there's a dimes worth of difference in any of them ...except probably the Fein brand tool, which is MUCH MORE wampum. But if I were a professional, needing it on a regular basis, where its loss of use would cost me, of course I'd buy the Fein!
    Last edited by lynnl; 07-09-2019 at 12:50 PM.

  3. #13
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    My sentiments exactly. I do have a HF US General box it is 3 years old. It keeps my 40 year collection of hand tools. Overall itís as good as any Husky, or Craftsman box Iíve owned. In fact it came with excellent drawer liners, my Husky bottom box did not. I still use the Husky box to store machining supplies, but I put remnant and yard sale rugs in it for liners.

    On HF tools Iím of the opinion there for light duty use. I just purchased some swivels for socket sets, just wanted the 1/4 drive one to use on compound on the lathe for power feeding with a drill. Perfect use for it. If Iím using a product infrequently then I consider HF. Like Iíd never buy a welder, cordless tools from them.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #14
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    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.
    -Roland
    Golf Course Mechanic

    Bedminster NJ

  5. #15
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    I have heard consumer power tools, aka weekend warrior stuff is designed to last around 20 hrs and I believe it.
    I work part time at s place that uses a lot of the cheap power tools for general use. And does not pay enough to bring in your own stuff, but I do bring some of mine.

    Take an electric shear for 16 ga. HF versus say Hitachi.. the HF is heavy, feels horrible in the hand can't cut tight radius. And can't trim close to a line.. as in take a sliver off.. when you finally get it to cut, it jumps in too far, and ruins your piece.
    Here is the radius 3 machines can cut in 16 guage.
    Harbor freight 50 mm
    Hitachi 25mm
    Met ago 15 mm..........
    Try a comparison, the difference us amazing. The HF 4.5 angle grinder does not feel good, and they don't last in hard use..
    It's very frustrating using that stuff.

  6. #16
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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.
    Does that mean you'd be happy if #1 happens and the tool fails after 10 minutes? Be careful what you wish for ...

  7. #17
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    Oct 2018
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    Here's my 2 cents as I've said before: Asian import quality is generally good up to about 80% (sometimes 90%) of the finished quality. I buy for that standard and I'm rarely disappointed. I bought a Shars AXA toolpost. It was pretty good 90% quality. I had to do some work on the screws and the fitment of the top nut and mounting (about 4 hours). The thing is great now for what I need. Cost was @ $100 Aloris cost was $600. Just bought a 20 ton press from HF new for $139. I know I'll have to finish it when I get to it. But I couldn't buy the stock for that price. Just used my HF 2-Ton Load Leveler for the first time for setting up my 36 x 48 surface plate. It performed ok but will be better once I do the finish work on it.

    Best Regards,
    Bob
    Last edited by rjs44032; 07-09-2019 at 01:45 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnl View Post
    I think that's greatly exaggerated. To be sure, HF's tool quality, for the most part, is not what a serious professional would choose . . .
    Every hand tool (pliers, screwdrivers, sockets, prybars etc) I've seen or used from HF is sloppily made, has sloppy joints, does not line up, is made of vastly inferior steel and seldom fills its intended purpose even once without considerable aggravation.

    The last thing I bought there that I liked is the hydraulic punch set. It will actually punch the material for which it is rated, seems well enough made, and probably will be used once or twice a year. For $100, if the hydraulics don't start leaking while sitting on the shelf, I'm satisfied.

    I'm happy you've had a better experience.
    Last edited by chipmaker4130; 07-10-2019 at 06:22 PM. Reason: clarification

  9. #19
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    Well if you can't tell the difference, maybe it's for you !
    I must say PA socketsand extensions are pretty Good at least looks and finish wise.

  10. #20
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    I am not a huge HF fan, but I do get things there. I do not expect them to be top quality and 100% of them are not. BUT, I have also had problems with tools from other, higher rated sources. Nothing is perfect.

    As for sloppy joints, that can be seen right there in the store, before the purchase. I DO look at what I am thinking about purchasing and if it looks like it will not serve the purpose, I do not buy it. The quality of the steel is harder to judge.

    I have things like the Central Machinery 20" drill press, a CM 4x36" belt sander, and other power tools from HF. They are not perfect, but they do work. I have purchased and used a Grizzly 20" drill press at my former job. It is much the same design as the CM, but has some differences. They are equally useful but the Grizzly costs several hundred dollars more and then you must pay shipping. The CM was shipped to my local HF store and I even got a discount on it. The Grizzly would have cost about twice what I paid for the CM. I just picked it up at the local store. In all fairness, the Grizzly was a bit better balanced, but that could just be random chance in the Chinese factory. I have changed the belts on the CM and that helped: I guess a lump in a cheap belt can make a lot of vibration. The two are about equal in drilling holes. I still need to add a decent depth stop on the CM: it has one on the down-feed shaft that is hard to adjust. The Grizzly has a threaded rod depth stop and I purchased one of those speed nuts to make it easier to use.

    I am presently at work making my CM 4x36" belt sander better. The first thing that should be done on those sanders is to just properly tension the Vee belt. From the factory, it was way too loose and any pressure while sanding brought it to a complete stop. The proper tension made a great improvement in it's performance: it is much harder to stop it now. It is a popular model and there are many suggestions for improvement in YouTube videos.



    Quote Originally Posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
    Every hand tool I've seen or used from HF is sloppily made, has sloppy joints, does not line up, is made of vastly inferior steel and seldom fills its intended purpose even once without considerable aggravation.

    I'm happy you've had a better experience.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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