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Harbor Freight Better Quality?

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  • #16
    I wonder if HF is going in the direction of JoAnn fabrics in terms of coupon shenanigans? If so, I’ll stop going there. Quite honestly, Rural King and Home Depot have better prices on some things like tie down straps, Tractor Supply has best prices on bolts/nuts,etc. As far as most tooling, the better quality name brand stuff at Home Depot isn’t much more, and doing what AK did with buying used trumps all.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
      The new (Irwin) Vise Grips are half the quality of the old ones. I now buy the older ones at garage sales. The Bremens are about the same quality, except they're limited on the varieties offered.
      You got that right,the new ones are poor compared to old originals,I keep my eye open for used ones.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
        The new (Irwin) Vise Grips are half the quality of the old ones. I now buy the older ones at garage sales. The Bremens are about the same quality, except they're limited on the varieties offered.
        I'm a bit confused. Do you say that the new HF Bremen clamps feel as good as the original Vise Grip?
        Last edited by MichaelP; 07-30-2019, 12:12 AM.
        Mike
        WI/IL border, USA

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        • #19
          The title of this is confusing..
          Do any ofvthose 3 names instill confidence ?
          Have you even heard those makes before. .
          I SEE NO REASON TO buy based on the names.

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          • #20
            The Doyle brand pliers are very high quality

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            • #21
              some clerks at some home depots will take the HF 20% coupons. tell them they have to ring it in under "competitor coupon."

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              • #22
                Originally posted by MichaelP View Post
                I'm a bit confused. Do you say that the new HF Bremen clamps feel as good as the original Vise Grip?
                Yes.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by 754 View Post
                  The title of this is confusing..
                  Do any ofvthose 3 names instill confidence ?
                  Have you even heard those makes before. .
                  I SEE NO REASON TO buy based on the names.
                  This is why I started this thread.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                    This is why I started this thread.
                    I would strongly suspect all three of those are just house brands they made up and slapped the sticker on. I'm not the global expert on AC brands, but I've not heard of them and they have the typical sound the marketing tricksters strive for: take something Chinese and make up a generic and western sounding name. It would be a bit surprising to find HF has changed their strategy and started carrying third party quality brands
                    Last edited by Mcgyver; 07-30-2019, 09:56 AM.
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #25
                      I have shopped HF for years and there is no doubt the quality of their tools has increased.
                      Even the new free little blue lights are improved with a single very bright led.
                      I bought a TIG welder that is as good or better than my Miller. For the money it's VERY much better!
                      Seastar
                      I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Seastar View Post
                        ...Even the new free little blue lights are improved with a single very bright led.
                        I disagree. The older 21 LED light was brighter (side-by-side comparison) and the magnets were better. With the new light, I have to sort through entire boxes of lights to find one where the magnet will actually hold the light securely. But the price is still right, so I just mutter my disapproval under my breath!

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                        • #27
                          Are they better brands or just new names on older crap or possibly redesigned crap. Possibly HF is trying to bring in a better line since they have such a bad rep for selling crap. That doesn't mean the new stuff is any better, just looks different.
                          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 754 View Post
                            The title of this is confusing..
                            Do any ofvthose 3 names instill confidence ?
                            Have you even heard those makes before. .
                            I SEE NO REASON TO buy based on the names.
                            Which ASME certification am I to believe applies to the most expensive compressor?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                              Are they better brands or just new names on older crap or possibly redesigned crap. Possibly HF is trying to bring in a better line since they have such a bad rep for selling crap. That doesn't mean the new stuff is any better, just looks different.
                              Hi,

                              They do appear to be trying to improve their quality to up their name brand. With the general slowly falling quality of the big name players over the years, I think HF is seeing an opening for them to compete for more dollars. For example. they are offering more and more lifetime warranties on hand tools like wrenches and stuff. I do own HF lathe, drill press, and 4x6 saw that have given me excellent service over the years. Along with some flat wrenches and a tee handle hex wrench set. Careful shopping could almost always provide decent weekend warrior tools if you looked hard enough.

                              I think the jury is still out on how much improved quality there is, (cordless tools in particular). And HF certainly has a long and hard slog to dig themselves out the QC hole they put themselves in.
                              If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                                The new (Irwin) Vise Grips are half the quality of the old ones. I now buy the older ones at garage sales. The Bremens are about the same quality, except they're limited on the varieties offered.
                                I use Vise-Grip 11R and 6R clamps a lot for fitting steel up for welding. I have been doing this since the '70s. I own a lot of these clamps. I agree the new Irwin Vise-Grip clamps aren't quite as good, but I think saying "half the quality" is way too strong.

                                I don't choose to buy the Irwin clamps. But if I needed another chain clamp (for example) I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Irwin.

                                metalmagpie

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