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Harbor Freight Tools

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Bluzman98, Mar 7, 2013.

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  1. Bluzman98

    Bluzman98 Member

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    I just passed a store here in West Palm Beach named Harbor Freight Tools. My friend told me that they are a national chain that sells discount tools and equipment. Since I don't know anything more than that, does anyone have any experience dealing with them.....the good, the bad, and the ugly about them?

    Jim C
     
  2. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    The China stuff is junk most of the time.

    Bought a set of large drill bits made in India years back, WOW best bits I've ever had!! Must have got the temper just right!!

    Yes they are a chain outlet, I've never had any "customer service" problems with them.
     
  3. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    You get what you pay for... I've bought some air tools (wrenches and grinders) not as much torque as the better brands, but for a DIY'er... they're fine. Bought some air sockets, abrasive disks, wire ties... all good.

    I bought a caliper... priced right and accurate, GoodYear brand rubber airhoses, excellent - 10 years of regular use and going strong... I pick carefully.

    All my good handtools are USA made Craftsman, some ChannelLock - but even Sears, ChannelLock and ViseGrip/Ervin have been going overseas to fulfill... electric tools have been made in China for years...

    HFT is one of those places... caveat emptor...

    respectfully,

    Jay
     
  4. alf174

    alf174 Member

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    I've lost so many tools at customer sites, I usually buy replacements at HFT so I don't have to worry about them. Then the good stuff stays at home or office.
     
  5. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

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    Visited a Harbor Freight store for the first time, 2 weeks ago. They sell just about any type of hand or power tool you can think of. Yes, most of their stuff is made in China or some other place I never heard of. I do think they are Gun Friendly as they advertise in the NRA magazines. Larry Evans
     
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Grinding wheels, clamps, trailer hitches, and a lot more are OK from HF.

    Not for wrenches.

    But....Hey reloaders - a digital caliper for $9.99. What's not to like?

    If you know what you are buying it's a great place.

    If not, go see Al Borlin from Tool Time.

    HM
     
  7. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    Most of their stuff is ok for use around the house. You can buy good brand name stuff there too. Bosch, Milwaukee etc. You won't beat their prices anywhere. Bill
     
  8. bigbore613

    bigbore613 Active Member

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    Stay away from the drill bits, saw blades. Jeff
     
  9. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    As said it is cheap chinese junk

    But I have used their hand tools and really haven't had that bad of luck with them, it hurts a lot less to lose a cheap POS than a fine American made tool

    I have hammered the pi$$ out of their sockets with an impact and have only broke one it was a 2 1/2 inch 3/4 drive that I was wearing out with the impact, I took the mig welder and welded the cracks then a couple belts around it it is still in the box, and it was good enough to get the frozen bolt that I broke it on out
     
  10. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    The house brand is Chicago Electric. The powered hand tools suck big time but it's a fun place to spend an hour looking around. You'll end up buying something just because the price is right and you might need it some day.

    Eric
     
  11. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    I own plenty of Harbor Freight tools, and they allowed me to get the job done when a comparable tool would have been unaffordable.
     
  12. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    There are bargains to be found but you have to know your tools. Some of their stuff won't even do the fundamental job it is sold for, let alone shorter service life.
     
  13. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    The Chi-coms are about where the Japs were in the late 50s as far as quality is concerned. Eventually they'll get there. Harbor Freight Has a few bargains scattered around, but buy carefully. If it's a specialized tool for like a one-time use, Harbor Freight can't be beat. Good luck.

    Bob Falfa
     
  14. 100straight

    100straight Member

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    Some of their stuff is good, some not so good. Just look it over real careful before buying. I have a floor jack I bought from them about 1990 for $49 and it still works OK after years of hard use.

    Mark
     
  15. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    100 straight is right on. You need to good in and brouwse and do a look see. They do not have highend stuff, but fun to go in and look around. You go in there to spend $25 and walk out spending $200 with other odds and ends that you pick up. There are two of them in town. I have an air hose reel that has lasted for years as well as bench grinders.

    China quality is getting better all the time. I can remember years ago when lyou wouldn't buy anything that was made in Japan. China is getting there. Lot of American over there running their plants.
     
  16. redfin

    redfin TS Member

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    junk,crap,etc. joseph
     
  17. SKB-Eric

    SKB-Eric Member

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    One warning - the stuff that is speed sensitive like angle grinder wheels - are not safe no matter what RPM the chinese print on the label. I bought a pack once, and after the 2nd one exploded while spun up, they all went in the garbage can. Back to brand name and never a problem with one exploding again.
     
  18. CharlieAMA

    CharlieAMA TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    They have what we call-Useable Looseables. I bought 3 of those aluminum racing floor jacks, with a coupon, and they have held up OK. They have some name brand stuff here in Amarillo, but mostly it is Hop Sing stuff.
     
  19. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    For the shot makers on this site the HFT cement mixers are just the thing for polishing and grafiting homemade shot. I bought one several years ago to mix concrete for a front walk and a sidewalk repair. I was not about to mix that much in a wheelbarrow using a hoe. bill
     
  20. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

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    I pick up small stuff now and then but bought a Chicago Electric impact wrench based on internet reviews. Got it on sale and got full replacement warranty and out the door for about $69. That damn thing works - beats my air powered wrench any day. It may quit some day but I got my money's worth already and will just go get another one.
     
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