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Old 04-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #16
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
But how many actual hours of trigger time in four years? Different people require different levels of performance out of their tools. There's nothing worse than a tool failing during a job.
But that's exactly the thing. Some people think there's nothing worse than a tool failing during a job. Others think there are worse things (such as paying 200% more for the tool to begin with.) So it kind of comes down to personal priorities. But if you think about it, you're really arguing for buying a HF tool too!

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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Diy's may have the time and have no problems with just returning a tool. I do not...Down time is money and when you figure that into the equation how much are you really saving?
If the worst thing for you is a tool failing during a job, then you are better off buying Harbor Freight. Why? Because you can buy 2 Harbor Freight tools for less than 1 expensive tool. For example, you can buy 2 of these
http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...saw-69067.html

or these
http://www.harborfreight.com/9-amp-h...9066-8664.html

for the price of one of these
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee...8?N=5yc1vZc2h7

The Milwaukee might last longer, but when it does fail, what are you going to do? If you had a spare HF saw in your truck, you'd have no down time at all. (My carpenter's Milwaukee just crapped out on him in the middle of a job we were working on last month, by the way.)

So for the DIYer with time on his hands, the HF is not a bad buy for occasional use and a cheap way to fill up the tool stable. For the pro, it's a cheap way to have tool backup. Alternatively, you could buy the expensive tool for everyday use, and the HF tool for backup in the truck, which you can use if the good one breaks and you need an occasional tool until you rebuy the good one.

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Old 04-11-2014, 08:32 AM   #17
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


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Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
But that's exactly the thing. Some people think there's nothing worse than a tool failing during a job. Others think there are worse things (such as paying 200% more for the tool to begin with.) So it kind of comes down to personal priorities. But if you think about it, you're really arguing for buying a HF tool too!



If the worst thing for you is a tool failing during a job, then you are better off buying Harbor Freight. Why? Because you can buy 2 Harbor Freight tools for less than 1 expensive tool. For example, you can buy 2 of these
http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...saw-69067.html

or these
http://www.harborfreight.com/9-amp-h...9066-8664.html

for the price of one of these
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee...8?N=5yc1vZc2h7

The Milwaukee might last longer, but when it does fail, what are you going to do? If you had a spare HF saw in your truck, you'd have no down time at all. (My carpenter's Milwaukee just crapped out on him in the middle of a job we were working on last month, by the way.)

So for the DIYer with time on his hands, the HF is not a bad buy for occasional use and a cheap way to fill up the tool stable. For the pro, it's a cheap way to have tool backup. Alternatively, you could buy the expensive tool for everyday use, and the HF tool for backup in the truck, which you can use if the good one breaks and you need an occasional tool until you rebuy the good one.
I'm not arguing anything Jeff, I'll leave that to you since you seem to enjoy it so much.

All I'm saying is they're not for me. HF is 90 miles from me so returning a tool during lunch is not an option.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:21 AM   #18
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


I'll buy the profesional grade tools unless my wallet won't allow it.
My Dewalt offset drill hasn't failed in years and it gets used on the jobsite almost daily.
Like most of my tools, I have 2 of them. If one quits the other gets used and the broken one goes to the repair shop.

I don't think HF tools will take the beating I put tools through but around the hose you should do ok

You can get good deals on better quality tools at a pawn shop too
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:31 AM   #19
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I'm not arguing anything Jeff, I'll leave that to you since you seem to enjoy it so much.
Yeah, I know. When you discuss something, you're helping the forum. When I do it, it's arguing. I get it.

I'm giving you and forum readers another option. If your highest priority is zero down time, then you should have back-up tools. It's not an "argument", it's just common sense. Most pros do this. And depending on your budget, it makes more sense to have a back-up tool that costs $50 instead of $150. If you're the kind of operation that has 5 of some tool on the job anyway, then obviously is makes no sense.

I think it's pretty obvious that you're not going to spend 3 hours driving to buy a basic tool.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:33 AM   #20
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


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You can get good deals on better quality tools at a pawn shop too
Well yeah, you'll always get lower prices on used gear on ebay, craigslist, pawn shop, etc. You might not get a warranty of course. HF tool with 3 year warranty plan vs. higher quality tool that might last longer or might last 1 day - your risk, your call. No one can say.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:41 AM   #21
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


Quality tools are like quality work boots to me, I could buy a cheap pair of work boots for $40 and they would last about 4 months. I would buy a pair of work boots for $100 and they would last two or three years, you do the math. I found out early in my career that cheap tools make a person have to work harder to get the really good results needed to preform a really good job.

Example, the Craftsman belt sander was not real cheap but much cheaper than the high dollar sanders. While it ran great but a little nosy it still did sand. The sad part is you had better know what you were doing or you would ruin a piece quick with that sander because it was not balanced. You had to do the balancing for the machine or throw away a lot of materials.

I bought a $500 sander in 1988, that sander is just as good right now as it was back then and I will never need another one. That sander is so smooth and works so good you could lock the trigger and hold the cord and it would do a fantastic job. Is that sander for a homeowner DIYer, probably not, but there are other sanders which cost somewhat less that are really good sanders that will do a great job and last for a very long time, where the cheap sander would be best left alone unless you really knew what you were doing. (If you are expecting quality work)

Years back I bought a Ryobi miter saw, back then there were no compounds at all. That saw galled so bad after two or three months I just gave it away. By the way, Milwaukee is made by Ryobi now days.
It all boils down to this for me, kinda like an education, you can get an education sitting in a class room paying big bucks or you can get one out in everyday life but one way or the other you will pay for that education, either by money or by experience. That choice is up to each of us, we are all different.

For me a cheap tool was not an option, when you have a crew depending on one tool to keep going, you buy the best. When a crew sits around with their hands in your pocket for a few hours waiting for you to get back with another tool, you will want the best also.

A home owner is different, a tool may be used once or twice a month or so, it would not be worth the high cost of a production tool, (it would if you planned to sell it after doing a project). Are there tools out there that will do a job, maybe not as good but still get it done? Yep, Craftsman tools are mostly for home owners and will last a good while but with some of the tools you better know how to use them or just leave them alone.

Just one more example, router bits, the cheaper high speed steel cutters, non carbide, most times have no bearing. You better know how to use one of them or you will mess up the world. Most DIYers don't know the pilot on the cheap cutters will burn the work and quick but that is who is targeted with these cutters. OK the end of this book.

Edit: sorry about the long post, I got carried away.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:49 AM   #22
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It all boils down to this for me, kinda like an education, you can get an education sitting in a class room paying big bucks or you can get one out in everyday life but one way or the other you will pay for that education, either by money or by experience.
But advice on the internet is free

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For me a cheap tool was not an option, when you have a crew depending on one tool to keep going, you buy the best. When a crew sits around with their hands in your pocket for a few hours waiting for you to get back with another tool, you will want the best also.
You really have no backups? Even the best tools can fail. It might even be something as simple as cutting through the power cord by mistake, or running it over with a truck, which has nothing to do with the cost or quality of the tool.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:35 PM   #23
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


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Thanks guys. I have a coupon for that saw for $129, so I think I'll give it a shot.

Would the typical homeowner be better off with this type of saw or a portable table saw?
I picked up the one that Lowe's had around 5 years ago on Black Friday ad that year. I only use it every now and then. It starts right up with no issues.

I store mine out in my garage, and never had any issues with it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #24
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


A good blade will improve any inexpensive saw. The ones that come on them are cheap and dull rapidly. A good sharp blade puts less strain on the saw and will help prolong its life. On a 12 inch, I'd stick with full kerf blades vs thin kerf.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:53 PM   #25
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That's a good point. Applies to most tools. Drills, sanders, saws, multi-tools, routers, grinders, etc.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:54 PM   #26
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"Harbor Freight" power tools any good?


I won't jump into the "which tools are better" discussion, but, I will say that for some reason it's a lot of fun shopping at HF. I don't know why. The store is usually crowded, dirty, long lines, etc. but it's so much fun shopping there. I think it's the magic of MAYBE, just MAYBE finding that one of a kind tool for an incredible price.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #27
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I won't jump into the "which tools are better" discussion, but, I will say that for some reason it's a lot of fun shopping at HF. I don't know why. The store is usually crowded, dirty, long lines, etc. but it's so much fun shopping there. I think it's the magic of MAYBE, just MAYBE finding that one of a kind tool for an incredible price.
Same here. Like a fat kid in the candy store. I have bought many items there and they have all been up to snuff for what I do with them.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:57 PM   #28
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I own the 10" sliding miter. It works OK for me, but I'm a DIYer with only moderate needs for such a tool and no need to spend hundreds of dollars. New, they cost 99. I found mine used for 40. I've had it for 4 years now and it hasn't quit on me yet.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:06 AM   #29
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Here is a One of a Kind HF Tool- at least I have not seen one similar.
I needed an Angle Grinder Guide to cut a 1/4" off the bottom of a aluminum doggie door.
The guide is NOT HF brand specific.
It works with other brands of 4 or 4- 1/2" Grinders
I used a scrap piece of wood as an edge guide with this
HF tool to cut a perfectly straight line in aluminum.

http://www.harborfreight.com/safety-...ers-45921.html
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:38 AM   #30
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I have the 12" saw from Harbor Freight. It's been great for occasional DYI use. I wouldn't want to use it to earn my living, but it's fine for my purposes.

I've also got their reciprocating saw and their multi-tool. Again, both work fine for my purposes.

In general, I find that their "professional" grade tools work fine for my occasional DIY use. They are the power tools that are red and black, not the orange and grey ones they sell. In my experience, their orange and grey power tools are junk, and deserve every negative comment they get.

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