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Old 01-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #31
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


What is actually made in the US nowadays? Even itms that have an american flag on the box is actually assembled or parts are made in another country. I myself own several HF tools as does my father and we have not had a single one fail. I own one of their upright air compressors and its still going strong after 3 years. I've used all their fasteners without any problems. I also own tons of their Pittsburgh hand tools and they held up perfectly. I agree this stuff isn't meant for mechanics are every day hard abuse but they work perfectly fine for general use. Also helps if you take good care of your tools.

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Old 01-20-2013, 08:36 PM   #32
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I really don't know where to buy tools anymore. I have had good and bad tools from HF, Craftsman and Grizzly. I bought mechanic tools from Mac and Snap on in the late 60's that still work like new. I wonder if the ones they make now are as good?
I bought some woodworking tools from Grizzly a few years ago, that were just junk. A couple would not work new out of the box and I am not talking about cheap stuff either. Their store had a whole warehouse full of returned tools.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #33
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
I wonder if the ones they make now are as good?
much better, in nearly all cases.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:54 PM   #34
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I call HF a tool dollar store for Men(or women). When I purchase something from here I dont expect it to last to long. SO with this type of expectation I cannot really be disappointed.

As far as power tools are concerned a few things have been the Pittsburgh brand and lasted a little while and some are still going strong. Everyday tools that I use like a Screw Gun or Impact Wrench I choose Dewalt but than again thats my preference everyone is different.

All in all the quality is a crap shoot but if you buy something from HF and expect it to last and last you will be disappointed.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:05 AM   #35
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I use harbor freight tools for once in while special applications. For example I have the Pittsburgh forge double flex 3/8 ratchet and the 1/2 inch indexable ratchet. Both are not everyday ratchets but are life savers when you need them. I really like the 3/8 18" breaker ratcheting breaker bar. I used it to break nuts loose on my 99 dakota R/T shock mounts. It worked fine because my R/T has 50,000 original garage miles. No rusted stuck fasteners. I purchased the 3/8 17" breaker yesterday for the princely sum of 6 dollars and done odd cents(on sale 7.99 - 20% off coupon). I went there to buy long pattern metric wrenches but they looked too Mickey Mouse like so I bought the breaker bar. I then ordered NAPA long pattern wrenches on eBay from cripe distribution for $10 plus 6.50 shipping.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:33 AM   #36
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I like HFT and consider most of their tools have acceptable quality for the price at least for occasional use. Other than a couple of 4 1/2" angle grinders my only HFT Power Tools are:None of these three tools came with a case. They were in big foam packaged shipping boxes that took up a lot of room. It was not possible to fit all three in a single HFT Toolbox so I bought a Plano Extra Deep Toolbox that holds all three tools and accessories and threw out the three HFT shipping boxes.

Note I also have the HFT Grinder Safety Guard for straight cuts that will fit other brands of grinders.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #37
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


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I like HFT and consider most of their tools have acceptable quality for the price at least for occasional use. Other than a couple of 4 1/2" angle grinders my only HFT Power Tools are:[*]Portable Band Saw[*]Die Grinder[*]Bandfile Sander
None of these three tools came with a case. They were in big foam packaged shipping boxes that took up a lot of room. It was not possible to fit all three in a single HFT Toolbox so I bought a Plano Extra Deep Toolbox that holds all three tools and accessories and threw out the three HFT shipping boxes.

Note I also have the HFT Grinder Safety Guard for straight cuts that will fit other brands of grinders.
Why so many 4 1/2 grinders? I have a ridgid 4 1/2 metabo clone and a bosch 5" 1773ak concrete grinder. And there's a story behind the concrete grinder. Long story short, I used concrete resurfacer and it rained. Used Bosch grinder to remove ugly ruined resurfacer. Hired guy to put down decorative concrete. That stuff went on to smooth and guy came back several times to redo to add texture. I ended up roughing it up w/ a Flex stair tread roughener.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #38
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I have bought a lot of HF stuff, but I do research first. I also don't expect the tools to be as good or last as long as a higher-end brand.
I have had very few problems with the things I have bought. I have a $20 reciprocating saw that I bought years ago and I still use all the time. I also have a small, very cheap, wet tile saw I bought for a small project 2 years ago and seem to keep finding reasons to use, and it hasn't failed yet. I bought a HF roto-hammer recently because it cost less than renting one for two days. It works great and I've used it several times now so even if it breaks tomorrow I'll feel I got more than my money's worth out of it.
My HF dust collector was an awesome value after I added some very inexpensive upgrades.

I was also extremely disappointed in some $1 clamps I bought there that literally started breaking before I even used them. I once bought a cordless 18v drill that was a total waste of money. It worked, but was more like a 5v drill. On the plus side they took it back without any questions. My HF drill press was also a disappointment, but was easily returned as well.

I'll probably continue to buy occasional use tools at HF. I expect to be disappointed sometimes, but I feel that the cost/quality trade-off is reasonable for things I won't be using often. For tools I plan to use more than a few times a year I will happily pay much more for a proven name brand.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #39
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I'm on the fence. It all depends on what you get from them. It's always a 50/50 chance that it will hold up. I bought an angle grinder a couple years ago and it vibrated like crazy. After 30mins of using it, I had to give my hands a break. My father picked it up and started using it, and it imploded in his hands. I returned it for warranty and recieved one that was DOA.

I no longer buy power tools from them.


Untitled by r0ckstarr, on Flickr

On the other hand, I have a 90amp welder that I got from there that works like a dream when it comes to car panels. I've used it quite a bit, and never had a single problem with it, and it even welds aluminum.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #40
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


My first purchase from HF was about 20+ years ago. It was a benchtop drill press. I used it yesterday for the millionth time (lots) and it works exactlly as it should. Clamps, jackstands, grinder, hand tools and all sorts of misc. stuff over the years. No large investment and no tears if I break or burn out something. I also have Dewalt, Porter Cable, Skill and Craftsman tools. I actually have a HF tape measure which is about 6 years old....I'm surprised as well. . I'll be heading up there next week.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:55 AM   #41
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


HFT has some cool tools that are not well known.
Here is one that is a great set of color coded Bits at a great price

and this Angled Bit Holder

then here is a Folding Work Bench that Iv'e used on site as a stand for cutting trim with a 10" Hitachi Miter Saw.

Note: I have no financial link to HFT.
I just think they have some cool tools.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #42
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


The only thing I've bought from there was our drywall mud pans. I've always been too leery to buy anything else.

On an unrelated note, our hammer drill is a super cheap $9 special from Ace. I didn't even know they made $9 hammer drills. We've been using it to drill concrete for 3 years, and it's still going strong.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:07 AM   #43
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I think the whole thing is some of their tools will work fine but the next one down is no good and to buy one is like pulling the guess what on a candy machine. If all their tools were bad no body would go there. If all their tools were good we wouldn't be having be having this talk. To me it's not worth taking the chance but if you are the lucky one go for it. The good news is you don't have a lot of money invested and they are pretty good about replacing the bad ones.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #44
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I like to go into the store and look around but I stay away from electric and cordless tools. as far as hand tools I don't like to buy ratchets, torque wrenches, micrometers, dial indicators and digital calipers. I will buy the dial calipers for home projects and 71/4" skilsaw blade and 10" table saw blades when on special. another Item I will buy are the ratchet type wood clamps; drill bits I kind of stay away from them unless I'm in a rush and really need them.
not talking bad of HF but its my personal opinion.
wear your safety glasses and ear plugs when needed.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:10 PM   #45
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I am a painting contractor and really the only tools I buy at HF are drop cloths and hand tools. Some of the power tools may be ok for DIYer's that will only need the tool a few times but IMO anyone that makes a living with his tools would be a lot better off buying tools that could stand up to day to day use.You get what you pay for and I think HF tools are fine for their intended use.

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