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Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 PM   #46
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I'm with you Charlie, but I'm retired so all tools are for my projects.

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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #47
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I do a lot of hobby stuff. Mostly making small fishing plugs and repairs around the house. I'm pretty good at what I do and I've used both HF and other more traditional stuff (Dewalt, Bosch, etc)

All of the stuff I've gotten from them that is powered has been junk. I discovered the site about a year ago and bought a few things. The worst offender was the "Dremil" tool they sell. This thing had the power of an electric shaver - really... It was tiny and under powered. I'm sure it got the head spinning fast (RPM), but the problem was that as soon as you touched it to anything it would slow down.

For example: Fishing plug makers often use a dremel tool to cut wire that has been used to rig hooks to plugs. You could use a pair of clippers, but using the tiny grinding wheel leaves a smoother effect. Well as soon as Touched the grinder to the wire - it slowed to the point of being just a few 100 RPM.

The non-powered, but moving stuff has been OK. I bought a pair of bolt cutters from them that have been serviceable (They are too tight) and I also got some vice-clamps that have been ok. The clamps clearly are lighter (less dense) then my other ones, but as I'm not a contractor - it'll be fine.

The non-Powered and Non-moving stuff has been just fine. I bought a cheap set of files, a few chisels, and a small case (used to hold GoPro Camera). These items were cheap, but as I'm not a Blacksmith, I don't need insane chisels.... I was helping a friend w/ a retaining wall and I knew from past experience that we'd need to break a few blocks for end/corner stuff - so I got these. They worked just fine.


*On a side note - I have this argument w/ a friend all the time. He uses the Ryobi 18v and I have the Dewalt 18v. He insists that 18v = 18v. I insist that my battery is bigger and better and stronger... After 6 years (We bought our drills at the same time) - He admits that my drill won. My holds a charge like a champ, while his seems to run out in about 1/2 the time. But realize - we are debating 6 years of USE... All the stuff I have used from HF has shown it's weakness or poor quality in a manner of minutes or hours.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:20 AM   #48
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


sorry I didn't answer sooner I was out of town.
your buddy probably needs to zap his batteries, I did mine and
from a dead battery it came back to 19.6v and in 24 hrs. it dropped to 18.8v. I have a Ryobi and I know it's not the top of the line but it has helped me build my shed 12'x16'. 2 friends and I remodeled my sister's house and garage, did the siding installed plywood, insulation and wrapped the entire house. oh yeah, we also did the painting.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #49
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I have two of the heavy duty roller base tool chest and they are awesome...ten times better than a similar craftsman chest. I mounted my 6 inch vice on one of them. They are the best value for quality by far on the market and I am thinking of buying two more for my new garage because they are so heavy duty the work top can be used for working items that way several hundred pounds. I have a HF demo hammer that I have used to dig post holes and footings in the mountains for over 3 yrs. As long as you keep grease in the barrel it just keeps on working...best investment of $150.00 ever.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:17 PM   #50
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


Back in the 1960's when I started needing tools the only game in town was J H Williams or Craftsmen and they were pretty expensive. Now I have a HF store only 3 blocks from me and I visit there often. It's like anything else - some of their products work great and some things I have learned to avoid. I do have a pile of their 20% coupons that come in handy and I have stock piles of the items that I use a lot of - gloves, etc. I bought a hammer drill there that only lasted for one use - I took it back and replaced it and the replacement has worked fine for 5 years now on many projects around the house and yard so go figure.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #51
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


Hi Naval Aviator,
I agree on the tool boxes, I think the one you are talking about are the US General. I have the 44" roll away chest and they are sturdy very good quality for the price and I'm thinking of adding the top chest. have a good flight and stay safe.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #52
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I needed to cut down two steel plumbing pipes on a roof and i didnt want to sawsal it. I figured i would buy a pipe cutter from HF and get a nice clean cut.

The tool comes with 3 replacement cutting wheels. Needless to say the tool was a total pos, the cutting wheels where breaking. Instead of installing the last cutting wheel i cut the pipes with a sawsal in no time at all. The tool from HF went into the first trash can i found.

Some tools may be fine, but the pipe cutter i got was garbage. I worked in a metal shop for 3 years so this was not operator error. My boss tells me they are hit and miss it just depends on what you need. I would have rather spent $ on a good one then throw away $16...but to get it ouit of my life forever i trashed it.

I douted it from the get go which is why i took my sawsal as plan B.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #53
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


Saw a few people here commenting on clamps. Well, this is the 2nd HF clamp that's done this to me in 2 days:



I have better-branded smaller clamps, but as seldom as I used these longer clamps, I bought cheap. Can't believe I snapped off-two ends doing glue-ups on the same project. If buying HF clamps, get the ones that have the metal clamp arms - these plastic ones just don't cut it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #54
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


My experience:

3 gallon pancake compressor, $40. Runs a brad nailer (also HF) and a (HF) palm nailer. It blows out my shop vac filter and fills my car tires. I've put 1000 + brads through the nailer. It works ok.

2) hand tools work as expected. No issues. 1/2 inch breaker bar is good! Electric impact wrench takes 100 FP lugnuts off. The multitool works fine. I use it in all sorts of oddball situations. I burned up a $20 sawszall cutting up a car tire. I have used the $20 belt sander and $25 1/2 inch hammer drill a lot and they do what they're supposed to do.

I haven't bought anything there that just didn't work at all.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:25 PM   #55
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by hyunelan2 View Post
Saw a few people here commenting on clamps. Well, this is the 2nd HF clamp that's done this to me in 2 days:



I have better-branded smaller clamps, but as seldom as I used these longer clamps, I bought cheap. Can't believe I snapped off-two ends doing glue-ups on the same project. If buying HF clamps, get the ones that have the metal clamp arms - these plastic ones just don't cut it.
I have some of those and they definintely have a "light duty" rating. I've broken the handle off a few as well when wanting "just a bit more" tightness. It feels oh so good when the handle breaks off in a splintery mess when you're squeezing.

I've found that most power tools are "ok". They do the job but definitely feel like any heavy duty/full time construction work would seriously test their durability.

Hand tools seem to be pretty solid. It's pretty hard to mess up a screw driver or wrench and hand tools have a lifetime warranty (if I remember correctly).

I wish those clamps had the same warranty. The good news is the ends come off pretty easy so you should be able to make a wooden or similar replacement end for the clamping that will be much more durable than the too-thin plastic they used. I still have the unit where the squeeze-handle broke. When I have time (i.e. never probably), I'll take it apart to see if a replacement can be fashioned/found.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:19 PM   #56
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I have quite a few of those clamps in sizes from one to three feet. I've never broken one but haven't put crushing force on them either. Just tight enough for the glue to set. I have the longer metal ones too and they all work fine at a fraction of the cost of an Irwin. I even have a 60 inch clamp that cost me all of $11. Works great.

The HF 3 and 6-ton jack stands are also excellent values and the floor jacks, on sale, are great.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #57
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I have a bunch of HF clamps in my wooworking shop. I have never had a problem with one. Guess, I'm lucky.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:54 PM   #58
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


I just checked, harbor freight offer lifetime warranty on those clamps, so if you kept the broken ones, you should be able to trade them in for new ones.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #59
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


With HFT you should assume it will break
So to return it, you must keep all your receipts.

It's a pain to keep organized but to start just
add the description and add them to a dedicated envelop.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:50 PM   #60
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HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS - The "Quality" Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
I have a bunch of HF clamps in my wooworking shop. I have never had a problem with one. Guess, I'm lucky.
I too have Harbor Freight tool. And I don't think it's luck on your part, you are just using them properly, unlike some of the other posters who don't like the tools. Most tools will last if used properly. But I have known people who beat the crap out of wrenches and pliers with a hammer, then b*tch about the poor quality.

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