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Harbor Freight Tools - Your Experiences


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#31 grand OFFLINE  

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Posted February 08, 2011 - 07:43 PM

This is just my thoughts but yes we do continue to buy things made overseas. Unfortunately we have already lost many of our American manufacturing plants and some things will only be found if you buy something made elsewhere. Too many of our jobs have already disappeared and will never return. I still look to see where a product was manufactured because 30 years ago I thought that as a truck driver I may have been in that town. Today, it is usually something made of components from a certain country and assembled in another country. Things change and we must also to survive.

#32 DanO OFFLINE  

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Posted February 08, 2011 - 08:02 PM

I have Never Bought any tools from Harbor Frieght so I can't honestly say how good or bad they are.. Fortunately for me, I started buying my tools when I was 13 years old & had my first job at the local AMCO Gas Station as a mechanics helper and it was drummed into me by old Timers I learned my trade from to by Craftsman or Snap On and so, I did. Now, more than 40 years later, I still have allmost all of my original tools (except ones I loaned out) and have no regrets at all about spending my weekly paycheck on my investment.
I have however had the unpleasant experience of seeing several of the Harbor Frieght Gasoline Powered Engines up Close & personal and I do NOT recomend them for anything more demanding than a Power Washer at best. My Buddy bought a 6.5 HP Horizontal shaft engine from them 2 years ago and , against my advice, put it on a David Bradley Walk Behind, it threw a rod and the block cracked halfway through putting in his garden. Never got his money back. I took the engine apart and found it was made of anything but quality materials. I have since heard many guys tell of simular experiences.
I can 100% respect the guys that buy what they can afford and are happy, if you can get the job done good for you, that's great but if you expect to get longevity out of anything at all it stands to reason that you must buy quality items. I have No Doubt that My Son & My Grandsons will be using these same tools that I bought when I was 13 years old. That's Quality.

#33 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted February 08, 2011 - 11:16 PM

We all complain about the economy and the jobs going over seas yet we continue to buy this chinese junk!


Maybe. But it is foolish to spend more on something that will get the job done the same

#34 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2011 - 06:14 PM

If a USA manufacturer would make cheaper grade tools like HF offers, I would gladly buy from them. But it's getting hard to find anything made in the USA anymore, of any quality range. But you have to remember, even foreign made goods put Americans to work, from the ports to the retail, many people here make their living from imports.

#35 straub OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 06:50 AM

Like the one fellow said, You get what you pay for. I still say buy American! It is easy to justify something to fit your argument if you think about it long enought.

#36 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 07:52 AM

Since there have been a lot of talk lately about air tools, I thought I'd chime in about the air fittings. They have a "Milton compatible" fitting that is, but with reduced airflow & more than an acceptable amount of leaks. They seem to work ok when used with themselves, but used with original Milton, they have issues.

#37 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 09:38 AM

Like the one fellow said, You get what you pay for. I still say buy American! It is easy to justify something to fit your argument if you think about it long enought.


I completely understand Mike, but I would not have 1/3 the tools I do if I bought all American made. If I didn't have 2/3 of my tools, I could not get my equipment repaired. I know in the long run, buying all American made products might pan out, but in the short run we have to survive. The USA also exports a lot of goods even still, so if all countries only bought their own made goods, we would suffer as well. It's a balancing game, of which we have been losing.

#38 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 10:33 AM

I have to agree with both sides on this. I try to only buy American made tools for myself, but on occasion I have bought import tools. As for our business, We buy most all our hand tool from Northern Tools, 2 reasons. 1st, my employees are always laying the tools down outside somewhere close to what they are working on, and then forgetting to pick up after their done, so those tools usually get lost. 2nd reason is that N.T. makes a very good tool, ie-sockets, wrenches, and alike, especially for the money.
I don't like to buy imports, but to stay in business, you do what you have to do.

#39 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 03:35 PM

I know I said it earlier in the thread but I just want to say olcowhand has the figures right. I could buy all USA brand tools but what it boils down to is that if I can't afford to buy everything I need then that is a problem when I need it. Now, this doesn't mean you can't have all USA tools eventually, I plan to, but just starting out you can get a lot of bang for your buck buying cheap foreign tools. And you will get your moneys worth because you have them when you need them. However, they will break sooner if abused heavily, but then you know exactly which tools you need to replace with USA brand tools, and which ones you just don't need the high quality. In some respect you could have more in your tools than you should have if you bought all USA, but if you do the replacement method you may find you have less in them in the long run. I figure you will eventually break even on your tools, but realistically, if you need the tool and don't have it because it costs say 200 bucks for USA brand and can't afford it, then having that 50 dollar foreign brand that gets the job done was worth every cent you paid for it, even if it isn't the greatest. If I ramble any more I will have to use
:deadhorse:

#40 DanO OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 04:05 PM

"Okay.....Well......... That's All I Have To Say About That."

Attached Thumbnails

  • forestgump.jpg

Edited by DanO, February 10, 2011 - 04:38 PM.


#41 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2011 - 04:17 PM

"Okay.....Well.........That's All I Have To Say About That."


:rofl2: :D

#42 onan302 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2011 - 01:05 AM

Harbor Freight Tools is a decent store for some things as everyone has said.
Air Tools- They last as long as you take care of them.
Electric Tools- They might be decent quality but usaully the motors are cheap and dont have much power and tend to overheat or burn up. Spend the extra $ for a craftsman.
Hand Tools- Decent, Ive never broken a hand tool from HF. Good for the price' but know your limits of what you bought when using in heavy applications.
Hydraulics- The hyadraulics such as Jacks and presses work really well. There not the best quality but they will hold just fine. Since these are under heavy loads always check this tools after you assemble them to make sure there safe and all the important parts are there.
Blasters- The sand blasters seem to work great from what ive heard. Ive never purchased one but apparently the smallest model they sell leaks blast media from the window while using it.
Grinders/buffers- the grinders and buffers seem to work just fine. You might not get the same power from a quality brand but they good for what you pay. Ive notcied the grinding/sanding/buffing wheels are poor quality and they should be replaced before you use your machine because they tend to fly apart or break at high speeds. The sizes of the wheels are also uncommon and hard to find replacements. This also goes with the bandsaw blades. There cheaply made.
The air hoses are great. Ibought a 50ft air hose for $9.45. its durable, doesnt leak, and its made of a nice thick rubber.
The impact sockets are also terrific. Ive never broken one. They last as long as there taken care of and you save about 50 bucks rather than buying craftsmen.

Now i noticed the debates on tools made in the U.S. and foreign tools. In my opinion theres quality tools made in all countries, and not so quality tools made in both U.S. and foreign countries. And plus tool companies have come along way and some have dwindled down from where a long time ago they made quality tools and nowadays everything is cheap plastic. Im more of a craftsman/ HF guy. I dont have the money to spend big bucks on tools like Snap-on, SGS, or Titan. Craftsman are good quality, replaceable and decently priced. But if you want something thats a little less at a place like HF or Northern tool, and its close to the same thing or possibly better, go for it. Respect any tool and it will last a lifetime.

#43 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2011 - 08:14 PM

I've bought a few tools at HF some OK others just junk . I keep a few cheap wrenches , if your going to modifies a wrench you would cry to do it to a expensive one . Here's a few we did at work , 0211111032.jpg

#44 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2011 - 08:18 PM

I've bought a few tools at HF some OK others just junk . I keep a few cheap wrenches , if your going to modifies a wrench you would cry to do it to a expensive one . Here's a few we did at work , [ATTACH=CONFIG]10362[/ATTACH]


The one on the far right is an interesting shape, what do you use it for?

#45 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2011 - 08:26 PM

If I remember it was a bleeder screw on a Ranger rear disc , What made me think of this posting this was I used the wrench on the far left today , made it to get at the ABS wire hold down bolt , 2wd S-10 mounted on the upper control arm .




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