More HF tool reviews
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    125

    More HF tool reviews

    I ordered some more things from Harbor Freight here and there. This is what I have to say about them:

    1) 91813-4VGA - 60 watt continuous mini power inverter. Living on a college campus I don't like to keep things like big inverters in my car. I just wanted an inverter that would power my soldering iron, or hot glue gun in case of some sort of emergency, or in case I wanted to try my paintless dent remover kit somewhere away from a designated power source. I've run a few small jobs with this little guy and it works good. Size is very handy. Bummer it's just a bit too small to run my laptop on AC power, but I gave up a lot to get the really small size. It will fit in the glove box of a Jeep Cherokee, and that's saying something. If the wattage matches your application as it does mine, I can recommend it.

    2) 91812-9VGA - Quick Stitch Sewing Awl. This little guy I bought for one job really - to sew up a patch into my motorcycle seat with some heavy duty vinyl. It worked well for the job. It's not great, but it's not horribly constructed either. I carelessly broke one of the needles by leaving it sit on the floor of my room and accidentally stepping on it. Not sure any stitching awl would have survived that anyway... The thread they give you is decent quality as far as I can tell too. It worked for what I wanted it to do and for only 5 bucks, who's complaining?

    3) 92046-9VGA - Self centering drill press jig. This is a jig for drilling center holes in round stock. I bought it on sale with a $10 gift card I got through a promotional offer. Essentially this little buy was free to me. I was surprised to find it seems to be of fairly decent quality. I only have a VERY cheap drill press (may be identical to the HF 5 speed press) in my dorm room, but I tested it out and it seems to work really good. Still a good idea to get center punch on whatever you're drilling before tossing it in the jig though. It's also a little tough to anchor on the mini drill press I have, but I think the jig is intended for larger applications really. Installing and uninstalling the jig is not something to be done on a whim.

    4) 90899-4VGA - digital multi meter (7 function). This is a neat little multi meter. Normally costs 4 bucks, I got mine for $2 on sale. The leads that ship with it don't completely suck, which is unlike other cheap multimeters I've used. I bought this to work in conjunction with my analog meter, as sometimes having the digital readout can be more dummy-proof than having to read the analog scale, especially with my eyesight. I'd say this meter is a good buy for anybody who is a modeler, hobbyist, or mechanic. Beware of the fact that it doesn't have a backlight so night use is going to be limited. The battery tester feature is nice though.

    5) 32351-4VGA - diamond drill bits. These bits aren't worth anything. I burned up three of them on my drill press within the first few moments of opening the package. I tried several different materials and speeds with the same result - bald tips. I bought them to round out my $10 free gift card order since they were on sale for $1.99 and I was curious. Wouldn't recommend these bits for anything.

    As I said above, I might have the same 5 speed mini drill press sold by harbor freight. It cost $40 at the local Checker tool center. The little drill press is not for precision drilling by any stretch, but it is more precise than using a hand drill, and convenient to stow away. It operates smoothly enough, although there is some wobble in the chuck. While it is possible my setup was flawed, I sincerely think the chuck might be slightly out of balance. This is extremely minimal and barely noticeable on any bit larger than 3/32 or so. You will have to take measures to square the table, but beyond that, for 40 bucks it beats not having any drill press at all, and is certainly plenty for the miniature hobbyist, or doing light automotive repairs as I do with it.

    Hope this in some way can help guide your decisions on what to purchase and what not to purchase from Harbor Freight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    125

    Re: More HF tool reviews

    After having this stuff for over a month, I just want to update by saying that the Inverter does its job as advertised with no fuss. It's been good for me. It's very small but I'm decetnly impressed with the quality and durability.


    The 7 range multimeter. All I can say is WOW. For 3 bucks, it's amazing, but it's better than a lot of multimeters that cost a lot more. The leads they give you are pretty good really. I've used it effectively as a diagnostic tool as a mechanic enough times that it has more than paid for itself. If you find it on sale like I did, and you have the extra bread and think you might possibly have the need, BUY IT. Only complaint? The battery they ship it with is cheap and won't last all that long. At that cost, bit whoop though. I am 110% satisfied.

    The drill press is Ho hum. It does its job on ocasion when I need to use the benchtop press. It ain't perfect but it does OK.

    On the order my buddy ordered some trucker chain (we split shipping). I don't recall the number off the top of my head, but he tells me that it's been used to pull several large stumps with. It is plenty strong enough that a class 3 reciever will evidently bend before the chain breaks. That was the last I heard about the chain anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    So. IN.
    Posts
    353

    Re: More HF tool reviews

    thanks for the update

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    15

    Re: More HF tool reviews

    Thanks for the reviews. I find them extremely helpful, especially considering the crapshoot quality of HF tools (Im not knocking it--I own plenty).

    Just one question that stuck out at me from your post however--- You have a drill press in your dorm room???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    125

    Re: More HF tool reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by superkaz661 View Post
    Thanks for the reviews. I find them extremely helpful, especially considering the crapshoot quality of HF tools (Im not knocking it--I own plenty).

    Just one question that stuck out at me from your post however--- You have a drill press in your dorm room???

    I can't remember what I needed the drill press for now but I like keeping many tools in my dorm room. Came in handy keeping tools around for when I rebuilt the engine in my '74 Suzuki TS 125. Got my own bathroom last year so the cases were degreased in the sink.

    Technically it was not a complete rebuild but rather a main seal replacement job. It still involves splitting the cases though so it basically came entirely apart.

    I am glad to write reviews that may help people. I've found some good opinions on this forum such that when I consider a tool for myself, I always search it by name and by item number on this forum before looking at it too closely. If I find nothing than I always make sure to review it when I get it.

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