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LarryJGuthrie
02-22-2007, 11:04 PM
I sometimes buy Harbor Freight tools, some of them are actually quite good. I also from time to time ask for opinions from some forum or another. Sometimes I'd get a piece of advice about the features of an item that is very beneficial. However, I completely dismiss those replies from those that say something like "those HF tools are all junk" or "the Chinese tools are crap" Any blanket condemnation is of course suspect. I would also not take the advice of one who would say, "...I won't buy anything but a ...", since they obviously don't have any knowledge about the tool I asking about.

I also don't give the people who "break things" much credence. I have a friend who bought a RV trailer. This person is very smart, fun to talk to, made a lot of money in his profession. But he broke one of the best US made trailer hitches four times getting the trailer home. He hooked it up wrong. This was not unexpected as he can and does break almost any tool; however well made. Some people just break things. Two people can do the same job and one will break tools and ruin equipment and the other person will not put a dimple in the same tools. I would take the advice of my friend about a lot of things, but not on the quality of a tool.

Woodshed
02-23-2007, 01:32 AM
I have purchased several items from HF and haven't had any problems with their products. I buy tools three ways. Tools I use everyday will buy the best I can afford. Tools used every once in a while and not everyday I purchased medium grade and tools that I might use once or twice a year I purchased cheap tools. I also look into the safety factor of using the different price tools and purchased the one I think is the safe to use. Example would be a hammer drill used everyday and all day get the best made. Used drill just once a week would buy mid price drill and cheap drill if used once or twice a year. Why spend $450 for a tool used 2 times a year when the $50 drill will do the job for many years. This is my thought process for buying tools.

Patriot Performance
02-23-2007, 10:10 AM
Good point about your friend and his RV. Sometimes it doesn't matter what the part is, people can break it. A good quality product in the wrong hands can turn to a pile of junk very quickly. I have first hand experice with this.

As of last night I was completely devastated buy the condition of a very nice car i once build and owned. I found out that the kid who had bought my 03 Dodge Stratus R/T coupe, which I showed for three years. He has so far....
Broke two engine mounts, ruined fours tires, broke the camber plates if left in, lost third gear in the trans, blown the engine, ruined the crankshaft, and bend a fron a-arm!! all of this in two months!! I was so mad at myself for letting a car I worked so hard to build go into the hands of someone who doesn't know how to drive.

Sorry I'm done venting for now about that. But yes some people are just hard on things, and its sad.

Rick Moran
02-23-2007, 11:45 AM
I completely agree with Woodshed. I bought Snap On tools when I wrenched everyday for a living 30 years ago (now, the chrome is worn off to the nickel base), HF tools for occasional use and all of the other brands depending on the need, frequency and price at the time.

wallythacker
02-23-2007, 05:40 PM
Ditto. Spend the money when it matters, cheap out if you're doing a one-off.

enlpck
02-23-2007, 06:34 PM
Ditto as well. I buy the best tool I can afford that the job demands. Many jobs demand an inexpensive tool that works, rather than the best on the market.

I have my share of HF tools, and they hold up pretty well, very well for the price, in general. Bench grinder, not so great (the one with the worm driven slow wheel and water tray): Seems to have a bind in it somewhere, but still works if the shaft is given a light spin. Does fine for dressing lathe tools, which is why I got it. Measuring tools for general use are a godsend from there: the $10 dial caliper/scriber/divider/layout compass/parts kit is a beautiful thing. I don't worry about damaging the edges scribing with them... I just resharpen. Thing comes good to about 0.002" per inch from the box (checked with gauge blocks), so another thou isn't going to ruin it. I could go on, obviously.

jamlit
02-23-2007, 07:08 PM
Here is my take on this. I find that HF is good enough for the average joe who may change the spark plug in their lawnmower once a years and so on. Also good for the guy who doesn't want two complete set of tools which will run allot of money. In this case you can make do but you also can take your good work tools home when you really need them.

The big part I like about HF is that they carry a large line of the specailized tools for a cheap cost. This is great for someone like myself who wants to try some new tools out and learn on, with out the large cost. I buy some of these tools. If I find them to be very useful and can make some money or even save some good money with them I go looking for a good one made in either Canada or the US. I do not try to support to much off shore where I can as we are loosing to many jobs here. :nono:

I am getting the HF English wheel and Planishing hammer soon. I will use these to learn some metal shaping on. If I find them to be as useful as I am hoping and I can do what I want, I will be getting good ones.

As to the point of people breaking tools. Their are people who souldn't even use tools. I have several friends who are not allowed to touch anything in my shop. Can't afford to keep replacing the things they break. Its cheaper for me to do the job for free then the alterative.

wallythacker
02-23-2007, 09:28 PM
Hey, Jamlit, how much headache/hassle is it getting goods from HF?

Do you get stung with shipping/UPS theft ("brokerage fees")/duty or anything else?

As another Canadian I'm curious.

As for fools with tools, one of my buddies needs only "look" at a tool to kill it. No kidding. While looking at a friends 12" drill press it fell over. I kid you not.

jamlit
02-23-2007, 09:54 PM
My parent live in florida for the winter. They load up the car for me. Hehe
They are allowed to bring back 1500.00 each year so that my limit. No duty or shipping fees. Works great for me.

wallythacker
02-23-2007, 09:59 PM
My parent live in florida for the winter. They load up the car for me. Hehe
They are allowed to bring back 1500.00 each year so that my limit. No duty or shipping fees. Works great for me.

Ahh, I figured you had a system. :laugh:

DirtyLittleSecret
02-23-2007, 10:18 PM
Seriously, its good to hear about some COMMON SENSE when it comes to tools. Makes me sick whenever I hear someone go "blah, blah, blah, HF, blah, blah...". There are MANY reasons to not go out and buy the most expensive tool on the market (several good reasons in this thread). There is indeed a tool for every job, and a cost-benefit to every tool.

Sandy
02-23-2007, 10:49 PM
Well I've broken some stuff, so I'm restricted from commenting.:)