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OT Harbor Freight Tools and Coupons

5144 Views 58 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  frazierfrazier
It seems Harbor Freight tools often get mentioned in various threads but there was no dedicated HF thread. I'm often the first to criticize low quality use once break once tools, but I just had an atypical positive experience with HF to share. I bought the $20 LED shop light (coupon below) and it is a high quality build that is brighter than my dual tube LED shop lights. I just used it for a quick in the car paint project inside the garage, there was no need to roll out into the sunlight.

Your comments about HF tools good or bad are welcome.


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When you pickup a tool and hold it in your hand, you should get a pretty good idea if it's quality or crap. If it's crap... put it back. I used to buy only Craftsman but the first time I bought a Pittsburgh (Professional Series) ratchet is the last time I bought a Craftsman... not that there's anything wrong with Craftsman but why pay twice as much for a tool that isn't twice as good?

A few years back (ok, maybe more than a few) I was looking to buy a 12" Adjustable Wrench, the Craftsman was something like $20 bucks (memory could be weak) and the Chinese knock off at about $5 bucks looked exactly the same, was made from metal every bit as good (if not better) and even had a rubberized coating on the handle. I still have that adjustable wrench today and whenever I need a big adjustable that's the one I use... the Craftsman sits in the tool drawer looking pretty.

When I installed my MaxJax lift I needed to drill ten 7/8ths holes through 5" of solid concrete. Off to Harbor Freight I went and returned with a Bauer hammer drill that made short work of drilling through concrete. Of course, due to my own stupidity, I located the posts to close together and had to re-drill 5 of the holes 12" wider and then due to even greater stupidity I realized that I located the posts too far into the garage and had to re-drill all 10 holes 18" closer to the garage door. What's my point? Well, in addition to lesson learned... the hammer drill performed flawlessly drilling 25 7/8" holes through 5" of concrete. Great tool.

On the other side of the coind, 10 years ago (I think it was 10) I bought a band saw from Harbor Freight that was a knockoff of the much more expensive popular brand. There was no Harbor Freight store anywhere near me (now there are two within 10 miles of me) so I purchased it online and had it shipped. When it arrived I was disappointed with the poor quality to say the least. Everything about the tool was cheap crap (with the possible exception of the cast iron base). Had I seen this machine in a store I would not have bought it. I probably should have sent it back but it was very heavy and the carton it came in was all but destroyed in shipping, and it was so cheap to begin with, so I kept it. I am still using that saw today and it's still made of the cheapest crap materials you could find, but I gotta admit... it cuts pretty good.

bTw... don't bother buying the Harbor Freight $9 dollar HVLP spray guns on sale... they're total crap. :smile
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Hello all thanks for the great HF feedback. One tool that I found surprisingly durable is the electronic chainsaw on a pole. I have done several seasons of serious tall tree trimming with it, and it is still going strong despite several bouts of getting stuck in the branches. Also the free flashlights, batteries, drop cloths, electric test meters, etc. are worth the price.

One item I think is crap are the titanium drill bit sets. I guess getting 30 drill bits for $11 is asking a bit much, but i had these bits give up going through soft aluminum. Forget about steel.
I bought that HF chain saw on a pole too and I agree totally, it's a great tool for the price. Every time I use it people ask me where I got it and how much did I pay for it. When I tell them, many go directly to HF and buy one of their own. Still going strong... and with the original chain... several years later.

HF created a spin-off cottage industry... search eBay and you'll find hundreds of HF items for sale for more than you'll pay to buy the same item directly from HF. :rolleyes:
A couple weeks back I sent a message asking about Craftsman warranty replacment to the Craftsman / Black and Decker company. The response is below. It seems that Craftsman warranty is hit and miss. The quality of Craftsman tools is not considered to be at the same level as they had been at one time-

" I do apologize your tools broke.If you have a local ACE Hardware, Blain's Farm and Fleet, Atwood's or Lowes they can do a tool replacement due to repair is not available. If your local Lowes does not have the individual tools yet for a tool replacement they will be able to do a tool exchange by July or August of this year. Depending on the age of the tool they may look a little different now and the model number may not match.I apologize for any inconvenience. --Michelle"

I just purchased a Harbor Freight 50 ton press. I needed to be able to apply 20tons of force and have a tall unit to replace axle bearings on another car. I used the 25% one day coupon. It cost $660. The thing weighs 700 lbs and stands 6.5 feet tall. it has a bed lift winch, dual speed pump, Air operated hydraulics, a force tonage gauge. I dont know how they make a monster like this for this price? I was thinking to include a picture of it on my family Christmas card this year.
A year or 3 ago I bought the HF 12 ton press that I didn't really need but the price was too good to pass up. I didn't open the box for several months and when I did finally open the box I found that one of the uprights was missing... I went right up to HF and bought another one. I didn't make an exchange, the price was so low I kept both units and figured I had spare parts for life. :thumbsup:
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Lucky fellows, I "wanted " one ( but didn't really need it) but Swmbo would have killed me as I've just finished re organising my garage to allow 2 cars instead of only the 107 .
A two car garage that actually fits 2 cars... imagine that. :smile
My brother-in-law developed a working protocol for determining how much garage space (shelving) needs to be allocated for storage in the garage... keep in mind we live on Long Island in New York.

For every object vying for storage space in the garage, ask yourself the following question... "Would I pay to ship this _________ (fill in the blank) to California"? If the answer is no then you don't need to accommodate storage space for that object... toss it.

Simple but effective. :thumbsup:
I get on one side of the car and my son gets on the other side. We disconnect the locking mechanisms, lift the top off, stand the top up in it's rack and roll it into a corner of the garage. Reverse the procedure to reinstall.

No winches... no bracketry... nothing hanging overhead. I do have to supply my son with a place to live and food to eat though. Hmm, what were those dimensions again? :laugh
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