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Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy Dork
6/5/12 3:18 p.m.

I saw this posted somewhere, I couldn't remember if it was here, so I figured I'd give it a go.

Pass/fail ratings for Harbor Freight tools.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27192

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy Dork
6/26/12 8:43 p.m.

I'll bump my own thread. Yeah, I'm super bored.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
6/26/12 11:27 p.m.

Hey, I thought it was neat. Unfortunately it's a PITA to search, but a cool idea nonetheless.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo Dork
6/26/12 11:34 p.m.

100% fail. Buy American.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro SuperDork
6/26/12 11:48 p.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: 100% fail. Buy American.

Let us know how that's going for you.

I buy Canadian / American made whenever I can but it can be damn near impossible for some things.

mrhappy
mrhappy HalfDork
6/27/12 12:20 a.m.

My multi color gear wrenches have been going strong for years.

Pass

EvanB
EvanB PowerDork
6/27/12 12:20 a.m.

If I could afford to buy American tools I would. I can't so I buy from Harbor Freight. They work fine for me.

curtis73
curtis73 SuperDork
6/27/12 2:09 a.m.

I buy most of my pneumatic tools from HF. Air hammers suck. I went through three under warranty, then I bought the "better" one and it died too. They keep blowing the o-ring out on the front of the piston.

The "normal" size impact wrenches are a bit wimpy, but I do have one of the "Earthquake" 3/4" impacts and it actually broke a Reese hitch ball while installing it. Nice.

I've had excellent luck with their rotary pneumatic stuff. I have a "pro series" cut-off wheel and the cheapy angle grinder and they have been bulletproof. I have a 3/8" and 1/4" air ratchet and they have worked flawlessly, including 4 years of actual professional auto repair employment. I have two D/A sanders; one is HF and the other is Campbell Hausfeld. I can't tell the difference in operation between them. They both do the same job in the same time with the same effectiveness.

I avoid their ratchet wrenches. I have broken several and the click angle is usually a bit big. I have a couple sets of the "Pittsburgh" ratchet wrenches and I'm very happy with them.

Sockets are fine for light duty, but under high torque they tend to crack.

The whole "buy 'muricahn" thing is not my bag. When I buy a chinese tool from HF, I'm supporting thousands of american workers who happen to distribute overseas goods. If I buy a Craftsman tool, I'm supporting the BS retail inflation to support a company who has a large percentage of their production in China anyway. Why would I pay $20 for a tool that supports China when I can buy a $5 tool that supports China?

And... on its most base level, I'm supporting a capitalist enterprise that is thriving in a pseudo-communist country. If capitalist endeavors are thriving in China, you bet I'll send money.

I also have to chuckle at people who buy only American cars... which were built in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, or contain up to 70% foreign parts.

Bottom line for me is this... I can pay $200 for a Snap-on pneumatic angle grinder, or I can pay $14 for a HF version. If the Snap-on grinder dies, I have to wait a week for the truck to swing by the shop, file a claim, surrender the tool, then wait another week or two for the truck to come by with a new one. If the HF grinder fails, I walk into any HF on my lunch break and they hand me a new one off the shelf.

You also have to look at semantics. That tool in your hand that says "Made in Amuricuh" means that it was probably assembled here using parts from China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, or Mexico. In fact, Kobalt (Lowes) was accused of buying raw tools from China, then polishing and plating them here with a stamp that says "Made in USA."

curtis73
curtis73 SuperDork
6/27/12 2:15 a.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: 100% fail. Buy American.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese SuperDork
6/27/12 4:08 a.m.

I buy quality, I don't care who built it. I have Gearwrench brand gear wrenches, and they are Asian tools. The only one that's given me any trouble is the 8mm, and that's because it got tossed in my junkyard kit and was abused like those tools and got rained on. I think it was in water for about a month before I realized it. The other tools are fine, as they stay greasy and nothing in that bucket is supposed to have moving parts. The GW has one missing tooth, but works fine otherwise. I can deal with that, and I won't send it off for warranty because I was the idiot that left it in the water.

There is something to be said about a warranty that you can actually use. I have a few Snap-On ratchets, and I keep rebuild kits for those on hand. Years ago, I had a Snap-On guy give me one each of 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive kits for the set I had, since I knew how to rebuild them. I think I've had them for about 10 years now and haven't had to use them. Although, I don't use those ratchets because I like my HF composite and flex neck ratchets better.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/27/12 8:39 a.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: 100% fail. Buy American.

Lol... like... SnapOn? Sorry, some of us aren't rich enough to afford a full complement of SnapOn tools (of which, more are imported than you'd think anyways), and a knee-jerk post like that is kindof hollow when you make it sitting there wearing clothes that weren't made in the USA using a computer that wasn't made in the USA.

E36 M3, i feel like i'm on GarageJournal again right now.

I buy the best tool i can for my money, no judgement is required or even welcomed from anyone else.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
6/27/12 8:41 a.m.
Derick Freese wrote: I buy quality, I don't care who built it. I have Gearwrench brand gear wrenches, and they are Asian tools. The only one that's given me any trouble is the 8mm, and that's because it got tossed in my junkyard kit and was abused like those tools and got rained on. I think it was in water for about a month before I realized it. The other tools are fine, as they stay greasy and nothing in that bucket is supposed to have moving parts. The GW has one missing tooth, but works fine otherwise. I can deal with that, and I won't send it off for warranty because I was the idiot that left it in the water. There is something to be said about a warranty that you can actually use. I have a few Snap-On ratchets, and I keep rebuild kits for those on hand. Years ago, I had a Snap-On guy give me one each of 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive kits for the set I had, since I knew how to rebuild them. I think I've had them for about 10 years now and haven't had to use them. Although, I don't use those ratchets because I like my HF composite and flex neck ratchets better.

I've been buying a LOT of Gearwrench tools lately. I love them so much that i'm in the middle of selling off all my Craftsman stuff. (USA or not, i hate it.)

ThePhranc
ThePhranc Dork
6/27/12 9:20 a.m.

I wish HF still had some of their older stuff. When I was buying most of their tools was when I wrenching on the Mazda so I have a lot of metric stuff. Now with AMC I need standard but find some of the newer designs and offerings not as good. Like 1/2 drive 12 point sockets, my metrics came in a nifty metal box but the newer ones are on those stupid bulky plastic things.

jstein77
jstein77 Dork
6/27/12 9:34 a.m.

I've got this Chicago Electric cordless impact wrench. Pass. Works great.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
6/27/12 10:19 a.m.

HF hand held impact wrench. Broke each bit on first hammer blow. Fail.

Allen wrenches. Big organized pouch of them, and they last for years. Pass.

Torque wrenches. Work fine, tests by others show them to be quite accurate. Pass.

Nylon ratchets. Flex in my hand. Don't fail, but I personally don't like their feel.

Fiber optic camera. Works fine, but the probe doesn't fit down a spark plug hole.

Bench grinder. More power to be had in an electric toothbrush. Fail.

O-ring sets. I think they really are Buna rubber, nothing seems to kill them. Pass.

Orange work gloves. Last a lot longer than the blue ones. Pass.

Wire wheels. Fling wires everywhere. Fail.

Grinder wheels. Boom! Fail.

Drill bits. They've all made holes. The nifty 200 or so set in the box is cool, every size known to man it seems. Pass.

ThePhranc
ThePhranc Dork
6/27/12 10:22 a.m.

Id have tyo say thier $14 pray guns are a pass if you don't expect them to paint like a $400 one. We use 2 at the shop for painting signs and they do well/

Any sand blaster they sell is a fail.

Bench top vise is a pass.

I give their red tool chests and carts a big pass.

stan_d
stan_d Dork
6/27/12 10:39 a.m.

I have one of their sandblasters works great. I buy clear plastic sheet from wally world 2.79 yard ,to cover glass. A strong wet dry vac and stuff 2 rags in air vent to make it a negative pressure, in fact it holds the door shut with it unlatched.

When new flip of over and recaulk all joints. Put a piece of screen over sand intake pipe to keep trash out.

I use their glass beed media.

Ranger50
Ranger50 SuperDork
6/27/12 10:58 a.m.
ThePhranc wrote: Id have tyo say thier $14 pray guns are a pass if you don't expect them to paint like a $400 one. We use 2 at the shop for painting signs and they do well/

There is a guy here that buys them with the $10 coupons at like 6 at a time to paint the cars he paints. He can get through about 2 cars before the gun is junk. You can buy a lot of those guns for what a SATA or similar costs....

I have to say I have absolutely abused the $10 12v compressor and it keeps on going. I have to give that a big PASS.

bludroptop
bludroptop SuperDork
6/27/12 11:33 a.m.

I have this touch-up gun from HF. I had a coupon so it was twelve bucks. I've spent more on a sandwich.

It is really quite nicely made and works fine with my small compressor (also from HF).

Pass for both.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
6/27/12 12:05 p.m.

Rebuilt a Nissan GA16i with a HF torque wrench after my Mac Tools wrench failed and Mac doesn't support rebuilding that model anymore. The engine still runs great after four years so I guess it's a pass.

Twin_Cam
Twin_Cam UltraDork
6/27/12 12:10 p.m.

I just bought all kinds of stuff (sawzall, bottle jack, pry bar, wire brush) from there this morning. They sent coupons, I used them. The sawzall was $23, and the replacement blades were $7 with a 20% off coupon. $30 for a sawzall that I'll probably use a couple times a year seems like a good deal.

I may need a set of the impact sockets, too. They seem to get good reviews on that Garage Journal thread.

Oh, and I'll add my two cents: $40 welding helmet- ULTRA-FAIL. It's rated to be good down to 30 amps. I was welding at 42ish, and it flashed me. Not fun. That was months ago and if I close my eyes I can still see the spot.

Oh, and to the "buy American" statement...your own username references a Japanese car. Fail.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
6/27/12 12:12 p.m.
Twin_Cam wrote: I just bought all kinds of stuff (sawzall, bottle jack, pry bar, wire brush) from there this morning. They sent coupons, I used them. The sawzall was $23, and the replacement blades were $7 with a 20% off coupon. $30 for a sawzall that I'll probably use a couple times a year seems like a good deal. I may need a set of the impact sockets, too. They seem to get good reviews on that Garage Journal thread. Oh, and I'll add my two cents: $40 welding helmet- ULTRA-FAIL. It's rated to be good down to 30 amps. I was welding at 42ish, and it flashed me. Not fun. That was months ago and if I close my eyes I can still see the spot. Oh, and to the "buy American" statement...your own username references a Japanese car. Fail.

I use the hell out of their impact sockets. They're fine.

The sawzall worked better once i started buying Lenox blades instead. The sawzall itself is entirely decent, though.

Oh, and their more expensive tap/die sets are pretty good as well.

ThePhranc
ThePhranc Dork
6/27/12 12:36 p.m.

The welding bits like wire,tips and bottles are pass.

I bought the bottles there at 1/2 the price the gas company here wanted and about the same price for a years rental.

the 9mil black rubber gloves are a big time pass.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
6/27/12 12:48 p.m.

The pneumatic die grinder is a big pass. I have used the hell out of those.

Tool cart is ok. It rolls nicely and the drawers slide nice for the most part. The bottom draw catches a bit.

Angle grinder has worked well up to this point but I haven't used it on any thick steel yet.

Work gloves and safety glasses pass

Their oscillating multifunction tool fail. It doesn't seem to want to grip the tool very well.

18 volt drill meh about what you would expect from a $20 drill.

16" long reach pillar set. Fail. They rusted sitting inside.

Screwdrivers- pass considering I have got 4 sets for free. Hard to fail them.

ThePhranc
ThePhranc Dork
6/27/12 1:56 p.m.

Warrior brand of screw tips in the tic-tac case are major fail I just broke 3 of them. But it is nice to not stripe a screw head out.....

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