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  1. #991
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    5,226
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    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    ...I've also used HF tools as a guidepost to decide what tools I am willing to spend money on to get something substantially better than HF's offering...
    That's me. Usually the first of any tool I buy is at HF. If I wear it out that proves that I really do use the tool a lot, and I replace it with a name brand tool. Some of the tools that I just knew were going to significantly improve my quality of life and make the world a better place have sat in the bottom of the tool bucket with little more than the first enthusiastic "trying-it-out" use. 3/8" air rachet comes to mind. Those are the tools I'm glad I got at HF rather than sinking the money into name brand stuff.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  2. #992
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2010
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    367
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    WNY, USA

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    On the other hand, while I really would like a 4 or 5 hp compressor I just cannot bring myself to trust HF on that sort of equipment and try to steer clear of complex devices too.
    the one big compressor that HF sells (US General i think?) had a baldor motor and a name brand pump. it was cheap compared to 'name brand' models of the same size, but still $1300 or so. and while it had good quality motor and pump, i still decided not to try one.

  3. #993
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    6,286
    Location
    Greenwood Co., SC
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Got the 8 gallon 2hp compressor for 88$ worked well shooting thousands of nails of all sizes and running an impact wrench. Tons of other stuff too. Got the blue prying things to, Dargo, used them when i had to dismantle the dash in the toyota highlander for my wifes ipod hookup, paid like $5 vs busting it with screw drivers or paying $100 to get someone to install it. About hoping them not to bust before you finish a job, i do the same thing, wait for a sale or use the 20% coupon and then work the **** out of it if it lasts great if not you get a 30 warrenty where they will take it back no questions, if you need a long term thing like me , renovating the house i bought the $10 or so warrenty to put it up to a yr of protection you can go to 2 or 3 years i think as well. I have spent close to $350 this year alone at HF i beleive

  4. #994
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    624
    Location
    Central,Iowa
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45S

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Iplayfarmer View Post
    That's me. Usually the first of any tool I buy is at HF. If I wear it out that proves that I really do use the tool a lot, and I replace it with a name brand tool. Some of the tools that I just knew were going to significantly improve my quality of life and make the world a better place have sat in the bottom of the tool bucket with little more than the first enthusiastic "trying-it-out" use. 3/8" air rachet comes to mind. Those are the tools I'm glad I got at HF rather than sinking the money into name brand stuff.
    Some of HF power tools just don't have the oomph of name brand stuff. Air ratchets being one of them. Hammer drills another. I have a snap on 3/8 air ratchet which I use quite often. I also have a 1/2 drive hammer air ratchet that is the bees knees.(IR brand). In fact, when I realize I'm doing a job that air tools could be doing, I swear alittle and get them out. I have my share of HF stuff too, but I still buy nothing but the best when it comes to my hands and any tool that could cause me to bust a knuckle.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    Albert Einstein

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. - Edward R. Murrow

    "Being smart is not how much you know, it's knowing where to look."
    R. James

  5. #995
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    5,980
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    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    Dargo, me thinks you protest too much about HF. I think you have a girlfriend behind the counter or you actually have a soft spot in your heart for HF.

    I would certainly consider myself in the category of HF shopper that hopes against hope that the tools are going to do as advertised for at least a job or two. I'd never buy Snap On equivalent due to cost so for me the choice is often to either buy something from HF and do the work myself or pay a professional to do it for me. So far I've come out ahead as the HF tools I've bought have often allowed me to tackle tasks I'd not try without adding a few tools to my collection.

    I've also used HF tools as a guidepost to decide what tools I am willing to spend money on to get something substantially better than HF's offering. For example the new HF multifunction oscillating tool even at $50 seemed like a waste of money so I bought the original Fein version at many times the cost. However, an extra set of ratcheting wrenches for $20 or a jumbo wrench set for $40 or an anvil at a buck a pound seems a no brainer as I would be loath to purchase such items for three or four times the cost from a more reputable manufacturer. On the other hand, while I really would like a 4 or 5 hp compressor I just cannot bring myself to trust HF on that sort of equipment and try to steer clear of complex devices too. Still, truth be told I did buy a $250 drain cleaner that more than paid for itself in one use but that just backs up my point about considering the cost of HF tools compared to hiring a professional to do the job.

    So Dargo, I think you are kinda like the guy in school who teases only the pretty girls he's actually interested in when he's afraid to acknowledge as much. Come clean.
    No, no, I actually do like those cheap hammers. I plan on getting a basket full of them tomorrow. I just need to get everyone in line to use a 20% off coupon and the $2 I give them so I get them even cheaper.

    Funny you mention the counter girl....um, never mind. I'm not going there. Maybe she's on a special pay scale. Whew, nothing like the type who look like they work as a bouncer at night, if you know what I mean.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  6. #996
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    6,286
    Location
    Greenwood Co., SC
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    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Most of those 20% say in fine print cannot be combined with any other discount or sale. That said most sales are 20% or more so just buying it on sale beats the 20% off regular price. The other thing is that sales are not always the same, those email coupons are often the best deals you get they generally beat the sale flyer price on their sale items by $5 on some things. Take for example the 90 amp wire welder regular $149 or 169 i bought it on a store sale for $114 cause i needed and wanted it at that time and i waited for it to go on sale a couple times never gettign below that price. I ahve since seen it for like $95. The 8 gallon 2hp compressor i bought i used either an email coupon or the tiny little coupon book they send and paid $88 that was the best price i saw for like a year on it. Other prices or sales were $89 maybe a $99 and regular price $109- or 119? I think they even have a sale price over $100 on it sometimes, i have since seen it for either $78 or $85 which is the cheapest i have ever seen it. Keep an eye out for the "tool" you may want and watch the coupon cycle you will know what is the cheapes price they put on something after about 2-3 months and iff you expect a certain purchase buy it at the best sale you have seen in the past. Dont fall victim of its on sale i have to buy it now or it may be a year till it goes on sale. That 8 gallon compressor is on sale all the time for $95 or less (about every other month). Now if your doing a project just by getting up and thinking i will tear out that wall today, and i need a sazall. If HF does not have the sale just use the 20% off regular price coupon and it will get it down to near the sale price (on sale you could maybe save an additional 4-5$ on the cheaper sazall) use it with out fear of tearing it up, remember you bought it for a specific project, Tearing out your wall if it tears up return it (the only hassel is having to go back to the store, if you do not leve near one this may not be a viable option for a tool though) you get a 30 day warrenty on anything there (sometimes the paper work in the box says 90 day? store is i think only 30 the longer 90 day i guess is by mail?) so i hope that wall is gone in 30 days or less.

    This comes from a guy who bargan hunts the bargan store for that specific tool to do a specific job maybe once or very infrequently, so i dont have to pay a pro). I also buy things like wrenches and more frequent use stuff like my 4'' angle grinder etc.

    Dargo i broke my $1.99 yellow claw hammer a year ago on the first use. I was hammering in big framing nails in dry wood in my attic reframming the roof where i took the chimney down. Had one nail bend on the hard dry wood and went to pull it out and the head broke /pulled apart right below where it enters the head. I really should have been using the framing hammer i guess not the 16 oz hammer. Was not worth the hour drive to the store to return it. But also my other walmart china hammer does similar stuff and although cracked has not broken yet. And my 25 year old or older either american or china made hammer (not sure of origing or even manufacturer) has a split off the back of the handle but i use it on that type stuff all the time as well to bang on metal or force things in auto work and it has not come off yet.
    -nate

  7. #997
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    5,980
    Location
    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by clemsonfor View Post
    Dargo i broke my $1.99 yellow claw hammer a year ago on the first use. I was hammering in big framing nails in dry wood in my attic reframming the roof where i took the chimney down. Had one nail bend on the hard dry wood and went to pull it out and the head broke /pulled apart right below where it enters the head. I really should have been using the framing hammer i guess not the 16 oz hammer.
    Please note; I did say buy a basket full and my signature notes that they are made from nice recycled steed. The balance is good though. For a day of just driving simple roofing nails (BTW, pass on their air powered roofing nailer - freaking thing never worked) the balance was easier on my wrists. Smack some steel to straighten it or pry with it and you'll need to get another out of your basket.

    I suppose my store is easy on us. I always get to use the 20% coupons on top of all discounts. They've never given me a hard time at all. Clearly, I don't buy any expensive items there, so I couldn't tell you if they'd balk at something of higher cost.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  8. #998
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    2,347
    Location
    Michigan

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Dargo View Post
    ................I suppose my store is easy on us. I always get to use the 20% coupons on top of all discounts. They've never given me a hard time at all. Clearly, I don't buy any expensive items there, so I couldn't tell you if they'd balk at something of higher cost.
    Ditto here - I always use a 20% coupon with the sale price to get the best deal. It is often better than a coupon price. They won't let you use the 20% off coupon with another coupon, though.

  9. #999
    Silver Member Denwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    208
    Location
    Blaine WA
    Tractor
    Kubota B20

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Speaking of all these HF discounts, what is anyone's experience with joining their "Inside Track" program, for which they advertise unadvertised specials and "HUGE" savings, first dibs at parking lot sales, etc? All this for only $30.00 a year. Is it worth it? Speak o' magic tractor list.....

    At present the closest HF is an hour and a half away, so I doubt I'd be able to justify the drive for another buck or two off on things. Should I reconsider?

    Regards,
    Dennis
    Dennis - Blaine WA - NX7D
    91' Kubota B20 - FL420 - BH750 - 3' brush mower wanted
    JD LX130 Lawn Mower
    BMW R100GSPD R100/7 R100RT
    32RL Alpenlite w/ 06' Ford 350 4x2 (or is that 2x4)

  10. #1000
    Platinum Member BigE_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    602
    Location
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Tractor
    New Holland TC33D, LT4000

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Denwa View Post
    Speaking of all these HF discounts, what is anyone's experience with joining their "Inside Track" program, for which they advertise unadvertised specials and "HUGE" savings, first dibs at parking lot sales, etc? All this for only $30.00 a year. Is it worth it? Speak o' magic tractor list.....
    Regards,
    Dennis
    I joined their inside track club for a year back in 1996. At the time, it was $9.95. Also, their catalog orders had free shipping, and the extra charge per order was like $1.95. Anyway, I had ordered about $100 worth of junk from them and tacked on the ITC on that order. Got the first flyer and saved about $20, so at the time it was worth it.

    Nowadays, you just wait for whatever you want to go on sale, tack on the 20% discount coupon, and that's going to be cheaper than the ITC price. At the local store they have examples of ITC prices by the sign-up sheet.
    New Holland TC33D w/7308 FEL, 6600 BH, 66" boxblade, and pallet forks.
    http://pens.bigelowsite.com

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