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  1. #3111
    Super Member daugen's Avatar
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    Washington NC (Inner Banks)
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    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Gale Hawkins View Post
    I noticed a price creep in recent flyers.
    Me too, and is the new norm 15 off vs. 20?
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long solid bucket grapple, TNT, CA forks and stump bucket, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mowers, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2014 JD X750 diesel garden tractor, 1968 Cub Cadet 125 under renovation, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter, ETA heavy duty rake and blade, Northern Tools 55 gal orchard sprayer, tow behind 8hp Little Wonder blower,

  2. #3112
    Veteran Member chopped's Avatar
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    New England yankeee

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    There are now 3,105 posts in this amazing thread, and pardon me if I ask a question that may have been previously answered.
    I'm about to learn/start welding. I will buy a decent quality welder, but not from HF.
    I will need to buy a lot of stuff, helmet, gloves, work table, clamps, rods and supplies and a metal bandsaw.
    From what I did read, it seems the satisfaction level is acceptably high. Not high.... but good value nonetheless.
    If one truly gets what one pays for, and maybe even a little more, no place to complain there.

    Overall it seems HF has a lot of useful welding tools.
    I'd like feedback on two:
    the metal bandsaw, their largest one, is the collective opinion that other than the cheesy supplied sawblade, it meets all the important
    needs of a hobby user? Interested in cutting mostly flat stock for machinery repairs and light fab.
    Stick welder supplies, like rods. Does HF stock quality products?
    thanks
    Drew

    btw, their little shop crane is a bargain and super useful.
    I boght and used 5 lbs of the 6011 rods they had a few years ago. they werent worth the savings. The coating fell off and just didnt 'feel' right to me..

  3. #3113
    Platinum Member 3v0's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    521
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    Oklahoma Pan Handle, United States
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    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    What air pressure do you use with that chisel?

  4. #3114
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2004
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    1,892
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    Caldwell Co. NC
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    2006 Kama554; 92 Belarus 250AS

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    The F-style welding clamps are good as are the Vice Grip style locking c-clamps.
    12" Heavy Duty F-Style Welding Clamp
    11" Swivel Pad Lock-Grip Pliers
    2006 Kama 554, 92 Belarus 250AS, Bombardier Outlander Max 400.

  5. #3115
    Super Member
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    Central Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100, M6800

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    There still is a lot of junk at HF so be careful shopping or buying without doing your homework. There may be a lot of favorable posts in this thread but participants here tend to be smarter than the average bear and have already researched to a degree what works and what doesn't. I mean, don't buy the electronic flyswatter and expect satisfaction for a product well-made.

    Yes, prices are creeping up and yes, I think they are trying to make 15% the new norm. Not sure if that will work as price is a big component of the HF experience and they are bumping against levels where the price is getting close to the same as that from a Lowe's or Home Depot or wherever. Buying at those places for nearly the same price as HF will likely leave HF holding the bag.
    ****

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  6. #3116
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Sonoma County
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    Yanmar YM240, and now just one YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    The Blue Flame welding helmet works great for me. It stays in a dark toolbox until I put in the sun for a few minutes before my infrequent welding, and that's all it seems to need. I think this model is a better buy than the plain black one since its window is larger.

    I would buy welding supplies at a real welding store where the specifications mean something. HF sells a lot of the $90 flux-core-wire welders that output AC, and right alongside those welders the only flux core wire they sell is labelled DC ONLY. If they don't care about that, what else don't they care about?

    For a 4.5 inch angle grinder I would step up two levels to the $28 (?) paddle switch one. All their models are a little light on power but this is their best. I think it is 6 amps while the equivalent $100 pro tool is 11 amps. As a novice welder you may spend as much time grinding as welding. The $9 grinders are fine for running a wire brush. I have a cup brush on one and a braided wire wheel on the other. And the 7 inch grinder is more of a brute force tool. Forget the 9 inch angle grinder unless you weld railroad rail or something.

    I have their hand held band saw and I like it. I was using it today. But I'm sure the real thing (Milwaukee) would last a lot longer in commercial use.

    I haven't had a problem with the apron and gloves kit - but I don't spend a lot of time welding. My typical application is unexpected farm repairs.

    Shopping at HF requires research. I found the same table saw at Lowes with a Skil logo on it and that one included the stand. I saved $30 or more compared to buying at HF.

    In summary - I would search this thread for anything you are considering buying at HF, so you can avoid the occasional dog. Most - not all - of their stuff is fine and reasonably priced.

  7. #3117
    Super Member daugen's Avatar
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    Kubota L5740HSTC, Massey Ferguson 2615

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    thanks for the tips on welding supplies, extremely helpful, and I'm taking notes...
    My biggest problem with HF is that their local store is in Trenton, NJ, "over the river", and
    the employees are some of the worst I have ever seen. Some were pretty bleary eyed, wonder what they had for breakfast.
    Very different than going into the local Tractor Supply, which is not very local to me, also way over in NJ.

    So you go in to HF and it's like a candy store of sorts, but you know some of the candy is not good for you at all...
    And they used to take the big coupon off the stated/sale price. Now some, but not all, which is maddening, of their employees are
    taking the coupon off the sale price, and some say that's not allowed. I think the big no no is a coupon on top of a coupon of sorts.

    But unless I'm getting their stuff at a serious discount off the phony list, I always look elsewhere first. BUT....my cheesy cheap knee protectors
    work just fine. Harbor Freight should really be called China Freight, but some marketer thought Harbor was more sellable...ok, but same stuff.

    Their metal bandsaw for about 200 bucks seems to be the exact one Grizzly Tools remarkets for almost double the price. If Grizzly will put their name on it,
    that's a good indicator of some baseline quality to me. So that's definitely one of their tools on my radar. Luckily the internet is full of tips and warnings on that saw,
    particularly in getting it set up right.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long solid bucket grapple, TNT, CA forks and stump bucket, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mowers, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2014 JD X750 diesel garden tractor, 1968 Cub Cadet 125 under renovation, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter, ETA heavy duty rake and blade, Northern Tools 55 gal orchard sprayer, tow behind 8hp Little Wonder blower,

  8. #3118
    Veteran Member
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    Tennessee foothills
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    John Deere and Case

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    thanks for the tips on welding supplies, extremely helpful, and I'm taking notes...
    My biggest problem with HF is that their local store is in Trenton, NJ, "over the river", and
    the employees are some of the worst I have ever seen. Some were pretty bleary eyed, wonder what they had for breakfast.
    Very different than going into the local Tractor Supply, which is not very local to me, also way over in NJ.

    So you go in to HF and it's like a candy store of sorts, but you know some of the candy is not good for you at all...
    And they used to take the big coupon off the stated/sale price. Now some, but not all, which is maddening, of their employees are
    taking the coupon off the sale price, and some say that's not allowed. I think the big no no is a coupon on top of a coupon of sorts.

    But unless I'm getting their stuff at a serious discount off the phony list, I always look elsewhere first. BUT....my cheesy cheap knee protectors
    work just fine. Harbor Freight should really be called China Freight, but some marketer thought Harbor was more sellable...ok, but same stuff.

    Their metal bandsaw for about 200 bucks seems to be the exact one Grizzly Tools remarkets for almost double the price. If Grizzly will put their name on it,
    that's a good indicator of some baseline quality to me. So that's definitely one of their tools on my radar. Luckily the internet is full of tips and warnings on that saw,
    particularly in getting it set up right.
    don't waste your money buying the metal bandsaw for cutting flat stock use a 14 inch cut off saw ,faster smaller and has many uses compared to the metal band saw also less expensive Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck-image_20705-jpg

  9. #3119
    Super Member daugen's Avatar
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    Washington NC (Inner Banks)
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    Kubota L5740HSTC, Massey Ferguson 2615

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    don't waste your money buying the metal bandsaw for cutting flat stock use a 14 inch cut off saw ,faster smaller and has many uses compared to the metal band saw also less expensive

    Good idea. I already have a chop saw, but not 14. For "little stuff" though, never thought of putting a cutoff wheel in the chop saw. Sure takes up less room. Thanks grumps.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long solid bucket grapple, TNT, CA forks and stump bucket, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mowers, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2014 JD X750 diesel garden tractor, 1968 Cub Cadet 125 under renovation, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter, ETA heavy duty rake and blade, Northern Tools 55 gal orchard sprayer, tow behind 8hp Little Wonder blower,

  10. #3120
    Veteran Member
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    Tennessee foothills
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    John Deere and Case

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    don't waste your money buying the metal bandsaw for cutting flat stock use a 14 inch cut off saw ,faster smaller and has many uses compared to the metal band saw also less expensive

    Good idea. I already have a chop saw, but not 14. For "little stuff" though, never thought of putting a cutoff wheel in the chop saw. Sure takes up less room. Thanks grumps.
    Grumpy has more tools and equipment than most and has been a master fabricator for many years why buy it when I can build it ?

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