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  1. #41
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,230
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Whether from HF or from these traveling tool sales, I buy a lot of cheap Chinese tools.

    HF does seem to be a little better, though.

    -I'm on my second hammer drill, and when the one I have burns out I'll buy another from HF.
    -I have a 6 gallon air compressor that has lasted me 6 years of regular use. I thought it died once, but after it cooled down it started right back to running again. Dad has it now and still uses it.
    -I bought the cheapo router and built a few dressers, tables, and stools with it. I finally replaced it with a Porter cable, but I got every penny out of it three times over before I replaced it.
    -I really like their 14 volt series of cordless tools. It seems like the best price/performance ratio. Anytime I buy one I buy at least one extra battery. They're cheap enough that I keep one drill with a drill bit in a keyed chuck and another with a screwdriver bit in a keyless chuck. That really speeds up assembly.
    -I bought the HF wood lathe. It's definately nothing like what "Norm" has, but I have no plans to replace it in the near future.
    -The tiedown straps work pretty well if you buy one level up from what you need. (I.e. if your hauling 500 lbs, get the 1000 lb. straps, etc.)
    -Their blue tarps last at least as long as anyone else's blue tarp.
    -I just got their self retracting hose reel with 25' of 3/8" hose, and that has been really nice to have. It actually seems pretty smooth and well built.
    -I've cut a lot of holes in walls, etc. with the reciprocating saw.

    -The best Purchase I've made by far to date has been the auto darkening welding helmet. I bought the cheapest one, and it has been
    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. #42
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,772
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Whether from HF or from these traveling tool sales, I buy a lot of cheap Chinese tools.

    HF does seem to be a little better, though.
    My experience has been that Harbor Freight isn't a "little" better; it's a whole lot better. At least I've gotten a good bit of use from everything from Harbor Freight, while some of the stuff I got from the Homier traveling side show broke the first time they were used, but I did get a few things that also lasted from Homier.
    Bird

  3. #43
    Platinum Member firemanpat2910's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    901
    Location
    Havana Fla
    Tractor
    Ford 2910II

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    and you dont have to wait 3 months for HF to come back to town. Those traveling gypsies might not ever be back!! As for things I buy there, Gloves, knee pads, ear pluge, safety glasses, cheap wrench sets, Allen wrenches( Nobody makes a decent allen wrench) I laugh evertime I look at the pin punch sets, you can actualy take the 2 or 3 smallest ones and bend them like rubber with your fingers. welding supplies sandstones, and such. chains, binders, ratchet straps, but to be fair the last 3 and the safety glasses I buy everywhere with no reason, I must have an addiction.

  4. #44
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    South Central OK
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L-4610HSTC

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by okie350

    I did the same thing, it is a 70# hammer that i use out of the bucket. does get heavy after a while
    I been thinking of building a funnel entry for the cup so I can put the breaker/post driver onto a started T-post without getting out of the cab of the tractor. Then with a remote switch in the electric supply I can turn it off and on from the cab and lower it with the FEL. The idea would be to start a bunch of posts enough so they don't fall over and then use the breaker and tractor to drive them.

    Pat
    Never wrestle with a pig (however titled) as you just get dirty and the pig has all the fun.

  5. #45
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    140
    Location
    Mounds Oklahoma
    Tractor
    L3010 & BX2200

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick_g
    I been thinking of building a funnel entry for the cup so I can put the breaker/post driver onto a started T-post without getting out of the cab of the tractor. Then with a remote switch in the electric supply I can turn it off and on from the cab and lower it with the FEL. The idea would be to start a bunch of posts enough so they don't fall over and then use the breaker and tractor to drive them.

    Pat
    Most of the time I push them in with the loader, but when i hit rock it is usally in the ground far enough to hold it up while it hammers the post through the rock, works pretty good MOSTof the time. I just got done putting in about 440 posts, time for a break from fencing for awhile. besides its been colder than a dead eskimo around here lately

  6. #46
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    South Central OK
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L-4610HSTC

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by okie350
    Most of the time I push them in with the loader, but when i hit rock it is usally in the ground far enough to hold it up while it hammers the post through the rock, works pretty good MOSTof the time. I just got done putting in about 440 posts, time for a break from fencing for awhile. besides its been colder than a dead eskimo around here lately
    Right again! My favorite T-post driver is the FEL followed by a spring loaded manual driver... B U T...when it is dry and the ground is hard I can raise the front of the tractor up and NOT drive the post enough (even if by some miracle I don't bend the post). In these conditions the manual driver will sort of work if you don't kill yourself using it as progress is sooooooo sloooooow. Hence my HF breaker hammer purchase/modification. Sure wouldn't want to use that puppy for every post as it starts out heavy and gets lots heavier real fast!

    I just got it recently (on sale, been waiting) and have only used it as a test but expect to get some use out of it real soon as well as using it for its intended purpose (imagine that!)

    Oh, about HF tools in general. They are rarely top of the line in fit, finish, or function but if they meet your needs they can be a terrific economic bargain. Caveat emptor applies and you do need to exercise some judgment as they do have items that are not suitable for much of anything and would not be a good buy if they paid you to take them.

    As far as some die hard buy American feelings go, few tool lines are actually fully American built. The cash flow we are pouring into China is driving them toward free enterprise capitalism if not democracy.

    If enough of their economy is built on exporting to the western nations then it is unlikely that it would be in their best interests to go to war with the west/US and they will actually expend political capital in order to protect monetary capital so they will become a stabilizing force of influence on the likes of Iran and other third world powers who unchecked are a destabilizing force.

    Meanwhile, I can afford lots more toys if I don't have to buy the top of the line all the time but can pick and choose what level of perfection I need for my purposes. I know the difference and I have some Milwaukee power tools, DeWalts, Craftsmans, Black and Decker, and so forth but find HF a great budget stretcher for those things I think are going to deliver a good performance for their price.

    Pat
    Never wrestle with a pig (however titled) as you just get dirty and the pig has all the fun.

  7. #47
    Bronze Member TimC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    77
    Location
    Candia, NH, USA
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti CK25 Gear w/ KL130 Loader

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I bought a tubing notcher there, it was as good as the name brand one I have used at a friend's shop. Do NOT however buy the bi-metal hole saw bits for said Tube notcher there. Buy good hole saws elsewhere. Trust me.

    I also buy things like 5lb sledge hammers there. How can you screw up a hunk of steel on the end of a stick?

    I also have the manual tire changer. It has mounted 4 sets of 35-37" offroad tires for me and my friends.

    Overall, I try and stick to things without moving parts.

    The WORST thing I ever bought there was the Garden Tractor Cart/Trailer. We filled it up with dirt to level with the top of the box and it self destructed in the middle of our patio... And we had to clean up/finish the job with the old fasioned wheel barrow. I have since gotten a FEL, and I will build my next garden trailer to be MUCH more robust than that one. Still, it wasn't nearly worth the $75 it cost on Sale.
    2007 Kioti CK25 Gear, New Style KL130 Loader, Loaded R4s, Tooth Bar, 5' Tuffline Box Blade, 5' Howse Rotary Cutter, 5' LMC finish Mower

  8. #48
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,750
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I went looking for the 'Garden Way' replica carts HF used to sell, and they said they no longer sell them because they all came back on warranty.
    So I bought one mail order from Homier. Homier garden cart.jpg How can you go wrong for $29.99 + shipping?

    Well lots of ways. The turkey weighs 61 lbs and the first one had busted all out of its flimsy cardboard wrapper. There were no fasteners to assemble it, no wheel bearings, and all the corners were banged so bad nothing would have aligned anyway. I asked Homier for a small-parts kit and they sent a whole new order (Thanks Homier!) which went together ok but the dog is so heavy I can hardly drag it around on the disced, sloping ground in the orchard. I bought it to deliver long runs of garden hose down to newly planted trees but that's no easier than just dragging the hoses on the ground. Not Recommended.

  9. #49
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,553

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by jmfox
    Does anyone who depends on tools everyday all day long shop at Harbor Freight?

    jmf

    Sure do! You see there are "MY TOOLS!" and then there are the tools that I lend out. Guess which is which?

    jb

  10. #50
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    647
    Location
    TX
    Tractor
    NH TC 40 A, AC 5020

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I bought a 4.5 angle grinder from homier. I figured if I used it once it would pay for itself. It caught on fire the first time I used it. Not smoking, flames.

    HF on the other hand isn't bad. The 3/4 socket sets are well worth the money.
    Where Bob Wills is still the king.
    102 acres, and nothing but work! Wouldn't change it for anything.

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