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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2002
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    Michigan

    Default Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I was ispired by another thread with this link to Weldingweb:

    HF tools that don't suck - WeldingWeb - Professional Welding Forum

    The Weldingweb site is mostly about metal working tools, so I thought it might be interesting to share which tools / products we have found to be a good value at HF. I don't think anyone seriously thinks they sell good tools, but some are adequate for the need or usage we have in mind.

    Some of my experiences:

    1000# capacity folding trailer, about $250. Works great for my light duty needs and folds in half to stand on end in my garage, out of the weather.

    4 1/2 inch angle grinder, $15. So far, so good for sharpening mower blades, dressing up metal projects

    Welding magnets. Inexpensive (with the coupons I get nonstop) and fascinating for the kids to play with.

    Diamond blade wet saw, $50. Works great and allowed me to do my whole bath ceramic tile project without renting any tools. Water tray is hard to remove without slopping water.

    880# overhead hoist. Paid $80. Mounted to reinforced ceiling joists in barn. Extremely useful for horsing around 3 point attachments, lawn tractor, etc. A real back saver.

    Box knives - not worth the $1 on sale - handle breaks on first use.

  2. #2
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    2,711
    Location
    Catt county New York
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    1. 10" carbide table say blades for $10, and they stay sharp as long as blades costing 3X as much.
    2. Impact sockets I'v had a set for over 15 years and haven't broken any yet.
    3. 4 1/2" grinding wheels. Last just as long as the $8 ones .
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,930
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota B7100D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I only buy stuff that is on sale... 70% off usually seems to be about what their stuff is worth


    Latex and Nitrile gloves
    4 1/2" grinding wheels
    4 1/2" cutoff wheels
    Deep impact sockets
    The heavy grinder stand.. although I had to put a rubber mat under it to keep it in one place.
    Just got the metal saw horses... they seem pretty sturdy and strong
    Little roll around chairs with the tray underneath (square not round ones)... at $9 I could get one for me and my 'helper' great for working on the dirtbikes
    Same for the $2 ear muffs
    The 'blue flame' auto darkening welding helmet is great for $50
    The brass looking spring loaded center punch $2 and it does great on metal and wood
    The compact bender does a pretty good job once you figure out where to make bends
    Welding magnets - dang these things are handy!
    Bigger rectangle magnet with an eyelet for string/rope has come in handy a few times
    The wide crown air stapler
    The brad nailer/narrow crown stapler... needs more like 100psi and misses once in a while but at $20 it is far cheaper than anything at Lowes/Home Depot
    The big Sliver and Deming drill bits.... cheapest way to make big holes in steel (I trashed the step bits after a while) They do tend to grab once in a while though.

    Can you tell I have a store not too far from my work?

    Charles

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Runner's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    1,682
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520, 1989 John Deere 185, 1960 Panzer T70B

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    9 inch angle grinder - lasted one use then the motor turned to goo - trashed

    4x6 bandsaw - burned up motor on fourth cut, new motor, saw works good otherwise

    three-shelf roll around cart for $35 is GREAT for shop use

    600 lb-ft torque wrench works good

    air tools have all worked good

    step drill bits work surprisingly well

    20 ton hydraulic shop press works good

    3 ton hydraulic floor jack - leaks, sucks

    3 ton chain hoist works great

    cheap hand tools good for filling the boat toolbox, don't have to worry about dropping them in the lake

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,304
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I haven't used my brad nailer/stapler enough to really know how good it is, but so far it's worked fine when I did use it.

    My little pneumatic angle die grinder has sure been handy and worked well so far. Oddly enough, they did not have the accessories I wanted with it, but Northern Tool had them.

    The 3/8" air ratchet valve tends to stick in the "on" position; possibly from lack of use.
    Bird

  6. #6
    Gold Member dillo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    376
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Chain saw sharpener - something like $40 bucks when I bought it.

    Screwdrivers - Can never have enough of them cause they seem to walk off into the woods when I am not looking.
    Mike

    B7500, Loader: LA302, Backhoe: B4675, 3ph splitter, 3ph dump hauler, 5' Bush Hog, 5' rear blade, Chipper, 1 Wife, 3 Daughters and 2 Dogs (oh yeah...cat too but who counts them)

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2002
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    2,332
    Location
    Michigan

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I forgot to mention HF sells something they call rattlesnake eggs - really just a packet of extremely strong magnets. Two are egg shaped and two are spherical, but they are amazingly powerful. Played with them myself for a long time before my wife's 4th graders got 'em.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Skyco's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    2,718
    Location
    SC/NC

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    My two most expensive Harbor Freight acquisitions have been a 30 ton log splitter and a Plasma Cutter..
    Both have worked great except the OEM return oil filter on the log splitter clogged pretty early, I suppose from manufacturing crud left in the system, found a Purolator car oil filter that fit and all has been well since.
    I own a lot of their hand tools and although the appearance can be poor on some of them they work great especially considering the money spent....I've had to return almost none of the stuff I've bought there.

    I'm constantly amazed how inexpensive some of the stuff is, I don't see how the material costs are covered let alone labor to make it, even at 25 cents a day and then ship it all the way from China to my local store in SC

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    775

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Does anyone who depends on tools everyday all day long shop at Harbor Freight?

    jmf
    Last edited by jmfox; 01-19-2008 at 10:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Adiredneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    319
    Location
    Hamilton County NY
    Tractor
    2006 Kubota L3400DT

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I just bought (2) Grade 70, 5/16 chains for $25.00 a piece. Tractor Supply wanted $55.00 for the same item.

    A friend just bought a 3ph quick hitch on sale for $69.00! It works great. Compared to the $215.00 one at TSC.
    2006 Kubota L3400DT
    LA463 FEL with Q/A.
    Woods BH80X BH W/Thumb
    Bradco Pallet forks
    6' KK Landscape Rake
    Husqvarna 365 & 455
    Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch
    2001 Yamaha Wolverine
    1 hungry wood boiler

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