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  1. #1
    Silver Member Branchchipper's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    130
    Location
    So. Washington Cascades

    Default Harbor Freight smells

    After seeing endless comments on HF tools and sales, I just had to state what seems obvious to me;

    Harbor Freight stores smell really awful, and they contain the largest concentration of knock-off junk imaginable...

    I am not about to say that I buy nothing from China, but I've drawn the line at HF.

    We've been to two different stores- the smell in both was overpowering from the moment we entered; a bit of research indicates that its probably a combination of very poor quality plastic, bad paint and contaminated lubricants.

    Common sense says that when a solid or liquid off-gasses for an extended period, it contains unstable compounds. Some of their products and packaging stink for months after they've left the store!

    While this problem is not confined to HF, it is the undeniable champion of smelly junk.

    Here is a website that attempts to address the odor issue in general terms;

    Campaign to Ban Smelly, Chemical-Emitting Plastic from China

    In the mean time, you can find much better quality stuff (from China and elsewhere-even USA!) at many stores; Sears, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc.

    Why would you want to breathe HF air, and bring the odor source back home???? Is it really worth it to save a few pennies?
    Branchchipper

  2. #2
    Bronze Member tractordog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    90
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Tractor
    T1520

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    I see now,

    It is a chemical that is making by all these junky tools. Now I have something to blame other than my poor judgement.

    ......

  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    9,520
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    I havent noticed the smell so much as the increase in prices for their less than quality merchandise. I hadnt been there in several months and last week when I went, I noticed a large increase in pricing. I even found an air impact cheaper by $2 at Atwoods that was almost identical so I guess they are branching out into the cheaper stuff also. I came out with less than $11 worth of merchandise compared to a couple hundred usually. I only picked up a 10 pack of the metal cut off discs and a small needle nose plier for wife to use.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    6,346
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    China uses a lot of natural rubber unless a company who hires them to make stuff for them tells them to use synthetic rubber. It's a real problem with valve stems as natural rubber cracks. Most US companies have moved away from natural rubber so we don't smell it very often. When you walk into one of those type of stores you can just smell the rubber.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  5. #5
    Super Member CompactTractorFan's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    7,963
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    I know exactly what your talking about. My mom says it smells like a rubber mallet from the dollar store...
    Kyle - CompactTractorFan

    Kubota BX25 w/R4's (23 hp, 17.7 PTO hp), Loader, Backhoe, 60" Mid Mount Mower, Cyclone Rake Z-10 Lawn Vacuum, CountyLine Carryall, Ferris 48" Walk-Behind Mower, Honda 21" Walk-Behind Mower, Mighty Mac 4" Chipper/Shredder,
    2000 Dodge Intrepid, 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    20,461
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    "I love the smell of HF in the morning....it smells like....cheap chinese crap..."
    With apologies to the writers of "Apocalypse Now"
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  7. #7
    Gold Member DennisFolsom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    382
    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    John Deere 4600, Craftsman YT4000

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    Harbor Freight doesn't have a store in my area. However, I have ordered several items from them over the Internet. I have been generally satisfied with the merchandise I got, for the price I paid.

    My latest HF order was two sets of metric combination wrenches and 3 of their Work lights.

    The mid-to large wrench set was made in India, and the finish looked fairly good, but not quite as nice as the Sears Craftsman wrenches that cost twice as much when on sale. The large set (probably larger than I need for anything on my tractor) was made in China and the finish was not great. Regardless, these cheap wrenches will probably do all I ask of them.

    I'll post a thread when I get my work lights installed. They looked good, for the money I paid.

    I always wanted to visit a Harbor Freight store. Now that I've heard about the awful smell, maybe I'm just as well off buying over the net.
    I'm "going green" - my "4-wheeler" is a John Deere 4600 HST!

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    22,489
    Location
    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJackson View Post
    "I love the smell of HF in the morning....it smells like....cheap chinese crap..."
    With apologies to the writers of "Apocalypse Now"
    "the horror, the horror" mostly the horror of the smell of that Chinese rubber!

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  9. #9
    Super Member 5030's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
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    Michigan, S.E. Monroe County
    Tractor
    Kubota M9000 Hyd Kubota M105 shuttle

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    Quote Originally Posted by CompactTractorFan View Post
    I know exactly what your talking about. My mom says it smells like a rubber mallet from the dollar store...
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJackson View Post
    "I love the smell of HF in the morning....it smells like....cheap chinese crap..."
    With apologies to the writers of "Apocalypse Now"
    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    "the horror, the horror" mostly the horror of the smell of that Chinese rubber!

    James K0UA
    I thought I was the only one who noticed the odor. I can't stand to go to their retail outlet in Toledo, Ohio. Makes me want to vomit.

    Hopefully, the chinese don't start making condoms.......
    A couple Kubota's and some payment books.....
    "If haying was easy, everyone would do it. It isn't."

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    VA
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    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Harbor Freight smells

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    "the horror, the horror" mostly the horror of the smell of that Chinese rubber!

    James K0UA
    Lead fumes.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

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