Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JimVonBaden, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,437
    Location:
    The only county in Illinois with no train tracks
    These snap ring pliers get a pass from me:
    [​IMG]
    I got them on sale for $1.99 and figured I'd toss them into my tool kit I keep in the car, and I've had to use them a half dozen times including R&R the snap ring on a truck AC compressor clutch. The only problen is you need to replace the funky pin that holds the jaws to the handle with a small nut and machine screw (#8 IIRC) but for the money they work pretty good.

    I just got this pick up tool on sale, and the lock-screw broke at the weld the first time I tried to tighten it down. Now the funny think is that the inner telescoping section is retained, so you can't just pull it out and use it that way. I haven't welded the nut back on yet but it was on sale and I think when it is fixed it will be useful. Anyway, if you have a welder then it is OK but if you don't then I'd pass.
    [​IMG]

    Just got one of these saws, I had high hopes and boy am I disappointed:
    [​IMG]
    maybe I got a bad one but it cannot cut well at all. I'm returning it.
    #21
  2. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    Location:
    Middle of Suburban Hell- Long Island, NY
    [​IMG]

    I've used this baby three times to move my snowblower and leaf vacuum around town in the back of my pickup. Works a whole lot better than the long wooden pallet I was using for the past 5 years. Back in September, I used a coupon and got this thing for $50.
    #22
  3. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    Good to know, I have a handful of "osbourne" punches in larger sizes, but want a more complete set. If only HF would make more of the odd shaped ones, V shapes, Curved, oval, belt/strap end punches etc. I shop for them at antique shops to do leather work.
    #23
  4. VStromTom

    VStromTom Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,579
    Note that the bead breaker is 18" max diameter.
    #24
  5. azcycle

    azcycle Chihuahua Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    705
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    4.5" Angle Grinder. Purchased three years ago and has seen a decent amount of use/abuse. Works fine, though it starts to smell "hot" after long use. I let it cool down and go back at it. Also purchased their "variety pack" of various grinding/cutting discs and they all perform well.
    [​IMG]


    17-Piece Slide Hammer Set. Only a couple months old and only used once or twice (to pull the main seal from my r65). Worked fine for what I used it for, but life expectancy is unknown. Seems pretty cheap but we'll see. Comes in a crappy molded plastic container within a cardboard box, both of which are worthless.
    [​IMG]

    Actually very curious about the welder. I've been wanting to dabble a bit and this might be a good, inexpensive introduction.
    #25
  6. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    I have this one.

    [​IMG]

    Pass so far, although I'm a rubbish welder, and basically have only been using it to learn. But almost every day after work I strike an arc with this thing for a few minutes and just practice laying down tracks.

    I would rate this as a pretty neat little unit, but then again who knows, it might really suck?
    #26
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,399
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Found a $1k wood chipper/shredder on craigslist for $25 bucks because the guy let the motor sit out in the rain and the tank rusted. $99 bucks later I replaced the brigs and stratton 5hp with a 6.5 honda clone. Bolted it right on, added oil and let her rip. Runs like a top.

    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,098
    Location:
    In the TARDIS
    I have the 110 V flux welder which I find very adequate for the welding I need to do. Since my house is off grid and I only have 110V available from the inverter a 220 unit isn't possible. It takes a bit of practice but it works great and is very cheap to run compared to my oxy torch. I use it a lot. One of the best things I've purchased from HF.



    #28
  9. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    56,287
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I second this one, though my welding sucks! It holds fine, but looks like crap!

    [​IMG]

    http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/mig-flux-welders/90-amp-flux-wire-welder-98871.html
    [​IMG]

    Jim :brow
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #29
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,399
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Those flux welders work even better if you mod them by using Miller wire and a better ground clamp. :norton
    #30
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    56,287
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    :nod I found that out very quickly!

    Jim :brow
    #31
  12. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,393
    Location:
    Central CT
    I use mine all the time - very repeatable readings for me, I've used it to check cylinder head temps and almost every night on my wood stove (handy to sit in the chair and be able to check the stove temp). The only thing I don't care for is the unnecessary triple "beep" it sounds after making a reading. Considering that a few years ago, you'd be lucky to get a non-contact thermometer for $500, paying $27 seems more than fair.

    Mine = PASS

    PS-Maybe you were "shooting" reflective surfaces? I notice that it doesn't seem to work it's best on chrome.
    PPS-It's possible that your brother might be a dumbass:lol3
    #32
  13. Zanotti

    Zanotti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    639
    Location:
    Philly
    #33
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    56,287
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    #34
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    I have a similar "Cheapo", what happens is that it decalibrates when exposed to very high or low temps.

    So won't work if left in the garage at below freezing or if shooting temps in excess of its range, it then shows either a Hi or Lo error.

    Bringing it back inside the house for 1/2 Hr recalibrates it ,and that is what the very obscure and badly translated instructions do say.:wink:
    #35
  16. cwc

    cwc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    954
    Location:
    anywhere
    You have to be familiar with all the limitations to make these useful.

    If you are 10" from what you are measuring you will get a reading over a 1" diameter area. If you are 10' away you are measuring over a 1' diameter area.

    They don't work well on non-flat surfaces.

    The accuracy is affected by the emissivity of the surface. Most are set for a flat black surface. Lighter colors or plated surface will give false readings.

    In the $100+ price range you get adjustment for emissivity and frequently a thermocouple to check the accuracy of the surface directly. Once you measure a surface with the thermocouple and adjust the emissivity and position to get the same reading you can be more accurate on future measurements OF THAT SAME SURFACE.

    If you are measuring the same thing all the time you can get good relative readings. It is not reasonable to point it at the waterpump on you car and expect to get a reading accurate to even +/- 10°.
    #36
  17. azcycle

    azcycle Chihuahua Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    705
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ

    Thanks for all the welding advice, everyone. Definitely will pick up a cheap unit and see where that takes me.
    #37
  18. Dusty_Bottoms

    Dusty_Bottoms Adventurer Ordinaire

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    I've got this bead blaster, paid $120 for it. It seems to blast pretty well but the door fits so poorly, 1/8" gap all the way around it, looks like the guy that riveted the hinge on musta been half blind, so it leaks blasting media out the seam pretty bad. Once I take the time to reposition and rerivet the hinge and/or add a layer of foam gap filler it will be better. The nozzle seems to clog up sometimes too, and there's no light in it so you gotta rig that up too.

    I guess it's a pass, sorta, kinda like all HF tools, I don't really expect them to work great or for very long so I'm not usually disappointed.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/abrasive-blast-cabinet-42202.html
    #38
  19. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,843
    Location:
    Northeastern CT
    Last September a few days before hurricane Irene, I picked up this generator:http://www.harborfreight.com/engines-generators/gas-engine-generators/16-hp-6500-rated-watts-7000-max-watts-portable-generator-66603.html


    PASS

    It powered the essentials plus a couple of extras in our house without issue during two extended outages. There are probably about 100 hours of use on it so far. It hasn't used any oil between changes, it always starts easily. It is slightly louder than the nieghbor's Honda, and probably has a shorter lifespan, but so far, so good.

    The manager had me sign up for a mailing list and scrounged a coupon, which got me a good-sized discount too.:deal

    Yesterday I went back there with a Christmas gift card and got about $50 worth of small hand tools and gadgets of mixed quality. The jury is still out on that stuff.
    #39
  20. squirrelnator

    squirrelnator Mystical Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    231
    Location:
    Hot, Flat, Straight Texas
    I have several of the non-electrical tools mentioned above as good and I agree. I also have the 8 gallon air compressor and it has been fantastic for several years. It runs small scale air tools and paints cars and bikes.

    The wet/dry sandpaper is positively worthless however, same with the drill bits.:D
    #40