Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

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

  1. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    I understand the tool, I have a similar one from NAPA that works,

    and there are several at work, I use them to estimate temperatures on plastic sheet for thermoforming.

    This particular one before its untimely death was "wonky"

    It was purchased to attempt to track down an overheating issue in his F150, but it seemed as if for every three times you took the same temps you'd get three different readings, and you essentially had to guess if you were accurate enough.

    For instance, top radiator hose, you'd get 60F, 110F, 180 F. Then you'd feel the tube hose with your hand and go, that feels like a 110 to me. If you did this enough a pattern would emerge.

    The window thing was stupid, but then again, I would not expect sun in the northern states to cook a display to the temp degree of failure of the display. As other electronic displays such as radios do not seem to have the same problem.
    #41
  2. mike884

    mike884 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ditto on the seat, just got one after Christmas. Used it once and was wondering why I didn't get one much earlier. Roll back and forth around the bike and to the tools. Small items roll around in the tray, but thats to be expected. Pass from me!
    #42
  3. mike884

    mike884 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Also, the drill master heat gun, snap ring pliers, Pittsburgh hex bit sockets, US general Cabinets and the heat shrink connectors all get a plus from me. I also had a Chicago 230 ft/lb electric impact, it worked slowly, but it worked, would go air next time though, so I returned it. Harbor freight is awesome for those "occasional" use items. I will say I did go craftsman for the majority of my heavily used hand tools though.
    #43
  4. svejkovat

    svejkovat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    856
    Saw this at Home Depot for 20 dollars last week. It looked pretty well built.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Buckeye AZ.
    #45
  6. cablebandit

    cablebandit Web Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    707
    Location:
    State College PA
    I have the lift and tire changer. Both big passes along with several sets of jackstands.

    This was my best deal at HF other than the MC lift.

    The 5 drawer service cart. The steel is crazy thick and makes the box very stout. I got it during a sidewalk sale when they still honored the 20% off coupons on toolboxes.

    129.99

    [​IMG]

    The only downside is the newest version has smooth paint instead of the crinkle finish that mine has. Stickers stick better to the smooth finish. :deal
    #46
  7. Giggity

    Giggity ..........

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    754
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Could you please show/explain the better ground clamp mod?
    #47
  8. bootzilla

    bootzilla Blah Blah, Woof Woof

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    558
    Location:
    Other Desert Cities, CA
    I've got this electric impact wrench, although mine is an older version that is yellow: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-electric-impact-wrench-68099.html

    [​IMG]

    It has worked well for me - I don't need to use it a whole lot, but it has always worked well and seems well built, definitely worth the price for the times I've needed it, although I would never use it to install lugnuts like they suggest in their pictures.

    I also have a 4-ton floor jack that I couldn't seem to find on the site...it looked like this

    [​IMG]

    I got it on sale, and it was a great deal - the crappy bolt holding the two parts of the handle together sheared off, but I just threw another bolt in, and it has been great - it is tall enough to lift my truck with big tires, but still fits under my girlfriends Accord - I guess it isn't available anymore, but if you see a leftover one, it is worth it.

    Anybody used HF's Badlands winches?? I've read that they are pretty darn good for the price, but haven't used one myself...
    #48
  9. kc0stp

    kc0stp Lurker

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Colorado
    Definate +1 on this, got one at work and its just as well made as the Snap-on, Mac, Matco, Cornwell boxes that are there, only thing that might prove to be problamatic in the long run is that the drawers are rivted in so if you ever have to replace a slide you get to drill out the rivet. Probbly going to pick up the 7 drawer side cabinet tomorrow with the 25% off coupon. Also the aluminum racing jacks are actully very high quality, Ive got a model they no longer carry but theyll often have one on sale for $60-70 thats better then a lot of $100+ jacks.
    #49
  10. Mgbgt89

    Mgbgt89 Long timer

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,716
    Location:
    Maryville, TN
    The snap ring pliers get a fail from me, but actually have one redeeming quality. They are skinny and flex easily, so are useless on most snap rings. They fit down inside a motorcycle master cylinder though, something my nicer craftsman and channel lock brand pliers will not do.
    #50
  11. cwc

    cwc Been here awhile

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    Jan 17, 2005
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    955
    Location:
    anywhere
    I was just making a general statement.

    #51
  12. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,399
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Check Harbor Freight's site. They have an 400 AMP clamp that is a big improvement over the stocker. Having a poor ground will often give crap results. There are some write-ups on the conversion on weldingweb.com.

    I said Miller on the wire, but I might have meant Lincoln. In either case, it is a significant improvement over the stock HF flux core.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/400-amp-welding-ground-clamp-66708.html
    #52
  13. 690Emaf10

    690Emaf10 Adventurer

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    Apr 9, 2010
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    Location:
    Lancaster, pa

    Attached Files:

    #53
  14. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,395
    Location:
    Wandering
    Pass: Lift stand. Cheap and it works just fine, well, at least for the first 8 months now... :D

    [​IMG]

    Edit: the front wheel chock that came with it (shown) is crap though. I replaced it.
    #54
  15. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,252
    Location:
    Boone,NC
    This is a good thread.

    I have had good luck overall with HF tools. I'm not good with posting multiple links & photos, but I'll list some of my favorites.

    "Radial Arm Drill Press". I got for $225. It's awesome. It is a floor size drill press which has a special head that is on a sliding arm which gives it a maximum throat depth of 17", so you can drill to the center of a 34" sheet. The head also will tilt so you can drill angled holes, or you could even set it horizontally.

    I have a framing nail gun which works fine, but is loud. The $30 power planer is very handy.

    I have a cigar sized 56,000 rpm air grinder that you hold like a pencil, it uses 1/8" diamond points for engraving. It works great and was only $15.

    I have a 10" sliding compound mitre saw that has served me well for 10 years.

    All of the above PASS :thumb

    But I have bought a couple of fails.
    An orbital palm sander crapped out on the 1st or 2nd use.
    Had a 12 volt impact wrench that worked well for a while, but died. It was a handy tool for loosening lug nuts, and was only $25 but I won't buy another.

    Btw, their sandblasting pressure pots are great for the money, but require a $2 mod to make them work. The mixing "T" under the pot where the sand meets the compressed air "floods" with sand and needs a mod. The sandcarving guys use a short piece of cross drilled brake line to keep the sand from flooding the T. It just slips into the T before assembly and stick up into the pot a few inches. It you don't do the mod the sand flow will get clogged every few minutes, or less.
    #55
  16. groundrules

    groundrules Long timer

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    Aug 3, 2007
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    Oh hiya
    #56
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
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    55,316
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    True, as I referenced in the first post. Unfortunately that one has a lot of fluff in it, though still an excellent thread. I am hoping to make this one more of a reference thread.

    Thanks,

    Jim :brow
    #57
  18. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius 1.5 Finger Discount

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    20,325
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    I've never successfully used any of the 5 bearing/gear/arm pullers I've bought from them. Bent or shattered all of them.

    My brother buys frequently from the one down the street from him.

    Has the 12 ton press we've used successfully numerous times. Only draw back was how wobbly it was. So we went and bought a huge piece of C channel from the local steel yard (channel was about 12"-15" wide and about 2' long and 1/4" thick) and welded the feet to it then bolted some fixed castor wheels on the back side of the channel so it can tilted back and rolled around like a dolly.

    Has various small hand tools and what not from there with good results. Even a nice little 64 point composite ratchet that has been killer so far.
    #58
  19. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    I have the 20 Ton press.

    I just shimmed mine with some scrap rubber so that the I beam doesn't move. Makes it act rigid. Some better hardware and good washers etc. help as well.
    #59
  20. dwthump

    dwthump Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    290
    Location:
    So. Illinois
    I originally heard about HF over on the KLR site and how good of a value their various lift-stands are. Low and behold, about a month ago they opened a new HF store about 4 blocks away and I've been drooling over the stands ever since, I must have one. It seems like they also put them on sale a lot so I'll keep checking back.

    Darren
    '09 KLR 650 (Blue)
    #60