Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

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

  1. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    yes/no... by the time i bring them in, the 1/2 ratchet head is usually slipping, and the 1/4 socket retention ball bearing seems to fall out regularly... so, in terms of torque wrench, somewhat functional, but still not right... i use them multiple times a week as a mechanic...
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  2. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    Wouldn't it be more cost effective (in terms of time/effort) to buy something that holds upto the use and can be repaired/recalibrated?
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  3. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    hence why i recently aquired a Kobalt 5-100 ft lb 3/8 drive digital and a 1/2" craftsman 25-250 digi-click....LOL
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  4. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    Can you get a Kobalt (Lowes house brand, no?) recalibrated? I know you could get Craftsman recalbrated in the 90s but I'd not checked since. Obviously Sears unloaded the brand.

    My previous comment ("to buy something that holds upto the use and can be repaired/recalibrated?) was based on your earlier comment ("i use them multiple times a week as a mechanic") and I was more suggesting a (used) Snap On or Mac.
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  5. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    No problem exchanging the 22 piece Pittsburgh combination wrench set (didn't expect that there would be) that had the 15mm open end jaw break off .
    There was quite a difference in the quality of the polished finish between the sets on the rack.
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  6. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    You must be hard on yours. I have had the same one for almost 10 years. It is still working perfectly, and properly calibrated.
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  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Kobalt is hardly an upgrade. Just a rebadged version of a similar HF one.
  8. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    according to the manual, yes it can be calibrated. (yes, kobalt is lowes house brand, torque wrench, along with a lot of the other tools at lowes bearing the Kobalt moniker appear to be either straight or very similar copies of mac, or actually the same tool) i have checked both my wrenches against my buddies snap on, and both are within half a foot pound across the board currently...

    also in theory, a digital will need less calibrations, since it uses a pressure transducer instead of a threaded adjustment that moves every time you use it, and a mechanical breaking point...
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  9. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    the Kobalt digital is quite a nice wrench...as far as feel goes its comparable to snap on... as for the HF wrenches, the rachet heads are a weak point these days. i am torqueing wheels around 140ft lbs many times a week, and the rachet heads start slipping.

    oh, and it helped that i picked up the Kobalt for $85 off ebay... makes it that much nicer instead of the $180 in store....LOL
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  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Kobalt comparable to Snap-on? If you say so.

    1st, the 1/2" HF Torque wrench is only rated to 150 ft pounds, meaning it is being used by you well into the not recommended 10% range at the top. Second, it is $20, $10 on sale. Third, it is only 12" long, so must give you a great workout used that much for those torques. So expecting it to be usable for "professional" use is asking a lot. The Kobalt is, if I chose the right one, rated MUCH higher, and 10-20 times more expensive. Not particularly great ratings either.

    HF: https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-drive-click-type-torque-wrench-63882.html
    Kobalt: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-1-2...que-Wrench-12-5-ft-lb-to-250-ft-lb/1000248545

    If it were me, I would go with professional grade if you use it that much under those conditions.
  11. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    given that this started with "but i bring em back [to HF] routinely to get a fresh calibrated one....LOL" .... :stupid
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  12. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    comparable to snap on in that the torque specs produced at a given peak torque value were consistent across the board... also, the craftsman is the half inch drive...LOL one of the slightly older digi-click models... so still technically a micrometer style wrench, but a digital readout of torque value.

    i was unaware of anything saying you cant use the last 10% of a wrenches indicated torque spec.... they guarantee it to be within a certain % between the bottom and the top setting, so why should one not use those areas?

    also, not all of us are made of money. i paid $160 for both the craftsman and the kobalt... even a used 3/8 torque angling snap on wrench still goes over $220+ on a regular basis, and runs $479 new.... cant really afford that on a $14.75 an hr pay check... not trying to be a dick, just trying to help you understand why i didnt want to take on debt for tools....LOL i could have done truck payments on the snap on, but why pay for it for a year.... get what can be afforded and dont go into debt... my box has 5"name brand" items, a 12" snap on 3/8 locking flex head ratchet, the same in a matco (found that one on the side of the road) a snap on mg31 3/8 impact that cost me buying a coworker lunch and a $40 rebuild kit, an MG725 1/2" impact bought off ebay for $100, and one set of 1/2" drive snap on impact sockets that my parents bought for me for christmas...LOL the rest is Duralast (autozone) Pittsburgh, or Kobalt...

    and just for giggles, i have replaced 4 of the snapon sockets in 3 years, have yet to damage any of the pittsburgh:rofleven *gasp* the colored chrome set being run on the 300 ft lb snap on mg31
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  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Hey man, just trying to apply logic. I'm not even sure why you are buying your own tools on wages less than $15 an hour. You would have to work almost 2 days to pay for the torque wrench you use at work. Obviously I do not know your situation, so I can't judge, but it just doesn't add up to me. :dunno
  14. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    the joys of being a small engine mechanic.... what more can i say....
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  15. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    I"m guessing you're a salaried employee? It"s unfortunate that you're expected to supply your own tools,which it sounds like are expected to be reasonably accurate, at this hourly rate.
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  16. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Most measuring tools, like torque wrenches, dial indicators etc, that rely on spring tension or some type of "force" to measure, are less accurate near the outsides of their measurement capabilities. For instance, I use 0-1" dial indicators many times daily at work, and even good ones will measure more accurately around the 0.500" than they will around 0.050". Think of tires. Can you run your tires at 10 PSI? Of course. 50 PSI? Probably. But neither will work as well as somewhere in the middle, where they were DESIGNED to be run.

    Personally, if a tool (say, a torque wrench) dies prematurely on me once, I may consider it a fluke. If a second one dies in the same manner, you bet your ass I'll never buy that tool again, and will be stepping up to the next price point when I purchase again. I have some HF tools in my box at work, and my box at home. The difference is that in my work box, any tool that could make or break a job (like micrometers or calipers) you'll never find HF tools unless they have a long, proven track record of being precise, accurate, and durable. I have a Craftsman torque wrench at home, and it works OK for me. But I'd never bet my livelihood, reputation, or someone else's belongings on it.
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  17. safeTnerd

    safeTnerd Adventurer

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    Harbor Freight $8.99 hand impact tool ....... classic fail. I'm changing out chain and sprockets on '89 TW200. Sasquatch himself must have tightened the left engine case bolts. Anyhow, the HF tool exploded on about the 3rd whack, ball bearings and snap rings all over the place. So, off to Lowe's for the Craftsman counterpart for $20. The Craftsman tool performed superbly, no further issues removing the case. I would have returned the HF POS but it was not the "Pittsburgh" line, so I suppose no guarantee? Besides, I didn't want another POS HF driver. On the plus side, the HF driver comes with a plastic hard case which fits the Craftsman tool to a tee. So, in the end, I sort of bought a hard case and some extra bits for a Craftsman impact driver for $9.00 .
  18. safeTnerd

    safeTnerd Adventurer

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    Yep, +1 on the Stanley stuff. I've purchased some Stanley socket sets and what not from Wally World and they work just mighty fine for me.
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  19. YesRush

    YesRush Long timer

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    Doesn’t snap on own kobalt co? An old guy selling tools said so..
    Hf Doyle pliers and side cutters are exact look of Mac .Like most Hf tools.
    5 yrs ago sears dig torque wrench looked exact to S0.Picked one up on clearance $59. Not $590. lol
  20. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    not salary, hourly plus a slight co(n)mission that might on a good month add an extra $1.75 an hr...

    as far as torque wrenches are concerned, if it is rated to be used between say 5 and 100 ft lbs, that typically would indicate to me that it can function (albiet poorly) outside of that range, but the stated range is where its designed to be used. ergo, using your tire reference, it would be running your tires at the low or high end of the vehicle manufacturers spec, i.e.28-35 psi, not like running it at 10psi. that would be like asking a 25-250 ft lb wrench torque to 10 ft lb.... can it? probably....will it be accurate, no....

    as for buying them, i have invested exactly $20 into both the 1/4 and 1/2, since i got them both on sale, and have warranted them out. also, i dont need micrometers or calipers for what i do... just the torque wrenches...LOL and i regularly have checked them against a co workers snap on digital, and verify that they are within spec...

    interesting.... i have the HF impact screwdriver and have wailed on it with a 4 lb mini sledge repeatedly, and it has not come apart. it doesnt say Pittsburgh on it anywhere, but according to the website it is... also, lifetime warranty... this one: https://www.harborfreight.com/impact-screwdriver-set-with-case-37530.html