Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

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

  1. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    I could be wrong here but I'm thinking most people have moved on to sliding miter saws.
    For me a miter saw will do a lot more like compound miters/etc, but cannot rip long lengths of lumber like a table saw.
    jmo,
    :D
  2. Mini Trail

    Mini Trail n°°b

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    [​IMG] View attachment 1898957 I bought one a year ago to rip literally 2 pieces of hardwood flooring. It did that job pretty well. I think I have used it once since but I can't remember why.

    It is a typical HF power tool setup in which the instructions are super vague & the details don't match the product. The riving knife on mine is slightly off-center to the blade so every board that goes down hangs on it. There may be an adjustment for this but I haven't studied it. The guards are complicated & flimsy. The blade adjustment is actually pretty good.

    Frankly I'm terrified of it. It's loud, takes a few seconds to get up to speed & I just don't like being that close to the blade. It just feels like it wants my fingers.

    If you come to Barber in two weeks you can have it.
  3. muddywater

    muddywater Bless Your Heart

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    There are better cheap table saws for similar money.
    I have owned many of them, as I often leave them on the job to avoid having to carry them around. If somebody steals it, I'm not out much.
    That saw is noisy, has a terrible fence, and ripping a 2x will smoke it if you push it.
    The Ryobi similar version saw would be a better choice. Kobalt has a similar one also.
    HF has the new Hercules saw that appears decent, but the price is too high. The Dewalt D745 is a much better saw for not much more, and can be purchased rebuilt from CPO for less.
    Rippin209 and Mugwest like this.
  4. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    Long rips is really all i want it for (we're talking maybe a couple times per year), like making doorframe patch pieces from standard lumber to match those proprietaryAF dimensions of ready-made big-box store door units. Miter chop saw would take care of infrequent other stuff.

    I've waffled on a table saw for years b/c i don't use/need one often enough to justify much expense nor the hassle of storing one where it's not always in the damned way and has to be moved to get to something else etc.


    That's a tempting deal and it's been too long but i'm staying put. :cry

    Thanks, that makes the most sense i'm betting in the long run. Unless i can find a sweet old 70's through early 90's Craftsman special on Craigslist, i think the Ryobi or Kobalt unit might just be the easiest way to go.
    muddywater likes this.
  5. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Do any of these sliding compound miter saws have a rotating saw head? Since they are basically making a miniature radial arm saw, I wondered if the head rotated also. If so, you can rip with it.
  6. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I too would love a table saw, but for the few times I'd use it and the space a proper one would take up, I've been considering cobbling together something from some thick plywood and the circular saw I have (that also rarely sees use). Maybe a few more minutes to set up than a table saw, but hey.
  7. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    For what it's worth, I think the track saws made by Makita and Fess tool are the greatest invention since sliced bread. I use them (own both) all the time for table making when ripping live edge material. The cut is so true I don't have to joint the edge before glue up. Whoever came up with this idea is in the same league as the Velcro guy.
  8. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    A track saw may be the wrong tool for what he's doing. But thanks for adding another tool to my need to buy list. :bluduh
  9. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    I've done some searching in here, but wondered what your thoughts are on air compressors big enough to handle an HVLP spray gun.
  10. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I've had one of these for a few years now, and have run my paint gun with it a few times.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/air-t...-cast-iron-vertical-air-compressor-61454.html

    Works fine for the most part, except when it's cold out, below say 50*, when I have to press the "reset" button a few times before it will kick over enough to actually start pumping. Bought it when I lived back in Michigan, and there were times in my attached garage when it was down around 40* and the thing just WOULDN'T start. Super annoying for me, but I don't think you'll be running a paint gun when it's that cold. It's also loud as a mother fucker. Not a bad tool for the price, but if I were looking for something I was going to use very regularly, I'd pick up a used name brand compressor instead. In fact, the next time I move, it won't be going with me.
  11. Dave MP

    Dave MP Been here awhile

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    I used this one from Lowes
    Kobalt QUIET TECH 26-Gallon Portable Electric Vertical Air Compressor
    Item # 905518 Model # 3332644

    Worked great for about 150 ft of 3 rail fence.
    Compressor ran almost constantly and seems to have not suffered. I did give it a break when I refilled the hopper on the sprayer.
    double_entendre likes this.
  12. lookatdirt

    lookatdirt Been here awhile

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    IMG_1117.JPG I found a site on the inter web that had the cool idea of making a static timing light out of the free HF light. Made one and it works awesome! The bright as
    hell bulb makes timing easy peasy.
  13. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Got a link for the timing light? Sounds pretty simple... Rang up with a few coupons earlier today and picked up one of the free blue lights, and was just about to start CL'ing for cheap timing lights for my old VW... Good timing!

    Fuck, no pun intended.
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  14. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    Well, living in SoCal, below 40 is pretty unusual anyway...... :lol3

    I think you might be right about used, though. I've been keeping a half an eye on Craigslist.
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  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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  16. lookatdirt

    lookatdirt Been here awhile

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    Google "Honda CT90 Harbor Freight timing light"

    It works great!
  17. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I can find what I assume is the blog it came from, but nothing there will load for me.
  18. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    yes, dumping the air after use helps on the next cold start-up...

    Most manuals advise using a lighter weight oil when the temp is 32 degrees or less.
    For me, I have found leaving the safety valve finger tight and unscrewing it on initial start-up, keeps the auto shut-off from tripping.
    After the compressor is running I simply re-tighten the safety valve, and once the pump has "warmed-up" it will restart without this routine.
    Just another work-around to get another cheap quality HF tool to work.
    :lol3
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  19. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Good tip, thanks! Although now that I'm in CA instead of MI, I haven't had as many problems!
  20. wescat

    wescat Been here awhile

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    To help with cold start on any air compressor:

    1) Ensure that the head discharge line has a end of cycle vent and that it works properly.
    2) Ensure that the head discharge line has a check valve at the tank and that it works properly.
    3) Heat the head crankcases prior to start. I use a 100 watt incandescent bulb in a heat lamp fixture.

    Edit to add: 3) assumes that the head crank, piston(s) and rod(s) are sump oil lubricated.
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