Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

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

  1. m715

    m715 Adventurer

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  2. lkraus

    lkraus Long timer

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  3. muddywater

    muddywater Bless Your Heart

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    Ripping on a radial arm saw was never an ideal set up.

    Europeans use these combo saws, but they have never been sold in the US. At first it looks like a good idea, but it is a compromise in too many ways. I guess it would be good if you only had a very small area to work in.

    20190922_225627.jpg 20190922_225603.jpg
    This is a Makita version....Dewalt, Bosch, etc. all have similar saws.
  4. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    The cold start problem seems to be with pretty much all of the chinese compressors not just harbor freight. They seem to have very week start circuits in the motors. If there's anything more than minimal resistance to movement, they just can't overcome it. When it warms up, it starts right up even though the head pressure is usually as high or higher depending on whether the compressor leaks down or not. Since resistance goes up with temperature, it indicates that the windings are just barely adequate. When the resistance goes up, it uses more power but also produces more magnetic flux which gets the motor spinning. I have seen write-ups about check valves leaking back causing problems, the bleed-off valve not working, and capacitors that are not connected, not connected well, or dead. I don't know if they have a run or start cap. If it's a start cap, maybe a bigger one? I've got one that's a real pain to get started if the temp is below 70f. I had one that I got from advance auto that had the same issue until the tank rusted through. I bypassed the cutout in the windings on that one when the cutout died. It was slow to start in the cold after that but never failed to start and never popped the breaker again. Best fix on the HF compressors I've seen so far was a guy put about 6feet of line between the head and the check valve. After that, it pretty much always started. I wish somebody that knows compressors would publish a good, permanent fix for this problem. You know the manufacturers know about it but just keep producing the same old junk knowing that they will sell more when those die.
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  5. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    " You know the manufacturers know about it but just keep producing the same old junk knowing that they will sell more when those die."
    Not me, I hope they keep selling them, then the returned compressors would not be sold as "open box/half price" bargains :clap

    I'm happy using the work around I posted above without digging into the electrics and adding something that would add some expense/cost...
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/rate...ool-experiences.752036/page-202#post-38449473
    Just me though,
    :lol3
    Most who buy cheap stuff know there could be some drama in using it and know it's not going to perform like a high end/high priced model.
    Not reading the manual and not knowing where the auto shut off reset button is should not be the reason to return an item...but it is and HF happily give them a refund. :dunno
    I find reading the 1 star reviews posted at HF to be entertaining sometimes too, like these, mostly written around Feb 2019:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/21-gal-25-hp-125-psi-cast-iron-vertical-air-compressor-61454.html
    I have no life though :imaposer
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  6. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Got to love "user error" when it gets you the bargain.
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  7. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    I must admit to having capitalized on those "user error" bargains before, also.
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  8. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    Having no life either, I read a bunch of the 1 star reviews.
    Piston pins coming loose, oil consumption and of course, not restarting or ever starting in the first place.
    Sounds like a huge pain in the ass to me - i enjoy a bargain as much as the next guy, but in this case, I'd buy something mo betta.

    Im grateful for my 5 hp Craftsman that runs on 220 that's worked great and has been trouble free for 30 years.
    No regerts on that purchase!
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  9. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    i read some of them too, sounded to me like people didnt have proper service wired to the compressor....hence all the issues with restarts... if you put a 14a compressor on a typical 15A house breaker, it WILL pop it, especially in cold weather... even worse of the outlet is far from the panel.... Rule of thumb is 80% max Amp capacity. Example- 14A max /.8 = 17.5A. Next wire size from 17.5A would be a #12 @ 20A, so you would use #12 wire with a 20A breaker..... i doubt that most people have #12 and a 20a breaker dedicated to thier compressor, unless they had an outlet installed just for it....
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  10. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    yeh, all that and using a lamp cord type extension cord is a guaranteed no start.
    :lol3
  11. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    I've been going to the 2 HF stores near me looking for this welder about once a week:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/welding/welders/titanium-easy-flux-125-amp-welder-56355.html
    It gets rave reviews around the web and the shelves are always empty, but I have the cashier check stock anyways, and got a hit a week ago.:clap
    You probably guessed by now, it was an OPEN BOX RETURN :wings.
    She drags it out and it's marked $159, no box, no manual, no shoulder strap, no spool of wire, but otherwise in as new shape.
    I start mentioning the missing stuff and she says, "OK how about $79 ?
    I dislocated my shoulder whipping out my plastic to buy it :imaposer
    :lol3
  12. 2speed

    2speed Puching adventurer

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  13. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    I'm curious about the HF Fortress 200psi 4 gallon air compressor, specifically how loud it actually is and how well it works for simple weekend warrior tasks such as using a blow gun, a 1/2" impact for short periods, etc. It's definitely not a "quiet" air compressor but I want to be sure it's not as loud as most oil free compressors.

    HF offering:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/4-Gallon-15-HP-200-PSI-Oil-Free-Professional-Air-Compressor-56339.html

    Which appears to be the same as this Husky from HD:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-4...ctric-Portable-Air-Compressor-C041H/206492568

    Which also appears to be the same as this one from Industrial Air:
    http://www.industrialaircontractor.com/products/C041I.html
  14. Oogmuk

    Oogmuk Adventurer

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    If you want a large type shop compressor, take a good look at the Harbor Freight 60 gallon 5 horsepower unit. Have had one for 2 years and am totally impressed. NONE of it is made in China. Air tank is US built, 5 horse motor is US built, and 2 stage air pump is made in Italy. Not sure how HF got this thing so right, but they really did. Plumbed the shop with 3/4 inch air line kit from Northern Tool, and got a 3/4 inch pressure regulator from Blain's Fleet and Farm in Illinois. This thing will drive any of your air tools full bore, without stopping.
  15. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    Sounds great - but have you tested it out?:ear
  16. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    Why yes I have, it's DCEN and has a heat/voltage knob for a infinitely variable setting instead of the high/low switch that's on the $100 AC model I have.
    I've welded some auto body thin stuff without burning thru, and that's the reason I bought it.
    Still playing with it to find the optimum settings/wire size/technique/etc.
    But know that I will wear out anything with adjustments on it :dunno
    :loco
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  17. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    If you are talking timing points on an old car/mc a cheap/portable AM radio will work just as well but you'd have to be old enough to know what an AM radio is :deal
    I use a portable radio tuned to between stations with the volume all the way up.
    Usually I set it on the closest footpeg, it'll make a popping sound when the points open.
    Wow what are the chances anyone does that now...none:imaposer
    :lol3
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  18. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

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    Glad to hear its good for thin stuff. I mostly need to weld galv. pipe (horse corrals) and the hi/low setting on my $100 A/C model no longer works on the low setting! High mode just blasts right through it.
    kenstone likes this.
  19. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    I stopped having problems with my 15amp 110v compressor cold starts when I wired the garage with a 20amp line and outlet. I've been using that compressor since 2004ish without any problems. I don't think I've ever even changed the oil in it....

    Charles.
  20. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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    I have a pancake type compressor and when the noise starts to get to me I just drop a cardboard box over it.
    When in the garage I just move it outside :dunno
    :D
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