Rate your Harbor Freight Tool Experiences!

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

  1. Tall Man

    Tall Man I'm out in the club and I'm sippin' that bub

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    I used (i.e., borrowed) some flavor of Hilti concrete drill some years ago, and was truly awed by how effortlessly it worked. I don't remember the model # or price, and I knew better than to ask. :-)


    I'd likely pay the piper and rent one if I had a similar job in the future. I know what I'd be missing if I had to use a lesser tool.
    Yinzer Moto likes this.
  2. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Did the same a few weeks ago.16 holes 1/2" x 6" deep.Hilti went in just like butter.

    I did ask my friend how much his Hilti was worth.$2000CAD.
  3. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    Now I could be wrong but I don't believe that those style of drills are true hammer drills (defined as having an inline longitudinally stroke action as the bit twists) but rather the same mechanism used in most drills/electric screw drivers wherein the clutch slips at a certain amount of resistance. In small cordless drills with a hammer feature it just uses that resistance activated ratchet mechanism to generate a high frequency pulse/vibration which acts as a facsimile of a hammer action. Not too say it doesn't work, I've certainly made a lot of holes using such setups, but I've found it's not the quickest most reliable tool for the job when I'm doing more than a handful of small holes(1/2"-3/4" tops). If I've got a big hole or a bunch to do I grab one that uses an SDS or SDS Max bit since they're designed for the task.

    Oh and I grabbed the big Bauer SDS Max style hammer drill,a the kind that does straight hammering with chisel bit, for use at work since we don't have need for one enough to justify buying a Hilti it Makita, but there's enough times it'd be handy that it made sense to buy one over renting. Been pretty good so far, will report back once I've given it a couple proper hot suppers.
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  4. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

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    Those ARE hammer drills. Hilti and others that use SDS and SDS Max bits are roto-hammers. There is a world of difference.
  5. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    Color me corrected then.

    And yes there IS a world of difference.
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  6. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

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  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    If you use it for work, definitely worth it. For me, as an occasional user, too much $$$.
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  8. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

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  9. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    Has anyone put some time in behind the trigger of the Harbor Freight SDS drill? I have an aging Makita SDS, I need a plan for the day that dies and I need a new one. I’ll be removing a tile floor on Monday with the Makita.
  10. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    On a whim I took a look at them. At least on the HF website the reviews for their SDS seem to be good.
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  11. PineLaneRider

    PineLaneRider Been here awhile

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    Definitely more need for a hammer drill in Florida...:dunno
    I have a 50 year old B&D. It's big and heavy and will drill a hole in anything. :thumb
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  12. Johnny Kilo

    Johnny Kilo Sumbeotch

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    Hammer Drill - thanks for the lesson learned and feedback. It is truly about the right tool for the job and which I didn't fully do. As I mentioned, I bought a DeWalt to replace the HF that burned up. The concrete anchors were a one time job so I bought the 10 AMP ($169) that had two drill settings then the hammer setting. I long ago lent my corded drill out and never got it back. So I thought it useful for maybe some bigger drill projects in the future to have another corded instrument. I burned one of those up too but the two year warranty allowed me to walk in and drop it on the counter and take home another. I should have just rented something BIG. Oh and my hands are sore as $hit now two from using that vibrating thing all day yesterday.....I will be glad when this project is done.

    John
  13. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Old Makita "made in Japan"? May never die.My friend has one,must be +25yrs old and beat up but works fine.

    I think you can pull the motor brushes easily.Pull and inspect before they wear out and kill the Makita?Important maintenance item that for tools used in an abrasive environment.

    And maybe spend a couple hours dissassembling it? Clean...lube....etc....!
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  14. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    I saw a good YouTube video today, mainly focused on the 20v Bauer hammer drill but it had a comparison of others including the Hercules and DeWalt. In a nutshell, he said for drilling concrete they all pretty much stink.


    dtysdalx2 likes this.
  15. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    i have set quite a few 1/2" anchors with my middle of the road (brushless, but not fuel) Milwaukee, comparing it to an SDS, it sucks....but for my experience with "hammer drills" it does its job better than most...
    ydarg likes this.
  16. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    Yesterday I spent some more time with the HF dent puller and the tank with the dent that I'm not too concerned with. It's mostly bare steel at this point and I even tried using a courser sandpaper to get more bite. Oddly, no matter what I did, including careful cleaning, it pulled off easier and worked even worse than before. I think I ruined the football shaped puller part in remelting the glue on it and the ends were curling up away from the dent and I suspect this had a lot to do with it working even worse, so I moved on. I decided I had enough practice and the VFR dent was the ultimate goal and was less drastic, so I used the full circle puller part, cleaned the paint carefully with alcohol, and stuck the puller to the dent. It stuck very well this time- so well, in fact, that the crossbar broke. :lol3 I think I'll try to return the kit at HF and if they'll do that, I'll get the puller you listed earlier and try it. Even at $30, it's still far cheaper than a used tank if it works.
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  17. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    I spent a good part of the day stripping the tile and thinset form the bathroom floor. The hammer drill (Er, roto-hammer), was getting very warm and leaking grease/oil out the front. It finished the job but I will tear that thing apart ASAP and try and service it.
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  18. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Last year I took my $100 Christmas bonus and bought the HF airbrush and compressor kit, part # 60328 instead of the usual paying bills with it.

    I'll start off witht he compressor. It appears quite well made and looks pretty much identical to many other compressors sold online and with other kits. It works well, is reasonably quiet. You can talk over it without raising your voice. If inside, someone in the next room probably will not realize it's even running. My microwave makes more noise. It is rated for .5 cfm at 20 psi.

    With the airbrush operating, air on, it will maintain about 25 psi as long as you want to use it. Without air loss, it will pump 58 psi and stop. It comes on again around 45 psi. The motor on this little guy gets quite warm, well hot. I can't say an exact temp as I don't have an IR thermometer but hot enough you won't want to touch it. The compressor portion, by comparison is lukewarm. Apparantly this is not a big issue. People report these compressors running "forever" without problems just don't touch it till it cools down.

    It comes with a water separator and an air pressure gauge and a 5 foot hose. The hose is quite flexible and stands up to the pressures with no problems.
    The box claims a pressure regulator. There is sort of one. It has an air bleed screw on the bottom of the water separator and can be used to sort of adjust pressure at the expense of the compressor running constantly. It DOES NOT have an actual pressure regulator like the compressor they sell separately sans kit. You will need to buy one for $8 or so and install it if you want real pressure regulation. There is no tank so it will cycle on and off regularly while using it with a pressure regulator.
    I had an old air tank from a 1 gal pancake compressor and am feeding the air into the tank and using the pressure regulator on the tank for output. This allows a little storage so the compressor is not cycling constantly and also smooths the pressure pulses coming down the hose without the tank.

    The air brush is a dual action .3mm siphon feed unit. It appears to be pretty much the cheapest chinese airbrush they could have made for them. I will have to go along with most of the reviews online and on their site. The airbrush is useable. It doesn't do fine detail well. The action is ok but could be much better. On mine if the trigger was pulled way back the action would stick about half way closed until the airbrush was disassembled, a little find adjustment was done, and it was well lubed.
    It comes with a wrench, a siphon bottle (approx 2 oz.), a small (approx 1/4 oz.) siphon bucket, a hanger, and a 1/8" hose barb adapter. This airbrush will not operate with the needle protector removed. Many airbrushers remove the needle protector to get closer for finer detail and to make it easier to clean the needle if you have tip dry issues. It does suffer from tip dry issues with pretty much everything I have run through it. Either pull away from what you are doing and blast it wide open for a second or two or stop and remove the needle protector, clean, reinstall. The needle action is not linear in that it doesn't pull straight back. Watching the back end of the airbrush when pulling the trigger back, the back of the needle moves downward as you pull. I don't know if this is affecting the front or the front is stabilized through the seals well enough that it's not an issue.

    In short, the compressor is great. Buy the compressor alone (it comes with a pressure regulator) and buy a better quality airbrush. I have seen kits on ebay with the same compressor, maybe a different color or different switch location, for under $50.
    HF sells a great 10' air hose with a 1/4" adapter and a 1/8" BSP adapter for around $9 or $10. If you need one, buy it. The adapters alone sell for $5 to $6 each and the hose is a good hose.
    Their airbrush cleaning pot appears to be quite good. It is made of glass instead of plastic like many others. The glass makes cleaning it much easier. For $7.95, it's a good deal.
    The airbrush is functional but nothing great.
  19. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    Well written, detailed review, thank you
  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I was in the market for a battery powered ratchet. I checked all over Amazon, and of course Harbor Freight. Turns out HF sells this one:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/12v-m...s-xtreme-torque-ratchet-wrench-kit-64196.html Was on sale for $99.
    On Amazon I found this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00729O2HY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $129, but two batteries, and a name, though not sure it matters.

    Thing is, they are exactly the same!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, being the frugal, but crafty type, I purchased the AC Delco unit, specifically for the free extra battery and free shipping.

    I don't buy the claims of 60 ft pounds of torque over the AC Delco unit. My guess is they are the same.

    I received it today, and it sure feels sturdy and heavy, and it managed to loosen my GS rear wheel bolt set to 60NM, so I am happy. My bet is the HF one would be just as good, if you get it on sale.
    thumbnail_20191026_145546.jpg thumbnail_20191026_145541.jpg