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Harbor Freight (?)

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posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 10:45 AM
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Now as a general rule I don't buy a lot of tools at Harbor Freight, and certainly not precision tools, but they do have some pretty good deals on el-cheapo stuff that you don't care if it gets broken or lost. (but a lot of people hate HF) They also have some really great abrasives (of all kinds) for way better prices than the hardware store or the lumber yard.

Anyway, the other day I was in HF to pick up some stuff (nitrile gloves, a couple socket extensions (I mean, how can you screw one of those up, right?), etc.) On the way out I spied a 20V cordless impact wrench with 1200 ft/lbs of impact force. I'd been looking to buy one of these for a while because getting the air tools out all the time is sometimes a pain. I wanted something more portable to change tires with. This impact wrench was way cheeper than just about everything I'd looked at at Lowe's and HD, etc. Most of those were like $250 bucks for the tool and close to another $100 bucks for a adequately sized Amp-Hour battery. This thing was about $80 bucks for the tool and another $35 bucks for a decent Lithium battery. So I figured what the heck, if I trash it I'll just get another one (and still be winning).

So I get this thing home and charged up. Wow, the thing works awesome. It'll even break loose the lug nuts on my truck (and those puppies are ON THERE BIG TIME!) Cool! I'm happy. Changed four sets of tires in one day and the battery was still showing all four bars of charge. This thing runs like a raped ape!

Fast forward a couple days an I'm in HD to pick up some lumber for the kitchen remodel project. I'm the kind of guy who simply CAN-NOT walk by the power tool department without swinging through to check things out. Just for grins I looked at some impact wrenches just to gloat about how well I did at HF. I checked out DeWalt (ouch!! My wallet hurt), I checked out Rigid, Milwaukee and a couple others. Wow-eee, boy did I SCORE! Then I got to Makita. Holy cow, they were almost the most expensive of all! But wait a minute here!!.....

I got to looking at the Makita impact wrench, and guess what...it was the EXACT same as the one I got at HF (but for about $300 bucks more). Same battery style, same case molding, same everything. It's the same exact tool just with a different name on it. So it looks like the same company makes the tools for both, and just brands them differently. Basically, I got a Makita impact wrench for a discount of $300 bucks!

Thought that was pretty crazy, so I thought I'd share. A little while ago I was surfing on-line and I noticed a number of similar power tools from major manufacturers which are identical to HF tools, so it's not just Makita...it's most of them in the power tool market.




posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 10:50 AM
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Yeah I buy a lot of stuff from HF. Some things you can be assure won't really mess up, and other things, such as their tape is complete garbage.

I purchased a drill driver from them and have had it for a couple years now, I left it outside in the weather for over a week and it still works perfectly fine. My battery finally went out, but I was able to buy 2 brand new batteries for 30$.

It's hit or miss with that place, but they do tend to have some specialty items that are a bit harder to find.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 10:58 AM
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They sure do have their place.
Wrenches and sockets work just fine.

Anything with a battery sucks for the most part.
Definitely don't use any blades or drill bits from them. Yuck.

I love the $10 gravity feed spray gun. Damn things are cheaper to throw out than clean.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: eXia7

Yeah they do. But like you say, some of the stuff is complete crap (tape is a great example).

On the up side they have really hard to find abrasives (belts, discs and all manner of cloth and paper), and their air tool parts are really handy too. Just about any of their rubber stuff is usually pretty good too (real rubber, not plastic). I get wheel chocks there and they work awesome, better than anyplace I've found. I haven't tried any of their air 'tools' (I mostly run Ingersol Rand and Chicago Pneumatics tools), but I probably will next time I need something.

They also have some really good hydraulic jacks (believe it or not). I got a floor jack from them and it's one of the better floor jacks I've ever owned. Now there is one HANDY tool right there!!



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

This is the first power tool I've ever bought from them. I guess I'll post updates on how it lasts. Seems pretty damn good so far though (again, it's basically a Makita).

Yeah, I've had my eye on one of those HPLV gravity feed guns for a while (LOL...I just need something to paint!). I've always wanted to get one of those.

ETA - Yeah, sharpening stuff is definitely not their strong suit!! Bits and blades are crapola! I'll spend the money on the good stuff on that front for sure! That, and anything where precision is required. Some of their mini-lathes and stuff are actually pretty comical! I've busted a few of their wrenches too, so some caution there. (still have the scar from a 15mm wrench I busted one day). For tools that endure some serious torque I go with Matco and Snap-on (used to use Craftsman too, but they did away with their guarantee, plus they sold out to Ace).


edit on 9/9/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk




posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:09 AM
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Magnets, diamond hones, tarps, moving blankets for furniture, bar clamps, etc. Harbor Freight is a great cash saver and only 20-25 minute drive same as Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menard’s (another hit or miss wallet saver).

But for yard tools, I have some balsawood handles and pot steel for you akin to Odd Lots.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:14 AM
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Since you all are talking about tools,I need some advice.I am looking
into buying a chainsaw and would like to get ideas on a good,cheap
one.Also,something that is not too heavy for a woman or older man.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: mamabeth


Anything but a poulan,,,



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Ahabstar

Yeah, I'm real picky about shovels and such. Stick strictly to American made there! Ames all the way there. The work end of a shovel is hard enough without making it stupidly difficult with a bad shovel. Shovels, rakes, post hole diggers, hoes, etc. Nothin' but the good stuff on those fronts. Those tools get some serious work around here, and they need to be reliable and ultra-heavy duty (commercial grade).



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:22 AM
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I do believe most tools sold at Harbor Freight are re-conditioned ...in other words they have been worn out by someone else and re-conditioned before you buy it. I'd rather pay a little more and wear it out myself. The old adage is "you get what you pay for".



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: mamabeth

How big? Meaning, how big of a bar? Like 18", which is the most common. That, or 16". Anything smaller than that and you're probably looking at an electric saw (and I have zero advice on electric chainsaws because I'd never use one).

I'm probably biased, but I'm gonna' say Husky (Husqvarna) (the orange ones). A Husky will always start and parts are readily available (an important element when discussing chainsaws because stuff does wear out, break and get bent).

As Bluntone22 says, Poulan's are the lowest price point, but there's a reason (lots of them). A chainsaw is really an item where spending the extra money is truly worth it...and much SAFER too!



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: openyourmind1262

Believe me, as a contractor for many (many) years, I can tell if a tool is reconditioned. HF tools are not reconditioned unless they are so marked. Some of their tools are complete junk, but they're not reconditioned.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: openyourmind1262


I don't think harder freight sells reconditioned tools.
Mostly cheap Chinese knockoffs.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I buy things all the time at Harbor Freight tools. You can't beat the price and if you're not in the business of using these tools on a daily bases you can't go wrong! I make sure I get one of their free items every time I go there. I collected so much of the free stuff I made a tool bags full of the free things for both my daughter and son last Christmas.

You have to wonder how much of a mark-up Lowes is placing on that Makita. Having been in Marketing and Advertising, I can't believe how much print advertising Harbor Freight does. Placing that many ads isn't cheap.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:49 AM
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Good tools at low prices,if you don`t need heavy duty stuff.Hard to beat.As far as chainsaws go,yep,Husqvarna is hard to beat.Sthil is my brand of choice,little more expensive than Husky though.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: mamabeth

Here are some suggestions. Prices listed are full MSRP, you will probably find them cheaper at places like Murdoch's.

Here's a light duty Husky. (9.7 lbs) I wouldn't use this one for any actual tree or heavy cutting

Husky 135

Here's a little bigger 'all-purpose' Husky (actually lighter than the first at 9.2lbs)...

Husky 435

Both of the above saws are what I would categorize as 'light duty'. For an occasional use saw cutting small stuff they'll be fine.

For heavier cutting I'd suggest the 455 or 465.

Here's my go-to saw for most all around stuff...

Husky 460

And my real "chainsaw" for heavier chainsaw work. This is a commercial grade saw just so you can see the differences in engine size and build.

Husky 390XP



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:50 AM
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HF absolutely has its place.

I think at a certain point, many of us learn that balancing point; going for the most expensive is not always the best option any more than going for the cheapest. Both can end up costing us more money than we want to spend in the long run.

Precision files are the last thing that hammered this lesson home. I ended up spending more on cheap and midrange stuff than if I would have just gone for the good stuff.

I think a lot of it is determined by how much you are actually going to use it too. With things like screwdriver bits, etc. I only buy Wiha at this point. I just kept wearing the cheap/mid stuff out whereas my Wiha gear just breaks in. Someone who didn't use them as much would never notice, so there would never be a need to go to the higher range.

But, as in so many things, an increase in price frequently means paying more for a name rather than actual quality. Research is a good thing, even if its tricky to find long term, heavy use reports.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Haha. If the chinese can make a knockoff Porsche they can certainly make knockoff tools thats for sure.

The stuff probably looks identical because theyve got corporate espionage personnel working in the R&D department for just about every company worldwide.

It is just like how slowly but surely, walmart is replacing their entire in store inventory with Great Value brand products. Working there I realized just how many companies really belong to walmart. Equate, mainstays, ol Roy, special kitty, parents choice just to name a few.

Look at the back of the box of anything you buy from walmart recently, if it was distributed from Bentonville, AR - then it is walmart brand.

Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Food tastes the same and is cheaper great value brand for the most part. Plus you can return literally anything for a refund. Keep a microwave and use it for a year, Walmart will be happy to give you a gift card for it when you are done.



edit on 9-9-2018 by Lightdhype because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-9-2018 by Lightdhype because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:19 PM
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We've gotten a few things from HF, too, and they haven't gone FUBAR on us. We got a pressure washer earlier this year and it does it's job very well for something picked up during a weekend parking lot sale for $75, and an electric chainsaw for minor/moderate tree branch breakdowns for $50 (makes post-windy days/storm clean up real quick)

Both are Portland, and actually weren't a waste of money so far. The chain on the chainsaw was crap, so we did go over to a neighborhood shop and picked up a Husqvarna chain for $20-some odd and swapped them out. The stock one it came with was pretty much crap & didn't do s#, but for under $75 total between the machine and the replacement chain, it's a worthwhile chainsaw that cuts through anything like buttah now. We even took down a decent sized dying tree with it, and hubby made a log bench out of part of it for the kids (using just the chainsaw, no less, no other tools used beyond the sander)




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