Rate the Harbor Freight Tools Thread- Pass or Fail?

rogerrabbit

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Feb 23, 2012
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picked up a digital indicator (93295), after my 2 year old son got a hold of my old hf dial indicator and fixed it, sigh.
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I give it a pass
seems to work pretty well, although I had to immediately change out the battery for the spare that came with it. Very easy to read and reset to 0 when needed.

--Roger

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Ray C

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I've got the baby brother 1-ton and love it. Was on sale at some ridiculously low price -like 39 bucks... Nice & compact and doesn't require much overhead room. Being the doubtful (careful?) person I am, I did test loads of 500 and 1000 lbs before heaving the 1500lb surface grinder with it. -No problems... Easy-Shpeasy...


I also have a 2&1/2 ton chain fall winch that has been overloaded a few times. I havent killed it yet (8yrs)!
 

wolframore

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Nov 1, 2012
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115 pc cobalt drill bits - excellent price. Cobalt drill bits are the only ones I ever use for stainless. Retail $130, on sale for $100; 25% coupon brought it down to $75! Very nice having to full set for drilling and tapping! Love how they take coupons on top of sales! There are 25% off coupons in local Sunday papers. I have two of the $10, 29pc HHS set which are expendable. PASS for awesome complete set of awesome cobalt drill bits.
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Recently needed to snake my sewer line. This retails $400, on sale $240 with 25% off it came out to $180. what a deal. Too bad I need another 50ft. Having a hard time finding an extension. Wish HF stocked it (they don't). The system itself is nice works great, snaked out the 50ft but obstruction must be further out. Motor is smooth and has a belt system. The cable is 1/2" which isn't extremely heavy duty but better than the home depot ones. PASS for good product. FAIL for not stocking the extension cable.

OK just got off phone with customer service. they do stock the cable as a replacement. It's $55 but you have to buy through phone sales... not bad. I guess it's a PASS then and this thing just might be useful!

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The_Architect_23

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Harbor freights not to bad depending on what you are going to use the tool for.
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2 HP Dust Collector = Pass = Whats there to go cheep on? sucks debris and doesn't clog. Looks identical to any other 5X priced machine.

"2" HP 10 Gal Air Compressor = Pass = Get quality oil, and replace all plumbing. Needs 20 Amp Breaker. Doesn't start worth beans if its cold.

4 X 6 Bandsaw = Pass = 1st one fell on me while i moved it on the el cheep-o stand. then the motor died. took it back, they replaced it no problem. no problems with the current on i have, its home on in the backyard under the ease.

10 X 30 Wood Lathe = Pass = Expected garbage. however it still works and is in perfect shape with 3-4X a week use on bowels and pens.

14'' Bandsaw = FAIL = Nightmare from day 1. underpowered motor, pully system explodes, stand falls apart, and the round bar on the blade guides rotates on large cuts. Still functioning, however will soon be on craigslist.

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wolframore

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Wolf,
Have you used the drills for a test?

Not yet Burnrider. I figure for the price it's good to have a complete set. I have the 29 pc Irwin Cobalt which are M42 which I use all the time for drilling into stainless and other metals. I'll give it a try soon. It's been super cold (Been about 10F or -15C) and garage isn't heated... I was convinced when I read all the reviews on their site. Not sure the cobalt content but it should be at least 5% (M35) to qualify.... actually i found it it states M35 5% Co

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Ray C

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I'm very pleased with this dust collector and give it an "A" rating. Not too big, not too small, not noisy and acutally has a pleasant sound... It's only intended for dust -not big chips or general purpose vacuum cleaner. If you go to the outdoor plumbing section of Lowes or Home Depot, they sell a flexible yet rigid drainage pipe that's collapsable and pops in/out to vary the length -fits and works perfectly on this collector.

This is perfect for the surface grinder and very good when lathing cast iron. In the summer time, I use it to suck smoke off the mill/lathe and blow it out the door.

Normal price is around 125 bucks.
DustCollector.jpg
Description

Cenmach.gif The 13 gallon industrial portable dust collector produces 10 times the suction when compared to most shop vacuums. With a 13 gallon volume capacity dust bag, the dust collector works with 4" hoses to pick up large chips from jointers, saws, shapers and planers. Hose sold separately.

  • Comes with 13 gallon dust bag
  • Generates 10 times the suction of most shop vacuums
  • Works with 4" hose (sold separately)
Hose sold separately.

Specifications
Name
13 Gallon Industrial Portable Dust Collector
SKU
31810
Brand
Central Machinery
Amperage (amps)
7
Average air consumption
660
Capacity
13 gal.
Casters
Yes
Diameter
4 in.
Horsepower (hp)
1
Voltage (volts)
110
Inlet size
4 in.
Overall dimensions
17 in. x 15-3/4 in. x 17-1/2 in.
Warranty
90 Day

DustCollector.jpg

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Ghoulardi

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Nov 8, 2012
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19
I bought the 5000 watt generator. A steal @ $469. Too bad you couldn't pull the starter cord. Was so tight it was gonna break the rope. Took it back for full refund. Piece of junk !
 

Ulma Doctor

Infinitely Curious
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Feb 2, 2013
Messages
2,565
i used to laugh at guys who went to HF to tool up. i didn't even think of lowering my standards below Cornwell Tools.
if it didn't say Snap On, Starrett , made in Sweden,Austria,Poland,England or Germany i wouldn't handle it, much less try to put it to work. i'm still a recovering tool snob, and covet German made measuring devices of all kinds. i'm still looking for a reasonably priced set of Swedish Gage blocks, but that's like finding hen's teeth.
i took a service call on a Hollymatic 180A 250# meat grinder, with complications.... i didn't roll tool heavy that day, just bringing light tackle in anticipation of an easy 15 min repair. that's of course when the SHTF.:angry:
A gearbox drive sprocket lost a tooth, normally a 2 hr job on a rainy day to replace...not that day.
The meat grinder had been in continuous operation 5 days a week since Carter was in office, the drive sprocket was the original from the factory. corrosion went to work on the hardened set screws and made normal extraction out of the question, the sprocket was junk, but i had to save the shaft.
Good Ole' HF was just a mile away, i thought for sure Hephaestus was going to strike me down for even considering stepping into Sodom. I went to the angle grinder section and purchased a $10 4 1/2" and some wheels, with sunglasses on to hide my identity.
[h=3]i had every intention of throwing it in the garbage can upon completion of it's one and only task 15 mins of grinding.[/h]Well it's been 17 years since i was going to throw that piece of crap away, but it just keeps working. it sits next to a Makita in the drawer i break it out and use it now and again, especially if there is any risk of damaging my good grinder. sometimes it gets a flapper disk while the other grinder keeps the grinding wheel.
i have since purchased quite a few tools at HF over the years, i haven't been let down many times as i haven't expected much going into the purchases. some items are amazingly functional, while others are crude and require a lot of patience to massage it into a working tool. The quality should always outweigh the price, i always try to buy the best i can afford, unless of course it's for an intended sacrifice.
 

JoeSixPack74

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Feb 6, 2013
Messages
96
Fail - 115 piece Titanium Drill bit set. Drills not consistently hardened. Had one catch and untwist.
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Fail - AR-8-RH carbide tipped lathe cutting bits. Junk.
Fail - Tire changer. Only thing good was the bar which well works as good as a bar.
Fail - Every air tool. Buy an Ingersol Rand impact wrench and compare to HF's. No contest. Most of the air tools don't work right out of the box.
Fail - Box end wrenches. Had one split while tightening a header bolt. That was a bloody mess.
Pass - O-ring assortment, cotter pin assortment.
Pass - welding cart
Pass - 4 1/2" angle grinder
Pass - bearing race install tool, slide hammer.

Most of the HF stuff is of poor quality. I use them mostly for mostly sacrificial tools.

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