Rate the Harbor Freight Tools Thread- Pass or Fail?

Tinkershed

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I should add the 7 x 10 mini lathe to my other HF machines mentioned earlier. Re the cast iron machines, you may be able to find parts and belts etc by cross referencing to similar Grizzly machines. Many of the "generic" Chinese machines were made in the same factories and parts can be cross referenced. That is also a good way to find parts for the mini lathe that HF doesn't bother to stock. Another good tool I remembered is the 3 inch cutoff tool that sort of looks like a small angle grinder. I bought that thing for one job that I didn't end up using it for and used it very frequently on other things since. Definitely a win for that one.
 

silence dogood

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One thing I really have to give the HF, they monitor the reviews and fix stuff. I’m not aware of too many companies who do that. Foreign or domestic. I’ve talked directly to biz here and they say they will fix, but don’t.

I guess because HF like many big box stores doesn’t actually do the manufacturing and can tell manufacturers fix or I’ll go to another manufacturer I would guess. I have seen first hand how when I proposed a fix for a manufacturing booboo they have fixed it. I was just trying to help those who were complaining about something and I’d just fixed the same problem and was sharing the fix with other customers.

No it’s not the greatest or the best but if I don’t need the best they are where I look first. It’s too bad we have to go to China for it but I don’t fault them for it either.
I believe that I stated this on an earlier thread. I sent an email concerning the colored wrenches and sockets, Thought that it was a good idea. Trouble is the colors are different for the sockets and the wrenches. Suggested that they make it consistent and use the electronics resistor color code. They did answer my email. Whether they will do this is too soon to know. We'll see.
 

C-Bag

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I believe that I stated this on an earlier thread. I sent an email concerning the colored wrenches and sockets, Thought that it was a good idea. Trouble is the colors are different for the sockets and the wrenches. Suggested that they make it consistent and use the electronics resistor color code. They did answer my email. Whether they will do this is too soon to know. We'll see.
Personally I believe from what I observed was giving them 3 out of 5 stars because of the flaw in the reviews might have exerted more pressure. Dunno, just a hunch.

I bought the mid level HF tile saw because it had the best reviews which the “top of the line” saw didn’t. I liked it, but there were several reviews that said it made too much dust and wore out blades too fast. There are always dummies who post bad reviews so I took it with a grain of salt. I’d used a tile saw before and knew water was critical to proper function. In using the saw sure enough it wasn’t right. The water nozzle was on the top of the guard so the blade was basically dry by the time it got to the cut no matter how much water was coming in. I noticed there was already a boss in the casting in the guard right over the cut. Drilled and tapped and put the nozzle there and bingo worked like a champ. I posted what I found in the reviews and didn’t think anything about it. Some time later I was in HF and they had moved the nozzle to the boss. This made me go back and check for my review and it was gone.

I have made several suggestions to companies and know for a fact the complaints desk is not hooked at all to the engineering dept. I saw this first hand when I workEd for different manufacturers. Good ideas are only allowed internally and even then it’s tough.
 
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Flyinfool

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Heck the last place I worked at as an engineer, not only was engineering isolated from customer feedback, we were not even allowed to see the data for warranty claims to know what parts were failing most often. Customers are much better at finding ways to break stuff than any R&D lab. Like dropping a machine out of the back of a vehicle traveling at 70mph on the interstate, or dropping a machine 6 floors down an elevator shaft, thought those should not have damaged the machine and it should be covered under warranty. Or cutting off the 120V plug to put on a 220V plug for more power.
 

C-Bag

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Customers are much better at finding ways to break stuff than any R&D lab.
Ain’t that the truth! I was lucky at the last wage slave tour to have access to two engineers that liked the feedback but also came up with fixes. What was interesting is they were both Asian and none of the other 8 engineers would give me the time of day.

I also did field repair on certain specialized machines. Especially from the parent company overseas and it’s horrible to be able to look at something and know it’s not going to work. Only to have to go out to face the owner and do the best I can make this POC work. It really was like they sent us stuff nobody would buy in the EU and foist it off on our customers and make it work or trying to sabotage us.

So I have a lot of respect for co’s who listen to their customers and fix stuff.
 

Larry$

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Heck the last place I worked at as an engineer, not only was engineering isolated from customer feedback, we were not even allowed to see the data for warranty claims to know what parts were failing most often. Customers are much better at finding ways to break stuff than any R&D lab. Like dropping a machine out of the back of a vehicle traveling at 70mph on the interstate, or dropping a machine 6 floors down an elevator shaft, thought those should not have damaged the machine and it should be covered under warranty. Or cutting off the 120V plug to put on a 220V plug for more power.
Or cutting off the 120V plug to put on a 220V plug for more power. What's wrong with that? ;)
 

Tinkershed

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So I have a lot of respect for co’s who listen to their customers and fix stuff.
The bandsaw group had an interesting dialog between guys from the factory in China and various users. The factory guys were very surprised that many of the users had a shop at home. They also appeared to be impressed by some of the suggestions for improvements and some of the modifications that users have done. That is a real positive effect of the internet, with users being able to communicate directly with manufacturers. What a novel concept!
 

C-Bag

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The bandsaw group had an interesting dialog between guys from the factory in China and various users. The factory guys were very surprised that many of the users had a shop at home. They also appeared to be impressed by some of the suggestions for improvements and some of the modifications that users have done. That is a real positive effect of the internet, with users being able to communicate directly with manufacturers. What a novel concept!
Are you talking about Nickolas from Rong Fu here on HM?
 

Tinkershed

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Are you talking about Nickolas from Rong Fu here on HM?
Probably that is what I saw. I forgot where I saw it but most likely that is it. I lurked the forum for quite a while before joining and also read the Yahoo bandsaw group. I thought that was very interesting and It appears that they were taking some of the suggestions seriously. Thanks for letting me know, I will go back and read it again. I have had one of those bandsaws for over 20 years and found it to be really helpful. I had a little "production" fabrication project a few years ago that I simply could not have done without it.
 

C-Bag

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Probably that is what I saw. I forgot where I saw it but most likely that is it. I lurked the forum for quite a while before joining and also read the Yahoo bandsaw group. I thought that was very interesting and It appears that they were taking some of the suggestions seriously. Thanks for letting me know, I will go back and read it again. I have had one of those bandsaws for over 20 years and found it to be really helpful. I had a little "production" fabrication project a few years ago that I simply could not have done without it.
That was really interesting because it was direct contact. But it really I think was ultimately disappointed because he was trying to get feedback on their new saw that was not the same old design and was 3x’s the price. He was a really nice guy. I got contacted by another guy from RF months later asking some of the same questions Nickolas did. I’m not sure but I think I didn’t give them the answers they were looking for.
 
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