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Harbor Freight

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I want to get people's opinion on Harbor Freight tools. Specifically hand tools. I have had some good experiences with there stuff and just want to see what everyone else has to say. What is some harbor freight tools in your box? What are your experiences with them? 

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Bungee cords, drop cloths, brooms and trailer balls. Crowbars and impact sockets. An aluminum ramp. Nothing important or vital.


That’s all I will buy there. No pneumatic or electronic or electric tools. Even Ryobi is better than the Chinese crap they stock.

The only thing I hate more than broken tools are junk tools.


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I bought there Saw and Metric combination wrench sets for $5.99 each and there hex key set that was like $5.99 and they have been good tools. I use them everyday at work and abused them to death and there still going strong. There sometimes free and $1.99 4 in 1 screwdriver is pretty good too. I had bad luck out of the $4 dollar socket set and alot of there bits for bit drivers are weak and break. It's kinda 50/50 with there hand tools some are good some aren't 

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Go over to Garage Journal. The HF pass/fail thread posts are in the thousands. There is another thread, Worst thing you ever bought at HF. That one is filling  up pretty fast, too. The bottom line is some stuff is OK, some is junk and the quality control is terrible. On some items you are OK if you manage to get a good one. Some stuff works with some modification. The tool cabinets are well regarded. I bought the 44" set a while back and have no regrets. The Earthquake impact stuff is usually OK. Their new higher end tools are too close to the name brand stuff to bother. Warranty is basically an exchange. Forget about replacement parts. It is a very mixed bag. Against my better judgement I bought an electric band file (hand belt sander).  Amazingly, it still works.

 

 

 

r

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In addition to the above advice, I'd urge a potential buyer to confirm model numbers before making a purchase.  A lot of their products have multiple item numbers.  A couple of years ago I was considering buying a wooden work bench (I never did, though).  It had extremely mixed reviews, then I found a few reviews that stated there are two model numbers, one with mostly positive experiences and one with mostly negative ones. 

 

The "free" tools are usually worth the price.  The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price.  Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer.

 

As for me, I generally buy nitrile gloves there and pick up the free batteries when I do.  That way I have a constant supply of cheap batteries for toys and remotes as well as decent disposable gloves that they sell in a few different thicknesses.  Also, notice the two different tiers of tools: the mostly garbage Pittsburgh and the mixed bag Pittsburgh Pro stuff.  A $5 Pittsburgh socket set will be noticeably less refined than its costlier Professional counterpart. 

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On 9/30/2018 at 9:46 PM, fm2176 said:

In addition to the above advice, I'd urge a potential buyer to confirm model numbers before making a purchase.  A lot of their products have multiple item numbers.  A couple of years ago I was considering buying a wooden work bench (I never did, though).  It had extremely mixed reviews, then I found a few reviews that stated there are two model numbers, one with mostly positive experiences and one with mostly negative ones. 

 

The "free" tools are usually worth the price.  The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price.  Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer.

 

As for me, I generally buy nitrile gloves there and pick up the free batteries when I do.  That way I have a constant supply of cheap batteries for toys and remotes as well as decent disposable gloves that they sell in a few different thicknesses.  Also, notice the two different tiers of tools: the mostly garbage Pittsburgh and the mixed bag Pittsburgh Pro stuff.  A $5 Pittsburgh socket set will be noticeably less refined than its costlier Professional counterpart. 

 

Look at coupons and do your research before buying. I ONLY buy three items at a time, even if it means walking out then walking back in and buying three more. One is the item you wanted with a 20/25% off coupon, one filler (something cheap you need like a paint brush or zip ties) and one freebie. For the freebie, microfiber towels, magnetic strip, magnetic bowl, grabber tool, tarp or moving blanket. I use the magnetic strip to make shelves or something to stick to a tool box, etc. Magnets are expensive, I honestly don't know how they can give those away.

 

Avoid cheap screwdrivers and their tape measures are not accurate.

 

The Pittsburgh Pro stuff is pretty darn good, IMO. I load up on their gloves when there's a coupon, they're cheap for gloves and work just as well IMO.

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The harbor freight  fastener organizers are keen. They have the pull out plastic tubs, they stack together, albeit without locking, and they are 10 bucks. I have four of them. 

 

Other than that, the shop jack is pretty universally regarded as HFs best tool, because they stole the design from snap one then won the ensuing lawsuit. So the floor jack is pimp too, and stolen intellectual property. 

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On 10/1/2018 at 3:46 AM, fm2176 said:

The "free" tools are usually worth the price.  The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price.  Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer.

 

You got that right, sometimes it's mistakenly thought what's more expensive - lasts longer. 

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I have used their sockets, impact and regular deep well and they have held up well for years. Their pocket hole jig (similar to a Kreg K4 except that it is all metal) has been good so far as has their heat gun (the Bauer one) and the two hammers I got (one framing and one dead blow).

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