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Your worst ever power tool ( discuss)


wayneburgess

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What is the Worst power tool you ever bought?

What's the biggest pile of utter scrap ( sounds like lol) you ever had the misfortune to lay your hands on?

Please also say why.

We get told all the time that tools are the dogs doodaas but what's the REAL truth when us heavy handed building types get hold of them?

Its a bit of fun so please no One colour worship types lets have some genuine info on what not to touch with a ten foot pole. :)

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I lucked out when I started out, with decent hand me down tools and a few cheap used tools, but I had yet to learn that when you buy quality tools you only cry once, but when you buy junk tools you cry every time you use them. I was a brand fan for Black & Decker since they where what most of my first tools were. Unfortunately, when it was time for me to buy some new tools, the quality of their tools had gone downhill,

So , there where a bunch, I'm guessing it was back in the late 70s or early 80s when I had my first let down from Black & Decker. It was a circular saw, this really cheap plastic deal. It had worked reasonably well for a few months but unknown to me at the time the shaft was spinning inside the bearings when it got hot, couldn't for the life of me figure why I couldn't cut a straight line. even with a shooting board. I was hopping mad and ready to call it quits for a while then.

The drills of that line hardly lasted any time at all either. They could last any where from a few days to a couple of months. went through a bunch of them under warranty. It was then that I found out the factory rebuilds were a better deal, after the initial failure or two was fixed they lasted for a fairly decent while. The sanders were the same way. I ended up trying one of there much more expensive drills, from B & Ds "Industrial" line and it lasted next to forever. With the good luck that I had with that drill, I started investing in better tools. A habit I maintain to this day.

Some of the other wonderful tools that I had from my cheap tools is good tools phase were a Craftsman jig saw, that had a rotating shaft (it was a feature) that could hardly follow a line, and the rotating shaft like to vibrate itself unlocked, fun times...

Then there was the General Electric multi-tool, which was a power head that could be fitted to either a drill, sander or jigsaw base. The sander sounded like a somebody took an electric shaver and put in in a paint can full of nuts and bolts and then put that into a clothes dryer and turned the whole mess on. I always wondered if the tool was actually doing anything or if it was really me just pushing it around as a noisy sanding pad that was getting the work done. The drill was so weak that it often stalled drilling really easy holes, you know, like 1/4" holes in pine. The jig saw had about an 1/8" stroke so it was basically just vibrating its way through the wood, and the noise it made had everybody in the neighborhood worrying as well.

I'm going to call the GE tool the worst I've owned since not only did it not do one thing well, it didn't do three things well.

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Well, there are 2 that really compete for the top spot.

I was in a pinch and needed a compound miter saw. I'd spent all my extra cash on the remodeling project I was in so dropping $300 or more on a nice one wasn't really an option. When in the market for a cheap solution where does one turn other than harbor freight. Big mistake! The son of a bitch was awful! It mitered at +/- 7 degrees and when utilizing the slide feature I'm reasonably sure one could cut straighter with a coping saw. I can't comment on its longevity because I ended giving the son of a bitch away and thankfully haven't seen nor heard of it since. It was a fine piece of equipment. Built to the same tolerances as notebook paper.

Being one to not learn my lesson, I purchased an 8" bench grinder from harbor freight not long after that. With the coupon I had I ended up with just over $30 in it. I figured what the hell, I seldom use one anyway, no need to spend the extra money for something I'm only going to use once a month anyway. Once again I would live to see the error of my ways. Within a couple days of buying it we found a house for sale that we liked. We made an offer on it a few months prior but the people who outbid us had their loan fall through so it was ours if we wanted it. We bought the house so there was no sense installing it on my bench at the old house. By the time we moved and I got around to building a new bench in the new garage I'd had this grinder for 7 months or more. I set it on the bench, drilled the holes and mounted it, plugged it in, turned it on, and before it even got up to full speed a puff of smoke rolled out the bottom and it was dead. That's right, less than one use and the God damned thing just died! Out, like disco. I unbolted it and threw it in the brush across the railroad tracks and went to HD and bought a Ryobi. I've used it probably 50 times so far which makes it 50 times and counting better than the other one.

I have not purchased a tool from Harbor Freight since. I figured out right then that it's better to pay a lot once than a little 15 times.

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A toolshop Sander. We have a box store by us called Menards which is like a HD, but better. They have their own brand. Bought a Toolshop sander and lasted about 10 minutes. Bought some cheap pliers. Not sure who made them, but they sucked. Let me give this some more thought. I know there are others.

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Harbor Freight should receive some sort of engineering commendation. No one on earth has displayed such masterful skill in cheapening up things in ways previously thought impossible. Harbor Freight has redefined the very meaning of "junky piece of shit". If they'd have spent half the time they devoted to ruining shit to making quality stuff we'd be years ahead of where we are. I've bought lots of things there thinking "there is no way they can screw this up" only to find out how totally wrong I was. I bought a rubber mallet there once thinking that even a lesser grade of tool could suffice when we're talking about a chuck of rubber on a stick. Wrong! It crumbled after 4 or 5 uses. Wire brushes, won't even waste my breath. Even water hose gaskets. How in the name of Christ does one go about screwing up a small rubber ring? When I look over and see the picture of the manager on the wall I can't help but think of how ashamed his father must be. I have a moral conflict with going as far as calling what harbor freight sells "tools". I feel awful buying their "tools" for my 3 year old boys to play with even though I know it'll be left in the yard anyway. I'll hit it with the lawn mower and put it out of its inferior misery and I'll know that the world is a better place for its sacrifice.

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Get your thinking caps on guys and keep these coming. :)

what's the worst of the lot, the one that had you hopping about biting your sleeve in pain and swearing your ass off, the tool that like a shit covered boomerang You would never want it coming back. LOL. :D

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HaHaHaHa! I learned basic carpentry with the same damn Craftsman jig saw with the turntable shaft. Son of a bitch wasn't worth it's weight in scrap. Ah, memories.

Sad thing was, I thought I was buying it as an upgrade from my Porter-Cable 548, which by the way, I still have in excellent running condition.

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I want to know who makes those really shitty screwdrivers, that bend in sunlight and don't even undo a single screw, the ones in packets with tiny handles you can never hold, and at best you may get a paint can open with them before you sling them in the dustbin?

How the hell the people who make those useless bits of crap stay in business is beyond me. :rolleyes:

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I've always bought good quality hand tools so I can't speak from experience, but I know the type. The quality of cheaper hands tools is a little better than it used to be. They're still shitty enough, just not as shitty as they once were. With hand tools it seems like the quality tools have gotten a little shittier while the shitty tools have gotten a little better, like everything is gravitating toward the middle. For me the real trick has been finding descent hardware. You can't hardly find a descent nut, bolt, or screw anymore. HD and Lowe's offer Chinese junk so any of the few local hardware stores that remain have to offer the same shitty stuff and still sell it for more to try and stay alive. You can go get industrial grade stuff from Smith Fastner, Fastenall, or any of the other industrial suppliers, but if your like me it's an hours drive which is pretty far fetched if you need a hand full of assorted stuff. You can still get pretty descent wood and drywall screws, but machine or sheet metal screws, anything like that, you might as well forget it.

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Let's just face it the world has gone mad lol.People seem to just be buying the cheapest thing out there and then they wonder why the job turns out to be a pile of crap.

I've seen guys turn up on jobs and could tell before they did a thing that they had not a clue about turning out a quality job.You can't do a proper job with a bag of scrap.

And the quality of materials over here has gone down the misshapen churned out in china pan in recent years, while quality producers have been going to the wall all over the place.

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Let's just face it the world has gone mad lol.People seem to just be buying the cheapest thing out there and then they wonder why the job turns out to be a pile of crap.

I've seen guys turn up on jobs and could tell before they did a thing that they had not a clue about turning out a quality job.You can't do a proper job with a bag of scrap.

And the quality of materials over here has gone down the misshapen churned out in china pan in recent years, while quality producers have been going to the wall all over the place.

That was a bone of contention around here, we have some VERY good craftsmen who choose to use some very cheap tools (old skinflints) who are always bragging that it is the craftsman insuring the quality of the work, not the tools, and you can't argue with these guys, because they do excellent work.

I do get where your coming from though, there are people that are passionate about turning out quality work and they usually do have quality tools, unlike some of these yahoos just out looking for a quick paycheck, and not willing to spend any money on decent tools to insure the job gets done.

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I guess it all comes down to a personal choice. If you prefer to spend your days working with low quality junk go right ahead. If a $2 adjustable wrench makes you happy then rock on! I'd rather loose a $15 screwdriver than use a $2 special.

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One time I thought I was smart. For some reason I was on overstock.com and they had a drill bit kit for cheap. I believe it was 25 #2 bits, 25 #3 bits and some other junk. Plus they had four magnetic bit holders. I am not sure what I paid, but that was crap. The magnet on my frig was stronger and the #2 bits were actually #1.5 (lol). They were too big for #1 and too small for the #2. So I stripped screws and more. Man I got ripped off. I think it was that time, I decided to spend the extra money for quality.

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After using quality drill bits I will never buy cheap ass bits again. Speaking of, you have a recommendation for cobalt drill bits? I'm looking at the Milwaukee set (big surprise huh). I really like the black oxide thunderbolts so I don't have any reason to believe the cobalt set won't be as good.

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Hi Conductor 562,

And welcome back Eric, newly returned from behind enemy lines I presume ( Computers eh?) LOL.

When I say Cobalt I mean made of rather than made by.

Drill bits with cobalt in them are great for stainless steel and very very hard metals. :D

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One time I thought I was smart. For some reason I was on overstock.com and they had a drill bit kit for cheap. I believe it was 25 #2 bits, 25 #3 bits and some other junk. Plus they had four magnetic bit holders. I am not sure what I paid, but that was crap. The magnet on my frig was stronger and the #2 bits were actually #1.5 (lol). They were too big for #1 and too small for the #2. So I stripped screws and more. Man I got ripped off. I think it was that time, I decided to spend the extra money for quality.

There are a lot of bits that look like Phillips but in actuality aren't.

A good article on this over at Insrtuctables.com entitled When a Phillips is not a Phillips and if your really interested in this subject the author of that article went on to expand it with When is a phillips not a phillips and so much more.

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After using quality drill bits I will never buy cheap ass bits again. Speaking of, you have a recommendation for cobalt drill bits? I'm looking at the Milwaukee set (big surprise huh). I really like the black oxide thunderbolts so I don't have any reason to believe the cobalt set won't be as good.

Are you really looking for cobalt bits or do you just want a cobalt coated set?

I have had pretty good luck with Matco. One of my friends has a Chicago Latrobe set that if I were shopping again I would purchase.

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One of the worst tools I have ever put a hand on is that little toy 12v jigsaw/recip saw by craftsman.

It was so bad the blade stayed in the wood and pulled clean out of the tool.

I found a blade that would stay in it (the one that came with the tool didn't) and then tried it on several things like plywood e.t.c.

At best it would be O.K for a cut out in some plaster board but if you are cutting anything more substantial then pack your shaver and tell the wife not to report you missing.LOL

As a pro user this is honestly one of the most laughable bits of utter garbage I have ever come across and a complete joke of a tool.

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It's amazing a company like that would put out crap like that. I owned one of their weed whips and it was awful. I think it lasted about a month. Why would you do that when you have such a big name.

Craftsman don't actually make any tools, they just rebadge other companies products, the weed whip you had was probably made by Ryobi. A list of Craftsmans manufacturers codes via OWWM

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