harbor freight

Stay away from anything electric(drills etc.).

I bought a 9" grinder from them about 5 years ago, and it sees double duty-actual metal grinding, and installing a polishing head on it for bringing back the shine to my aluminum wheels on the semi.

I'd have to say it's got about 100 hours on it so far, and still going strong. I'd buy another for the $30 I spent if this one every croaks.

When it comes to things like pry bars, splitting mauls, sledge hammers, anvils, etc, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a HF tool.

I bought an anvil from them via mail order years ago. They had a $50 free shipping special running, and the anvil was like $40 or so, I tossed in a set of splitting wedges (which always seem to disappear) and some other BS. They shipped it via USPS....a 55 lb anvil!

I thought my postal guy was going to hit me in the head with it when he watched me unwrap that thing.:thumbsup:

HF is a great source for things like small bolt assortments, heat shrink assortments, cotter pin collections, grease zerk kits, etc. For the price of buying 6 individual pieces at the hardware store, you get this for $6.

im quess im a "pro mechanic". i get paid to work on things anyways.

i wont use their wrenches 13mm or smaller because if its even mildly tight it will round off the head.

that said i do use their screw drivers, hammers, impact sockets. the little 1sy 2sy things you dont use all the time. also makes a deacent back up tool set to take along to the pits.

I recently bought one of their 42" General brand Roller Toolboxes. It is better quality than most of the Craftsman boxes that I looked at. It is reinforced and braced on the top and all the edges, comes with big 5" caster wheels. It also comes with a rubber pad on top and rubber liners in all the drawers, which Craftsman wants to charge you extra for. On the 6" deep drawers it uses dual ball bearing slides on each side. With the 7 drawer side mount box which I also picked up it has the the same thing, dual ball bearing slides on the deeper drawers and the drawer spacing is set-up so that you can interchange the 3" and 6" drawers to how you like them. Nice boxes.

Best thing was the price. List at $499 with a Sale price of $349 and then added a 20% off coupon from Street Rodder magazine for a final price of $280. The load ratings are higher for both the drawer loading and the top box loading than the Craftsman boxes are. Only point that a friend of mine living in a wetter part of the country told me was that his box has some really light surface rust on the inside of the box. I looked and not a sign of rust in mine but one or two areas where internal brackets kept some of the metal from being painted. Wouldn't hurt to fog the interior with a can of Rustoleum. Advertisements say that the boxes are available in either Red or Black but I have only seen the Red so far.


I have bought alot of tools from HF:thumbsup: Everything from Shop rags to plasma cutter and Tig welder/inverter, I have never had a problem with anything other that my own destroting of it:lol: and they have always stood behind there waranty. The best deal i ever got was a 20 gallon 5hp aiecompressor on rolling cart for $400 on sail the same compressor was at lowes for $699 and it did have a diferant name CAMPBELL NUESFELD, i did some online reserch before buying and found that both compressors were buy the same company in the same factory. Kinda like milwaukee and ridgid tools. so i bought it and 4 years later with every day use it still works perfect. I wouldn't spend more money somewhere elce without checking HF first!!:thumbsup:

hows that plasma cutter working? I have been eying those things for a while. Which one did you get?

Carl Johansson

I buy stuff there, too. I have a 1 HP dust collector that works great. They have some good load locks that work great to hold up plastic sheet for dust barriers, and such when you're remodeling. I tried one of their cheap clean water pumps to empty my kids' pool--worked perfect. Most of their stuff seems fine for light use......

I bought my powdercoating setup there, works fine. Turns out, the powder suppliers sell the same unit as thier 'entry level' model. Works good for me although I will be upgrading as my skills improve. For now, no complaints. I also found a coupon in last months Maxim that offered a 100psi pancake compressor for $39. Works like a champ and sits in my trailer until needed. Larry

powder coating kit works well price was right

Harbor Freight has some amazingly good deals on some surprisingly good quality tools, but a LOT of what they sell is $h!T.

I have one of their 1/4" electric die grinders, that thing is strong and it kicks when turned on.

I've also got one of their tap/die sets that does alright.

Their higher end drill bits are pretty good.

1/2" drive impact gun works great but the switches can be prone to burning out, they flat assed HIT though when rattling something up.

They sell a German or Sweedish made Ax that's GREAT quality.

I've used their end wrenches and they do well for the price.

Sockets and ratchets are iffy. I put my fist into the top of an engine once and the firewall once removing head bolts with a HF ratchet. Twisted the nipple right off of them, TWICE resulting in what felt to me like a cracked knuckle and broken pinky respectively.

Impact sockets are great. Impact Extensions are great too.

Standard extension bars are iffy, snapped one.

Their 4" grinders and "normal" drill motors are junk. Underpowered POS's.

They notoriously over rate the HP ratings on a lot of their electric motors.

The floor model drill presses are good quality for the cost.

Bench top drill press I bought won't drill a hole straight, it was $40 but crap.

Chop saw aka cut off saw won't cut straight, cuts at an angle and I can't get it to adjust straight. Wasted $$$$

Their stepped drill bits with the TiNi coating ROCK! AWESOME F-ING BITS!!! they look like a childs toy top but stepped and gold color, 3 for $9.

HF Welders are over rated junk IMHO but if that's all you can afford....

HF fluxcore welding wire works well for me in a Lincoln machine.

C-Clamps are cheap but then so are Craftsman anymore don't over tighten or you'll spring the dogsnot out of them.

Fiberglass handled framing hammers for $2 are an awesome value OSH charges $17 for the same damn thing.

Their framing nail guns work great.

The woodshop brad and staple guns for $10 are a great value and work well.

HF airbrush kit... questionable results but I was happy.

Pipe Wrenches work great

Crescent Wrench set 12, 10, 8, and 6" for $10 work as good as any.

7" circular saw does alright if underpowered but it gets the job done for $10.

Sawzall knock off works alright, it ain't a Milwakee but for $20 can't complain.

18V cordless drills for $9 are OK but battery life isn't great. Spare batteries are $5 so easy to get 4 extras.

Screw drivers are alright if you know what to look for.

2 ton wire come alongs are iffy, they work but I wouldn't put 2 tons of strain on them especially since I broke the snatch block and hadn't even STARTED to "get up on it" yet.

4" grinding wheel packs for angle grinders with the flappers in them are a great deal.

1/4" die grinder stones are $H!T. DON'T waste your money!

Buffing wheels, polish, etc are acceptable.

Disk/belt sander 2 in 1 tool I bought, larger one does well for the few uses it's had.

Tow chains are alright, I won't trust their full ratings but for most stuff are OK.

I've used quite a bit of Harbor Freight stuff, if it's a CRITICAL need tool, I won't buy HF tools for it. If it's a one or two time use tool, then it's alright. I've had great luck with many of their things, but have learned thru experience what not to bother with. Some folks love HF others hate them. I just shop carefully and go by the rule that if it's a CRITICAL tool or my LIFE or LIMB may suffer as a result of using it I go spend the money on a REAL tool. If you have any questions it's hit or miss, most Harbor Freights are pretty good about returning a tool the same or next day for a full refund if it's crap. Just ask at the register and go USE it as soon as you get home. I FIRMLY believe quality tools don't cost they PAY, but even then I still shop Harbor Freight for what's added up to an amazing amount of stuff over the last 20 years.

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