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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Default Harbor Freight question

Hey, I see you guys talking about Harbor Freight a lot in different posts I read. I am curious, do you guys really consider HF a place to get things? I always kinda steered away from them, but the prices are definitely more my style.

I mean, would you ever buy router bits, t-shank blades, drill bits...

Guess to make the list shorter, what would you definitely steer clear from at HF?
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DerSchuhmacher View Post
Hey, I see you guys talking about Harbor Freight a lot in different posts I read. I am curious, do you guys really consider HF a place to get things? I always kinda steered away from them, but the prices are definitely more my style.

I mean, would you ever buy router bits, t-shank blades, drill bits...

Guess to make the list shorter, what would you definitely steer clear from at HF?
You get what you pay for!!!!

If it involves a motor or accurate measurements or anything that will require more than light pressure -- I won't usually get it from HF.

Now.....saying that I will probably buy a winch from them, and have bought a grinder (weak motor) and a multi-tool, which seems to work ok.
great reviews on their DC. Bits, sanding paper, blades, etc .... definite no unless it's a use once throw it away. Just be a bit picky and match their stuff for what you do.

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerSchuhmacher View Post
Hey, I see you guys talking about Harbor Freight a lot in different posts I read. I am curious, do you guys really consider HF a place to get things? I always kinda steered away from them, but the prices are definitely more my style.

I mean, would you ever buy router bits, t-shank blades, drill bits...

Guess to make the list shorter, what would you definitely steer clear from at HF?
no no and no....
stop thinking w/ only your wallet...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 10:26 AM
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I have made many cribbage board holes with HF drill bits. You may only get 60% of them in the pack that are perfect, but it is cost effective and they are always in stock.

I got some step drills from there that I cannot kill, very happy.

Brad nailers and staplers are the best deal in town.

The f style clamps and aluminum bar clamps are pretty good as well.

My daughter has the small VS lathe, perfect for a beginner, I did have to make a couple of adjustments to get rid of some burrs that prevented the tool rest from locking solidly.

There is a ton of crap there, but a few gems. Search you tube for harbor freight, many decent reviews and recommendations.

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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:00 PM
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I have bought a few items that I like, the F clamps and their aluminum shaft clamps. I have two of their dust collectors (which I think are still on sale for about $200) which are important when you get doing more than casual work. I have nitrile gloves for finishing that range from thin to thick, and I buy their surgical style masks for casual cutting protection. I do have and like their multi tool, which works fine, particularly since I don't use it much. But I wouldn't buy anything that requires great accuracy or has a small motor. The standard for flatness is pretty relaxed on their tools, and the finish isn't usually very good on cast iron tables and such. You often have to do a lot of work to get their tools up to spec for woodworking.

They have a fairly light duty work bench for about $130 on sale now that is very usable, and has a decent end vise. I reinforced mine on top and around the edges. But for someone with limited space, I don't think you can beat it. Very similar table at Rockler is more than double that price. However, my first workbench was a folding 30x60 table with a wood top. I still use that table for other purposes, and it folds up and gets out of the way nicely.

Harbor freight is always fun to visit though, It's helpful to look at tools and fiddle wth them to figure out how they work. Stick is right though about not thinking only of price. If you like woodworking enough to continue at it for the long haul, make sure your big tools are high quality.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:21 PM
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Depends. Have a HF bench drill press I got in 96 or 97. Needed a new switch within a week, trouble free since. Angle grinder about 10 years, still working - unless my son walked off with it. I buy there, but watch what I buy. They do/did have DeWalt factory refurb tools. Heard a contractor one day trying to buy a display model of a tool I don't remember what was. He said he could buy a big name tool, and it would last about four weeks - he also said they were used 7 days a week, and 12 hours a day, steady. A HF tool would last 3 weeks. But he could buy two FH tools for the price of one big name tool, so it was very cost effective for him to buy. Almost forgot, HF hand power planer, hand belt sander, ROS, all years old, all working just fine. They do have an excellent return policy. Yeah, I'd buy there again - when you want a tool you will likely only use once, do you want to buy an expensive one that would hold up to years of use, or a much less expensive that probably would last maybe a dozen uses?
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 04:40 PM
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Let's see...
F Style clamps - never had a problem with them in 6 & 12 inch. The 24 incher will bend but I still use them to hold parts in place while I attach them.

Alum bar clamps - work OK for me.

Acid brushes - use them a lot to spread glue. Cheep

Nailer and staplers - multi use framing nailer uses three different angle nails. 1/4 inch stapler/18 ga brad nailer - works perfect but leaves a mark when shooting the brad nails.

HVLP spray gun, filters.

Metric wrenches and sockets. Got to have them for whenever.

2hp dust collector.

Casters for carts.

I know there is more, but I am drawing a blank.

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 08:07 PM
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Some items are good and some are junk. Tom and Theo point out some of the items at HF. You have to pick and choose their good items.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 06:52 AM
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i have been buying stuff from HF for many many years and havent been disappointed yet!
your always going to hear bad stuff about them because they sell a LOT of stuff and of course some items will be defective and people will talk about it.

also they have great warranties on stuff if something did end up defective.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 07:29 AM
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Their blades and bits are kind of junky. I was using one of their multi tool blades and the welds attaching the cutting portion to the main body broke. It was embedded in the material I was cutting so it didn't go flying. Like some others have said beware of the stuff that goes fast. Also, I bought the HF flooring nailer for $99. It worked fine but per HF they don't sell replacement parts for it e.g. gaskets and seals, which do wear out over time. I did some searching and found out the name brand that HF had knocked off and the parts sizes/specs were the same. At check out I was told there was only a 90 day warranty and my home flooring project was going to take longer so I bought the extended warranty. When I read the owners manual it said that for non-commercial and non-rental use the warranty is 1 year. The warranty wasn't expensive but I was curious so I called HF Customer Service. CS rep said 90 day warranty as posted on Web Site. I said I didn't buy on-line. CS rep gave same 90 day answer. Now I was curious as to when the extended warranty kicked in...90 days after purchase date or 1 year after purchase date. Nobody at HF or the extended warranty company could provide an answer. I wonder how much they make off warranty sales?
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