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Old 09-01-2005, 06:27 PM
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Harbor Freight air hose warning

Ok, there has been quite a bit of discussion about HF tools and by far most of it has been positive. I own several HF tools and for the most part they are a bargain for home workshops or for that rarely needed item that will see little use and I have even recommended some that I thought were real bargains as long as it is understood that they are not industrial quality but now I have found one that I think is so dangerous that it should not be used.PERIOD, ANYWHERE. I am talking about the short whip hose that they sell for air tools that is on sale almost all the time for about $3. Now what could be so dangerous about that you might ask? well the swivel end is held by a tiny very weak C clip that does not hold very well at all and if this thing comes out, as I have found they are prone to do, then the end of the hose with the metal fitting still attached starts to violently whip around and can cause serious injury almost instantly! I thought these things were a real bargain at that price and so I bought a bunch of them for the guys at the shop but after just a little use some of them have already failed causing two minor injuries and one serious mouth injury. I have removed these from use and will not allow them in the shop anymore. I am not badmouthing HF tools in general but the fact is most are of less than the best quality and I for one will better evaluate the safety of anything I buy there from now on and I will not buy or recommend any air tool or compressor accessory that could cause injury if it fails. Compressed air is just too dangerous to take a chance with and I should have known better, I hope I can save someone else from having an accident with these dang things.

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Old 09-01-2005, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Ok, there has been quite a bit of discussion about HF tools and by far most of it has been positive. I own several HF tools and for the most part they are a bargain for home workshops or for that rarely needed item that will see little use and I have even recommended some that I thought were real bargains as long as it is understood that they are not industrial quality but now I have found one that I think is so dangerous that it should not be used.PERIOD, ANYWHERE. I am talking about the short whip hose that they sell for air tools that is on sale almost all the time for about $3. Now what could be so dangerous about that you might ask? well the swivel end is held by a tiny very weak C clip that does not hold very well at all and if this thing comes out, as I have found they are prone to do, then the end of the hose with the metal fitting still attached starts to violently whip around and can cause serious injury almost instantly! I thought these things were a real bargain at that price and so I bought a bunch of them for the guys at the shop but after just a little use some of them have already failed causing two minor injuries and one serious mouth injury. I have removed these from use and will not allow them in the shop anymore. I am not badmouthing HF tools in general but the fact is most are of less than the best quality and I for one will better evaluate the safety of anything I buy there from now on and I will not buy or recommend any air tool or compressor accessory that could cause injury if it fails. Compressed air is just too dangerous to take a chance with and I should have known better, I hope I can save someone else from having an accident with these dang things.
I don't know what hose you are talking about, is it the lead out hose, they sell in 3' lengths. I bought 1 of those to hook up my HF hose reel, but there is no swivle clip.
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:33 PM
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You mean this?


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=1824
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:00 PM
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Jim, Yep that's the one and just for the record these were not running over pressure. The wire clip that holds the ball fitting in the socket that attaches to the tool is what fails and this allows the hose to whip violently with the ball still attached.
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:08 AM
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You need to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission on this matter, sounds like a recall is needed. Thanks for the "heads up".

Vince
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:33 AM
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I have found that same problem with other low end equipment in addition to HF. I bought a Campbell Hausfeld (sp?) long board sander that had the swivel hose attachment right with it...and on a couple of occasions the ball joint in the swivel has popped right out and the hose shot across the shop. So this might be a defect that goes beyond HF. Mine never did any actual damage, but I can see how it could.
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:21 AM
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Had the same problem with a Whip hose from Napa.....no warning.
Note to self..................eye protection good
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:00 AM
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I would think that the CH and NAPA probably came from the same Chinese factory as the HF hoses and so are probably about the same design but I have not used either so I can't say for sure. I never expected these things to last long because of the price but I never expected them to blow apart like that I figured they would just start to leak after a while.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:32 AM
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Thanx for the tip. Yes I am a huge HF fan - if it weren't for them I wouldn't be able to afford half the tools I have in my shop. However they are NOT top op the line and there are some tools that are real garbage. Buy cautiously, not only from them but as above posts show, from every tool maker.
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Old 09-02-2005, 09:28 AM
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I bought a few of the cheap whips from H-F about a year ago and one of them came apart because of the wire clip, seemed like it was to soft of a clip. I used a snap ring in place of the wire and changed the other one with a snap ring also and they are still holding up fine. Maybe I'll toss them in the garbage and go back to quick disconnects on the tools I have them on.
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Old 09-02-2005, 09:36 AM
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Willys, Harbor Freight has made it possible for a lot of people to own tools they otherwise could not afford and I am not coming down on HF over one bad apple. Most of the things I have seen from there, while maybe not the very best quality, are usually worth more than they cost and will hold up just fine under normal home shop use and some will even hold up just fine when abused. Also you are right in that it is not just HF since any "bargain" tool should be approached with caution and my warning was aimed at the faulty hose and not HF itself.
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:34 AM
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Not practical for a commercial shop like yours but what do you think about gcrmcc's fix of replacing the cheapo clip with a good quality c-clip? Would the thing hold together then? I had to do a similar thing with a set of HF three way metal shears I got many years ago. The bolts in the shears were not even grade 5 - they sheared off on my first cut. I replaced the cheap fasteners w/ some grade 8s and the shears have been working great ever since.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:07 PM
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Willys, I have used the whips for a year now with the wire clips replaced with the snap rings, the fix would probably be better with a c-clip as you mentioned but snap rings was what I had on hand at the time. I think the biggest problem with HF tools is the hardware as you have found out also. No I do not have a commercial shop either. I have pretty much replaced all grade 2 bolts or less? in all my HF shop equipment with grade 5's or 8's.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:41 PM
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Willys, After looking at a couple of those things I think the problem is not so much the clip itself as the groove it seats in. One of them has a groove that is hardly visible and believe it or not one of them is actually cut off-center and is cut deep on only one side, in any case the groove is located so close to the lip of the fitting that there is only a very thin lip left to retain the clip and IMO it would not be safe because of this even if it were cut deeper.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:58 PM
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The two whips I bought about a year ago, The grooves the wire clips were in look pretty good as far as depth and not being off center. I guess quality has suffered in the last year or so.
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