But the ones from Wally World and Lowes are better built because all HF gets is the rejects that other stores won't take, right? RIGHT?
I have heard that BS argument too but I have compared a bunch of tools, including big machinery, from HF and "other" stores and a lot of it is the same thing! There is a huge ongoing argument about this on some of the machine shop sites and some of those guys (who incidentally will not own anything from HF) insist that HF only takes the left-overs after the other companies have selected the best ones.
I am sure that some outfits have certain tools that they have the patent on (like maybe Vise-Grip for example) and they demand a certain standard of quality and maybe even have on-site inspectors to insure better quality but not for generic tools sold under different names. The HF lathe/mill Yahoo group I frequent has owners of these Chinese machines of several different brands and they most all agree the only difference besides price is the color! This has certainly been my experience and while I will be the first to admit HF has some first class JUNK they also sell a lot of the same better quality items that other stores sell, it's just a matter of selecting which ones.