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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
I figured i would just change the hose down the road.


And that's another good deal they have! They have genuine GoodYear black air hose sometimes at really good prices, this hose stays flexible at low temperature and will not swell when exposed to the sun like HF's cheap hose. My HF/GoodYear hoses are 12 years old now and holding up just fine and are still available there- often on sale!


Like a couple of guys have already said it is just a matter of watching WHAT you buy there, simply avoiding everything is to pass up some real bargains!

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:19 PM
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I usually shop with the coupons I get in the magazines I subscribe to. Good place to load up on the small stuff. electrical connectors and stuff I go through a lot of. Been eyeing one of there 11 or 13 drawer tool boxes for like $150 not sure yet though
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
I have been wondering about those things, I am in need of a new one now but had not heard anything about them one way or the other.

Anyone else have one of these?
I have one of the cheaper ones with the big metal arms that I bought here at Princess Auto (Same thing as HF pretty much.. I know this piece specifically is the same).

All the ones I looked at had the same crappy little swivel valve for incoming air, so I went with the cheapy one ($17?) and drilled out the holes a little bit for more air.


I also have teh HF paint shaker. And mind you, it gets VERY limited use, but seems great for $80 or whatever I got it for on sale with a coupon.

Too bad my table or tools on the table can't handle it.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for posting this.. I get the deals in emails normally, but today I needed a motorcycle lift.. I printed out that coupon and it saved me $40! The motorcycle lift worked great BTW.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 06:45 PM
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I have saved a bunch on several purchases by using coupons and just buying items that other places sell for more money, a lot more! My 14x40 lathe was purchased for about $1000 less (yep I have spent some bucks there sometimes ) than the same exact Chinese built machine,except for the color, that Enco and a few others have. Then a coupon saved me another $670 off that for a savings of nearly $1700 on one item, I read on another site of another guy doing the same thing so I thought why not me too? Then I needed a tool grinder, they had it on sale for $129 and let me use a 25% off coupon on top of that, same grinder at Enco and similar places ranges from $189 to $249 for the same one but a different name and color, cost me less than a hundred bucks. 5x6 metal cutting bandsaw that I bought for $149 12 years ago has been used unmercifully and has been zero trouble during that time and I do mean zero trouble! It cuts as accurate as any saw I have ever used and less than a month ago was used to cut some 4 1/2" diameter 4140 bar which it is called upon to do fairly often, angle iron, pipe, rod, etc in normal sizes used in our hobby is no problem at all with this little saw. If I were in need of an air compressor for my shop I would not hesitate to go to HF for one of those US Generals we have been discussing (the Quincy would be a much better choice for a full time shop however) but it looks like my old Quincy is going to out-last me!


The point to all this is that HF can indeed save some serious money for the serious hobbyist and home shop although I can't think of much I would want to buy there for commercial use. And yes you can buy some serious junk there also if you are not selective about what you buy but a bit of checking around can usually solve that problem. I was almost ready to order that 14x40 lathe from Enco before reading the post on that other site about the HF deal and a bit of asking around revealed it, like the US General compressors, is the same machine sold for more by others with different paint on it.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:13 PM
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I have no qualms about cutting, welding or fabricating a tool from a cheap HF piece that I'll only use once. Also have had some luck with a few of their items. I have an impact wrench that I used in a commercial shop, and am still using 4 years later.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
I have saved a bunch on several purchases by using coupons and just buying items that other places sell for more money, a lot more! My 14x40 lathe was purchased for about $1000 less than the same exact Chinese built machine,except for the colorpaint on it.
Thats what gets me.. A lot of folks saying everything from Horrible Freight is junk, but what they bought at sears is top notch. Its almost always the exact same thing with different paint. Lowes, Northern.. Its all coming from the same Factories in China.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 05:54 AM
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Since it seems we can't help where the tools are made, just look at how they are made. Now, I have a few junk hand tools. But I rarely use them. My hand tools, no matter where they are made, have to say "drop forged" or at least "forged" on them. None of that chrome viladium or whatever BS.

Most of my Harbor Freight stuff is cast iron. My floor jacks are of the generic design, so seal kits are available. My arbor press uses a jack that can be found anywhere if it goes bad.

With air tools, yeah, they';re lower quality in some respects. But all you have to do is oil them! It says so on the side of every air tool I have ever used!

Their air line fittings are crap. But at least they are brass.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:03 AM
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i have one of the cheap, small bottle jack presses.
i used it yesterday to press some studs in and out of a strut top plate.
it worked great for that, its not the most precise piece of equipment but it worked good for what i used it for.
and i could never afford to have a really good one.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el pollo
My arbor press uses a jack that can be found anywhere if it goes bad.


An Arbor press with a JACK??
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:16 AM
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Most everything I have ever bought (very little) from harbor freight has broken within the first few minutes of use, except for the short air hose I bought, it was so frieken hard I just about couldnt unroll it. It was useless.
I got an angle air drill (90 degree) a while back, and I was initially impressed with its look and feel, and the motor felt real strong. Second time I squeezed the paddle to drill, it puked an o ring then upon dissasembly a spring steel retainer crumbled and all was but lost. I found an alternative O ring that works Good and stays in place , then I took a clip nut and ground it to fit in the place of the retianer that broke and it seems to be OK now. Only spent about 2 hours dickin with it, not to mention I paid almost 40 bucks to buy it.
Now that it is working well I am OK with it, but it doesnt have any other good features other than the price and the fact it is a 90 degree drill. It has no speed control at all so its tough not to burn up bits. It will do in a pinch as I only need one every so often .
I hate to even go to harbor freight for anything ,being selective about what you buy is the best advice I have heard here.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
i have one of the cheap, small bottle jack presses.


I have one of the 20 ton presses that I got on sale for about $130 or less , I honestly just don't remember, but that has been another really good buy. Like most small hydraulic presses the thing is sloppy so for really precision work it is a good idea to make shims to keep the work beam (table? ) from moving around but this is going to be true of most any press that cost less than a couple of thousand or more. The slop is not even a problem for most use like pressing on bearings etc but I use it to push broaches to cut key-ways in hubs and things like that so the slop was not a good idea. I simply cut some Delrin blocks and attached them to the ends of the beam to keep it from swinging sideways and used some more to keep it from moving in and out so that now the beam will slide up and down the frame smoothly with no slop at all. When pressing it is solid and the work piece will stay centered under the ram with no tendency to roll off to the side, it's almost as precision as a good arbor press but much bigger and a lot cheaper.Most people would not have a need for this kind of tolerance and would not need to do anything but unpack this thing and use like it is but the fix is easy if needed, it is no more sloppy than presses costing 3 times as much. I have used mine to the pressure limit a bunch of times and the frame is rigid with no signs of bending or distortion at all and the jack has never leaked, it is just a standard HF 20 ton bottle jack so it is easily and cheaply relaced even if it did start to leak.


Now that I think about it this is another real bargain and a heck of a lot of tool for that small amount of money!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latech
Most everything I have ever bought (very little) from harbor freight has broken within the first few minutes of use, I got an angle air drill (90 degree) a while back, and I was initially impressed with its look and feel, and the motor felt real strong. Second time I squeezed the paddle to drill, it puked an o ring

Tools like that are what ruins HF for a lot of people and it's no small wonder why. With only a few exceptions their electric and air hand tools are mostly junk and your experience is all too common. That's why I suggest checking out anything before buying, a search for reviews on the net is a good way, but of course having to do that is a royal PITA and should not be necessary. Another way to cut the odds of getting a lemon is to avoid certain "brands" such as "Drill Master", don't ever buy a "drill Master" anything there! "Chicago Electric" tools are usually ok but not all of them, there is the 4 1/2" grinder that has a good reputation and any tool based on that motor seems to be pretty good such as the long nosed die grinder. It's a real shame they don't clean up the junk and demand the same quality for all their tools but they don't and unless a person knows specifically which are good and those that aren't then it will be a crap shoot with the odds against the buyer! Bargains are to be found but it sure requires sorting through a lot of junk to find them, and I do mean JUNK!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Your loss, the "Earthquake" line of impact wrenches are real brutes and hold up well. I have had mine for several years now and it is as powerful as when it was new, a farmer friend of mine has a 1" drive "Earthquake" that they use almost everyday and it too delivers some serious power without any problems. These things are knock-offs of the IR "Thunder Gun" but at a fraction of the price, quite powerful and hold up well.






No? How about the AMERICAN built US Generals? If you are shopping for a compresor of this class and price range you can go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy Chinese junk or for the same money or less you can buy the US Generals at HF. These are IMHO the best deal for the money anywhere and people who pass them up for the Chinese outfits from other places are making a big mistake. As we have mentioned a dozen times lately these are rebadged AMERICAN built Belaire compressors and just can't be beat for the price, American built except for the really good quality Italian built pump.

I'll repeat, their air tools are junk. Their flanger isn't that bad but after using an air vantage da I could never buy anything else. After using a good blue point 5" grinder I could never try a HF one. I have good mac air ratches 1/4"-3/8" and if I need a 1/2" I won't even attempt it and just get the snap on 3/8" MG325. I see them used all the time for cheap, and they're always used on the truck as well.

I would never get a harbor freight compressor. I bet they're loud and push anything remotely close to the noise it makes. I used one and that's exactly how I felt about it. With that said, I have a little porter cable 15 gallon compressor that's made in the USA and it's much more powerful than my friend's 60 gallon compressor from HF. His compressor barely ran my American made viking in line. My compressor pushes it no prob.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2011, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdbeard
Thats what gets me.. A lot of folks saying everything from Horrible Freight is junk, but what they bought at sears is top notch. Its almost always the exact same thing with different paint. Lowes, Northern.. Its all coming from the same Factories in China.

Yeah but there is still "some" things from Sears that's made in America. Craftsman hand tools I believe are still made in America and you can still swap out bad sockets or hand tools with NO RECEIPT! There's no better deal in America for sockets or ratchets. That's the quality service you get with SNAP ON so with that said, there is still remnants of America's mark on quality and we should embrace it and support it. As for as the Sears stuff from China I'd have to agree, but I do think the difference is in quality control. Seems to be harbor freight has less stringent quality control.
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