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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Research can reveal a lot, the first time I saw those US Generals I thought they looked like awfully good quality for a Chinese import and somehow they even looked like something I had seen before. Since we get a lot of compressor questions here and that one came up a couple of times I decided to check them out and what I found was surprising. The first clue was when someone on another site mentioned they were American built and then someone else said they were Belaires, a couple of E-mails and some phone calls confirmed this (I take my researches serious! ). Next trip to HF I did some comparisons and I found that sure enough these things are like some of their other large machines and are just re-named versions of well known machines that other outfits sell for a lot more money.


An example could be that lathe I bought, it is identical to the Birmingham YCL1440 that sells for over $1500 more money but the kicker is that for a while the HF version used the Birmingham owners/parts manual! They have since changed that but when they first sold this model lathe it had the Birmingham manual and when the manual was looked up on-line it too was to a Birmingham manual, go figure.
you are aware that other countries buy stuff here, clone it out of cheaper materials and with lower quality construction and re-sell it.
They do this with tools, equipment, clothes and everything else they can get their hands on. Just because something looks the same, the construction and part quality could be completely different.
The engines they sell are exact clones of the Honda small engines, even to the point where parts are interchangeable. Doesn't mean they are the same quality

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
you are aware that other countries buy stuff here, clone it out of cheaper materials and with lower quality construction and re-sell it.
They do this with tools, equipment, clothes and everything else they can get their hands on. Just because something looks the same, the construction and part quality could be completely different.
The engines they sell are exact clones of the Honda small engines, even to the point where parts are interchangeable. Doesn't mean they are the same quality


If you are referring to the lathes and other metal working machinery I mentioned in this post and some others they are ALL from China and do not directly relate to any domestic design. That Birmingham lathe for instance is made in China, the YCL1440 model, just like the HF version and the Birmingham models made in Taiwan are different than the mainland China models. Nope none of the tools I have mentioned, with exception of the IR "Thunder Gun" impact wrench, are knock-offs of domestic or European machines. All are just different brands of the same machines and all are made in China. They all look the same and from what I have seen personally all have the same quality (or lack of) they just have a different color paint, brand name and are sold for different prices depending on who is selling them. The point is why pay more for something at one of the "better" stores if the same tool is available at HF? By same I mean the same CHINESE import and not a similar domestic made tool.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 11:07 AM
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Identical to HF 3" cut off saws, air die grinders and things like that are available at my local Carquest.. same type of box, just diffrent writing/ logo.. Price is $29.95 where as HF's price is $20 regular price, but there always on sale for $10.. If you look at the Campbell Hausfeld versions, there identical tho some of those have blue rubber grips

Then it can also go into the digital volt meters.. Walmart, Napa carquest all sell those small 7 function volt meters. There all marked China, and HF's price is $4 normally. for all that I wouldn't trust anything but a fluke in a professional situation, these can check continuity, voltage all pretty well.. Best part is, now until 7/4/11 there giving them away FREE. What I have found to do is search HF coupons on google, and there are a few sites that always have coupons, lot of them linked directly from HF's website. 1 of those was 1 of these meters with a $20 purchase... I went to HF to pick up the #5798 geared winch mentioned in my gantry crane thread for $30 anyway, so I took the printed ( directly off HF's website ) coupon and walked out with the free volt meter
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by matt167
walked out with the free volt meter


And you could have stopped at Wal-Mart or any of the well known auto parts stores and bought another one identical to it.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:34 PM
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Yep. exactly identical. They used to be yellow ( HF only ) but now they are ALL black and red
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:23 PM
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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.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:16 PM
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I'm a big fan of the buy american thing for economic reasons, but I have to tell you guys, if you think quality and value is a reason to do it you're kidding yourself.

The Chinese have the ability to build some killer quality stuff, they need to to build all the other things they build, but they don't typically export it. The "crap" that we see we are doing to ourselves. The importers that own these stores that you complain about determine the price point that they want a product for to make the profit that they want, and then the chinese build figure out how to build it to that price point.

Harbor freight has some good stuff, as good or better than some of the name brand stuff, and they have some junk, you have to look at it and decide, and some of it is hard to figure out, because modern society is all about appearances and not about substance, and as the chinese move up in the world they understand that more and more, and are building to it.

I will also suggest that for some things you don't need best quality, or that some of the parts could be junk, they just have to be there, where other parts are required for the function of the product and in some cases I find that I can't afford any better, it doesn't make sense for me to buy it if I have to spend more than X, and at that price point a little turd polishing makes it worth it.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:44 PM
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I have pretty much given up trying to buy American, I will when I can but with everything and the stinkin box in came in being made in China it's just too frustrating trying to avoid imports. You are certainly right about the Chinese being perfectly capable of building quality tools and products IF we are willing to pay for that quality. I finally broke down and bought a couple of the new Chinese Vise Grips to use for abusive work so I could save my US made ones, I have got to admit I was surprised to find that they have given up little in quality. It's the same with lots of other well known brand names and some of the "pro" quality tools are now made in China, but not at Harbor Freight prices!
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:23 PM
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I've bought a few things at HF but only because i was thinking they would be good enough for now until i get better tools ...but i was surprised..

I bought a 6" air palm sander for 20.00 on sale a few years ago when mine went on the blink and was painting a car for a buddy...worked really well and to this day still working well.

I also bought the tiny HVLP detail spray gun with a 1.0 tip with the rotating adjustable cup for 9.99,thinking again if it just does door jams and tight areas just once on a paint job,it payed for itself..i am still using this thing and it sprays surprisingly well,especialy for 9.99...

My father bought a nice US General tool box for my brother last xmas,i helped him put it together..that thing has ball bearing drawers and he loaded it up with all his tools and that thing is very rigid and well built for the price.

I wish i would of bought one of the US General 80 gallon compressors when i first seen them when they first started selling them,at the time my old 60 gallon porter cable had been making knocking noises in the pump so i was shopping for a new one,i went and bought an Ingersol Rand 60 gallon for 600.00...a guy at work bought one of the 80 gallon twin stage US Generals at the time for 600.00 or so and it was much better than my IR in terms of 175 PSI and if i remember correctly it was also 21 CFM @ 90?...my IR is single stage and is 11.3 CFM @ 90...i didn't at the time know they were american made,i was leary of them because it was an HF item..now i have a "V8 moment" everytime i see his US general compressor and wish i'da bought that one.

Thers is ALOT of things i stear away from at HF...any of their electric power tools,they burn up quick and are weak,their consumables like sand paper,grinder wheels,cut wheels..etc...all junk.
Their welders and plasma arcs...junk..i have tried them before where a few farmers asked me to show them how to weld with them,those machines are now either sitting in a corner collecting dust od they took them back...very inconsistant current/voltage..wire feed varies like crazy...etc..but then again when it comes to welding machines i been using high quality machines for a living for over 30 years so i tend to be picky about that arena, Probably because i am spoiled..lol

I've bought a few of their cheap air hoses for my compressor in a pinch..every one of them has split and cracked in a short time.

I just bought one of thier 1.4 tip "purple guns" because so many people rave about them,it was on sale 20.00 and i had a 20% coupon,figured i'd try it out on my Lincoln Ranger 8 welder i am tearing down and repainting this week,i'll be using a cheap paint and didn't want to run cheap paint through my Devilbiss or SATA gun,so figured i had such a good expereince with the detail gun,i'll give this a try for the price.

As was said already..you just have to know what you are buying there,not just because its cheap,that doesn't necessarily mean its junk.

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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
I've bought a few of their cheap air hoses for my compressor in a pinch..every one of them has split and cracked in a short time.


Perfect example of needing to be selective when buying there, did you know that for next to nothing in extra cost they also have genuine GoodYear air hose? The black GoodYear hose is a REALLY good buy, it does not crack like that, stays flexible in cold temperatures and holds up extremely well compared to the (not much) cheaper hose! It is on sale right now in 25', 50' and 100' lengths-but it comes on sale often.



How is this for a coincidence? I too have my Lincoln Ranger 8 torn down for repainting and minor repair, at least I hope it is minor. Did you get a new decal kit and maybe a front panel kit for yours and if so where did you find them? Mine has the fairly common auto-idle failure and does not automatically go back to high engine speed when the arc is struck so I have to leave it on high idle setting when welding, the darn thing will idle up when using power tools however! Have you had that problem with yours (yet)?
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Perfect example of needing to be selective when buying there, did you know that for next to nothing in extra cost they also have genuine GoodYear air hose? The black GoodYear hose is a REALLY good buy, it does not crack like that, stays flexible in cold temperatures and holds up extremely well compared to the (not much) cheaper hose! It is on sale right now in 25', 50' and 100' lengths-but it comes on sale often.



How is this for a coincidence? I too have my Lincoln Ranger 8 torn down for repainting and minor repair, at least I hope it is minor. Did you get a new decal kit and maybe a front panel kit for yours and if so where did you find them? Mine has the fairly common auto-idle failure and does not automatically go back to high engine speed when the arc is struck so I have to leave it on high idle setting when welding, the darn thing will idle up when using power tools however! Have you had that problem with yours (yet)?
Yea i have a few of the goodyear hoses now from HF,i was just using the plastic ones as an example of what not to buy from them.
One thing to watch for when using a true rubber hose like the goodyears is keep them out of the sun,especialy in the hot south like where i am,i have my compressor outside feeding just hose into the shop until i build a permanant line system into the shop.
Where the is outside regularly in the sun it dried up and cracked in no time,the sun destroys real rubber in no time.

I had a similar problem with my Ranger 8,it wouldn't kick up the RPM's at all,i too thought mine was the switch until I investigated further,found out my problem was the linkage rod had come off under the top cover of the machine,if i remember correctly it was just the little clip that holds it on had popped off and i replaced it and been doin good ever since,but you'rs does sound like the switch to me because mine wouldn't kick up at all,but your's does if you hit the switch manualy,maybe a bad connection or wire to the switch?

The only other problem i ever had with mine is the carb had clogged up from old gas from sitting,was thinking i needed to rebuild it but figured what the heck take the top of it off n look,it was dirty in the bowl so i cleaned it all out as good as possible while still on the enbgine and readjusted the float because the way it ran could tell it was not shuttin off fuel when the float bowl was full,put it back together even with the same gaskets because they didn't tear up at all and now it runs like new again,Mine has the old Onan Performer 16 engine and they just don't make them like that anymore.
I just put a can of seafoam in the tank the other day while was using it to do some mods on a car trailer for a guy and now it runs even smoother than ever.

Here is where you can get all the decals and control panel for it,I havent ordered any yet but good prices,i am thinking of gettin the control panel with the diamond plate look just to be different,i aint paintin mine back to factory red coor,i have a shelf full of different leftover auto paints from side jobs,thinking of a mettalic copper urethane i have left from a job and put the factory side side stickers on and the diamond plate look as the panel,it should look pretty sharp like that...

These guys are lincoln authorised too,so you know your gettin quality and the right ones...they have 2 different panels for the lincoln ranger 8's,make sure you get the one correct for yours...this i mine in the stock look...

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/27644

Here is the diamond plate look i was talkin about,this is the other type different from mine but i called them and they said they my model in this style,just not on the site for the same price.....

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/34725

Hers is the side graphics,,,these guys have all the factory stuff for a restore on them,including all the factory warning stickers too....

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/29901/34280

Hope this is what you are lookin for oldred
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:51 AM
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Sorry for getting way off track in thread...
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:38 AM
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I agree with the views of this discussion, both pro/con. Alot of it comes down to common sense. As a TearJerker with 2 teardrops, I have used some HF tools with the thought of I needed it at the time and the cheapest way to go then.
Besides tools, they have a little 2-burner stove with an oven. I have a teardropping buddy that has one in his teardrop camper, for almost 10 yrs and cooks some great meals and biskits. Quality? Depends on how you look at it. Later--John T.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
These guys are lincoln authorised too,so you know your gettin quality and the right ones...they have 2 different panels for the lincoln ranger 8's,make sure you get the one correct for yours...this i mine in the stock look...

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/27644

Here is the diamond plate look i was talkin about,this is the other type different from mine but i called them and they said they my model in this style,just not on the site for the same price.....

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/34725

Hers is the side graphics,,,these guys have all the factory stuff for a restore on them,including all the factory warning stickers too....

http://decalshoppe.com/inc/sdetail/29901/34280

Hope this is what you are lookin for oldred
Thanks,

I had checked with the local dealer and was told he "might" be able to get them but that Lincoln had discontinued parts such as that for the older machines. I will be matching the color as close as I can and I will order both the front panel and the side decals because mine was accidentally exposed to heavy overspray when a nearby bulldozer was painted.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:29 AM
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