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Old 10-21-2010, 06:21 AM
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Harbor Freight impact sockets

Replacing my conventional 3/4" and 13/16" sockets is getting expensive . I guess I should consider a set of dedicated impact sockets - but so seldom use much beyond those lug nut sizes don't need an expensive set - so with that said, anyone had experience with the Harbor Freight impact 1/2" set (and I'm going there today or tomorrow for another 'treasure')?

Dave W

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Old 10-21-2010, 06:56 AM
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This doesn't answer the question about HF impact sockets, but what I've used for ages is shown below. I'm sure you've seen them before. It's super handy to use, one end is 3/4", the other is 13/16". Just swap ends to change the socket size, the coupler is in the middle of the socket.

The one I use is a "no-name" (literally- there's no brand even stamped into it) from who-knows-where, it couldn't have cost more than a couple bucks. The short 1/2" drive extension is a Husky, but any impact extension will work as good if the anvil of your impact wrench is short.

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Old 10-21-2010, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
This doesn't answer the question about HF impact sockets, but what I've used for ages is shown below. I'm sure you've seen them before. It's super handy to use, one end is 3/4", the other is 13/16". Just swap ends to change the socket size, the coupler is in the middle of the socket.

The one I use is a "no-name" (literally- there's no brand even stamped into it) from who-knows-where, it couldn't have cost more than a couple bucks. The short 1/2" drive extension is a Husky, but any impact extension will work as good if the anvil of your impact wrench is short.
I have seen those - and if HF has one, I'll pick one up --- but I REALLY want a good excuse to buy a set of inexpensive impact 1/2" drive sockets too so maybe I'd use the gun more often instead of messing up my skiing accident wrecked left shoulder that is starting to bother me more as I age .

Dave W
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:22 AM
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The HF impact sockets are perfect;y acceptable for home or hobby use. I would not try to use them in a professional every day work environment however. I have a set of MAC Tools 1/2" drive impact sockets I bought when I first started in the auto repair field. They are at least 35 years old and have and still are serving me well.

Vince
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:28 AM
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my buddy c b bought a set of 1/2"" impacts from hf and we have used em quite a bit. they seem to be ok but you never know when buyin cheap tools. so far so good.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:46 AM
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Well, since I'll never restart my automobile profession that I quit in 19....., well a long time ago , I think that the HF will work for whatever I need them for.

Oh yeah, Vince, my original 3/8" drive set is a MAC, and a fair bit older then 35 years and the ratchet still works (kinda)

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:03 AM
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Cheap Impact Sockets

Dave, I have some HF shallows and some tent sale Chinese deeps. Haven't had any socket problems with fairly hard use. BUT, don't even attempt to use the cheap impact swivels, they are dangerous. I had one break apart while under a truck bed and some of the shrapnel hit me in the face, luckily not in the eye. Spend the money on high dollar impact swivels. FWIW, olnolan
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Replacing my conventional 3/4" and 13/16" sockets is getting expensive . I guess I should consider a set of dedicated impact sockets - but so seldom use much beyond those lug nut sizes don't need an expensive set - so with that said, anyone had experience with the Harbor Freight impact 1/2" set (and I'm going there today or tomorrow for another 'treasure')?

Dave W

Buy real tools! I needed a set of 1/2" "impact sockets" back a number of years ago and bought the HF junk. You know the warnings we are so use to seeing these days, "Use with eye googles" and crap like that, these sockets should have said "Do not use with impact wrench". They broke one after another, they were ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. I broke down and bought a couple hundred dollar 10-36mm S&K set and have never even came close to breaking one.

Step up and buy real tools you will never be sorry you did.

Brian
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:20 AM
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I would tend to agree that the HF or other offshore impact sockets are more than adaquate for home /hobby use. They're over sized as far as wall thickness goes, are 6-point, and have more "give" than regular sockets because of the alloy.

My impact sockets run the gambit from US-made Mac, Craftsman, Snap On, NAPA (whoever makes them), Husky (which are very nicely finished), to imported Am Pro (for some of the larger sizes, not too bad for the money), and no-name sockets stamped w/"Taiwan".

The Am Pro's I suspect as Chinese, but NONE of my impact tools actually say "China" on them. Possibly the origin was printed on the packaging somewhere, but it's not stamped into the tool itself. These tools were mostly bought before the big 'explosion' of Chinese-made tools hit the market, so that might have a lot to do w/it.

The good part is, I have never broken an impact socket of ANY type.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:45 AM
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My concern with cheap sockets is that they tend not to bite as well and can round off the head. This is where the more expensive sockets are better and why I would rather spend the extra cash.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:18 AM
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The "fit" of an impact socket (6-point) will be sufficient to remove or snap off most any fastener- unless the head is already buggered.

I was typing while the above post was made in re the HF sockets, so I'd take heed. I've never used HF so I can only go by the Taiwanese tools I have on hand.

Also- I use the Husky sets much more often than any of the off branded tools anyway, and I do not use any of my tools on heavy equipment/diesel work, etc. that would fully tax them. They have held up to (medium duty?) automotive work that I have had for them, though.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:23 AM
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I just hooby anymore also so didn't want to spend a lot , so a few years age spent a whopping $49.95 at HF for a set with 1/2" impact 3/8" air ratchet and assortment of 1/2" drive impact sockets . Everything is still working fine . I did have to upgrade and buy the HF Earthquake gun for the tight bolts though . Because of having only 20 lbs of grip strength in my right hand due to arthritis , I still mostly use the lightweight aluminum impact that came with the kit , I just plug in the Earthquake if the bolt won't come loose . I have to hold it with two hands though .
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:57 AM
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It looks like with one exception that HF impacts are good enough for what I need.

Brian, as much as I love and covet good tools, I no longer can, while living on a semi fixed income, justify pro level. Maybe if our currently crummy gov't would see fit and my lousy company after 42 years of dedicated service see fit to give me a raise in my SS and pension, then maybe. I will not dip into savings for hobby tools that don't benefit me as well as my DW.

(Now, let's see $250 last year and maybe $250 next............ That's groceries for 2 weeks each time. But that's grist for another thread >)

Dave W
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:08 AM
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The word is frugal .

I am in the same boat with you Dave W . I just retired (disabled) August of 2009 and have had to make adjustments in my purchases also , due to my income being less than 1/2 of what it was when I was working . Instead of buying something just because I want it , now I shop for something that will do what I need it to do and not cost a weeks groceries . I had to quit looking at HF sale fliers because there are a lot of things in there that I could buy but don't really need . I am lucky to have a HF just 12 min. from home and just spent $35.oo this week though . Stuff I needed .
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:19 AM
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Being a tool junkie, I've had to curtail my buying, too. I'll still hit a yard sale up if I see any indication of tools or automotive junk, though. There's a local "thrift store" in the town I live near, I got a decent roll around Craftsman bottom tool box from them for $15.00, even had a few tools in it. Nice enough for my use but it doesn't have ball bearing drawers. But it cleaned up real nice (I'll spare you all another photo ).

Pawn shops used to be a good source for tools, but recently I've not been in any pawn shops. A couple years ago the prices around here started to get high, then stupid-high, so I quit looking there anymore. I should probably see if they've come down any w/the current economic climate.

Totally off topic: I sometimes watch "Pawn Stars" on TV. These yahoo's pay GOOD money for some of the stuff they get- more than I would pay BEFORE they mark it up to make a profit!

On one show, they (supposedly) had a guy come to them w/an "abandoned" (IIRC) Shelby Cobra in white. Guy selling it said the storage building rent was past due so he could sell it, or some such deal.

Supposed to be a legit Cobra, complete w/numbers and all. I just don't know if I buy that whole deal or not.
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