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Old 04-22-2008, 03:57 PM
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Just bought a 40" Shear, roller, brake combo from HF...

... and spent 4 hours cleaning it and trying to adjust it. Although it says "adjusted from the factory" the top cutting blade was interfering with the bottom and needed adjustment right out of the crate. No big deal. Well after 4 hours of trying to adjust it every way possible (and ruining about 4 feet of 18 gauge sheet metal)... I am officially declaring this thing a cheap piece of Chinese sh#t. The problem is that the table that holds the bottom cutting blade is bending under the pressure of even a 3" wide piece of sheet metal. The brake works well, and the roller does it's job, but the shear is clearly overwhelmed by 18 gage sheet metal.

Avoid this piece of garbage if you are considering buying one. I am considering trading it in (You never know... the Chinese 8 year old kid that put it together may have had a bad day.....). If the second one performs as bad as this one, I am going to have to bite the bullet and buy American (If I can find one that isn't $1500, and if there is still such a thing).

Harbor Freight 40" Shear, roller, and brake - Thumbs way down*

*I fully understand that buying anything from HF is putting me in the cheapest made products from China... but c'mon - can't cut a 3" wide piece? And yes, it is rated for 40" wide 18 gauge cuts.

I'll post how the second one behaves in a couple of weeks... More delays. The weather is too awesome to push the schedule back again.... dang!

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Old 04-22-2008, 08:42 PM
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Since you just bought it HF will probably not give you any static if you want a refund. I have a buddy who bought a combo outfit from Grizzly that sounds very close to what you have and he is very pleased with it. Most of the Grizzly tools are made in China and Taiwan but they are built to Grizzly's specs so they generally are much better than HF and they are priced only slightly higher.

www.grizzly.com
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:20 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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For a major tool, I try to stay with a known brand.

"having a tool that does not work right is WORSE than not having one at all"

...that's because you keep trying to use it to no avail, and your jobs come out crummy.



- 30 year old Miller 35s mig welder
-10 yr old Thermal Dynamics plasma
-30 yr old TIP pressure blaster
-35 yr old Smiths torches
-? yr old used Tennsmith 4' box & pan brake

there is no way cheapie brands would be still working like these.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:31 AM
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Yup... I agree completely

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Originally Posted by F&J
For a major tool, I try to stay with a known brand.

"having a tool that does not work right is WORSE than not having one at all"

...that's because you keep trying to use it to no avail, and your jobs come out crummy.



- 30 year old Miller 35s mig welder
-10 yr old Thermal Dynamics plasma
-30 yr old TIP pressure blaster
-35 yr old Smiths torches
-? yr old used Tennsmith 4' box & pan brake

there is no way cheapie brands would be still working like these.
Absolutely true. I spent a couple of hours searching for a possible replacement. Apparently 18 ga capable made in North America combo machines are mythical creatures or I am looking in the wrong places. I'm sure there are differences, but by looks, all the made in China stuff looks eerily similar - and most only claim 20 ga capabilities.

The more I think about this, the angrier I get. I went out and bought 3 sheets of 18 ga sheetmetal to finish the floor (actually start) in my coupe. I was SO HAPPY to find a 40" machine (I actually bought the 3X10 foot sheetmetal while I was waiting for the combo machine to get here). After doing some searching, I realized that HF sells these things and most, if not all of them DO NOT WORK. That's total horsesh#t. Now I have 3 sheets of metal that I can't use because all of the other manufacturers are too smart to say that their machines can handle 18 ga - which means that I am well and truly f@cked unless I want to spend $4000 on a machine that can handle the thicker metal. Since I don't regularly build cars, spending thousands of dollars on equipment that may not get used a lot is just stupid.

I am heading down to the store with my POS tool and I am going to return it, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one until I run those lying c*cksuckers out of patience. It's a matter of principle. They sell that stuff KNOWING it doesn't work!!! I am going to ensure that they hate the very sight of me. I have all kinds of time to keep returning this crap to them (poor bastards are right next to where I work). I calmly asked them what the options are, and they guy (manager) I was talking to was quite the snotty little man. Nice....attitude on top of everything.

Dammit, does everyone have to be out to ******* us out of every penny? This is my first total de-re-construction of a hot rod, and I must admit - the hardest parts have been dealing with the people who rip you off (this isn't the worst thing that has happened, it a cumulative thing). I thought the obstacles would be more on the technical side because of my relative inexperience when it comes to this depth of a project, but 99% of the delays are due to people trying to rip me off... If it's not one lyin' bastard it's another (No reflection on most of the extremely helpful on here, btw). I had better quit venting and save some for the poor manager at HF, who is getting ready to experience first hand my deep and total intolerance for bullsh#t. If they refuse to take this one, or the next one, or the one after that back, you may just read about this in the paper......
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:04 AM
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After looking at the Grizzly outfits and the HF units they seem to be nearly the same except Grizzly does not have the exact same size and it looks like they are only claiming 22 ga capabilities. It would appear that the HF outfit was never built for 18 ga in the first place and I would assume the guys in marketing made the decision that it would handle the 18 ga. I am basing this assumption on a discussion I had before with them about another HF tool and the fact a true 18 ga capable machine is a VERY big outfit!


I hope you get some satisfaction from that manager but I am willing to bet he runs into so much of this that he is probably immune to it by now!
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:01 AM
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I got my 37" Pexto stomp shear and a Tensmith 48" box and pan break of off Craigslist for 400.00 I have a 30" 3 in one and it is OK on aluminum but it bends out of shape on steel. Keep an eye out for a good shear in the classifides etc in your area you will run across a good deal.

Mike
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:27 PM
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In all fairness to my first reply on USA stuff...

Some tools are also over-rated; The Tennsmith... darn near impossible to bend 48" 16 gauge. But I allowed for that thought when I grabbed it off ebay local pickup for $400. Can't compare it with an old Pexto, but compare the price!



I did notice those (the tool you bought) when they first came ashore years back. I wanted one, but figured it probably would not perform. Geez, I really got spoiled back in H.S. shop class with all that OLD pexto stuff ...plus the schools here also got hand-me-down bridgeports, lathes & whatnot from Pratt & Whitney Air Craft's replacing their stuff with modern units
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:10 PM
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H F stuff

Most HF stuff is for only occasional use. I bought the bead roller then added 3 x 3 3/8 angle to stiffen it up and added a $50 atv winch to power it ... it now works ok... the little power hand shear works ok. a new blade for my black and decker elect shear costs twice as much as the whole tool from H F..
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:40 PM
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I gave it a second chance....

...and man, is that thing total crap! I just tried to use the brake on a 30" piece of 18ga. It bent the edges is about an 80 degree bend and the middle of the piece is probably only 60 degrees. The good news is that they are going to let me return it (I am abandoning my original plan of making them order one until I get an operational one). I bought a good ol' AMERICAN electric shear (Milwaukee brand) and it cuts like butter - just have to be steady. I figured that I could live with having to hand cut the sheetmetal. The rollers seemed to be okay,, but I haven't tried rolling anything wider than 12".

Now I am truly screwed.... I have a hollow car in need of floors, firewall, wheel tubs, etc. Dammit dammit dammit. I will not give up... but MOTHERF******ER!!!!!!!!!! I hate this!!!!!! As bad as I seem to be at measuring and figuring out those pesky little corners, I can't imagine going to a local shop for one bend at a time. (Insert a string of foul language here).
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:53 PM
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HF does sell some "weak" stuff. I have bought a considerable amount of stuff from them, but am careful. If I need vicegrips to hold 2 pieces of sheetmetal together, with little force, theirs are great. If you need power behind them, buy name brand. If buying something that will have some kind of "rating", read that their "rating" is over rated. If it is something that will get a lot of use, as in making a living with it, and you have to have it all the time, buy name brand.

Aaron
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:58 PM
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Frustrated

Go to www.metalmeet.com They are for everyone. Even the lucky ones with domestic or european tools have to improvise. You are not alone in being choked with our little asian friends...
Clint
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:40 AM
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on this subject, has any one had any experience with the break shear roller combo from eastwood? Thinking about getting one.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:08 PM
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Looks the same to me...

It's imported too... and I don't think they mean Canada! They want $850 for the 30" model and they claim 20 ga. capabilities. The problem with the 40" HF one was the center was just plain weak. Even the brake wouldn't bend 30" of 18 ga (Their claim was 40" of 18 ga). Unless you are planning on doing light sheetmetal (or small pieces), I would thoroughly check out their return policy before purchasing. Shipping on these things is ferocious. I ended up buying electric shears, a roller, and a brake (that you can actually see your work and control the bends) for a couple hundred more than I paid for the combo machine - and I got up to 12 ga bending capability. I think these combo machines (except for the roller part) compromise some utility for the convenience of one package. The roller was the only thing that worked (but the handle did hit every 180 degrees on a protruding nut). It was wonky but workable. On the other hand, there are people that have these that use them without problem - probably for duct work.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:47 AM
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3 in 1 combination machine

I have a 3 in 1 combination machine which I bought here down under. The brand being "Hafco Metalmaster".

For me it works very well with all 3 sections.

Here is a pic for you guys to check out. It is only 760mm wide but it is sufficient with my needs.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:59 AM
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I looked at the HF combo as well as all of the other similar ones. I needed a roller to bend my custom fuel tanks and the shear to cut the aluminum material. It was pretty obvious that the shear wouldn't do the job and the bender was only one step up. the roller might have worked.

So I designed and built my own roller. It will bend (roll) up to 1/8 aluminum quite well and only takes up a small foot print. $100 in material. parts and outside lathe work.

I use a B&D power shear ($45 for new blades) that cuts any common sheet metal. 14 ga can cost blades if you are not carefull. I use my roller while not as convient as a real slip roll and just go next door to have the press brake work done. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and have someone else do the work you don't have the tooling for. I hate doing that but that's the way it is. If you can make a good deal with your neighbor as I have he will let me use his machines if I just buy a lunch occasionally. A lot cheaper than 10k for a press break. haha
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