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Old 09-27-2015, 08:11 PM
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Harbor frieght tools

How many of have walked by the display of bright colored air tools, and just couldn't resist the call of a particular tool.
At check out were asked if you want to purchase a guarantee. So you say no. My tool will be the one that out lasts the best. Three straight line sanders, I purchased all crapped out, but they still look good why don't they work? Has any one attempted to repair any of these sanders? Or should I just buy a good one next time. I have had fairly good luck with other air tools from HF. It's just something about the straight line sander. Stan

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Old 09-27-2015, 09:22 PM
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I have repaired theirs as well as several retailers of inexpensive board sanders.

Several problems are common.

O-ring on trigger valve blows out or goes bad. Poor fit. Replace o-ring and spring.

If not oiled properly the pistons (s) can gall in the bore. Remove, clean up piston with emery board and scotchbrite. Lube and re-install. Time air valve/drive pinion properly.

If the sanding board strikes something hard, directly on the end, during operation. It will break either the drive gear (pinion) or the rack (board). Both will need parts. Not available from retailer. But I had purchased some from a local tool repair guy. But, unfortunately, he is no longer in business.

Last thing is the guide rails come loose and let the board pull away from the body. this causes the air valve/pinion and rack to get out of time. Then the rack (board) will lock at either end of travel and stay. Re-time

The older air files used cast aluminum bodies. The newer ones use plastic and the rack/pinions are brittle.

I bought two several years ago. With warranty. Exchange them regularly.. I teach kids and old retired guys,,things get busted
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:17 PM
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The only thing worth walkin out of Harbor Freight with is the cash register.
Can I get a drum roll?
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:21 PM
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lots of good stuff at HF. lots of bad stuff at HF. Almost all of the hand tools are good enough for a weekend mechanic.. files, clamps ect. all decent quality. most air tools lack power. but the jacks and engine hoists are still great deals... Cant beat free LED flash lights and other free coupon items.. The cash registers are actually fairly antique POS systems.. bottom line is if it breaks in 5 mins using it correctly, return it for refund, but plenty of odd things you can get away with for a weekender type deal.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:38 AM
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I've had fairly good luck as a hobbyist with common HF tools such as impact sockets and hand wrenches to carry in our camper. I've not had much luck with their air and electric powered tools with a couple exceptions - the 'Earthquake' impact gun. No, it's not a Snap-on but will remove my 165 pound torqued truck lug nuts if the local Ford dealer hasn't done a tire rotation at oil change time then hammered them down with a good gun. It will also remove most U-bolt nuts and caliper bracket bolts. My angle die grinder is also a HF but it's so old it actually came from Japan and has been decent. Spray guns, sanders, air line fittings - those will all work for a while then into the trash or back to the store if still in warranty. The engine lift - been great except the jack part is so slow acting it makes a snail seem fast. It's a case of understanding that these tools are low end and will usually work in a non-professional setting. If you are using them to earn a living - you are for the most part, wasting your money.

Disclaimer: From only my use and experience. Others my have different experiences
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:22 AM
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In a pinch I bought some HF air line fittings. All of them broke at some point or another. 1 almost cost me a windshield.
Cheap tools will eventually cost you more than they saved you.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da34guy View Post
The only thing worth walkin out of Harbor Freight with is the cash register.
Can I get a drum roll?
I agree. I've had nothing but junk tools from HF. You get what you pay for, IMO. I won't darken their door anymore.....
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:20 PM
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If I need to shorten or bend a wrench to fit a small or peculiar space, I'd much rather cut or bend a cheap HF tool than a good one.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hp246 View Post
If I need to shorten or bend a wrench to fit a small or peculiar space, I'd much rather cut or bend a cheap HF tool than a good one.
Like I just shortened my Craftsman......
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:23 PM
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inline sanders need an air gauge to regulate what it's getting. I burned out my Viking that way. broke a piston.

I do NOT like Harbor Freight air tools so I buy good ones, but there's plenty of Harbor Freight tools that I have that work. If it's a complicated tool don't buy it, but if it's simple Harbor Freight has deals.

If I only had Harbor Freight tools, besides the paint gun, I could restore a car with the exact same results. Would just take a little longer cause their air tools bog down. Sometimes it is about the tool but it's about the guy behind the tool 100% of the time. With that said, I do this for a living so I'd prefer good tools but if I had to I wouldn't see much difference other than a little frustration over the air consumption of air tools. Oh, and their air couplers are simply annoying, but again, can work if need be.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:29 AM
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I had an air ratchet .did a nose dive on me recently. I went and looked at the H/f samething..unknowingly, i had bought the same air ratchet many years before .Now!! thinking ,it "WAS NOT" H/f tool.SO i bought the same exact wrench, thinking all along it had been a sears (great tools.)But being older, i now have to weigh . how much, am i going to use this.. new tool. Age makes a big difference in what i buy USEAGE is the key here, for me. specially on ss and pension hth
ps one has too really be aware when buying H/F becausethey sell good and terrible stuff ha ha.Last thing i bought a M/c lift 15 years ago from H/F It still works really good plus it serves as a work bench. great buy @ $279.00
Bob s
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:11 AM
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I have some of their stuff. One thing that's been so worth the 14 bucks is the electric nibbler. Man this thing just runs and runs. Kinda funny. Other than that I have some of their bigger stuff. Gantry crane, sandblaster cabinet, transmission jack, crane for my trailer with 2500# winch. The winch that came with it broke pretty easy but the electric winch is pretty sweet.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:10 AM
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Also helps to read the label on everything. I spotted a cheap set of NC taps and dies at HF, so I threw them into the cart. Then I put them in my tool box and forgot about them. When I finally needed to tap a hole I finally spotted on the package, "carbon steel", "not for automotive use". "For soft metals and plastics only". WTH??
Wish I would've seen that before I bought them, then I wouldn't have.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:37 AM
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I have a full set of Gearwrenches (love 'em! ), and I wanted to get some stubbies and flexes-

I was in HF on another mission, and saw the stubby, flexies, and bought a set to try-wow, I have to say that I am impressed-short stroke, fine tooth, and I can't seem to break them (maybe because they are short?)-

Anyway, I have since bought the long flexies, and I needed another set of 1/4" drive sockets-bought 'em both, and i really like them (better than my old Snap on ones amazingly enough)-they are knurled halfway down the extension, are shaped kinda like a Snap On, and I bought a composite Ratchet that fits my hand really well-

I haven't had as much luck with the Air Tools, though-my best luck is with their "Professional" Series ones, although I buy a lot of Matco stuff for that-
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:00 PM
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I call my shop the "Harbor Freight Test Lab". Some of their stuff is junk but some of it works fine for me. I have a couple of their air tools that are a little weak and have almost used up an electric cutoff tool.

I'm not a "tool snob" so what works works for me but if cost was no object I would probably have a box full of 40 year old Mac, Proto, or some such.

Probably the best hand tools I own now are the Craftsman set my dad bought me for my 14th birthday 53 years ago but the last few times I have tried new Sears stuff it has been no better than HF.

Bud
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