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Most HF stuff is fine - at least the first time or two you use it then from then on, often down hill. I do have some decent HF tools but most are from back in the days when it wasn't all made from recycled Hyundai engines and purchased via catalog and a phone call.

Then - of course there are some "good enough" tools for the occasional user, not the pro. A panel flanger needs to have some cojones to do what it is intended to do - make flanges out of steel paneling.

They are NOT anywhere near a serious do-it-yourselfer or pro tool.

Dave W
 

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For a full time shop I don't know how long it would last but that of course depends on how much you would use it. Like a lot of the HF tools some are decent while others are not, that one however seems to hold up quite well and mine has seen a lot of use without any problems so far. For the cost it certainly is worth a try and if you get a bad one the first time just exchange it, if it holds up as well as mine it will work for a long time and will suffice until you get things going good at which point you can trade up to a more professional grade tool. Mine has been worth far more than it cost if it died right now which it is showing no signs of doing.


The key to making these things last (any tool for that matter) is clean dry air and a few drops of oil everyday it is used, water and dirt in the air is death to any air tool regardless of quality!
 

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I have the HF tool also. Works fine but, I'm not an everyday body man. Many of their tools have a Lifetime warranty, not sure if their air tools still do. If it's what you can afford, like me, go for it.
 

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justinsch25 said:
see thats the problem, i plan on entering collison repair/ or restoration feild, i need something that will last but for right now i a really saving for a welder. not alot of extra cash.
You'll rarily use this type of tool doing collision repair. These days it's pretty much unbolt and replace the parts - very little patching.

Restoration or custom work is another story, but that's a lot tougher part of the industry to get into than collision repair as most collision shops will not touch a restoration and restoration shops (still in business) do little collision repair anymore.

That being said I bought one of these on sale - seemed to work fine, although I'd like to see the offset be more like 3/4"


 

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IMO, good tools will always pay you back with dividends and cheap crap will sometimes hurt you. If you think you will be using it to make a living with, go with the best you can and with proper care (like cleaning and lube), they can last a lifetime. The majority of the China made crap I've bought in the past has made it to the trash can long ago.
 

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justinsch25 said:
see thats the problem, i plan on entering collison repair/ or restoration feild, i need something that will last but for right now i a really saving for a welder. not alot of extra cash.
I got one from eastmood justin,I believe it was 50.00.theres a HF just up the road theirs looks exactly the same....I've use my flanger all the time for about six or seven years,I'd get it, also they have a flier that comes to the house The best thing about them is .....Ok,take the die grinders 5.00 I bought ten at a time each one is a dedicated tool I never change between bits any more BIG timesaver REAL BIG...My air drill...9.99 HAHAHA sheet it lasted a year before it craped out I only use 1/8" bits in it ONLY,Oh yeah when it did quit I screwed around and took it apart and found out it was just the planetary gears so I went in my junk air tool box and found out the planetary gears in my 3/8' air ratchit are the same so I replaced them and its on its second year LOL I learned something ...all the parts from all the air tools are the same so if you save everything like I do you can fix them in an hour and learn all about how air tools work.WIN WIN you cant lose not only that but look where the other more expensive tools come from and guess what the planetary gears I told you guys about ....they came out of a blue point air ratchet LOL....I laughed my assoff.OK that said some tools MUST BE QUALITY hutchins da's SATA guns never use a 20.00 da sander for finish work,and a cheap gun is at best trouble waiting to happen. SO you want to know how to get started at the cheapest best way and not waste time and money? I can help I already made all those mistakes.GOOD cheap welder? Miller or lincoln 110 bought at pawn shop almost new 400.00 complete with tank and reg might even have gas ,just saw one the other day (I do most my good tool shopping at the local pawn shops but they call me when something comes up I dealt with them for years ....bunch a crooks if you let them get away with it.They only paid 150.00 for it but if I wanted It I 'd offer them 200.00 and walk away you gotta work these guys or they'll work you. :sweat: :sweat: :sweat: :mwink: :mwink: :mwink:
 

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Wow,I'm gonna check out the inside trak tomorrow....Thanks Jon...Way kool,I didnt know that. Mabee the wiki thing isnt so bad after all. :embarrass :thumbup: I highly recomend the english wheel if your interested in real metalwork it opens up a whole new world to you just like your first welder or cutting torches 200.00:thumbup: best money I ever spent :D I almost forgot...the bestest reason to buy an HF tool ......no one steals them....Three Sata's two hutchins da sanders one blue point air file and a buffmaster electronic buffer came up missing so far in the past ten years and no HF toolsever came up gone
 

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I gotta admit something though ...almost every HF tool I've ever bought needed tweeking usualy masking tape but my little cabinet blaster needed a lot of help and the plenishing hammer now keeps cars from rolling backwards when you stuff it under the rear wheel ,but now most of them work flawlessly any time I need them...usualy the plastic ends on the die grinders come off tape cures that.but when your trying to run a shop and train guys that deserve a break you really cant beat HF for a good many tools NOT ALL but a good many air tools...I've had some real rip offs also but all and all I'm WAY ahead but some tools just cant be skimped on,only quality will do....
 

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I have the same flanger. It works great.
The problem with all HF hand tools is that, although they may be physically identical to a CP or IR tool, HF uses cheap, soft metal, and they skimp on the finishing machine work. Apparently good metal is expensive and the heat treatment is too time consuming for them, so they skip it. If they heat treated the metal parts and machined them better, I bet they would last so much longer, HF would earn a good reputation for good tools instead of one for selling junk.
 

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scrot said:
I have the same flanger. It works great.
The problem with all HF hand tools is that, although they may be physically identical to a CP or IR tool, HF uses cheap, soft metal, and they skimp on the finishing machine work. Apparently good metal is expensive and the heat treatment is too time consuming for them, so they skip it. If they heat treated the metal parts and machined them better, I bet they would last so much longer, HF would earn a good reputation for good tools instead of one for selling junk.
HF is an American owned store chain and makes nothing. The majority of the tools they sell have American 'sounding' names like Chicago Electric, Central Machinery/Pneumatic, US General and Pittsburgh Toos but are imported from China. HF doesn not care about selling quality tools and only cares about the almighty $$$. Yes, they do have a good return policy and their 'better' line of tools, Pittsburgh, has a lifetime warranty. Having a good return policy helps keeps customers coming back and they can afford the policy since their profit margin is so high. You think you are getting a tool dirt cheap...you'd freak if you knew what they pay for them! Isn't child labor wonderfull!?
 
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