Harbor Freight

Thu May 23, 2013 9:23 pm

I just got home from my first trip to a Harbor Freight store. That place is awesome. It's amazing what you can score for $84 with the coupons they send in the mail. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

Re: Harbor Freight

Thu May 23, 2013 9:25 pm

I buy some things from Harbor Freight. Not much. So far I have found the prices good but the quality lacking.

Re: Harbor Freight

Thu May 23, 2013 10:11 pm

Eugene wrote:I buy some things from Harbor Freight. Not much. So far I have found the prices good but the quality lacking.

That's my feeling too. I've got a list of things I buy there but in my opinion 3/4 of the inventory is to be avoided. Just my opinion, but based on experience.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 6:02 am

A trip to Harbor is always fun, but I shop selectively there. There's a lot of stuff in the shop that don't get used very often, some of that has come from Harbor. Most of my regularly used tools come from a higher quality source. Don't overlook their shop supplies, such as welding & sanding, etc.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 6:55 am

I like their consumable stuff like shop rags, zip ties, cotter pins, etc.
I did break down and purchase a wire feed welder. To my suprise, it is still working well.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 8:00 am

First time !!!!!!!!!!! I do buy from them on a limited Basis but don't forget you get what you pay for.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 8:31 am

My neighbor works for Lincoln Electric in their maintenance/construction department. He buys a lot of clamps from HF (for Lincoln) and has found they last as long as higher priced ones, at least in his application. Several things that I don't use often have come from HF.

Bill

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 3:08 pm

For those of you that have not seen this ad before. From the pages of Mad Magazine, I might actually think about buying the slide whistle though.

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Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 6:34 pm

BTDT, some stuff ok, some had to be exchanged.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 7:49 pm

I guess i'm just old and set in my ways but I still don't buy anything made in CHINA if I can avoid it.

Jim

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Like the others, I too shop at HF sometimes. However as stated previously, you have to watch what you are buying. I stay away from locking pliers and don't buy any that doesn't say Vice-Grip. I avoid slip joint pliers unless they are made by a reputable manufacturer. I will buy wrenches, sockets and ratchets because they are about the same quality as Craftsman, maybe better, and much cheaper.

Tools that are not used much are much easier to justify buying over higher quality units that are cost prohibitive. Most electrical tools I tend to stay away from. However, I do have a 1/2" drive electric impact wrench that seems to work well. I have a manual tire changer that is crude but effective for changing tires on everything from lawn mower tires to tires on my F-350 dually. With the motorcycle attachment, heavily modified, I change all my motorcycle tires too.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 10:05 pm

Dito on the quality issues on some items. But they do have some things that are worth the purchase. I bought a 2" cutoff saw to cut down my cedar arrows. Works just fine for that. And it was only $30 or so. A good deal, I think.

Re: Harbor Freight

Fri May 24, 2013 10:32 pm

Princess Auto up here I guess is comparable to HF ... hey almost any tool section in ANY hardware store is comparable to HF stock. A lot of tools are made in China. And that includes Makita, DeWalt and a lot of other top name products. You have to check the product line. Go to Wally World, K-Mart or any of the big box stores and you will find the exact same article - maybe a different colour a different box/house brand name etc., but they all come from China.

Some of the stuff at Princess I do not buy -- mostly because it is cheap ... not worth spending the money on. However I have yet to break a wrench from Princess - they are Gedore brand which is a Brazilian subsidiary of a German high end tool manufacturer that has been around for almost a century. Princess also stocks Lisle and Irwin/Vise-Grip as well as other brand names at very good prices. Their Higher End line of products Pro-Point are very good quality.

Shop smart, be informed and pay attention to where things are made. If it is made in Taiwan it isn't China as in mainland China. Taiwanese is as good as Japanese which is as good as European or Canadian or American. However, if I have my druthers I will buy Cdn and US before I buy anything else. However I will not pay a 300% premium to do that. My DVA pension (for service to my country) doesn't allow me that luxury.

Re: Harbor Freight

Sat May 25, 2013 9:31 am

Jim Reid wrote:I guess i'm just old and set in my ways but I still don't buy anything made in CHINA if I can avoid it.Jim
Don't blame china for the quality, they will make junk or top quality, whichever the American companies selling it are willing to pay for, which is controlled by what the American people are willing to pay. If you check closely you will find Most major appliances in your home are at least partly if not completely made in China.

I buy somethings at Harbor Freight, and some I will not buy. I have been very satisfied with their impact sockets and air powered impact wrenches. I will not buy a high dollar item from them. They do have a pretty good parts service if you have a failure.

Re: Harbor Freight

Sat May 25, 2013 2:06 pm

What about the gasoline engines?