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Things that is worth getting at The Harbor Freight

This topic contains 54 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  crotalusco 1 year ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 55 total)
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  • #680263

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I know Harbor Freight is not a preferred place to buy quality tools, especially power tools. But once in a while I do find something there I would use.

    I have purchased their power tools as a back up beater tool some years ago. For example when I have to cut an irrigation pipe buried 18″ below ground and the hole is partially flooded with dirt and mud and I have to make a cut and don’t want to use my good tools I take out the “Chicago Electric”. Their power tools are always heavier and takes twice as long to cut, drill, etc…but as a disposable, why not. But the last few years I got rid of most of the beater tools, I don’t have time to store and organize everything so I gave them all to my neighbors who is an occasional DIYer.

    I am wondering if anyone has found something worth getting at the HF, power tools or otherwise.

    For myself, I buy their nitrile gloves.

    I also buy their plastic tarps.

    I have a few of their manual wire strippers and they seem to work fine.

    They also have a small Drill Master drill/tap set for like $10. The bit and tap itself is crap but it’s usable, but I like the small plastic case. It’s a butterfly style bit holder just the size I like, I like to organize my bits into separate small cases (one for star drives, one for drywall bits, one for tap bits etc…) so I put my Dewalt and Milwaukee bits in their cases.

    I also have a few of their SDS chisel blades.

    Their hand tools, metal ones, seems to start rusting one second after I walked out of the store.

    #680282

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    My opinion their tarps. Moving blankets, tie straps ( coupon for 99 cent), some sandpaper, trailer wiring, and maybe a few other small items.

    #680360

    Clev08
    Pro

    I tried their F style clamps and they worked great for a couple weeks until the spring holding the metal locks came out.
    The only thing I get their is the moving blankets when they have a coupon to get them free with any purchase.

    #680368

    Warren6810
    Pro
    Akron, OH

    Their multi tools can be had for about $15, and can really take a beating. I also have had good luck with tarps, bungee cords, ratchet straps, and lifting slings. Never buy the sawzall blades!! Total crap. Multi blades aren’t bad, but better blades can be had for not much more.

    #680538

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I buy there nitrile gloves for staining and dirty work. they are not for rough work but they protect your hands from the stain and grease. At 10 bucks a box of 100, they are fairly reasonable.

    #680544

    RonW
    Pro
    Holladay, Tn

    I buy there nitrile gloves for staining and dirty work. they are not for rough work but they protect your hands from the stain and grease. At 10 bucks a box of 100, they are fairly reasonable.

    I buy the 9 mil nitrile gloves from HF and like them. The 4 wheel dolly’s when on sale are OK too.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #680545

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    Sounds like we are all buying the same things lol.

    #680548

    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Canadian tire here as well as Princess Auto have a 4 1/2″ grinder for like $30 that is really hard to kill. I think HF sells the same one. Good throw away tool for rough work.

    #680625

    brianpeters
    Pro
    Murray, KY

    We have a Harbor Freight about 40 minutes from me, but I’ve never been in there. I guess I should check it out sometime.

    #680628

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I never buy anything from Harbor Freight But do stop in the Harbor pub once and a while.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #680639

    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    I buy there nitrile gloves for staining and dirty work. they are not for rough work but they protect your hands from the stain and grease. At 10 bucks a box of 100, they are fairly reasonable.

    I buy Nitrile gloves from our janitorial supplier – $7 for 100 gloves and they’re pretty good quality too. Getting gloves from hardware stores always seems to have much higher markups so I’d recommend trying a consumables distributor instead.

    Charlie
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    #680640

    CB
    Pro

    The quality of Harbor Freight tools has changed dramatically over the 20 years that I have periodically shopped for tools there.

    Twenty years ago, I purchased swivel fittings from Harbor Freight (when the then much smaller chain was owned by the father of the man who runs HF’s growing retail conglomerate now) that were knock offs of the Ingersoll Rand IRAX swivel fitting that I paid $39.00 at Grainger for. I paid $3.99 for the same functionality at HF, and twenty years later, those swivel fittings are still working today. Made in Taiwan, which might account for the difference.

    I bought an 8″ bench grinder at HF around the same time. Also made in Taiwan. It was all hammered green in color, nothing like the orange plastic bodied bench grinders HF sells today, that are all made in China. The bench grinder that I bought has cast iron extended housings, with extended motor shafts inside supported by big ball bearings.

    Had I known back then that HF would discontinue this grinder, I would have bought three of them, mounting two grits of stones to one, a coarse and a fine pair of wire wheels to another, and buffing wheels to the third. I actually had plans to weld up a cart to hold all three grinders configured as such, but believed (20 years ago) that these grinders would always be available, just wait for the sale before buying… and suddenly, they were discontinued and replaced by that orange colored crap.

    At one time, Harbor Freight sold refurbished name brand tools, like DeWalt for example. Now, everthing is house brand, using names that sound like turn of the previous century American industrial brand names long since morphed away… a somewhat misleading marketing practice that leaves a bad taste to those who remember when, but is probably entirely lost on the laborer immigrants who buy HF tools the most (from my assessment of who I am standing in line with at the register).

    #680668

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    HF is kind of hit and miss, some things are OK others are pure junk. You get what you pay for at HF. Although their tool boxes and cabinets lately have really been a surprise. They always get good reviews.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #680691

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I also get their paint brushes. Not to paint with but as small dusters.

    #680710

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    The microfiber clothes are ok too.

    #680729

    rerun_1965
    Pro
    holladay, TN

    HF is kind of hit and miss, some things are OK others are pure junk. You get what you pay for at HF. Although their tool boxes and cabinets lately have really been a surprise. They always get good reviews.

    I love my us general tool box its as good as any tool box I have seen

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    #681602

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I will probably be doing some shopping there soon. I got in the mail yesterday a $160 gift card from them and my fiancé too for a class action lawsuit they had on them.

    #681635

    I will probably be doing some shopping there soon. I got in the mail yesterday a $160 gift card from them and my fiancé too for a class action lawsuit they had on them.

    Nice, now you have free money to spend there.

    Will

    #681647

    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I will probably be doing some shopping there soon. I got in the mail yesterday a $160 gift card from them and my fiancé too for a class action lawsuit they had on them.

    Nice, now you have free money to spend there.

    Absolutely. I may put it towards a tool chest. A few people were impressed with them so I might check them out and use the GC towards that. Who knows. I was surprised to get that much. I though maybe $10-20 not $160.

    #681735

    CB
    Pro

    Stanley Black and Decker bought Waterloo last year, while Waterloo petitioned the US International Trade Commission to slap tariffs on tool boxes from Harbor Freight… accusing the Chinese importers of tool boxes of state subsidized dumping. Get ’em while you can, because the political climate is ripe for a poster child of trade deficit… and nothing better to exemplify this fury than a big steel box that is less than one tenth the cost per cubic inch than the domestic branded competition. If the prices haven’t gone up already… they might be going up soon.

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