Harbor Freight - what's good, what's junk?

Discussion in 'General Tech' started by XJsavage, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    I'm sure by now we all own a few tools from the infamous Harbor Freight. I was doing my once a month cleanup just recently and got to thinking about what all I've bought from there and what has actually held up.

    My list of HF tools that have withstood the 5+ year heavy use test...

    -12 ton jack stands. The big orange and white ones. I've had these for at least 8 years now and they've never let me down. Well worth the money.
    -CN 1/2" electric impact drill. Had it for years, used friends for even longer. Very sturdy and tough as nails.
    -Generic multi color impact sockets. Amazingly these have been quite durable.
    -wiring connector kit.

    So far that's it, please share your good finds.

    Junk list:
    -4.5" cutoff blades. Good for about 1' of 1/4" plate.
    -wire brushes
    -gloves
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  2. benmack1

    benmack1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Efland, NC
    20 ton hf press has done well for me. Been loading up on freebie multimeters and led flashlights lately. I have multimeters everywhere I look now :burnout:
     
    drkelly likes this.
  3. Dynamite Design

    Dynamite Design Dynamite Fabricator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    I've seen the little air angle grinders and die grinders get abused by a lot of people at the Fab school running 175 psi. I still use them.
     
  4. Ron

    Ron Dum Spiro Spero Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Sharon, SC
    Always liked the $14 4.5" side grinder
    Ive got the big orange and white floor jack that is probably 13 years old gets left outside waaay too much and it keeps ticking.
     
  5. Dynamite Design

    Dynamite Design Dynamite Fabricator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Sh
    lol
     
  6. toyota1

    toyota1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    Blue western safety gloves
    12ton jack stands
    I keep 5 4.5" angle grinders so I don't have to change the wheel just pick up the grinder/flap wheel/wire wheel
    Red three shelf roll around carts are pretty good for the monies
    Random blow guns and air chucks
     
  7. frankenyoter

    frankenyoter No Rain, No Rainbow

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    DARK CITY
    I use their step bits often and for the price it seems well worth it. I've got several little air tools like small cut off and small grinder and after a couple years of a abuse, they are still kicking too. Also have a floor jack and several pairs of jack stands that have functioned fine.

    I'll pick up a 3 pack of welding gloves when they are on sale. I use them for the fireplace, shucking oysters, etc.
     
  8. Falko

    Falko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    I've never broken a HF screwdriver... while doing screwdriver things at least.

    1/8 inch cutoff wheels work as good as others.

    Grease gun hasnt kicked it yet.

    I have a much longer list of things that were absolute shit.
     
  9. catfishblues

    catfishblues Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pfafftown, NC
    uploadfromtaptalk1413940957917.jpg

    This is the one I've been impressed with lately. Well, it's two tools, really. The tube roller and the pipe threader. That's 1.5" 18ga DOM getting wound into a 22"od circle. Took less than 25 minutes. The roller needs modifications to really be up to the task, but for the money, it's hard to beat!

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
     
    hurt4x4 likes this.
  10. untchabl

    untchabl On the rocks

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    Bear Creek, NC 27207
    The black roll cart is real nice for $99. I know a lot of people that have one, myself included.
     
  11. DSM Turbos

    DSM Turbos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
  12. StretchASU

    StretchASU Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Durm
    Good:
    4.5" Grinders...built a few rigs with those things.
    Jack Stands
    Step Bits
    Engine Hoist
    Engine Stand
    Jack
    Socket sets
    Wrench Sets
    Screwdrivers

    Bad:
    Anything I break...recently burned up a 1/2 electric impact (corded) just removing lug nuts and shock bolts.
     
  13. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    The impact sockets (I have the deep 6pt in metric and SAE) are good. Haven't broken one yet.
     
    Oliver's and drkelly like this.
  14. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I bought an engine stand from there. It was decent after I replaced all of the hardware. The bolts and nuts that came with it were complete garbage. 13/16" on this flat, 3/4" on that one, 18mm on the other, etc. Couldn't get a box end or socket over any of them.
     
    mbalbritton likes this.
  15. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sc
    Has anyone tried the auto darkening welding helmets they sell? I won't trust my eyes to just anything, but I've been curios about these as a backup hood.
     
  16. DSM Turbos

    DSM Turbos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I have one. I don't weld much but it works for me.
     
  17. tireburner1975

    tireburner1975 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Kure Beach, NC
    Bought these recently on sale. Got the tool cart for home for $169 and the jack a while back for $70. Bunch of other little things just to have in the home garage. uploadfromtaptalk1413945896308.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1413945896308.jpg
     

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  18. Dynamite Design

    Dynamite Design Dynamite Fabricator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Trash....
     
  19. Dynamite Design

    Dynamite Design Dynamite Fabricator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    but I'm only used to using a fixed shade, so someone else may say otherwise
     
  20. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt @ Rev Limit Fab

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    I've used one a fair amount and if you're on a budget they aren't that bad. Little fragile, so don't drop the thing because it will break.
     
  21. braxton357

    braxton357 Robot

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton
    I have a Jackson pro auto dark, HF gay flames auto and Lincoln Viking 3550. .. Those are listed in order from most to least shitty. The HF honestly isn't bad.
    Earthquake impacts without even saying "for the price" are as good as IR... That's not to say the rest of their air tool selection is so great though, the die grinders, cut offs, air chisels and drills don't even compare to real commercial stuff. The press sans press plates is good, even better with air over hydro. Tool boxes aren't as great as the reviews but are every bit as good as husky and kobalt. Every welder they sell is pure trash. Power tools are not bad for the money--good for the home shop or diyer. Of course their consumables suck, it's to be expected. Flex head ratchet is better than my craftsman version.
     
  22. powerstrokin04

    powerstrokin04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Wylie SC/ Ellenboro NC
    Good
    2 ton engine lift
    1/2 battery powered impact
    Jack stands
    Jack
    Creeper
    Vac pump
    Ac gauges
    Free multimeter
    Throw away blue gloves
    Bad
    Anything that has to do with precision like torque wrenches etc. Not accurate.
     
  23. braxton357

    braxton357 Robot

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton
    What makes you say that about the tq wrenches? Several sites and magazines have tested them to be as accurate as any of the other high end wrenches.
     
  24. yoder519

    yoder519 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA
    The drill bit set is junk. But it's almost worth the 6 or 7 bucks for the index. The tap and die sets are actually fairly decent I tap 11 gauge and 3/8s regularly. Only other thing I got from is there is Hand tools, big ratchet straps cut off wheels brushes etc and for the money I can't really complain
     
  25. powerstrokin04

    powerstrokin04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Wylie SC/ Ellenboro NC
    I've had two that were not accurate. Anything above 100ft lbs. I would torque a bolt. Then come behind it with a snap- on torque wrench and get another 1/4 turn out of it. The first one I used for 150ft lb. After 2 bolts It would never click again. Got a new one on exchange and it's not accurate. Only reason I got one was to try it out at the expense of a few dollars. They probably would be fine for small jobs. But I wouldn't trust them to torque head bolts etc. Just my experience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

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