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-   -   Harbor Freight Good tool list (https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=434877)

lacrosse10604 01-21-2006 11:18 AM

Harbor Freight Good tool list
 
Hey everyone. I know alot of people hate HF and will never buy from them (if you hate HF please don't clog up the post). However, I'm not one of those people. I'd like to start a list of items people have bought from HF that have worked well. I'm starting to gather up tools for my garage and would like to save money by picking up HF tools if they have a good track record.

Personally I'm interested in welders, winch, and power tools. But post anything you've had success with.

WRMorrison 01-21-2006 11:28 AM

The mini-lathe (about $400) is pretty much worthless, except for small parts. The finish it produces sux too.

The medium-sized mill they offer is ok, but only for small parts. Not extremely precise, but works for small stuff.

The mini chop saw (not exactly sure why I bought it, uses standard die grinder cut-off wheels) is pretty much a $16 paperweight.

The smaller bandsaw works ok, but only for thinner material (1/8" and under).

Small belt sander works pretty well. But after about a year, the motor finally gives up the ghost.

I normally use all these tools for RC projects, but have used them on occasion for the 1:1 stuff. But, I usually build the big stuff at work with REAL equipment. :)

-WRM

cebby 01-21-2006 12:55 PM

Pittsburg Drill Press Vise (works good)

Bar Stock Bender (great for bending brackets 'n such)

I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of them right now...

multichamp 01-21-2006 01:08 PM

how does this bandsaw do? http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=37151

HORIZONTAL/VERTICAL METAL CUTTING BANDSAW- $169.99

im looking to pick one up at the local harbot freight, ill be using it for cutting up to 1/4"... will it do?

Travis Waldher 01-21-2006 02:28 PM

I don't own one, but have used someone elses. It worked fine for everything up to 3/8". Which is the largest I ever fed the thing.




Toyoland66 01-21-2006 03:14 PM

Hammers, pry bars, anvils, etc

stuff without moving parts or precision edges

eschoendorff 01-21-2006 06:15 PM

I have that aluminum racing jack and it seems to hold up pretty well. I just bought one of their 4 1/2" angle grinders... it makes alot of noise, but it gets the job done.

I also picked up one of their heat guns today. $7.99 after the 20% coupon, which is about what it's worth. But, after usning it a little, I cannot say that i am disappointed.

ironpig70 01-21-2006 07:10 PM

have a pile of magnetic 6" levels, magnetic angle finder, hammers, pry bars, sockets(impact), large wrenches(1"-2"), 3/4" drive sockets and ratchet. air hammer and paint sprayer. 2 1/2 ton floor jack. engine stand 1250 unit.




lsloth 01-21-2006 07:27 PM

Horizontal/vertical Metal Cutting Bandsaw
 
1 Attachment(s)
I love my band saw andI have beat the hell out of it for the last two years and it still works great.

tjmark 01-21-2006 07:32 PM

where did you get the self oiler from?

eschoendorff 01-21-2006 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironpig70
have a pile of magnetic 6" levels, magnetic angle finder, hammers, pry bars, sockets(impact), large wrenches(1"-2"), 3/4" drive sockets and ratchet. air hammer and paint sprayer. 2 1/2 ton floor jack. engine stand 1250 unit.


That reminds me... I have beat the shit out of my HF impact sockets, and haven't had one break or go bad yet. The impact extensions get a little chewed up, though.

ironpig70 01-21-2006 07:57 PM

forgot grinders. shit i have 4 of them from there and only had one problem with one. the points got dirty from grinder dust. pulled them out, hit them lightly with some sand paper and reinstalled and good to go.


dads impact sockets are a good 10 years old and they are all still intact




pimpgauer74 01-21-2006 08:30 PM

I'll 2nd the 4x6 band saw. Especially with the 20% off coupon.
I'll add "pick racks" for nuts/bolts. (always useful)
The large drill bit collection...Nitrite coated something like 50+ bits. If you're nice to them and you've got a drill Dr. They're a great value.
My friend has their largest drill press and it hasn't let him down for 4+ years.
I've had luck with their combo wrenches for around the shop "shade tree" work.
I can't say anything bad about the 6" drill press vice.

off the top of my head that's what works well for me...

the glassman1 01-21-2006 08:59 PM

tools
 
hd tube notcher is great, sand blaster works good (45.00)
all my trail tools are from there. not as big of a deal if you have to modify them or loose them on the trail.

WRMorrison 01-21-2006 09:09 PM

[QUOTE=the glassman1]sand blaster works good (45.00)[QUOTE]

I've got the same blaster (I think) 40#? I can't get the damn thing to work right. It just wants to either blow just air, or a full stream of sand and no air. :confused:

-WRM

D60 01-21-2006 09:15 PM

4.5" cutting dics

impact sockets

I've got one of their pancake compressors for running a nailer/stapler.

most of their die grinders work fine, they just sound slightly more sickly than my IR's.

4.5" grinders take a lot of abuse for the price, but they won't hold up like the good stuff, and the vibration will numb your forearms.

Welding magnets ok

Rory Bellows 01-21-2006 11:12 PM

4.5 cut off disks x2 that's all I'll buy. For the money they can't be beat.

$189.99 drill press on sale works great no problems or complaints.

4x6 bandsaw. Just got it, like it so far but might need a little tweaking.

1/2" impact socket set-- can't beat the price and have held up pretty good so far.

Ring Roller- works very well. I've gotten two projects out of it and am very satisfied.

I think I have reached the threshhold for HF tools. Besides cutoff wheels and wire cups I think I got the best tools I could get from them so far. Although a mini lathe doesn't seem out of the future w/ 20% coupon of course.

tacomamike 01-21-2006 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lacrosse10604
Hey everyone. I know alot of people hate HF and will never buy from them (if you hate HF please don't clog up the post). However, I'm not one of those people. I'd like to start a list of items people have bought from HF that have worked well. I'm starting to gather up tools for my garage and would like to save money by picking up HF tools if they have a good track record.

Personally I'm interested in welders, winch, and power tools. But post anything you've had success with.

I have used this thing many times!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/pho...8399/38335.gif

Later,
....Mike

Dynamicfigure 01-22-2006 12:33 AM

Another band saw vote
 
I'll throw another vote in for the 4X6 bandsaw you will want to drain the grime out of the gearbox and replace it with gear oil (that is lacking sand) and get a bimetal blade. A few other options can be found here:

http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/pro.../sawstand.html

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Bandsaw/Bandsaw.htm#bandsaw

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/

The griders are pretty good to and I have not had any trouble with the air hamer that I bought from them.

90Beater 01-22-2006 01:21 AM

HF loves me since I spend too much money there. Here is what I can think of for now.

Good:
3 ton jack - at least 5 years old
3 ton jack stands
4 ˝” grinder - I have tortured it for a couple years and it’s my most used HF toy.
Cement mixer
6” vise – the black one, not the blue one
Deep impact sockets – metric and SAE (I broke one with a 5’ cheater bar and they swapped the set for a new one)
Protractors, dial calipers, angle magnets (6), levels, tape measurers, hammers, pry bars, other basic tools
4WD ball joint and u-joint servicing tool – I just used it for both this weekend
Carbon Steel welding wire – works fine in my Millermatic 175
100’ air hose, quick connectors, 3” pneumatic cutoff wheel, 3/8” air ratchet, tire inflators

Bad:
7” grinder – I bought one last week and it lasted about 30 minutes – I will return it
14” cutoff saw – it works but you have to change the blade when it gets hot, it doesn’t feel hot but quits cutting. You can change it back later and it works again.
Auto darkening welding helmet with flames – died after three or four uses

Not used yet:
Tubing notcher
Pipe bender – before I knew better

There’s lots more but that’s all I can think of now.

Haggar 01-22-2006 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 90Beater
Bad:

14” cutoff saw – it works but you have to change the blade when it gets hot, it doesn’t feel hot but quits cutting. You can change it back later and it works again.

The blade is getting glazed with molten metal. I had this issue as well, it just stops cutting. I found that just flipping the blade to cut in the other direction worked great. I've been cutting 1" x 3" solid bar, so its a hefty cut.

I think thats an issue of chop saws, in general.



The $70 pipe bender has worked well for me.
I have various CP air tools that my grandpa gave me, also all work still.
I bought the $300 drill press ($189 on sale + 20% off coupon) its nice.
Also have a 5" machinists vise with X-Y slides.

Really I haven't had any bad luck yet from things I've got there.

I'd say the 14" chop saw is the cheapest feeling, but it chops.. Its not very sqaure in the vertical plane, thats my biggest gripe. Was hoping for a true square cut for driveshaft work...

WRMorrison 01-22-2006 08:41 AM

Dynamic figure, thanks for the links! Most informative...

I guess I'll have to go and pick up that ball joint press. I didn't want to spend the extra dough on the Snap-On truck, but I wasn't sure if the HF one would work.

Other misc. things I've bought there:

lots of welding magnets (not the best, but they work and they're cheap), hammers, pry bars, HD bearing separator (works very well), body hammer/dolly set, and various small hand tools. (mainly, mini-screwdrivers, nut drivers, etc.)

Next on the list: ball joint press, smaller media blasting cabinet, smaller parts washer, tubing notcher, impact sockets, air chisel, air ratchet.....

All thanks to the good reviews in this thread!

-WRM

eschoendorff 01-22-2006 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tacomamike
I have used this thing many times!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/pho...8399/38335.gif

Later,
....Mike

If I may ask, what (specifically) have you used it for, and how has it held up? I have one, but I have not yet put it to the test. Do you think that the turning screw could take the hit of an impact, or do you just use hand wrenches (I'm guessing that 99% of the time hand wrenches are all that is necessary)?

RockRanger 01-22-2006 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eschoendorff
If I may ask, what (specifically) have you used it for, and how has it held up? I have one, but I have not yet put it to the test. Do you think that the turning screw could take the hit of an impact, or do you just use hand wrenches (I'm guessing that 99% of the time hand wrenches are all that is necessary)?

I use mine with an impact. Tighten it up by hand then I toss my $79 harbor fright "earthquake" impact on it and go. Ive used it for ball joints and changing u joints.

multichamp 01-22-2006 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pimpgauer74
I'll 2nd the 4x6 band saw. Especially with the 20% off coupon.
I'll add "pick racks" for nuts/bolts. (always useful)
The large drill bit collection...Nitrite coated something like 50+ bits. If you're nice to them and you've got a drill Dr. They're a great value.
My friend has their largest drill press and it hasn't let him down for 4+ years.
I've had luck with their combo wrenches for around the shop "shade tree" work.
I can't say anything bad about the 6" drill press vice.

off the top of my head that's what works well for me...

were do you find the 20% off coupon?


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