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Mc_Reatta

Harbor Freight - Love 'em or Hate 'em

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Me too. Have a bunch of $1.99 DVMs (just toss one in trunk of every car & often give them away) and $4.99 float chargers (NP). As with JCWhitney in the past you have to know what you are buying but have several items that were over $100. (20% off coupons help) Never buy anything that is not on sale or discounted though.

Just bought an 800W generator - on receipt the spark plug electrode had no gap. Fixed as part of my normal checkout and worked just fine on camping trip even when asked to be a jump starter when battery went ded. Charged for about 10 minutes and cranked. Gen grunted a bit while cranking but did not trip out or stall.

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My rule of thumb is; Don't buy anything from Harbor Freight that may cause death or injury to you or others if (when) it fails.

I wouldn't buy jacks, jack stands, hoists, presses, spring compressors, power tools, trailers, or anything made of hardened steel (hammers, anvils, wrenches, etc) from them.

Basically, I avoid buying anything from Harbor Freight that is made of metal. I also wouldn't trust their personal safety equipment, but that's only based on the quality of the other products they sell.

When I need a cheap plastic tarp that only needs to last a short time, I buy it from HF. Other than that, I can't think of what else I would buy there.

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Their Top of the line Tool Chests are MUCH better quality than Craftsman and if you use the 20% coupons they are half the craftsman price or less.....

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I like Harbor Freight; bought ALOT of tools from them. Their US General Brand tool boxes are a class act. Never had a problem.

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I have kind of gotten up there in age and look at tool purchases a little differently - If I was young and would use a tool many more times in life I would go for Craftsman due to their Warranty - or even Snap On for the silly prestigue, but being my age I just buy HF .... Their stuff works and I really haven't had anything break on me yet. I get their on line coupons several times weekly offering up to 50% off on many items and as Padgett stated there are a lot of 20% coupons in many magazines. They have a dent puller stud welder at 30% off in this weeks email coupons that I am going to buy :).

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I buy quite a bit from them myself.

Overall, I would say most of my purchases have been good ones.

Bad purchases??

Any of their house-brand power tools.

Just not built to last..... :(-

I also stay away from most of their electrical items such as multimeters, switches, lighting, etc...

Kit

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FWIW I've recently seen 3 ton double locking Husky (Torrin) Jack stands @ Home depot on clearance for $18.00 , normally they're $24.00 YMMV

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I find that HF is just like any other place. You have to be choosy in what your intentional use of the product is. I've bought many items there that are as good as any other product. Check out the 'manufatured in' stamp on items or tools you purchase at Sears, Home Depot, Lowes or any other distributor and you will fgind they are all made in China or Taiwan or some such place. If I'm going to use a tool hard and heavy, I'll go to Sears, Home Depot or Lowes. If It's only going to get occasional use, I'll get it at HF and save a bunch of money.

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A number of years ago I bought a compressor to inflate our boating tube. Then the girls got cars and all of a sudden we were up to 5 cars. I then went to H F and bought both an air ratchet and air impact wrench. Found out my compressor was big enough for the air ratchet but not the impact wrench.

Rather then buy a larger compressor, [Much more $] I opted for H F electric impact wrench. Works well. I even took it to our church's monthly car repair day, and before the day was over everyone was using my H F wrench instead of the church's air wrench. [ Yes they have a compressor big enough to run the air impact wrench easily].

I would recommend that tool.

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WE have a Pep boys store about one half mile from the HF store. The jack stands HF sells are made out of cast iron, the PP Boys are made from stamped steel. They are within a couple of bucks of each other, which is a better stand? The cast are of course heavier.

Thank's

Richard

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Really depends on the casting process but have seen cast items break if dropped. OTOH I have several HF 3 ton jack stands (smallest I buy) and they are welded steel, not cast.

BTW I have air, electric, and even a 12v electric impact. All work best if initially loosened with breaker while on the ground and I alway apply final torque with a torque wrench (prefer beam to "click"). 12v is REALLY slow but gets there.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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My first bad experience with HF was today. bought thier radiator pressure tester, which I need to test for bad head gaskets on Northstar's. The kit contains like 14 different coolant system adapters, but NONE fit any known GM product. Unbelievable!

I called thier tech center to see what I was missing or doing wrong, and he said he didn't think it would fit any GM stuff, either.

It goes back thursday...

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Then there was the universal brake caliper depressor that could not be assembled in any caliper...

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