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The Harbor Freight Pass/fail Thread...

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by IRQVET, May 31, 2020.

  1. Jun 3, 2020
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger Quarantined in the Garage 2020 Sponsor

    Dallas Metroplex...
    Jun 28, 2019
    I have their Central Pneumatic 8 gallon compressor. For an apartment dweller, it seemed like an OK choice. First year, it was impossible to use, as every time it got cold, it would blow the circuit breaker upon start-up. After the 10th or 11th time using it (which put it into the 2nd year), it worked without a hitch. Shame that the compressor itself is so darn loud and slow to compress. Hard to power most air tools with it.

    I've blown seals in 2 of their bottle jacks (does anybody know where I can get replacements for them?), usually within the first 6 months. I need to get around to either rebuilding them or tossing them.

    I just used their A/C manifold gauge set. Believe it or not, it worked flawlessly the first time. Only downside is that you need to buy an adapter to use the newer self-sealing cans of 134A.

    Small air tools, such as the 3/8 ratchet, the cut-off grinder, etc, have all done well with me as long as I oil them. Their desiccant systems are not up to snuff, IMHO.
  2. Jun 3, 2020

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Mar 4, 2003
    Great point on different results - I had that exact jack and it failed the second time I tried to use it - T90/D18 and T14/D18 so it wasn't the heavy SM465s I do now on my new jack.
  3. Jun 3, 2020

    IRQVET Bubbaification Exorcist

    Tallahassee, FL.
    Feb 5, 2015
    The 4.5 amp Drill Master Grinder is an absolute PASS.

    I've had several, never had an issue. My oldest one crapped out after 12 years (of heavy use). For $10.00 at the time of purchase (now $15) its a no brainer (y)
  4. Jun 4, 2020

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Sep 23, 2002
    I purchased one recently and only have used it a little but it did work well.
  5. Jun 4, 2020

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Sep 23, 2002
    I use their chip brushes quite a bit as I think of them as disposable anyway. I listed paint brushes as a fail as I've had them come apart or lose bristles in the paint a couple times while painting.
  6. Jun 4, 2020

    Bigdaddy13 Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Nov 19, 2019
    PASS: Harbor Freight Black nitrile gloves
    PASS: Harbor Freight orange, "normal" steel floor jack.
    PASS: 2 ton engine hoist
    PASS: Hoist "load leveler" pulley
    PASS: Blasting cabinet
    FAIL: Blasting cabinet gun/hand unit (Might just need to pull apart and clean, but it stopped working after blasting 3-4 items. Troubleshooted a little, but nothing came of pulling nozzle off and light cleaning.)
    PASS: Grinding Discs
    PASS/FAIL: 4 (4.5?) inch angle grinder( I use it A LOT, but the wheel lock for removing the disc holder broke off, the trigger switch falls apart all the time, and it's generally more complicated that it needs to be. That being said motor is strong and reliable.)

    I'll add to the list as I remember what I have.
  7. Jun 4, 2020

    Maddevill Member

    Shingletown CA
    Oct 3, 2019
    Super long tire irons- great
    ATV lift- great
    Ratchet wrench that has an extendable handle and has 3/8 drive on one side and 1/4 on the other- super great
    Orange deadblow hammer- really great
    Gallon of anti freeze for $8- really really super great
    Set of racheting box end wrenches- still using them.
    Air compressor- worked good until I forgot to check the oil and seized it.
    I like most of the simple tools, but I won't buy torque wrenches and stuff like that from them.

  8. Jun 4, 2020

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Sep 23, 2002
    He careful about those orange deadblow hammers. I had the head come apart on one and dump all the lead shot right into a freshly rebuilt transmission. Had to completely disassemble the T-18 I had just finished to get all the shot out.
    Also beware the ball pein hammers. I had one chip and the chip flew up, bounced off the bottom of my safety glasses, and imbed itself through my lower eyelid damaging my eyeball. It had to be surgically removed from the eyeball side and my eyeball filled with blood.
    Downs and jeepstar like this.
  9. Jun 4, 2020

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Aug 10, 2003
  10. Jun 6, 2020

    EMA Member

    Lake Elsinore,...
    Feb 20, 2019
    A few years back I was in charge of a major wood working facility.
    We would drop orders to "major" suppliers for replacement electric / air powered tools such as Grinders, Planers, Routers, Drills, Paint Guns, and such about every three months amounting to thousands of dollars.
    This was to keep a "Three-Shift" plant manufacturing process running smoothly.
    Pitched the idea of trying a year plan with the President to consider using HF tools for a cost saving study.
    After a year...They still to this day utilize HF for tool deliveries..!
    I could bore you all the details of failures and fixes, but at the end of the initial study was about a 40% decrease in tooling expenses across the entire facility..!
    Case to mention...
    Prior to this we had a routine of workers bring a "dead" tools to be exchanged for a replacement. We would order the needed parts then to fix this tool and add to the shelf.
    Add in the labor hours and cost of parts.
    Shelves of various make and model parts of anything you could think of..!
    Half the Maintenance room space was devoted to cataloged shelves of makes and parts....now gone.
    When the tool burned up or fell apart...throw it away.
    My teams had more time then on the floor doing repairs to the more important major machines.
    What was fun...…...
    Grabbing four guys to go to the local HF... We would walk out with five FULL carts... :)
    " You get what you paid for " BUT at the end of the day....A huge savings.
    Side note... I purchased their little Cement Mixer about 3 years ago to do some yard renovations.
    We put two 60# bags in at a time building walls and walkways.... built a 300 gallon Turtle Pond.
    By my calculations....about 25,000 Lbs ( Dry weight ) so far.
    Now parts fall off... Wife and I just put the back on and keep going..!
    I don't use my "expensive" grinders and the like from my machine shop...I use HF equiv. ( cheaper ) tools to grind and fit cement and blocks.
    Just blow them out each use...Had one that burned up 1st day... cut the cord off & threw away... :)
    Can one go wrong paying $200 for this little mixer..?
    Just Saying.....

    Fireball likes this.
  11. Jun 8, 2020

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Jan 23, 2014
    I've been real happy with my US General 1.5 ton aluminum race jack for about 10 years, but not it doesnt go all the way up. This is an old one where the whole frame and handle are aluminum, about 28lbs.
    I also have a set of 4 of their car dollies. I got them with coupons when they first came out. The whole set was way less $ than one GoJack.
    The $10 (with coupon) purple paint spray guns can't be beat for the money.
    So far, my 20 ton bottle jack I put in my press is flawless after 7 years.
    Lockman likes this.
  12. Jun 19, 2020

    jackdog Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Finger Lakes NY
    Jul 16, 2013
    This has come in handy many times. Just used it to haul 16' 2x10 lumber.PASS
    Truck Bed Extender
    Lockman likes this.
  13. Jun 22, 2020

    OnlyOneDR Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Mar 4, 2020
    My 2-1/4 ton jack still works; it has a weird "leak down" where the jack handle swings back up.
    I gave up on all their crap. I don't have time to go back to the store (1 hr round trip if I am fast) every time their stuff breaks.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  14. Jul 8, 2020

    1947cj2a Member

    Nov 11, 2017
    I mostly use them for hand tools to stick in the vehicles. I buy one of there soft bags and fill it with screw drivers, wrenches, hammer, zip ties, electric tape, anything I think I might need to use at least once to get me home and not to worried if I brake it or lose them
    I did buy a DA sander from them for an aluminum project and it's worked pretty well so far.
  15. Jul 8, 2020

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Sep 23, 2002
    I will say their canvas tool bags have held up very well for me. I have two that I’ve overloaded ridiculously and they are still going strong. One is my trail bag tool bag that probably weighs 50 lbs. The other is full of recovery gear with 3 snatch blocks, straps, chains, clevises, etc.
    No problems with either.
  16. Jul 8, 2020

    '74Renegade Active Member

    Fair Oaks, CA
    Sep 1, 2005
    Anybody have experience with the Bauer portable band saw? It looks well made in the store and at $84 with coupon, well that seems hard to beat for occasional use.
    Lockman likes this.
  17. Jul 8, 2020

    radshooter Member

    Northwest Kansas
    Jan 10, 2014
    I have a Bauer band saw and like it. I bought a SWAG table to mount it to. Easy to unmount to take outside if needed. It has mostly replaced my angle grinder with cutoff wheel for small stuff less than 4 inches. I have done larger cuts on it by cutting 4" one way, then spinning the work and cut from the other side to meet in the middle. I have even used it on some wood projects.

    I do have to take my time when cutting though. If you try to push too fast or too hard, you can get blade deflection and a crooked cut. Still faster than a cutoff wheel though.

    I am a hobby welder and it does everything I have asked. Not sure how it would do in a pro shop setting, but I use the heck out of mine. Would buy again.
    Lockman and '74Renegade like this.
  18. Dec 26, 2020

    piffey263 Active Member

    Medford, OR
    Oct 16, 2008
    Banks 23 guage pin nailer pass. For price it's still working after a month.

    Can't speak for other stuff,
  19. Dec 27, 2020
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Oct 12, 2003
    Got 2 of the 18 ga. metal shears. Both worked for a while and failed. PASS for occasional use, FAIL for my uses, Price was right Only $20.

    Folding Welding tabe PASS. Use it all the time.

    Purple paint guns : Huge PASS. Probably have 5 or 6 unopened in paint cabinet. Only have one for parts after a lot of use.
    Air die grinders: PASS probably have 5 or 6 in the shop, right angle and straight. A few failed after a lot of use.
    Each time I go by I always get Blue Nitrile Gloves: PASS
    Box 2 in paint brushes: PASS but not for critical jobs, the hairs come out bad.
    Acid brushed for spreading glue and light projects: PASS
    Pittsburgh Vise Grip style clamping pliers: PASS Keep some actual Vise Gripe ones for critical work. Got racks full of these for panel fitment.
    Heat Gun: PASS
    36 in. Sheet Metal Brake: PASS for small non critical work.
    36 in combination Belt and Disc sander: PASS with some modification. Realignment, re-taping holes and belt adjustment.
    Small hand steel and brass detail brushes for cleaning metal for welding: PASS Always buy more of these every trip.

    A lot of Harbor Freight tools require some modification and fiddling right out of the box.

    Fireball likes this.
  20. Dec 27, 2020

    wheelie beeg dummy 2021 Sponsor

    York, PA
    Mar 6, 2004

    I have the older version of this I think......brad nailer but 18 gauge. Works great and has, for occasional use, for years.
    piffey263 likes this.
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