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  1. #1
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    I Love You Harbor Freight, But You Smell Like Plastic Hell

    You see, Harbor Freight's tools, while cheap and often flimsy, are reasonably useful. They're robust enough for at least one serious use before breaking. Sometimes, Harbor Freight tools don't work at all, and that provides a tantalizing bit of dramatic tension. Will this $5 brake bleeder douse me in fluid? Who cares? It's five bucks, and I just bought 38 of them. Know what you're getting for your birthday this year? Maybe a bath in brake fluid, maybe a workable one-man brake bleeder. Cross your fingers. Or at least, count them.

    edit: read the rest of it, good fun.

    I Love You Harbor Freight, But You Smell Like Plastic Hell

  2. #2
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    I've been buying from harbor freight for decades (catalogs before the internet). The "will it work?" moment is always a bit tense but so much fun when you get a really cheap tool that ends up working better than you expected. Of course that comes with the risk of those tools that don't work at all (I've been recently having some bad luck with their air tools).
    For specialized tools that you hardly every use and could never justify the money to buy a "professional" version of, HF is the way to go. You just can't be one of those people that gets all whiny when you buy something that doesn't work.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  3. #3
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    C'mon guys!

    Tools are one of the few types of items that can easily be found as 'Made in the USA'

    HF, is OK for an emergency tool - but don't encourage crap
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
    gran jefe
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    i don't need heirloom quality tools. my wife and kids will lose them all well before i am old enough to pass them on. so i buy cheap ones.

  5. #5
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    I think that's a defeatist attitude, personally.

    Better to teach responsibility when it comes to quality tools - IMO
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  6. #6
    gran jefe
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    apparently you haven't tried to teach something to a wife.

    i agree completely in theory, though.

  7. #7
    The Original Suspect
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    I think that's a defeatist attitude, personally.

    Better to teach responsibility when it comes to quality tools - IMO
    I agree with this completely!

    I was taught to always put the tool back where I found it so it can be used again. My step-father said "use it, but put it back."

    I have taught my son the same thing. The tools are there to be used and you are more than welcome to use them. But if I can't find a tool when I need it, then we have a problem.

  8. #8
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    Depends on the tools. I will not buy anything but craftsman tool when it comes to end wrenches and sockets but for a lot of other types of tools I have no problem with harbor freight. I know it is all cheap chinese stuff but some of it is getting pretty decent quality. It will also make you appreciate a good quality tool too! Cant tell you how many HF screwdrivers I have ruined but those craftsman screwdrivers are still perfect...just wish I had more of them!

    My buddy runs a fabrication shop and his shop looks like a HF store with all those tools. He still has some dewalt and craftsman drills and saws but cheap HF grinders, clamps, stands....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowfish View Post
    Depends on the tools. I will not buy anything but craftsman tool when it comes to end wrenches and sockets but for a lot of other types of tools I have no problem with harbor freight. I know it is all cheap chinese stuff but some of it is getting pretty decent quality. It will also make you appreciate a good quality tool too! Cant tell you how many HF screwdrivers I have ruined but those craftsman screwdrivers are still perfect...just wish I had more of them!

    My buddy runs a fabrication shop and his shop looks like a HF store with all those tools. He still has some dewalt and craftsman drills and saws but cheap HF grinders, clamps, stands....
    i always laugh in these threads when someone starts talking about how they only buy craftsman as if thats the benchmark of quality....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metty View Post
    i always laugh in these threads when someone starts talking about how they only buy craftsman as if thats the benchmark of quality....
    For home use, that's all most people need. Sufficient strength and a life time warranty.

    Personally, I buy Ridgid/Delta/Porter power tools, Bosch/Ryobi cordless tools, Craftsman/Crescent hand tools, and Harbor Freight stuff for one off around the house jobs.

    I had a Toyota scissor jack collapse on me. In a panic, I bought a cheap HF alligator jack to bring up the car and get the wheels back on. It's still working after 5 years. It gets use about 5 times a year.

    Hand tools, I don't need Snap-On to change the oil in my car. I have Craftsman tools that I inherited from my grandfather. Good stuff. Never had them fail. I do have a professional mechanic cousin who gave me most of his first Craftsman mechanic set bought in the 90s. He says they failed too often, and that is understandable. He bought a Snap-on set. He says they failed only ever so often

    The right tool for the right job. Using Snap-on to change a tire is like going to Costco in a Unimog to bring home the grocery I actually saw one with a bed bike rack the other day transporting a single bike
    Last edited by bing!; 11-19-2012 at 08:27 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing! View Post
    For home use, that's all most people need. Sufficient strength and a life time warranty.

    Personally, I buy Ridgid/Delta/Porter power tools, Bosch/Ryobi cordless tools, Craftsman/Crescent hand tools, and Harbor Freight stuff for one off around the house jobs.

    I had a Toyota scissor jack collapse on me. In a panic, I bought a cheap HF alligator jack to bring up the car and get the wheels back on. It's still working after 5 years. It gets use about 5 times a year.

    Hand tools, I don't need Snap-On to change the oil in my car. I have Craftsman tools that I inherited from my grandfather. Good stuff. Never had them fail. I do have a professional mechanic cousin who gave me most of his first Craftsman mechanic set bought in the 90s. He says they failed too often, and that is understandable. He bought a Snap-on set. He says they failed only ever so often

    The right tool for the right job. Using Snap-on to change a tire is like going to Costco in a Unimog to bring home the grocery I actually saw one with a bed bike rack the other day transporting a single bike
    craftsman from your grand dad is a totally different animal than the crap that they sell today. as recently as 15 years ago quality tools were still sold under that name. you are lying to yourself if you think (most) craftsman stuff sold at sears now is an better than the equivalent at harbor frieght. dont get me wrong, i have tons of chinese tools from HF that live in my toolbox along side all my snap on stuff, i just know what i am buying when i buy it.

    oh and to the anonymous neg repper...dont get upset because you dont like the truth...

  12. #12
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    Favorite HF buys.

    To change things up a bit, here are some of my favorite HF buys.
    I've had some of these for many years so the model they sell now is not exactly the same so I can't say it will work as well. These are ones that come to mind right away but I'm sure if I headed to the basement I would find many more.

    Wobble Extension Set Probably my most frequently used cheap tool.

    Impact driver set. Has really come in handy a few times.

    Palm Nailer many uses for this little puppy.

    Mini Grease Gun

    High Pressure Oiler
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  13. #13
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    I have that grease gun

  14. #14
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    Each tool has its place..........with that each tool has a manufacture that built it/distributed it, etc...

    HF - china tools...
    Home depot - husky
    Lowes - Kobalt
    I know my local Snapon truck drivers name and he knows mine....

    I would like to say I'm a good mechanic as I have done more than my fair chair of wrench time....I have a car I race/track and I have fab'd my own solid bushings- using machine shops near me, installed turbos, swapped automatics to manuals and have an engineering degree to boot...

    with that Harbor freight tools have their place in my garage, but at the same time, i KNOW when i need to spend good money on something else and so my garage has its array of other tools as well....

    I have high end cordless impacts and love them....spent good money on them, etc...

    but my corded impacts i bought from Harbor freight..Ironically one of them died a few weeks ago and my cousin that was turning wrenches with me made a comment about how my cheap harbor freight impact died while he was using it.....I grabbed it from him while he was still laying on the ground...tossed it into my garage trash can, opened up a cabinet and handed him another brand new HF impact just like the one he just had......

    he freaked out and said "what you have two?!??!"" I told him...i see no point spending $200 bucks on a corded impact for power when this $19.99 impact that i used for over 3 years finally died!!! grant it i spent 40 bucks as i bought two of them and the 2nd is finally coming out....i then asked him.....can you blame me?? 20 bucks dude.....who cares...lets get this job done...

    he smirked and said, dammn i guess your right.......

    every tool has its place..........you dont agree??? i dont care.....its my garage and your not buying the tools are you??? wait i know....lets talk about what truck is better, or better yet lets bring up religion....

    pfff....every tool has its place....

    -J

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasontamu View Post
    ...I grabbed it from him while he was still laying on the ground...tossed it into my garage trash can, opened up a cabinet and handed him another brand new HF impact just like the one he just had......
    this its it

    you are the mentality that pisses me off and I wish I could do more than neg rep.

    BAH!

    Consumerist pieces of TRASH!!


    IN case you hadn't guessed, I find it insulting to people who actually GIVE A SHlT, that you are so fukking flippant about tossing it in the trash - get run over by a tricycle
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  16. #16
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    what was i supposed to do? try and fix it versus trashing it???....spend $200 on a name brand unit that may or may not work any better that probably came out of the same factory in china???

    I guess you also like paying 4 bucks in gas prices too cause its the American way??

    get over yourself...

    what, did i make someones girl parts hurt?? aahh, i see. cali...oh deer...

    if it makes you feel better, i recycle....

    -J

  17. #17
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Hmm..?
    Recycle? Is that what buy and trash looks like?

    It's not just you, it's others too - on days, myself included.

    We support buying CONSUMABLES - Throw-Aways!

    A Drill? F-it - toss it to the frikkin lanfill!!! ha ha hah

    When this has been brought about by others too - quicker, cheaper, easier - with no regards to community or country.

    It's a 'throw-away' society, and you can choose to not be a part of it.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    It's a 'throw-away' society.
    Not just cheap every day items. People walking away from mortgages because they can, record high divorce rate, look at the murder rate. Everything is throw away. How long has it been since there's been a week go by that some teenage girl isn't found in a trash can? Our society as a whole has had a major transformation in morals.

  19. #19
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    Easy guys, it's just a thread about cheap tools. Cheap tools have their place, I've been a tool geek for over 30 years and appreciate good quality tools, but also appreciate a cheap tool for certain applications.
    I'm assuming you folks griping about the throw-away world only have one bike and it's a 50s schwinn cruiser. Or, if you did get a newer bike, you paid for top hand-made in America quality and will ride that for the next 30 years. Otherwise???
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    Easy guys, it's just a thread about cheap tools. Cheap tools have their place, I've been a tool geek for over 30 years and appreciate good quality tools, but also appreciate a cheap tool for certain applications.
    I'm assuming you folks griping about the throw-away world only have one bike and it's a 50s schwinn cruiser. Or, if you did get a newer bike, you paid for top hand-made in America quality and will ride that for the next 30 years. Otherwise???

    Speaking of cheap tools, a couple of years ago I needed a HUGE pop rivet gun to put some new door handles on my car, I knew that I'd only use it once, so off to Harbor freight I went.

  21. #21
    DIY all the way
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    Hmm..?
    Recycle? Is that what buy and trash looks like?

    It's not just you, it's others too - on days, myself included.

    We support buying CONSUMABLES - Throw-Aways!

    A Drill? F-it - toss it to the frikkin lanfill!!! ha ha hah

    When this has been brought about by others too - quicker, cheaper, easier - with no regards to community or country.

    It's a 'throw-away' society, and you can choose to not be a part of it.

    The thing is, that it's pretty much a matter of mindset.
    I have a friend, who consequently buys the worst junk he can possibly find.
    In his opinion, he is getting good value, as he has for instance a fully equipped workshop, and loads of other stuff.
    He thinks that low cost equals cheap/good deal, and accepts that things breaks, malfunctions, and so forth.
    Maintenance is pretty much an unknown to him.

    I am frequently having this discussion with him, as I am about as opposite as it is possible to be.
    I always buy the best I can possibly find, and if I am not happy with the quality I can buy, I make it myself frequently.
    In my book, things that malfunctions or breaks, is not acceptable, and should be avoided at just about any cost.
    Maintenance is key, and keeping things in good condition, is important to me.

    In the long run, I would dare to claim that don't spend more than my above mentioned friend, but rather the opposite, as he keeps buying replacements, where I don't have to.
    Admitted, yes it's not a good deal from day one, as I frequently pay 4 or 5 times what he does, for the same thing. But over a period of say 20 years, I'm fairly sure I come out ahead.
    As my former boss used to say: it's expensive to be poor.

    On top of the economical benefit, I sure enjoy good quality, be that tools, or just about anything else.

    The bad news in my opinion, is that the society generally promotes the use and throw away mindset. Having the newest is considered the ideal, even though most by now ought to have figured that it mostly is not the case.

    Oh well.


    Magura

  22. #22
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    Easy guys, it's just a thread about cheap tools. Cheap tools have their place, I've been a tool geek for over 30 years and appreciate good quality tools, but also appreciate a cheap tool for certain applications.
    I'm assuming you folks griping about the throw-away world only have one bike and it's a 50s schwinn cruiser. Or, if you did get a newer bike, you paid for top hand-made in America quality and will ride that for the next 30 years. Otherwise???
    Use bigger font. People can't read normal size when they are up on their high horses.

  23. #23
    FKA Malibu412
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    No, delll is right. We need to get back to the good ole' days. We need more of the spirit of the time when if you and your homies were on a loot-rape-pillage bent with the tribe next door, your local black smith crafted sword and battle ax would keep an edge no matter how many beheadings, run-throughs or sternum splits. These were weapons you could pass generation to generation. When people just dumped their sh!t from a pail into a trench running down the middle of main road through town. When folks would cut down every tree for square miles around the community for heat and cooking. When medicine meant bleeding it out, searing it with fire, or cutting it off.

    Yep, that was the life and people cared about quality...longevity...legacy.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  24. #24
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    ^^^ you got that from my statements?

    WTF??
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  25. #25
    FKA Malibu412
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    ^^^ you got that from my statements?

    WTF??
    No, I didn't. Sorry. Just an off-track rant to a thread that was derailed already.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

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