[vcf-midatlantic] Next set of tools being upgraded

Bruce freemab222 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 14 14:34:49 UTC 2021

You'd better check the country of manufacture of those name brand tools you
prefer.  Many are now from China, despite being long-time American brands.

My experience is different from yours.  HF wrenches, including Allen keys,
perform just fine, even the ratchet ones.  I have screwdrivers, driver
bits, a bench vise, and many other non-powered tools I've never had a
problem with.
Drill bits are a bit less reliable.  HF bits are fine for wood and soft
metals, even mild steel, but will not necessarily stand up to (normalized -
not hardened) medium-carbon steel (in my limited experience).  That is no
surprise and no particular disappointment.
I had one saber saw on which the blade-mounting lever broke.  I returned it
(90 day return window) and bought the next higher priced one.  I had a
double blade (opposite spin) circular saw fail in some manner that I
forget, and they replaced it without argument.  The funniest problem item
was an anvil:  I cut off a corner of the mounting slot in the base to make
a quick-release anvil mount -- and out spilled a bunch of steel beads!  The
casting had a hollow I could fit my pinkie into!  BTW, those anvils have
very soft faces.  They're useful, but not up to snuff for serious work.
But grinders, welders, auto-darkening welding helmets, miscellaneous
cabinets and racks, etc., etc., just end up costing half what I'd pay
elsewhere and perform just fine.  The cheapest HF bench grinder works, but
takes a while to come up to speed as it's underpowered.
The big caveat:  Those battery-powered hand tools, typically 18V
rechargeable drills and so forth.  Either the HD batteries or the HD
chargers are crap.  They never last.  I won't buy those anymore.
Overall, however, HF is my first stop for tools.
OTOH, I *never* recommend a professional buy his critical tools there.  If
your income depends upon the reliability of your tools, you don't want one
crapping out on you in the middle of a job.  Pros should buy
professional-quality tools (and not just name brands because some of those
are crap too).

On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 9:56 AM Sentrytv via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> I have gone to Harbor freight to buy many things and aside from the free
> flashlights and batteries most of their tools are pretty poor quality, or
> at least the items that I have purchased.
> I ended up returning most of the items that were poor quality.
>  I have to admit the scan tool I bought from them, to scan codes on my
> car, was reasonably priced and worked well.
> There is no doubt that their prices are reasonable, but I really hate
> buying stuff from China.
> That may be my opinion but I think a lot of us feel that way.
> Mike R.
> Sent from:
> My extremely complicated, hand held electronic device.
> > On Jul 14, 2021, at 8:59 AM, Martin Flynn via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> > Bruce,
> > I’m a harbor freight regular, however when working (or conserving)
> historic kit, I don’t want to screw it up worse than it is with a hand tool
> that tears up the fasteners.
> >
> > Right tool at the right time was my dad’s signature line…
> >
> > Martin
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> Of course, this is none of my business (as a lurker on this list) but I
> >> must point out that the hand tools at Harbor Freight are mostly of quite
> >> good quality.  I use these in my shop and have little complaint.  Their
> >> main claim to fame is price -- quite low, generally.  It is no longer a
> >> situation like in the '60's when you'd buy a set of Allen wrenches from
> the
> >> $1 bin at the auto parts store and the damned thing would twist into a
> >> hexagonal screw the first time you applied any torque to it.
> >

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