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Old 03-21-2005, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Anyone buy general tools from Harbor Freight?

Past experience of buying tools has taught me to usually look for quality rather than price. But, Harbor Freight has some pretty good pricing on most of their tools. For instance, I'm looking for a light duty welder and found a couple "name brand" units for around $300-$325. HF has one for $175. I believe most of their tools are imports with a generic name like Chicago Electric and Central Pneumatic. I've done several Google searches on the two names and could find no manufacturer info.

So I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the quality of the tools... primarily power tools. Also, for those that live close to one of the HF retail stores, are the in-store prices the same as the internet specials and flyers?
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:39 PM   #2
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I believe a guy named Bob Dillon on these forums mentioned going to Harbor Freight a few days ago. I think he picked up some reamers to use on his UIM modifications. You may want to ask him about it.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:42 PM   #3
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Randman:
I am lucky enough to have Harbor freight 15 minutes away. Some of the items are great buys and some is not that great. I have brought from them and I am happy with the purchases. I donít think I would mail order from them.

In store prices are the same or better. If you are a tool type of guy Harbor Freight is your type of store.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SLE
Randman:
I am lucky enough to have Harbor freight 15 minutes away. Some of the items are great buys and some is not that great. I have brought from them and I am happy with the purchases. I donít think I would mail order from them.

In store prices are the same or better. If you are a tool type of guy Harbor Freight is your type of store.
The closest one to me is in Albany. It'* about a 100 mile drive so I'd have to make it worth the trip by filling up the truck with stuff
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:59 PM   #5
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Randy...

I live 10 minutes from the HF in Flint. Their prices are awesome, but for the most part, you get what you pay for. I buy little hand tools (box ends, etc.). A 60 piece set cost me $13. If one breaks, big deal, it was cheap enough to begin with.

They have some killer sales. I went to their sale last Saturday at about 2 PM in the afternoon. The line to check out was wrapped around the store (inside). People leaving said they were in the line for over an hour.

The only big ticket item I ever bought was my 1,500 lb. engine stand. The 455 for the 79 Poncho is currently bolted up to it. I think it'* made my Chicago Tool (most definitely China), but it does the trick.

Just be careful what you buy from them. Lower price means lower quality, in this case.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:02 PM   #6
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their drill bits are crap...i only got a couple holes drilled with a new bit. I would only buy something you would use occasionally like a gear puller. Power tools are always a toss up though, as to whether they last.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:18 AM   #7
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Ill usually buy the cheap tool and get the exspensive bits when it comes to power tools that i wont have to use on an everyday basis. I think that a lot of the rental tools from autozone are probably similar to those sold at harbor frieght, so that might be something you can compare it to.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:27 AM   #8
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I buy some stuff from them on the occasion not the best stuff in the world but it will work. I bought a press from them and it has been great.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:50 PM   #9
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Don't buy the shop rags, they suck. I got a store like 5 min from my house. I got an angle grinder from there that works okay... it'* a good deal for the price. Just sometimes you have to smack it like an old starter to get it to spin...
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