Hmmm...this is new

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gjgalligan

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
348
Location
Metamora, MI
Had a situation recently where I needed my Sawzall for a project and realized that a friend that I had lent it to still had it.
Went to rent one, got the price and then thought of Harbor Freight...
They had a 6 Amp knockoff on sale for $19, which was less than the rental. Finished the project and the tool still works fine.
So there's that...
Why not call that friend and tell that you need your tool back right away to do your own project?
 

bigbillyboy

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 27, 2023
Messages
1,677
Location
17841
Looks like Harbor Freight is going the path of the dollar stores , a store on every corner 👍. We now have 3 stores within a 20 minute drive in different directions. About six years ago, it was a two hour drive for a trip to the nearest store . We used to make about Two trips a year , now it's several stops a month on average . 😉
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
985
Location
Seymour, CT
Many HF ads around here (CT & NY). I have a couple of their tools which have lasted, both air-powered (needler and air chisel). Had electric HF beforehand, which always quickly failed, just like they did for my best friend.
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,680
Location
Southern California
Many HF ads around here (CT & NY). I have a couple of their tools which have lasted, both air-powered (needler and air chisel). Had electric HF beforehand, which always quickly failed, just like they did for my best friend.
I also have a couple of their (large & smaller) air powered needle scalers. They work well.
 

protoolman

Service-Sixer
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,621
Location
MN and MT
Have you noticed Harbor freight is now bringing the fight directly to Snap-On with their Icon brand? Pretty much a blatant rip off of similiarly built tools, good warranty etc. I own all older American made tools personally but I have some things from harbor freight. They have stuff as good as my old Protos, SKs, Williams etc. In comparing Snap ons to the other older American brands all I can say is the Snappys are prettier and you pay for 2 replacements up front. The Icons are foreign made but hold up well in testing from the comparison videos I've seen on YouTube.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
10,474
Location
missouri
"I cannot bear to go into Harbor Freight.....al that Chinesium makes my allergies act up"
I hope you understand that there are some who need and use tools but can't spend a week's (or a month's) budget at some times. I buy HF tools(the ICON if I can afford it) but most certainly would prefer something better(?). How much 'better' is an SK or Craftsman if the ICON is 'good enough'??????????? Besides that, the boys can lose more cheap tools for the same cost.
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,680
Location
Southern California
"I cannot bear to go into Harbor Freight.....al that Chinesium makes my allergies act up"
I hope you understand that there are some who need and use tools but can't spend a week's (or a month's) budget at some times. I buy HF tools(the ICON if I can afford it) but most certainly would prefer something better(?). How much 'better' is an SK or Craftsman if the ICON is 'good enough'??????????? Besides that, the boys can lose more cheap tools for the same cost.
I'm really glad to hear some of you have an allergy to Harbor Freight. Then it won't be so crowded when I go in there. THANK YOU.
 

GasGuzzler

Hunter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
2,985
Location
Cooke County, Texas
Have you noticed Harbor freight is now bringing the fight directly to Snap-On with their Icon brand? Pretty much a blatant rip off of similiarly built tools, good warranty etc.
The only way they're bringing the fight to Snap-on regarding tool storage specifically is by comparing ICON to Snap-On. It seems like a bold move by ICON but they're not comparing to Snap-On's "good stuff". Snap-On ain't worried and the ICON boxes, although very nice, are nowhere near a rip off.

Snap-On has four tiers (not counting Blue Point) and the ICON stuff generally compares to the second tier Snap-On (Master Series) stuff by features and whoops them in price. The upper tier Snap-On (Epiq) boxes are 3X anything ICON has by features, strength, build quality, and looks. But they are also 4X the price if not five. An 84" Epiq MSRP is $21K. Which is the better choice? For most the ICON at $3K vs. $15K Master Series makes the most sense. Think of all the other tools you can get for $12K.

Gotta compare apples to apples.

Now a couple details that are needed for context: I am a professional and I own a Harbor Freight 5-drawer roll-around cart and a Snap-On Classic 96. Not biased either way just know I pick tools carefully based on intended use and frequency of use.
I hope you understand that there are some who need and use tools but can't spend a week's (or a month's) budget at some times. I buy HF tools(the ICON if I can afford it) but most certainly would prefer something better(?). How much 'better' is an SK or Craftsman if the ICON is 'good enough'??????????? Besides that, the boys can lose more cheap tools for the same cost.
This is true.

Here's the other part ... almost everything we buy now days is made in Asia or Mexico. It's not my preference but if I was strict about Made in America, I'd be living in a tent with a couple really nice pistols. S-K and Craftsman are NOT better than the higher end hand tools at Harbor Freight. Craftsman (of which I have many indestructible tools such as combo wrenches) is a shell of the company it once was. I am not sure all the Craftsman stuff is even made in the USA anyway. S-K? Sure their stuff is fine but where do you get it? Who takes care of the warranty? GearWrench has a great warranty but you better make sure you buy the tool brand new in person at a retailer when something goes wrong. Who sells S-K? Well I know Harbor Freight is right next to The Home Depot and 10X easier to get in and out of. Buy a 73 year old Snap-On ratchet at a yard sale and it breaks? The dealer will fix or replace it with no proof of purchase. In that example it would get replaced because there are no parts for something that old.

Point is, if it's complex, used very often, or has to be very heavy duty ... buy once, cry once and get the good stuff. Any other combination, factor the potentials and make the best choice.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
7,688
Location
On the beach and in the hills
I have broken tools from pretty much every manufacturer you can name. I've not broken tools from the same manufacturer. Mostly I've broken tools by using them for purposes not intended by the manufacturer.

If I put a 2' cheater on a 3/4" ratchet and it breaks, it's because I was too lazy or in too big a hurry to get the 1" breaker bar, or better yet some spray lube, wait to next day and use the impact gun.

In other words, totally my fault. Why would I expect the manufacturer to replace it? I was raised to take responsibility for my actions.
 

needsmostuff

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
575
Location
Tucson,AZ
Craftsman????? Many of my Craftsman mechanic tools are from the 60' or 70'and work just fine.
But Ratchets??????? Any company, any country, any design, even the cheapest on the market, will be better than a Craftsman Ratchet!
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,680
Location
Southern California
Craftsman????? Many of my Craftsman mechanic tools are from the 60' or 70'and work just fine.
But Ratchets??????? Any company, any country, any design, even the cheapest on the market, will be better than a Craftsman Ratchet!
I have a little 1/4" socket set that I purchased from Sears many many years ago. some years ago, the ratchet stopped working. I took the ratchet back to Sears and went up to the kiosk at the tool department. I showed the guy the ratchet and he just reached under the desk and gave me a new ratchet. Made me wonder if he had a box of those ratchets under there. The ratchet was a better one than I returned. It had one of the little toggle switches to switch directions of the ratchet. It's still working well today.
 

XUSNORDIE

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2023
Messages
334
Location
Gettysburg PA Area
I used to get a thick Harbor Freight catalog often. About three or four times a year. They stopped a couple years back and now you see the commercials popping up. Also, there are stores went from being "hey, there's a Harbor Freight" to "there's ANOTHER Harbor Freight"......glad to see a brick and mortar business thriving and expanding.....just wish it had more Made In The USA product......but then, who really does that's affordable to a common purchaser? (IE: not a carpenter/in construction and need pro grade tools).

That said, for my needs I have a very large Ryobi One + collection all purchased from The Home Depot.
 

GasGuzzler

Hunter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
2,985
Location
Cooke County, Texas
I have bought some rasps and some bar clamps from Harbor Frieght, and all have worked for me. But my use is mostly hobby type work, at times home repair. My observation is to select according to severity of usage.

Bob Wright
Positive quote of Bob by me. May could possibly be the first but ... thanks Mr. Wright. It was my sentiment too.

Jeepnik, I have a 42" bar (not a ratchet) with a 3/4" drive. If I cannot get something loose with it, it needs to stay tight.
 

protoolman

Service-Sixer
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,621
Location
MN and MT
A few years back I bought a 3/4" drive Williams ratchet on e bay although I already had a Craftsman one. When it came it was actually a 1" drive. So far I have exactly one socket that fits it I think maybe a 2 1/2" or so. Obviously I have no use for it unless I start working on steam locomotives but it gives me bragging rights when someone starts in with their my tools are cooler than yours argument.
 
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