I walked through the door and it hit me like a punch in the face from that girl I used to pick on in grade school. It was a pungent odor, something reminiscent of verbena with a touch of death and decay. All around me I saw people holding their noses, one or two old ladies sat wheezing on the floor. I made my way over to a boy who was vomiting in a bucket, just to inhale the air around him for relief. From there I noticed a curious thing. The cashiers seemed totally unaffected by the noxious fumes.
There is a strange breed of people in this world, a race of individuals with senses so dull that they can be hired as Harbor Freight workers. No, I’m not calling them stupid. I’m saying that only a person with no sense of smell can work day after day in that store. I mean, have you ever walked through those doors and taken a whiff? WHAT IS THAT?
Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the smell comes from. It’s the sweet smell of Chinese plastic, and it’s the lifeblood of the store. That bright orange mix of chemicals flows through the isles like the blood in a man’s veins, and without it, Harbor Freight couldn’t exist. That’s because they cater to those who want a tool cheap. And you’re a liar if you deny being one of those people from time to time.
When I decided to change my breaks myself, I went to Harbor Freight and bought one of those special spring tools for a couple of bucks. When I decided to install my own carpet in a bedroom, I bought their ten dollar stretcher. I didn’t care if it broke after the first use, I may never use it again anyway, and for what I was saving I could afford for it to break a dozen times. Paint brushes are a dollar, not the type you’d clean and reuse, but for that price you can get 15 of them and skip the messy cleanup. Want a set of wrenches and sockets in the trunk of every vehicle? For a quarter of the price of Craftsman you can do it, and they have the same lifetime guarantee. Admittedly, you’ll need to use that guarantee if you try and do some ultra-heavy duty work with them. But that’s not what that stuff is for. Harbor Freight tools are for the guy who wants something fast, cheap and moderate in quality. It’s the McDonald’s of the tool industry.
Of course, we could go on and on about the surprisingly high quality tools to be found there. I own several that I love (band saw, drill press, dust collector, lathe, mortising machine, stationary sander, welder, etc.) But I can tell you this… I would buy a lot more if they could do something about that smell!
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