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Daves Workshop #22: A trip to Harbor Freight and new projects

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 03-26-2018 01:27 AM 1101 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Installing the pine bead board wainscotting. Part 22 of Daves Workshop series Part 23: Dive bomb cleanup! »

https://youtu.be/X60OWcsucD0

Well I had a project that called for tools that I don’t have and I won’t use very often which was a perfect excuse to go to Harbor Freight. I wanted to see at least in the rough terms how the Harbor Freight Tool compares to say the comprable Ryobi. I was actually somewhat stunned to see the specs on the Harbor Freight we’re better than the Ryobi

And we go into our home office rebuild which is yet again been redesigned by she-who-must-be-obeyed. I love my wife but she confuses me sometimes. Oh well this gives me an excuse to build my own custom server rack.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/daves-workshop



5 comments so far

View CRAIGCLICK's profile

CRAIGCLICK

64 posts in 39 days


#1 posted 03-26-2018 03:00 PM

I used to refer to HF as my “tool rental.” I could go there and buy the tool for less than what the rental cost in some places and…every once in a while…I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the tool lasted for more than 3 or 4 uses.

Now, They still offer the cheap single-use stuff. but they also have a range of higher-end tools which compete very favorably with the stuff at the big box stores.

Their US General tool cabinets put the Lowes stuff to shame. Their hand tools are very well made…better than my old Craftsman stuff, actually. Their new lines of Li-Ion tools are excellent. Their Vulcan line of welders is just baaaarely shy of pro-level quality.

Now, if they could just get a decent line of woodworking tools…

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5705 posts in 3198 days


#2 posted 03-26-2018 07:27 PM

Actually, I am rather pleased with my HF lathe, and band saw…. They are going on a decade old now with hardly a hiccup after I got them the way I wanted…

My HF Dust collector does what is is supposed to, although I would LOVE a ClearVue cyclone for sure!
My old single bevel HF 12” SCMS, once set up and locked down with some thread locker, is spot on accurate, and aside from being noisy, has been VERY reliable. And I absolutely LOVE my HF 29 gallon oil lubed air compressor…

I am noticing they are stepping up the QC level though. THey have 2 12” Dual Bevel sliding compound miter saws, the older Chicago Electric, and a new “Hercules” Professional model. The Hercules is nearly twice the price, just below a Ridgid price wise, but it seems to be very well machined etc… I am pretty sure I wouldn’t pay their asking price for it, but it is interesting…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/daves-workshop

View CRAIGCLICK's profile

CRAIGCLICK

64 posts in 39 days


#3 posted 03-26-2018 08:41 PM

I checked out the Hercules saw. The only issue that I had with it was the smoothness of the slide. It was “jumpy.” Otherwise, it seems pretty nice, but 399 bucks is pretty spendy.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5705 posts in 3198 days


#4 posted 03-27-2018 04:36 PM

Yeah, $399.00 for a Harbor Freight miter saw isn’t going to happen with me. For that scratch, I will save up a bit extra and grab one of the Hitachi models that have the slides forward, taking up FAR less bench space than the old rear slide designs…

FWIW. My old single bevel HF saw, the slides were a bit jerky at first. Graphite lube on the slides, work them back and forth a few times and they are smooth as silk to this day…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/daves-workshop

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3130 days


#5 posted 04-02-2018 02:37 PM

No Harbor Freight in Alaska, unfortunately, as far as I am aware. Like you say, sometimes good enough is good enough, especially for little used tools.

I remember buying parts like assorted bolts and screws, a grinder, and a drill index via mail order from Minnesota, while I lived in Fairbanks. I still have all the above items, and just kept on replacing nuts and bolts as I used them. The company was DRI Industries. I think they still exist, although their focus has probably changed. They were an early foray into the low cost end of tools and parts.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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