Reply by fussy

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Posted on Harbor Freight tools-good and bad

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980 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 09-05-2011 10:02 AM

Actually, if it were not for HF, I wouldn’t be doing this. It would be easier to list my bad buys than the good ones, so I’ll start. I bought a 1/2” drive demolition drill that worked famously until it went up in smoke. Seems that instead of 120 volt line, I got a hot and a mis-labled hot from a unlabled 3-phase which gave it 240 v. HF exchanged anyway even after explaining that it was my bad.

The rest have been perfect. Bought a really cheap ($15 to $18 on sale) trim router. Use them all the time—I have 4 now and plan 2 or 3 more—as they are easy to use powerful and smooth and a great buy. I have bought 14” bandsaw, 6” jointer, 10” scms, bench drill press, 6” grinder, oscillating spindle sander, 2 HP dust collector, f-style barclamps, c clamps, spring clamps, drill bits; split point, brad point, forstners, tapered w/countersinks, saw blades, a 33” bbe3tween centers 12” swing wood lathe, bench vise, drill press vise, hand tools of all kinds, lathe tools (ok, they’re cheap but I LIKE to sharpen—that means I can—hammers, chisels, cheap hand planes, two 8” dado sets, routerbits, a 8” slow speed wet sharpener, and stuff I can’t remember. I use it as it was designed to be used, do the set up and maintainance necessary and have never had a let down from HF Power or Hand Tools. I do just as good a job with them as I would with the expensive spread.

Too many people, because the tool is inexpensive, set out to break it because it MUST be broken to justify the illusion that money spent translates into quality received. Most of this stuff is not rocket science. Inexpensive tools are usually just as good in the end as top dollar in the work they allow one to do. Spending more is sometimes necessary, but the exception proves the general rule. Caviet Emptor. Beware, be wise, be honest in your assesments.

Magazines make a fortune not on subscriptions, but on add revenue. They can maximize that by giving deals on renewalls to keep the #’s pumped. They state their tool tests are un-biased, yet they either refuse to test or give such tests grudgingly with unrealistic results. They have stated in the past that they will not test HF tools because of low expectations and in order to provide the best guidance for the reader. I submit, however, that concern for the cherished reader doesn’t extend to REFUSING TO ACCEPT HF’S 2 PAGE ADD EVERY MONTH!! mONEY RULES IN THIS BUSINESS, AND THE ONES SPENDING THE BIGGEST BUCKS ON ADDS, AND THE ONES WITH THE HIGHER PRICES, ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST TOOL IN WHICH TO INVEST. Buying decisions need to be made using the same thought processes one uses to buy paint or apples or light bulbs. Look dispassionaTELY,at the offerings, analyze them on the basis of suitability for the job, and greatest utility for cost, use what you buy wisely and enjoy this wonderful hobby with the knowledge that allways you do your best in everything you do.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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