Reply by David Craig

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Posted on What Harbor Freight tools would you buy?

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3106 days

#1 posted 01-12-2012 09:22 AM

Lathes – generally favorable reviews for their reverse head cast iron model. Don’t pick up any of the models that are steel tube. They are too light and the vibration makes them a poor choice for a lathe. For an inexpensive though generally favorable set of turning tools, check with penn state industries “Benjamin’s Best” line.

Router bits – I would stay away from all HF router bits. The carbide coating is light and they have a tendency to burn after short use. Their trim router, though, gets pretty good reviews. When you buy router bits, avoid large sets (150 bits for $200.00!) sales. Roundover, cove, rabbet, straight, and trim and/or pattern bits will be your main stay. I generally would buy a set of whatever one I needed to make sure I had all sizes. Large router bit collections tend to leave you with many bits you may never use or would use only once in a very blue moon. If you are looking for good quality bits at a reasonable price, check out They have good prices and free shipping regardless of the size of order. I prefer 1/2 inch shank bits because they are more stable.

If you ever get into using an air compressor. Their pin nailers are considered a gem of a deal.

Clamps – You can’t go wrong with Pittsburgh brand clamps. Steer clear of Central Forge.

I would avoid their sandpaper, as the backing is very poor and the paper becomes useless in a very short time. If you want to stretch your sandpaper dollars, buy a good brand and pick up an abrasive cleaning stick. That five dollar investment will extend the life of your sandpaper double, if not triple the length of time without it. It elminates clogging that shortens the life of the paper.

I believe there is a review or two in regards to their paint guns. Go to the reviews section of the site and look up spray guns.

Hopefully this will help get you started.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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