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Harbor Freight's BEST Tool Bargains

by HorizontalMike
posted 650 days ago


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434 replies

434 replies so far

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 628 days


#201 posted 546 days ago

That why I’m setting up shop Sawsucker, I plan to attack the imported furniture market. $1000 for pressboard anything is just outrageous in my opinion. I want that money! Staying out of Cabinets though, lot of other people around here doing that.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3102 posts in 608 days


#202 posted 546 days ago

Does HF offer “generic” coupons? I see they have coupons on their web site but they are item specific. Are there ever any 10% or 20% off coupons that you can use on any purchase?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1055 posts in 733 days


#203 posted 546 days ago

Yes there’s usually a 20% off coupon in the top right corner of their ads, both in magazines, the news papers and on the internet ads. You can double up in their Chattanooga store and use a specific ad and a % off coupon. The % off is good for only one item of your choice not an entire purchase of several items. But, if you have several % off coupons especially if the bar codes are different then each gets to be used on the several different items.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View pghchico's profile

pghchico

5 posts in 1824 days


#204 posted 546 days ago

i been shopping HF for a long time, since they were only a mail-order outfit out of california. Back then they carried re-furbished brand name tools, like dewalt , makita, homelite, etc. I have purchased tons of thier products. I am very comfortable buying thier hand tools, i stay away from thier electric tools mainly because i’ve had 2 bad experiences. I have had good luck though with a pnuematic brad nailer and pnumatic framing nailer.

when it gets down to it, something as universal as a ‘C” clamp isn’t going to be any different from one store to another, so buy the cheaper HF tool.

View History's profile

History

395 posts in 582 days


#205 posted 546 days ago

When it gets down to it, something as universal as a ‘C” clamp isn’t going to be any different from one store to another. From my experience that is simply not true, cheap clamps walk allover. I’m sold on Pony’s.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

476 posts in 1918 days


#206 posted 546 days ago

“It really makes me wonder how many of you are buying cheap imported furniture and cabinets, or is that suppose to be different ?”

Sawsucker, yes, it’s different. Tools are not furniture or cabinets. What’s the point of your question?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 849 days


#207 posted 546 days ago

Mark, don’t feed the trolls. SawSucker is one of those people that adds NO value to any conversation he is a part of. He obviously doesn’t know anything about C clamps either if he is “sold on Pony’s” – which are really no different than the ones sold at HF.

If you want to talk about a C clamp that is better than the HF ones, he would have mentioned Armstrong, Wilton, or even better Kant Twist. Obviously he has never done welding or metal fab (where C clamps are most often used)

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Dallas

2856 posts in 1088 days


#208 posted 546 days ago

Is SS a sock puppet for Poop Kitty?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Whiskers

389 posts in 628 days


#209 posted 546 days ago

Since yall are talking about C clamps, thought you might want to know, Rockler has a special running right now that you can get 12 1 1/2” c-clamps for about $25. Seems like a great deal if you can use them. Rockler quality for HF price. Even sweeter if you can get the free ship code to pop up. I been tempted to bite on this myself but not sure how useful they would be to me since most of my work is going to be with 3/4” stock, but for anyone who works smaller projects, or musical instruments, etc, seems a great deal.l

View derosa's profile

derosa

1532 posts in 1437 days


#210 posted 546 days ago

Sawsucker has a point and I’d agree with ponys being better, I’ve noticed that the hf clamps require the occasional drop of oil to keep them from walking while clamping. I assume it is from the quality of the nickle plating on the screws and the piece it connects into. This didn’t stop me from creating the basic collection with HF clamps which I now fill out with the adjustable clamp company brand which includes pony; nor will it cause me to dispose of my HF clamps or from buying more if I suddenly need a bunch. I’ve also never done metal work so I’ve never used armstrong or kant twist but I’ve had Wilton and don’t believe them to be as good as the pony brand even though they’re consistently priced higher for being Chinese made.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 849 days


#211 posted 546 days ago

Kant Twists are amazing. If you ever run across some for short money used, grab them. They are especially helpful for clamping down jigs or items to a drill press table where you REALLY don’t want the piece to shift under clamping pressure.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4287 posts in 1649 days


#212 posted 546 days ago

dovetail jig

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4287 posts in 1649 days


#213 posted 546 days ago

large lath and HS tools

-- Bert

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 849 days


#214 posted 546 days ago

Derosa, I thought everyone hit their metal screws with a drop of 3-in-1 occasionally. If not, it is good practice.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1202 posts in 971 days


#215 posted 546 days ago

Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but the Kreg face frame clamp is $20 at Lowes. I had some face frames to make this weekend, and while I love the Kreg jog, I don’t want to dish out $20 for something I can get for $5 at HF (buy the clamp and the replacement bar clamp pads with the 20% coupon) :

Worked like a charm.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

459 posts in 1362 days


#216 posted 546 days ago

I’ve been around on this planet for 72 years and have been building stuff since I was 8. I have a very complete shop of both woodworking and metal working tools I have collected over the past 50 years.

So . . . I want to say to all of you, enjoy this low price tool period while you can. I saw this happen with Japanese tools beginning in 1965 when I was at machine tool trade show. The Japanese has some booths at the show and nobody would buy as they were still viewed as the people who brought us Pearl Harbor and cheap tin toys. But the Japanese persisted and soon we had cheap Japanese tools and cheap Japanese cars everywhere. Then the Japanese people wanted better wages and working conditions and when these occurred their prices rose. And what happened to the Japanese price advantage when the workers wages and working conditions equaled the USA? Their price advantage evaporated.

I predict the same will happen to the Chinese and soon the Indians. In fact, I sometimes wonder with all of the gnashing of teeth here in the USA that all of our jobs have gone to China, why we haven’t convinced the American unions to begin unionizing China. After all, they both share the same political ideology. It seems like a natural pairing.

Buy your tools now!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1202 posts in 971 days


#217 posted 546 days ago

Thanks for the heads up, I’ll make sure to pick up some more bar clamps after work.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View History's profile

History

395 posts in 582 days


#218 posted 546 days ago

Obviously he has never done welding or metal fab Obviously you have no idea Joe.

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

323 posts in 2460 days


#219 posted 546 days ago

Ahh, but China and India have the benefit of hindsight. They know what is going on in Japan and here in the USA, and can plan to be competitive. They will not lose that advantage anytime soon. There will always be a market for the very best, very good and very economical. Most of us don’t have the economical power to consistantly make one choice. Some do. When we all “vote” for quality, we will see more competition, and prices will come down, but not very quickly. Do you think Lie Nielson would lower his prices if there were three or four other competitors in the US who build the same quality product? I would think so. The key is that they keep the same quality of product, or else we have Stanley all over again.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 792 days


#220 posted 545 days ago

Sawsucker, Some made in china products are pretty good…

-- My terrible signature...

View History's profile

History

395 posts in 582 days


#221 posted 545 days ago

Yeah Alex it doesn’t matter, I could hardly careless about Harbor Freight or anything else made in China..

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3271 posts in 1414 days


#222 posted 545 days ago

Holder frame for a gravity feed HVLP spray gun. It is like a third hand when filling the spray gun.
The filter holder is useless, because it rotates freely. However the rest of the frame works as advertised.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3102 posts in 608 days


#223 posted 545 days ago

Ok, I bit the bullet. I’m going to be putting down about 1000sq ft of engineered flooring and my 22 year old 10” Makita miter saw wont cut the 8” wide boards. So today I bought the HF 12” double bevel sliding miter saw. This one http://www.harborfreight.com/12-double-bevel-sliding-compound-miter-saw-with-laser-guide-69684.html (Thanks for the link RickRinger)

Notice the price is regularly $199 and it’s on sale for $169. (Sure, I’d like to have the Dewalt but 5 or 6 hundred bucks simply isnt in the budget right now.) And as they say on TV,,, But wait! There’s more! ... :-)

.Before we left the house this morning I scanned around for any HF coupons I might find. (thanks for the heads up Handtooler) and I spotted a link for some ”SUPER COUPONS” so I click on it. Lo and behold there’s this same saw for $119 ! Yep, you read that right one hundred and nineteen dollars! So I print that super coupon out and also the 20% coupon “just in case” and off we go.

We get to HF and I check out the floor model. Yeah, I can see it’s abit cheaper made but at this price I figure it’s ”Gonna Do For Now” like we all say, right?

So I get a cart and take it to the counter. I showed the lady the Super Coupon and she says ” This coupon isnt valid, where’d you get this?” I tell her I printed it off the Internet and hour ago. She takes it over to some guy at the next register and she’s pointing at the coupon and they’re talking in hushed tones and looking at me, then look back at the coupon then back at me again.

He walks over to me and asks “Where did you get this cuopon?” And again I say “I printed it off the Internet an hour ago.” He says something to the effect that “This coupon isnt supposed to be out there yet.” And I say “You got Internet here on your computer? I’ll show you. How ELSE would I get it?”

He picks up the phone and calls someone else. I hear him saying that “There’s some guy (me) out here and he’s got a coupon that isnt supposed to be available till the end of February and what’s he supposed to do?”
He listens for a minute and hangs up. Then he turns to me and says “Ok. We’ll honor it. I dont know why they have this out already, it’s from our up-coming sale in MARCH and this shouldnt be on the internet yet. But since I can see you printed it off because it’s in color and It’s obviously not something you photo copied, plus it has the HF web site printed across the bottom so I’ll honor it for you.”

So I got the saw for $119! I usually never buy extended warranties, but I figured since I’m saving $80 I went ahead and bought the 2 year replacement warranty for 20 bucks.

Wow! Does this count as a GLOAT?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1063 posts in 1394 days


#224 posted 545 days ago

Good job Joe. I bet if you take that 80 bucks and get a really good blade you’ll have yourself a very nice saw.
Great purchase.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 849 days


#225 posted 545 days ago

I’m interested to see how this new saw performs. I don’t use a miter saw enough to drop 500+ on one. I do most of my cross cuts on the table saw with a sled. For 120$ I’d give this a shot if it is at all accurate.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 792 days


#226 posted 545 days ago

Sawsucker, Then are all your tools and everything made in the USA?

-- My terrible signature...

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

439 posts in 565 days


#227 posted 545 days ago

”Yeah Alex it doesn’t matter, I could hardly careless about Harbor Freight or anything else made in China..”

Then why are you even bothering with this thread, except to be a pain in the a$$?

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View History's profile

History

395 posts in 582 days


#228 posted 545 days ago

Alex, I can assure you that the majority of my tools are, I learned the lesson along time ago.

View History's profile

History

395 posts in 582 days


#229 posted 545 days ago

Sam, go stalk and harrass someone else.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

76 posts in 560 days


#230 posted 545 days ago

Thanks Mike. that dust collector seems to be the best deal I have seen by a long shot. do you own it?

-- Stop thinking, let things happen... and be the ball.

View PASs's profile

PASs

557 posts in 1700 days


#231 posted 545 days ago

Good post.
I agree we’ll see the Chinese go the way of the Japanese.
I’ve gotten a few things from HF.
The best deal was a high speed buffer I got to polish my RV.
40 feet of polishing later and it was still going strong.
I watch for their coupons in my mail and look for the good markdowns.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

476 posts in 1918 days


#232 posted 545 days ago

I recently bought their drywall/deck screw gun for a remodeling project here at the house.

http://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-duty-deck-drywall-screwdriver-9624.html

It worked great. The phillips bit that came with the tool might have been a little soft, I don’t know. I stripped it fairly early on in the remodel. I might not have been using the tool properly at first, though, which may have caused the bit to strip. Easily (and inexpensively) replaced it with one I already had, though, and didn’t have any more problems.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 849 days


#233 posted 545 days ago

Mark, I have that one as well. It worked great and I still use it quite a bit for driving screws in the shop. I didn’t use the included bit, but it looked like cheap crap. Since I was hanging drywall, I used dewalt dimpling bits. Once you figure out the clutch, that gun can be a beast or surprisingly gentle.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1063 posts in 1394 days


#234 posted 545 days ago

Quality wise we had better look over our shoulder. They are coming quickly.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1063 posts in 1394 days


#235 posted 545 days ago

Hey Joein10assee,
Let us know how the saw does. Give us a post after you use it a little.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View restless's profile

restless

27 posts in 1214 days


#236 posted 544 days ago

View moke's profile

moke

465 posts in 1377 days


#237 posted 543 days ago

I recently violated my own rule…to never buy anything with a motor from HF…but I bought a “close quarters” drill to mount my 2” sanding disc for bowl making. I bought it because if I burnt it up because it was full of walnut dust I would not cry. Whether it lasts or not, it works well!
Mike

View foneman's profile

foneman

111 posts in 2696 days


#238 posted 543 days ago

Hey Moke,
I have used that drill for the last 3 years off and on and it is still doing the job sanding my bowls. No complaints with mine!!

john

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

774 posts in 694 days


#239 posted 543 days ago

I’ve got one thing to add I forgot about. Their sanding blocks. The plastic ones with foam rubber on the bottom. I must have 6 or 7 of those things. Until recently my Harbor Freight had two versions which were identical. The only difference was that one came in a bag and was 4 bucks. The other didn’t and was less than a dollar.

View LeChuck's profile

LeChuck

417 posts in 1663 days


#240 posted 543 days ago

C clamps look like c clamps no matter what. As for the F/bar clamps, I got a bunch of those from HF to get started, but unfortunately in a very short time the handles on several of them simply gave up, with not much pressure applied (I’m not one to squeeze all glue out of a joint). I got a few Jorgensen HD clamps from Home Depot at about $11 to $13 a piece (by the way, they replaced the Jorgensens with Irwin in stores) and while that sounds like a lot more than for the HF clamps, over just a few clamps and over the life of a workshop, it’s nothing in my opinion.

I also bought one of their 6” jointers, which they don’t sell anymore. I had to take it back because the fence was warped and therefore it couldn’t joint edges properly. I had bought a 2-year warranty on it. I took it back to the store 4 months after purchase, so past the 90-day refund period, but I had just started using it. I told them I didn’t want another one (I found it too small to be useful anyway), and they refunded me without a fuss. I was happy with the service at least.

They’ve got a nice big Japanese saw for 10 bucks that works great. That’s one of my recent purchases.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View BRAVOGOLFTANGO's profile

BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 604 days


#241 posted 543 days ago

HF & NT both have some cool little tools and decent bargains. I like the 12” wood clamps from NF ($7 for a 12” clamp) that’s identical in design and hardwood as Home Depot’s Borgenson version or Lowe’s $22 whatever brand version.

Recently bought a Shop-Fox’ish (I’ll call it) caster base from NT for my DW735 planer stand I built. Works great for $40 which was less than buying 4-individual quality casters. While it’s similar to my real Shop-Fox base for my Grizzly G0555LX, the NT version isn’t even close, but it’s good enough for my planer.

HF carries some unique stuff at times, I steer away from most their clamps after breaking their biggest quick-grip (Erwin wannabe) big-boy gripper by squeezing too hard with one handed, haha go figure! While I do have one helluva grip and it was my fault, I haven’t broken my Erwin yet.

Bought HFs high-end tile wetsaw couple years back, thing was a beast, although I put a Diablo blade on it vs their junk blade.

Much of HF’s stuff is subpar, but take for example their dowel jig, it’s identical to a few other woodworking vendors low-end doweling products which are sold for 5x as much and all built overseas (from the US).

I usually find some kind of new gadget their to tinker with, but for a high end tool like a good plunge router, I’d probably not bother with HF, then again would be cool to test their $99 plunge router out just to see how terrible or not-so-terrible it is.

Not too snooty or proud to try something less expensive depending on the application, just not going to waste money on a higher end tool that I know requires quality. You will never see me with an $8,000 wood planer, I don’t care if it was inset with gold from the designers great grandmothers wedding band, it’s just silly to me, but from an art or collectors standpoint, guess that’s their thing which is cool.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3785 posts in 981 days


#242 posted 543 days ago

HF should start sending their tools to woodworking mags for reviews and shootouts, that would be amusing.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View RickRinger's profile

RickRinger

77 posts in 552 days


#243 posted 540 days ago

I took the plunge and bought a 12” double bevel sliding compound miter saw the other night. The price was just too good to pass up. It is normally $199. It was on sale for $169. I had a 20% coupon, so I bought the saw for a crazy $135.99!!!

I know it’s not a Dewalt, but the comparable Dewalt is $599 at Lowes and Depot. The reality is that it will be a cold day until I could ever afford one of those. Virtually every tool in my workshop is either one that was given to me, or a Craigslist special. In the meantime, I’m sure loving my Chicago Electric saw from HF. As others have mentioned, it is infinitely adjustable. I carefully read the instructions and got it tuned in, and it’s extremely precise. I’m very happy with it so far.

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1063 posts in 1394 days


#244 posted 540 days ago

Nice saw. Enjoy!

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3785 posts in 981 days


#245 posted 540 days ago

How do you guys feel about their drill presses? It’s been over 10 years with my shop and I don’t own a drill press, never needed one for the furniture I was building but now I’m doing other stuff and it would be nice. I’ve been trying to buy one off Craigslist for 6 months with no luck. The good ones disappear instantly… I called a guy within a minute of getting a notification on my phone and he told me it was sold. The ad was only 4 minutes old – WTH? Anyway between remodeling the house and saving for my kids’ college my woodworking budget is small right now so I’m trying to keep it around $100. Which is okay, my needs are modest.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 628 days


#246 posted 540 days ago

I researched drill presses here and elsewhere for quite awhile before I finally bit on one last week. Your not going to get much of anything for $100, and apparantly the HF drill presses are not well received. For about $300 though you can get a porter cable unit from Lowe’s that get’s great reviews. I picked one of these up and am very well pleased with the quality of the build. Wasn’t much to the assembly either. Only tricky part was the instructions said to have 2 people pick the head of the unit up and liift it up about 5’+ and place it over the main shaft. LOL, That sucker is heavy, and even if I had another fellow with me I am in no hurry to give myself a heart attack. Hold on to the styrofoam from the box and lay the unit down on it’s siide on the styrofoam to prevent scractches, and than wrestle the 2 pieces together. Than you can stand it back up. Guess them Chinese think all us Americans are built like Gorillas.

Anyway, if you want a drill press, wait til you can get something that will at least drill a straight hole. The PC is a good unit, the speed is quick and easy to change, and it has about a 4” throw which is better than most. To get better you have to spend about $900 for a Delta.

View BRAVOGOLFTANGO's profile

BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 604 days


#247 posted 540 days ago

Good find RickRinger, I bought a Hitachi 12” double/compound miter from Lowe’s vs their 12” Dewalt. I like some DW tools but their miter saws are silly, they nickel & dime you for every little extra feature. The Hitachi I bought had way better reviews than DWs close version. DW went down in quality few years back with the change in ownership, it’s trickled down to quality over the years the pros say. I do love my DW735 planer though.

I bought a Chicago Electric wet tilesaw couple years back which was their top model, it worked fantastic with a good Diablo blade vs their junk blade that chips the porcelain.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3785 posts in 981 days


#248 posted 540 days ago

I’ve been waiting. Every time I save up the money for a nice drill press, life throws a calamity my way.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 628 days


#249 posted 540 days ago

If you like Hitachi tools, and like to keep your money, you need to websurf over to Bigskytools.com and get on their spam list. This company out of North Georgia does the rebox, refurb work for Hitachi, and they have some incredible deals. I’ve bought several tools from them and so far they have all shown up looking like they were boxed new and ready for retail except one. I bought a Framing hammer from them, and while the tool looks pristine, and came with the manual etc, it was loose in the box instead of in it’s box. That hammer don’t come with a plastic case though, I checked, so I let that slide. I can live without a cardboard box for a new tool at half price. They grade their refurbs and warrant them like new, unlike most manufacturers who give you a rinky dink warranty. If you don’t mind a few scratches you can save even more.

View slimpickens's profile

slimpickens

4 posts in 552 days


#250 posted 540 days ago

I’ve had good hf hobby tools, ones used occationally. My profressional tools would get abused (not recommended but thats sometimes statusquo) but if you check what you get, tolerances are ok. I have been happy with the tools/ machinery from he, just remember to check tolerances.

-- Slimpickens, Be true to yourself and helpful to others

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