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Worst tool I have ever owned

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Review by Phil277 posted 05-26-2012 02:15 PM 4351 views 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Worst tool I have ever owned No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought two of these bar clamps for $8.99 ea at a Harbor Freight store. On one of them the tab on the movable jaw rounded over after a few uses to the point where it would not engage the slots in the bar. The casting on the fixed jaw of the other clamp broke under moderate pressure.
I bought them because i liked the design, the length is adjustable. i wrote to Harbor Freight and they offered to send replacements if I returned the broken clamps, they would pay postage. i had already tossed the clamps so there would be no return. i’m OK with that since they likely wouldn’t last any longer than the first ones.




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Phil277

156 posts in 1048 days



30 comments so far

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a1Jim

112549 posts in 2301 days


#1 posted 05-26-2012 02:34 PM

I’m a little surprised at 4 star rating for the worst tool you have every owned ? when shopping at HF you have to know two things #1 that a large percent of their tools are low quality #2 they have a great return policy.
thanks for your review.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Bearpie

2591 posts in 1742 days


#2 posted 05-26-2012 02:44 PM

When you buy at Harbor Fright it is “BUYERS BEWARE” and you have to thoroughly check the products out before purchase or you will end up here, complaining. I have always thought everyone knew the inferior quality that HF typically carried and that they should have been aware of this! I’m sorry this happened to you and hope that in the future you will be a more savvy shopper! The cheapest prices are not always a bargain and often is costlier in the long run.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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REL

47 posts in 2381 days


#3 posted 05-26-2012 03:06 PM

Come on now! What do you expect for the price! I own a bunch of Harbor Feight clamps. I can buy four HF clamps for the price of one “prime” clamp. They work and what I’m clamping is not smart enough to know the difference.

When I break one or a couple, I exchange them at HF for free.

I’ve been woodworking long enough to collect alot of clamps including a large inventory of the expnsive brand names, and sometime too heavy clamps.

Harbor Freight tools have their place.

-- REL, North Jersey

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ChuckV

2465 posts in 2251 days


#4 posted 05-26-2012 03:18 PM

It looks like you rated this as five stars. It was the best of clamps, it was the worst of clamps.

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

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Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1915 days


#5 posted 05-26-2012 03:35 PM

Don’t feel bad, I bought a craftsman clamp similar fo 20 bucks…and it sucks :)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1417 days


#6 posted 05-26-2012 03:52 PM

Unless they’re Besseys or Jorgensen pipes, I don’t expect to get much from a clamp. If I pay the premium for the Besseys, I’ll damn sure make sure they perform flawlessly. I think there are one or two HF clamps with a good reputation (for the price) but I don’t think these are them. Sounds like you paid a few bucks for a bad experience. Not a terribly expensive lesson, I guess.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1199 days


#7 posted 05-26-2012 03:58 PM

You paid $9 for a clamp and you are surprised it didn’t last?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

284 posts in 1360 days


#8 posted 05-26-2012 04:59 PM

I have a few of those clamps. One of the ends broke off and the others are clumsy to use. I understand that 1 out of 4 probably won’t work well, and the others will work mostly ok. As long as you know HF will leave you somewhat unsatisfied, there are instances where they can help you get by in a big glue up. There are some HF gems, but you should know that most of the stuff is a very temporary solution.

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5218 posts in 2033 days


#9 posted 05-26-2012 05:06 PM

A few years ago I bought 5 of the HF squeeze clamps that were on sale cheap. About 6 months later I threw them in the trash can…didn’t want to give this crap to anyone else. I now only buy bessey, Jet or irwin clamps.
I bought some HF wrenches and sockets also when i bought the clamps…needless to say they strip easily with the slightest pressure.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

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MT_Stringer

2071 posts in 1955 days


#10 posted 05-26-2012 05:09 PM

Thanks for the heads up on these clamps. I had looked at them and now, I think I will pass. I have a number of items bought from HF. When the cashier asks if I want to get the extended warranty, I usually tell them no, that if it makes it through the weekend, I will be good to go. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Phil277's profile

Phil277

156 posts in 1048 days


#11 posted 05-26-2012 05:33 PM

I’ll chalk the $20 to tuition at the school of hard knocks. I didn’t expect them to perform like an expensive tool but I also didn’t expect to be a trash item with moderate use either. This is the 1st tool I ever bought at HF and definitely the last. The 4 star rating was not intentional, I didn’t even notice the star thing.

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Howie

2656 posts in 1647 days


#12 posted 05-26-2012 08:39 PM

Greg,their handtools have a lifetime warranty just like Husky,Craftsman, Kobalt and a few others.

I’ve got a few of these clamps I’ve had for 3-4 years. Never had a problem with them. I’ll admit I only use them on boxes etc where light pressure is all that’s required.

a1Jim hit the nail on the head along with some others. I buy some of their stuff but I’m well aware that it may not be the best of quality. If I am shopping for quality,I go somewhere else.

-- Life is good.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3712 posts in 2459 days


#13 posted 05-26-2012 10:05 PM

Does ANY Harbor Freight tool actually deserve a review in the first place? At the very least, I might have considered drilling a few holes across the aluminum channel, and putting a pin or bolt thru. That would have worked, until the headstock gives out :)

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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bandit571

7325 posts in 1407 days


#14 posted 05-26-2012 10:28 PM

There is one up there at H-F that does rate a review. In fact, it was even a “Star” on a Stumpy Nubs show awhile back…

@ $8-10 each, not a bad little plane. Better yet, it CAN be made into a very good scrub plane…

It’s iron is a bit thicker than your “normal” irons, and the adjustor can angle the iron for a bevel cut, IF you don’t grind it as a scrub. Seems to be on a level with a Stanley #40. The wood being scrubbed in the picture? Beech!

A 3” radius on the camber, and you have a wicked little beast of a scrub plane. @ $8-10, one can afford to have a second one set up as a “normal” #3. Buy two, that = one Stanley #40….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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redryder

2218 posts in 1826 days


#15 posted 05-27-2012 03:58 AM

I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly at Harbor Freight. I do have to admit that every time I am in one of thier stores they have more customers per square foot than any box store I have been in….................

-- mike...............

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