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Another knock off success from Harbor Freight

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Review by guitchess posted 01-07-2013 11:08 PM 3588 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another knock off success from Harbor Freight No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I realize that there may be many out there that dislike Harbor Freight, but when it comes to occasional use/accuracy not an issue tools, they are a viable, and cheap, alternative. While their tools tend to be pass or fail, these clamps are another pass.


After seeing Askwoodman use the Festool and Bessy clamps, I knew I wanted some. However, at $40 each I couldn’t make myself hit the add to cart button, settling for continuing to use my traditional f clamps that I have always used. Fortunately for my cheapskate self, when perusing my HF flyer I saw that they had added them to their lineup. At my first opportunity, I picked up two. The last two they had on the shelf. I have a feeling that as more people find out they have them they will become harder to keep stocked. I almost didn’t write this review because I was worried about that, but I digress.



While I have only used them for a week, they seem to be decent quality. Keep in mind that I mean relative to HF. As for typical HF tools, they are made from lower quality material, machining is not as accurate, and fit and finish is not going to compare to the originals. However, they clamp very well. Too well if you plan to use them for finish material clamping. They clamp with enough pressure to leave marks in all but the hardest woods. Considering that I use these for holding jigs, feather boards, etc., they work fine, for $15 each.



Sorry, but as of right now, the only way you can see them is to go to the store, or their sale flyer. It is a new enough product that it is not on the website. I don’t have the flyer anymore so I can’t even give you the item number.



If you are like me and use f clamps for everything, then I would highly suggest getting some of these. They are much faster, and a much more secure clamp.



edit: I found the flyer. Lot no. 60434


Edit no 2: I would point out that I rarely use any of my f clamps opened more than 4 to 6 inches. So, these clamps may suffer from the same beam flex as many of the others when opened closer to their max capacity.





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guitchess

82 posts in 2454 days



15 comments so far

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1669 days


#1 posted 01-07-2013 11:53 PM

I saw those but passed at that time. Thanks for the review,I think I’ll pick up a couple now. I have a pretty well equipped shop but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money Bessie wants.

-- Life is good.

View Roger's profile

Roger

15269 posts in 1550 days


#2 posted 01-08-2013 01:53 AM

I did the same thing Howie did. I was there the other day and seen these, but, left empty handed. Thnx for the review.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View TheBoxStoreCraftsman's profile

TheBoxStoreCraftsman

37 posts in 886 days


#3 posted 01-08-2013 02:51 AM

Thanks for the review…..going to check them out!

-- The project is never finished until the workbench is full of tools!"

View mbs's profile

mbs

1493 posts in 1686 days


#4 posted 01-08-2013 03:18 AM

I don’t like much at HF but I too don’t want to pay 40 for a clamp like this. I will give them a try. thanks,

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View rdjack21's profile

rdjack21

265 posts in 1673 days


#5 posted 01-08-2013 05:15 AM

I saw them two but passed at the time. I may have to go back and grab a pair of them.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View yuri's profile

yuri

135 posts in 2349 days


#6 posted 01-08-2013 07:55 PM

I saw them at HF and bought pair too. What is interesting, other day I was in HD and saw the same clamp, but with Jorgensen label on them instead of Pitsburg or whatever other HF line of tools. That is the only difference, absolutely the same material, finish, feel, color. ...but they were priced $20.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1556 posts in 1260 days


#7 posted 01-08-2013 08:26 PM

yuri, that would be like the time I found out that Hitachi was building the electric planer HF sells…or at least they did when I bought one from HF for less than half the Hitachi price. Great for trimming an entrance door edge. I think if we could see a supplier list for all the tools in a HF, we might be surprised at some of the name brands.

On the other hand, Poulan and Briggs built saws and engines for Sears for years, but to “Sears specifications”. That meant on my Sears chain saw, (now sold and gone years ago), the body plate that that chain bar bolted to was aluminum, not magnesium like the original Poulan. When the bolts started coming out of the aluminum, it cut only in curves, and I sold it at a garage sale. When my Sears tractor engine blew up due to a poor splash oiler three weeks after my one year warranty expired, Briggs literally laughed me out of their supply house, telling me they could not even get that engine, it was specific to Sears, and in any case, they refused to handle anything that poorly made, Briggs label or not. They didn’t even have a replacement engine with a similiar bolt-hole pattern.
(Sense a trend here???)
So maybe HF is about the same. Looks like a name brand, feels like a name brand, but performance over the long run, not so name brand-ish.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Julian's profile

Julian

555 posts in 1436 days


#8 posted 01-08-2013 08:31 PM

I haven’t seen these at my HF store but will now have to look. I purchased 2 similar clamps from HomeDepot.com (online). They were Jorgensen brand for under $20. I wouldn’t be suprised is the HF clamps are the same as the Jorgenson. Either way; the quick clamping action is great

-- Julian

View Richard's profile

Richard

1103 posts in 1436 days


#9 posted 01-09-2013 03:58 AM

I have some of there regular F clamps an really like them, the only other other Quick ratchet clamps I tried from them were JUNK (use the Irwins) might have to look at these.

View dnick's profile

dnick

952 posts in 1128 days


#10 posted 01-09-2013 04:31 AM

Thanks for the review. I’ll have a look.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#11 posted 01-09-2013 05:15 PM

Thanks, guitchess, for the review! I haven’t noticed these at my local store but will look for them on my next visit.

Richard, HF has two different styles of ratchet clamps, and the less-expensive one is, indeed, junk. The other, however, while it looks very similar to the first, is of considerably higher quality.

http://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-duty-ratchet-bar-clamp-spreader-95027.html The 24” clamp is the smallest I can find on their website, but they have them, I believe, down to 12”.

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

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1065 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 01-10-2013 01:15 AM

Nice. Thanks man.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View GrumpyBear's profile

GrumpyBear

19 posts in 712 days


#13 posted 03-20-2013 08:35 PM

For a while I saw them too and they were in the vicinity of $20 at HF, a few weeks ago they came down to $15 so I got me a couple, they actually work very well, went back and they’re all gone!
The website doesn’t recognize the number, so, either it’s discontinued or they’ll be back.
The best use I got for it when you clamp in your bench front vice a longer piece of wood, you can clamp this device with the tail towards the bench for extra support without worrying that you bump into it.
I hope they bring them back again, people, you should ask for it every time you visit to Harbor Freight store.

-- A great woodworker is one who can make a masterpiece in someone else’s shop using someone else’s tools.

View GrumpyBear's profile

GrumpyBear

19 posts in 712 days


#14 posted 03-20-2013 08:43 PM

Grizzly.com sells a 4” version of this exact clamp at a “bargain” price of $23.95 under Jorgensen name, they claim it’s 12” but the picture shows 4”, T21186
http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-Gear-Clamp/T21186 WOW!

-- A great woodworker is one who can make a masterpiece in someone else’s shop using someone else’s tools.

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GrumpyBear

19 posts in 712 days


#15 posted 03-20-2013 09:04 PM

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