Tool non-gloat

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Forum topic by jcwalleye posted 09-09-2010 04:02 AM 1708 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 3308 days

09-09-2010 04:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor tool junk

I tossed a tool into the garbage the other day and chuckled at what a bad purchase I had made. It made me think of the tool gloats on LJ that are always enjoyable to read, but rarely show messups. So here goes one;

Here’s a picture of a pnuematic caulking gun that I got from HF. The first time I used the gun, it promptly unloaded a whole tube of panel adhesive onto a 2’x3’ sheet. No shortage of glue on that panel. I never gave it another opportunity. It was cheap but I didn’t get that value out of it.

OK a couple more gadgets, both from HF, likely headed toward the trash bin. A replacement heat gun after the first one shot sparks and fried itself the first time turned on. And a plastic biscuit jointer, with a fence not ridgid enough to be even close to precesion. I borrow a friends PC when biscuits are needed. Lest you think I don’t like HF, their clamps, a dust collector, and other HF tools I have fill a need perfectly.

Any other LJ’rs have stories of tools that seemed real neat until you got them?

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

13 replies so far

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 09-09-2010 04:12 AM

Hey there Joe,
It sure would be nice if the son and the old man at HF were not fighting and would try to have consistent products. I have returned every pneumatic tool I’ve tried from them. You just have to be careful what you buy from them. But they never argue about a return. I just hate the 50 mile run to return the sucker.
Every bottle jack I’ve bought there has leaked and had to be returned, but I’ve had one of their floor jacks for 3 years now and no problems with it.
Never throw their tools away, as you can always get your money back and go else where.
Hang in there, Buddy. Rand

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3196 days

#2 posted 09-09-2010 09:37 AM

It pays to keep receipts on tools. Less hassle when returning.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3218 days

#3 posted 09-09-2010 02:17 PM

Harbor Freight isn’t the only ones with this problem of having a tool lottery. Those 1-2 day tool sales can be just as bad. I some times will buy a cheap tool for a one time use, only to get that one time use can be another question some times. I bought 500 sheets of sandpaper once, I figured if nothing else it would be good for the kids as they tend to waste it. It was so bad the kids wouldn’t even use it.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3426 days

#4 posted 09-09-2010 02:53 PM

unloaded a whole tube of panel adhesive onto a 2’x3’ sheet

If I can’t get this coffee off, you owe me a new 30” monitor …

-- The Wood Nerd --

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3957 days

#5 posted 09-09-2010 03:20 PM

I tried HF’s products and purchased a 5” belt/disc sander. It smoked up on me the first week I had it and I returned it within the 30 day return policy limit. The clerks were pleasant and helpful. The fire hazard was too much to consider to go back and buy anything electronic.

I then proceeded to Sears for a Craftsman version and bought the 2 yr. additional warranty and have used the sander and the warranty. After 18 months of hard labor, the machine had issues and they replaced the machine by ordering me a new one and I think I paid $1.99 less than the original purchase. This machine is a little wimpy but for my cane handles I don’t always need a lot of hp and want to get some basic shaping before using other power and hand tools.

I’m trying to upgrade the shop and started into the Jet and Festool lines. If I had the $$$$ and foresight of how demanding my needs would be I don’t think I would bother with the cheapies, but alas, one’s pocket is not always as full as they need it to be ~

The sand belt erasers and wax pencils from HF work well!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3077 days

#6 posted 09-11-2010 02:33 AM

I love to work on the scroll saw. My first one was a Ryobi saw my wife bought me. I got good at scrolling on that thing. You have to get good when you’re trying to cut while chasing the saw all over the shop and trying to keep your teeth from chattering against one another. I finally got tired of that saw, but since I loved scrolling, I figured I’d find me a better saw. So I drove over thirty miles one way to buy a Craftsman. I was so excited to get it back home and unpack it, untill I realized the table supports were broken in two places. So, off back on the sixty mile round trip only to come back with no scroll saw. That broken one was the last one they had. I finally found a good Delta a week later.
I’ve gotten some good things from Harbour Freight. So, I figured I’d save money when I decided I wanted to get into wood turning. I bought one of their lathes on sale for $79.99. I saved so much I even bought some chisels there. They must have been good chisels because they outlasted the lathe that died in less than two weeks.
I bought a real good Craftsman table saw at a yard sale. It cut good straight board, maybe if you paid no attention to the fence. I tried everything on that saw. The only way you were going to get anything square on that thing was by accident. So, my next saw was a Ryobi. Are you seeing a pattern here with me and Ryobi tools? The Ryobi saw had a powerful motor, and a sturdy stand, and plastic housing that was real fun to try and flip the off switch on as it literally hopped up and down about a quarter inch off the floor. I returned it and got another one. It had to be just a bad saw, right? Well, I got my money back after the third one done the same thing. I stuck with the luck of the draw Craftsman until I was able to get a good saw.
No sir, you are definately NOT the only one who has had bad luck with tools. I’ll bet we all have at one time or another. I just think we would much rather gloat about the good deals we’ve had than to tell on ourselves when we really got taken for a sucker.
Maybe later I’ll think of some more bad experiences I’ve had with newly aquired tools. When those gloats turn to non-gloats, it does usually wind up being a funny story.


View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3526 days

#7 posted 09-11-2010 04:41 AM

This wasn’t too dramatic, but I had a HF spotlight quit on me as I was lying under a buddy’s truck, just about to start changing his starter.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View CoolDavion's profile


452 posts in 4059 days

#8 posted 09-11-2010 05:44 AM

My wife had bought me a paint roller that you did not need a tray for. It had a “jar” in the middle, you were suppose to pour 1/2 gallon into to the middle of the roller, put the cap on it and paint away.

A 1/2 gallon of paint on a scrawny little pole is a damn heavy thing to use, plus there was a seem in the roller material, so the wall looked terrible with paint on it. I gave it up and went back to the “old school” paint tray.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3699 days

#9 posted 09-11-2010 06:09 PM

One thing I’ve learned about tools. USUALLY you get what you pay for. There are some used and some cheap tools out there as great buys. As for painting, old school is best! Most of the gadgets either throw paint all over the surrounding area or steak etc, etc.
Good luck all with future tool purchases.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 3073 days

#10 posted 09-11-2010 06:22 PM

My first Unisaw’s table was 40 thousands out between front edge and blade throat. I can’t seem to get a Dewalt battery to last very long. Quality is not what it once was, even with the name brands.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 3308 days

#11 posted 09-12-2010 02:48 AM

Some of these stories are just so funny. Scroll saws you have to chase around the shop, sandpaper not good enough for the kids, and a 1/2 gallon paint held over your head with a flimsy stick. Sounds like disasters in the making.

I get a picture in my mind how a tool is going to work and then am so surprised when it doesn’t. You’d think I’d learn.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3077 days

#12 posted 09-12-2010 03:07 AM

Tom made me think of batteries. I have a $200+ Ryobi set that has to have new batteries every year. When I question the guys at Home Depot where I bought it, they tell me that it’s not Ryobi but that all rechargeable batteries have to be replaced about once a year. This seems strange to me since my Black & Decker is still running on the original batteries that were with it when I bought it five years ago.
That isn’t the funny battery story though. I refused to mess with cordless tools for years. Way back when I bought a cordless drill. I can’t remember the year, but it was back when 12V was the most powerful drill you could buy. I used a friend’s and fell in love with it. The next day I purchased a Makita 12V cordless drill. I was using it in an industrial mechanic setting, so you know it got a workout. About nine months later, the batteries were shot. I’d read an article somewhere about replacing the actual batteries inside the battery housing. All it required was very little knowledge with a soldering iron so I figured I could do it.
I checked around and got all the parts I needed to transplant new rechargeable batteries in the housing. I did the deed one morning in the shop just before lunch. I was proud of my repair when I went to lunch. I wasn’t so proud when I walked back into the shop after lunch. The foreman was madder than hell. The shop was still clearing out from all the smoke. The newly repaired battery was melted all over the charger.
After that, I steared clear of rechargeables for years.


View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3958 days

#13 posted 09-12-2010 08:47 PM

HF tools are ok as long as it is a dumb tool. Any kind of tool that requires accuracy or actuation isn’t worth the “bargain” price.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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