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Forum topic by MrRon posted 04-25-2018 04:36 PM 2610 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

5089 posts in 3392 days


04-25-2018 04:36 PM

HF has started adding “brand names” to most of their tools, like Vulcan, Hercules, Zurich, etc. all phoney names. The thought process behind that is the public relates quality to a brand name, like Makita, Stanley, Milwaukee, etc. Then they compare their HF brand to a well known brand. Their only comparison is price and price alone; they cannot compare in terms of quality. Although I will acknowledge HF has a few pretty good items, (very few) anyone with normal intelligence will see through their strategy. I don’t like companies like HF trying to con me. I get the impression that when a customer enters their store, the clerks and manager are thinking; here comes another fool. The world may be full of fools, but I am not one of them. My rant for the day.


50 replies so far

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WhyMe

1053 posts in 1710 days


#1 posted 04-25-2018 04:55 PM

So they are giving their tools some fancy names, big deal. I don’t see them as trying to con anyone. They are just trying to market their product. They’ve used names like Pittsburgh Professional and Central Pneumatic for years. Compare too only means price point for similar functionally, not quality.

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LesB

1818 posts in 3592 days


#2 posted 04-25-2018 04:58 PM

If you go to HF looking for quality tools you are a fool. I go there with the expectations that tools I buy are expendable and not meant to become heirlooms. Remember to recycle the metal parts.

-- Les B, Oregon

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CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 222 days


#3 posted 04-25-2018 05:08 PM

Consider me conned.

HF has always carried “branded” tools. Pittsburgh, , Chicago Electric, Drill Master, Chicago Pneumatic, and Predator are Harbor Freight brands that they’ve always carried. Now, they’ve started selling higher-end tools so they’ve decided to differentiate them with different brands such as Hercules, Earthquake, Bauer, Vulcan, etc. Even the most cursory inspection will show that these tools are light years better than their previous stuff.

I’ve taken a look at Harbor Freight’s line of “named” tools. Their Hercules line of battery operated tools will be what I get when my Makita and DeWalt stuff’s batteries die (again). The tools themselves are of rather good quality and the batteries are reasonably priced (unlike everyone else’s).

I’ve also looked into their Vulcan welders The Hercules sliding compound miter saw has some rough edges, but for the price, it works extremely well.

Their new “high end” electrician’s tools are very nice.

I’ve also taken a close look at their Vulcan line of Welders and have been very impressed at the quality, especially given the price point.

Half the hand tools in my cabinet came from HF. Their ratchets have provided service every bit as good as my old (USA Made) Craftsman stuff…and I am VERY hard on my hand tools.

I’m not a fool (at least…I don’t THINK I’m a fool) and I know a lot of guys who aren’t fools who shop there. We all go in with our eyes wide open. Some of their tools, we buy because it’s cheaper than renting them. Others, we buy because no one else carries them in a retail setting (a lot of their automotive stuff is impossible to find anywhere else).

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

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CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 222 days


#4 posted 04-25-2018 05:14 PM

I should also add that their US General line of tool cabinets have always been great. I own one and would recommend them to anyone. No, they aren’t Snap-On…But Snap On costs 600% more. They are definitely better (and less expensive) than any of the big box stuff.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

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Mike_in_STL

702 posts in 683 days


#5 posted 04-25-2018 05:16 PM

If you can stomach some foul language, check out a YouTuber by the name of AvE. He does a lot of uncompensated teardowns and tells it like it is.

There has been a noticeable change in quality.

I’ve got a few power tools that have originated from HF. If I use it once and it completes the job intact, I’m good, I’ve broken even. If I can get two jobs out of it, I’m making money on it.

For what it’s worth, their F style adjustable clamps, the screw kind, have a lifetime warranty and work great. I’m not afraid to have a wall full of them as I build my clamp collection.

-- Sawdust makes me whole --Mike in STL

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gargey

1013 posts in 924 days


#6 posted 04-25-2018 05:33 PM

You’ve really blown the lid off this thing. You gonna call 60 minutes or 20/20?

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Gene Howe

10911 posts in 3577 days


#7 posted 04-25-2018 05:55 PM

Caveat emptor. With that in mind, there are some decent buys at HF.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Oldtool

2724 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 04-25-2018 05:58 PM

Sounds like Mr. Ron was having a bad day and needed to go into attack mode. There’s an old saying that goes: Let the buyer beware. If you go into a discount house, or bargain basement store, don’t expect to make a killing, after all, you get what you pay for, there’s no free lunch, and so on.
For me, HF is great for expendables – sandpaper, cheap diamond plates for sharpening, and a $14.00 angle grinder I needed but only used once.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6949 posts in 2348 days


#9 posted 04-25-2018 05:59 PM

Caveat emptor. With that in mind, there are some decent buys at HF.
- Gene Howe

There are quite a few great products actually… but as a general rule, none of them have any electronics in them :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View maxyedor's profile

maxyedor

15 posts in 473 days


#10 posted 04-25-2018 06:34 PM



Consider me conned.

HF has always carried “branded” tools. Pittsburgh, , Chicago Electric, Drill Master, Chicago Pneumatic, and Predator are Harbor Freight brands that they ve always carried. Now, they ve started selling higher-end tools so they ve decided to differentiate them with different brands such as Hercules, Earthquake, Bauer, Vulcan, etc. Even the most cursory inspection will show that these tools are light years better than their previous stuff.

I ve taken a look at Harbor Freight s line of “named” tools. Their Hercules line of battery operated tools will be what I get when my Makita and DeWalt stuff s batteries die (again). The tools themselves are of rather good quality and the batteries are reasonably priced (unlike everyone else s).

I ve also looked into their Vulcan welders The Hercules sliding compound miter saw has some rough edges, but for the price, it works extremely well.

Their new “high end” electrician s tools are very nice.

I ve also taken a close look at their Vulcan line of Welders and have been very impressed at the quality, especially given the price point.

Half the hand tools in my cabinet came from HF. Their ratchets have provided service every bit as good as my old (USA Made) Craftsman stuff…and I am VERY hard on my hand tools.

I m not a fool (at least…I don t THINK I m a fool) and I know a lot of guys who aren t fools who shop there. We all go in with our eyes wide open. Some of their tools, we buy because it s cheaper than renting them. Others, we buy because no one else carries them in a retail setting (a lot of their automotive stuff is impossible to find anywhere else).

- CRAIGCLICK

FWIW, the HF batteries are cheaper because they’re lower quality, and lack a lot of the protection built into the higher end batteries. You can get the same quality batteries on eBay for all the name brand tools. I have a mix of Makita and no-name batteries, and while the no-names don’t last as long, they’re too cheap to care about, and perform the same for the year or two I get out of them. Best of both worlds, a significantly better tool with cheap batteries.

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woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2558 days


#11 posted 04-25-2018 07:34 PM

Marketing is marketing no matter the company it is done for. They follow the 9 in 10 rule. 9 times out of 10 the person seeing the product is a potential sale on name, packaging, warranty etc etc. Even where the item is placed is a factor. Many times they have paid for that particular spot.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1871 posts in 2138 days


#12 posted 04-25-2018 07:42 PM

As if the feeble minded have never been preyed upon before… so far in America caveat emptor prevails, perhaps not much longer as the media and govt keep pulling hard left

View MinnesotaSteve's profile

MinnesotaSteve

54 posts in 1040 days


#13 posted 04-25-2018 08:13 PM

The Bauer brand kind of cracks me up as they practically copied the logo from Bauer hockey. It’s a slightly different font, but it’s an italicized sans-serif white/black in a box. I think the similarity was intentional.

But yeah, AvE did a teardown of some of these new ones, and they’ve improved the quality.

It’s not totally surprising, Menards has their branded tools… Tool Shop, Performax, Master Force that identify different quality levels. I suspect another reason for HF to do this, is so they can clarify the 20% off coupon doesn’t apply.

View msinc's profile (online now)

msinc

535 posts in 652 days


#14 posted 04-25-2018 08:28 PM

There was a pretty funny parody of HF going around the web a while back…google “Hazard Fraught Tools” if you are in need of a laugh or two. You can call something anything you want, but the name, by and of itself, doesn’t change anything. They make me laugh…”Made in Pittsburgh”......Pittsburgh, China!!!!

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21314 posts in 2832 days


#15 posted 04-25-2018 08:49 PM

Nobody forces any of you to actually go into Harbor Freight stores….even with a paper bag over your head, so no one else could see you.

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

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