I still haven’t figured it out….If you have elected to own the cheeziest tools imaginable, yeah, HF would be a pretty darn good place to shop, in my opinion. Hmm, now, let’s see. What possible reason could there be for buying tools from the retailer of the worst possible tools on the market? Did you just want to be cheep, or is there another reason?
When I was 15, I bought a 1950’s Craftsman table saw, with a 1/2” arbor and 8” capacity blade, at a neighbor’s yard sale for $10. It was about as old as me. Rusty and worn though it was, I used it for quite a few years. In the 70’s, I bought a used Delta-Rockwell contractor’s saw for $75, and $75 for a genuine holz-her stock feeder attachment. It was my user saw for yet another 15 years, when the motor burned out. I then bought an utter piece of crap, a Ryobi BT3000. It was near new, with all the bells and whistles, but it wouldn’t keep a setting, and I wasted about as much stock due to that hideous lack of repeatability that I was accustomed to, working in commercial shops.
So.. it went to an auction, at which I came home with a much better Delta, for $150. The Ryobi went on to its new owner for $85 after I paid nearly $200 for it. The Delta got traded off eventually, when I bought my King Canada cabinet saw, and occaisionally still use my ancient Powr Kraft (?) as a dado saw, two heavy cast iron work horses. I paid about $200 for the pair. Granted, I often put myself at the very end of the life-cycle of the saws that still gave good service in their declining years…
Okay, now back to this ‘Cheep’ thing. Dollar for dollar, a used machine of good quality is always a better bargain than some new piece of crud. Just because a HF TS, bandsaw, or other tool “looks” just like other mfr’s product, don’t be fooled. That 14” bandsaw may have the same casting or stampings, but the machines are tailor-made to specifications put forth by the retailer, so the bandsaw guides may be ball-bearings in one brand, and graphite glides in the other, for example.
To be a more effective woodworker, scout out the true bargains in the used-tool market. Learn how to spot gently used machines. Pay less for them that the prices listed in the HF catalog. Outfit your shop with well-chosen vintage tools and work with pride.
-- 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!!