Credit Due Harbor Freight

After hearing about Harbor Freight in this newsgroup, I authorized them to email me their catalog and sales literature.

As it turned out I wasn't really interested in the quality of mechandize that they were selling, but their email advertisements continued to arrive at the rate of 2 or 3 each week.

This went on for about 3 months. Last week I sent them an email reply with the words REMOVE as the subject. Believe it or not, they immediately took me off their mailing list.

A firm with ethics like this deserves special reconition! While I can't get into the products that they sell, I really have to respect their business ethics, and now feel almost obligated to buy something from them, not because I want the product, buy just to show them my respect.

Harry C.

Reply to
hhc314
Loading thread data ...

You don't have to feel guilty about buying from Harbor Freight. While some of their stuff is definitely crap (particularly cutting tools like saw blades and drill bits), they also sell some things that are just fine and at a great price. It's up to you to be a discriminating buyer.

For example, you could get a brass or copper head hammer from them and it will be as good as most other similar hammers at more expensive outlets (probably even made by the same manufacturer). Or you could buy some welding supplies. Or a shop crane. Or even a decent Chinese mill-drill (not as good as the true Taiwanese Rong-Fu, but probably as good as any other Chinese mill-drill of that design).

And Harbor Freight does stand behind many of their products. I bought a pair of bearing press plates from HF a number of years ago (in Southern California). Recently, a piece broke off the thin edge. I took them up to the local HF (in Northern California), and without a receipt, they exchanged the broken set for a new pair.

And lest you think HF only sells cheap Chinese tooling, you should know that they also sell name-brand tools at good prices. I bought a high-end Ingersoll Rand air impact wrench from them a while back at a very low sale price.

Give HF a try, not just because they practice good business ethics, but because they offer a good value for your tooling dollar.

(Standard Disclaimer: I have no interest in HF other than being a satisfied customer.)

Regards, Michael

Reply to
DeepDiver

Harry, don't discount all their products. They sell American built things along with the Asian stuff. You likely noticed name brands along with the other stuff, although there's not exactly a lot of it. Still, there's some outstanding buys.

Like you, they have my respect. They have always been very honest people with which to conduct business. Smart leadership in management. Sears, Penney's, and many others could learn something from that operation.

Harold

Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos

I have to agree with the previous comments. Buying from HF can be a crap shoot, but I have some excellent Chinese machine tools, quick change toolpost, adjustable reamers, boring bars, etc. I avoid the very cheap cutting tools. Picked up a nice set of magnetic welding jigs for $0.99 ea. at the grand opening of a local store. This company knows how to sell and stay in business. Bugs

Reply to
Bugs

Thanx, Harold for a "voice of reason" reply. I always respect your opinion and often look to it as advice from an expert. All too often, many posters betray their naiveté by out-of- hand comments re. Harbor Freight and other discount suppliers. I wonder how many of those shop at Wal-Mart. I'm not a particular advocate of Harbor Freight, but like you, I refuse to bad-mouth them in the belief that others will look up to me as more sophisticated than I really am.

Bob Swinney

Reply to
Robert Swinney

I buy some stuff at Harbor Freight too. I have bought 4 of their 110# cast steel Russian anvils (all for friends) which is a much better deal than you can get anywhere else on a small anvil. I am as much of a tool snob as anyone but I think their "Pittsburgh Professional" series wrenches are very well made. Hard to find, though. You pretty much have to go look in person. I had a buddy who bought a 4" angle grinder, got about an hour out of it. Gunner told me recently that you don't want the blue one, you got to get the orange one for about $5 more, that one lasts for 3-4 years. I bought a little propane tank cart for my weed burning setup - it's built OK and there's *no* way I could build it for that price. I also buy their yellow handled ball peen hammers. They seem fine to me, and at maybe $8 for the whole set I can't lose.

I recently went out on the banana peel and picked up their 1" SDS hammer drill. I haven't had it out of the box yet. It was *so* cheap.

GWE

Reply to
Grant Erwin

I've bought stuff from them and been very happy with the results. Usually I get simple tools, like hammers, clamps and such. The solar powered auto-dark welding hood was a good buy, as was the dual 151 mig welder (for $200). I've used both a lot, especially the welding hood. Everything has perfrmed great.

Reply to
jpolaski

I needed an extra drill chuck and arbor. called HF with the model number for one of their drill presses, got a 5/8" chuck, #2MT arbor to fit, and

2 chuck keys for $9 plus $3 S&H. OK with me.

snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Reply to
RoyJ

Thanks for your kind words, Bob. The truth is there are some very good buys at HF---even the import items. I can't tell you the number of times I've been bailed out by buying one of their inexpensive offerings.

Sure, often the tool in question is not nearly as nice as something that sells for several times their asking price, but for a one time use, it beats not having one, and it's often superior to something that you might rent. I've been the route of renting tools that are poorly maintained and are nothing but trouble. When the smoke clears, the rent center has your money, you have an empty pocket, but the task at hand still remains. A cheap tool often gets you through the crisis, and you have it for future use, should a need arise. Makes sense to me. A good example is the 1/2" hammer drill I purchased recently. It replaced a Hitachi that I bought yours ago, a Hitachi that was not worth the price I paid. The HF thus far has performed no worse than the Hitachi, and it cost 1/4 what I paid for the Hitachi with dollars that *were* still worth a little, not the worthless dollars of today.

I can't imagine anyone that is more snobbish than I am when it comes to machines/tools, yet I still manage to frequent HF fairly often. Some times you simply have to let good sense rule. I just don't set my expectations high when I make a purchase at their stores.

Harold

Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos

I bought stuff from HF and - when taking into account what I'm buying and how much I'm paying for it - have generally been pleased.

I have to comment that it is truly astounding how much mail I get from them. It seems that more days than not, I'll get a catalog or a flyer or something.... I can't believe that they don't mail away all their profits. I know there must be marketing numbers that justify this tactic, but I figure that a catalog's got to be good for a couple of weeks, at least. I get at least a couple a week. Amazing.

Peter

Reply to
Peter Grey

Have bought a lot of stuff from HF over the years. Most of it is pretty good. BUT, my rule is "Never buy anything with an edge on it; it won't have one for long..." I've had a couple things fail (small vise, 3/4" rachet) and they exchanged them with no hassle. A lot of things will need "some" work, but at the price, one can well afford it. I bought a wood lathe that vibrated like crazy. Turns out, the drive belt had a little "S" curve in it. A good one from the auto parts store ($2.75) and the machine works great. A small, metal cutting bandsaw went through its original blade in about two turns. I run Starrett blades on it and have had nothing but great service from it. A few things have been absolute junk, but, overall, my experience with them has been very positive. The price on a few things was so low that I figured they wouldn't last long, but worked well, so I went back and bought a spare. In every case, the spare is still in its box...

Reply to
Jerry Foster

I said the orange ones last at least 3-4 yrs, cause thats how long Ive been using mine..and they are still running strong

I install a lot of machine tools, lots of redheads drilled into the floor, and a couple years ago, I bought

formatting link
It was on sale for $39 or so. Mine is white, rather than orange or black.

The ad says no bits. Mine came with 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, a drill chuck, a star drill and a chisel, all in a rather nice case.

Last week, I sank (24) 1/2" redheads into a concrete floor and bolted down 3 hydrostatic bar feeders. The same sds bits that came with the drill originally. Been working find and dandy for at least 2 years of commercial duty. The 3/8 bit is getting dull though. Its done at least 200 holes. Shrug

Gunner

Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"

Reply to
Gunner

Now that I have a HF store within reach so I can see things in person I'm a lot more comfortable with buying from them.

On a recent trip I picked up two of the 6" digital calipers at $16/ea. Those things are amazingly nice for the price.

The quality is far better than you would expect. It's nicely finished, no rough edges and burrs. There is no little gold "Made in China" sticker, it's now laser etched in the SS on the back. The plastic housing for the display is well molded. Auto on when you move the slide and it even holds the zero. Even the case is well made.

I don't have a gauge block set, but checking some drill bits and comparing reading on larger stuff to my dial calipers it seems plenty accurate. Perhaps not a Starrett or Mitatoyo, but not far behind and a minute fraction of the price.

Back when I did CNC service I dealt with a lot of very good Japanese machines and we also had a line from Taiwan. Those Taiwan machines were

*not* crap at all, they compared quite well to the Japanese ones.

The quality of the Chinese / Taiwanese stuff is definitely improving.

Pete C.

Reply to
Pete C.

Do realize that their is a big difference (in quality and price) between products made in Taiwan and products made in China. They are not directly comparable.

Reply to
DeepDiver

I sure like their 6" digital calipers. I have a Mitutoyo DigiMatic, can't see that it's any better or more accurate than the ones from HF. I've had a couple of the HF jobs for at least a couple of years with no problems so far. They're cheap enough to throw one in the glove compartment of the truck, etc. They get no respect, but they still keep working!

I had a MIG welder from HF that was a POS, but that was several years ago now. It was made in Italy, not China.

My orange 4-1/2" angle grinder sounds like it's self-destructing, but it keeps working. I just wear shooter's earmuffs when using it. I've already used it enough that I don't figure it owes me a thing, considering what I paid for it.

OTOH, I've found that their drills and taps are worthless.

Reply to
Don Foreman

In heavy machine tools..there is indeed.

Gunner

Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"

Reply to
Gunner

Oops... "their" should have been "there". I just hate that!

Reply to
DeepDiver

I gave them my Yahoo spam address, and get a couple of mailings a week from them... they come with a laundry list of sale stuff, and most have a $5 off $50 dollars or more, or $10 off $100 dollars or more coupons you can print and take to their brick and mortar stores.

I've bought some odds and ends from them, and generally have been happy. Got one of their steel 110 lb Russian anvils... they were on sale, and I used a coupon on top of that. Don't remember what it came to, but it was a smoking deal. Wish I was able to get it back in the early 70's... would have been just the thing for ton's of stuff I've done.

Another poster noted the Chinese stuff is getting better. Must admit I agree. They're still a rough around the edges, and have a way's to go still, but definitely better!

Erik

Reply to
Erik

I bought my 7x10 lathe at Harbor Freight two years ago. Last year, I bought an eight inch drill press there. I'm going to use these tools to build the PM Research machine tool models. After that, I'm going to build the PM Research tools in their original sizes. That ought to keep me busy for awhile.

Reply to
MikeMandaville

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.