Has anybody on here bought the Harbor Freight 14in heavy duty 3-1\2 hp cutoff chop saw, if so how does it do? also has anybody used the wooden furniture dollies to roll a model T around the garage? I thought I saw one in a different thread one time. Thanks Tim
Yes, I have one, it bogs down very easily, not very powerful. I guess it's ok for light stuff. You would be better served buying a used older USA made one.
The dollies are fine, I use them all time.
I use the metal curved wheel dollys and roll my jeep, my T and my tandem axle trailer around. The wooden ones are only as strong as the wood and if they collapse while under load, you are stuck.
I also use the wooden ones as a base with an old kitchen cabinet on it as a mobile grinder/buffer station and I've got my wire welder on one to roll around the garage. But, not for cars.
Only the best
Most of their tools are fine for the home mechanic and some are good enough to make your living with. Hammers are good for anybody.
The HVLP spray guns will lay down a paint job as good as any brand. Body and paint work is 75% preparation anyway for a good job.
You cant find any dollies any better at their prices.
Any older American made tools, tap and die sets and etc are always better. Check out ebay for good older tap and die sets. They have some great deals from time to time.
Kinda like having the best case of the clap, eh ?
I always consult the customer reviews on HF's website before deciding on a purchase. The reviews will let you know what's good and what's junk.
There are also customer reviews on Youtube including ways to improve the tools and modifying or hacking HF tools.
I think it's a good place for certain speciality automotive tools for the backyard mechanic.
I've mainly purchased hand tools from HF such as an offset oxygen sensor wrench and Torx sockets and bits and have not been disappointed. I've also purchased a new HF/Cen-Tech OBDII code scanner/reader on ebay for less than half of what HF charges when it's on sale. The code reader has come in very handy.
Also, many of the items sold at HF are sold at major retailers - same manufacturer but simply marketed under a different name.
Thanks for all of the replies, I will be cutting up to 1" square cold roll into lengths for several projects, so what would be a good brand and size to get? Lowes has a Dewalt about the same size for 200.00. Thanks for all replies, this is the best forum to find out what you want to know. Tim
don't bog the blade down and it will cut fine let the blade do the work and you will be fine
I think there are bargains at HF, but it depends on what you need.
I buy chip brushes, 50 for $8 or so, can't find them that cheap anywhere. Plastic storage bins, if you get the right ones and use the discount coupons that seem to multiply like bunnies, a good deal.
I've seen bondo in the casting cracks of a vise at HF, and won't buy anything that's cast, as it probably came from that big country on the other side of the Earth.
I consider any purchase from HF a one time use, if it survives the duty, it still may not be in shape, but it may do the deed. If you use that philosophy, then there are some good deals.
If you're building a set of tools to last your lifetime, go elsewhere.
Just my opinion!
In the days of sail, the navies of England, Spain, Portugal and the Dutch republic ruled the waves. Later, American clipper ships revolutionized international trade. Compared to a seafaring tradition, Harbor Freight stuff = Chinese Junk . . .
Most of what you buy at HF is junk - you get what you pay for - but you can get a good bargain if you know what you're looking at. Their floor jacks (at least the steel ones) are pretty good for the price. My son bought their small lathe for pen turning. It's exactly the same as the one that Rockler was selling at the time for almost twice the price.
I use these dollies (http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-1500-lb-capacity-vehicle-dollies-67338.html) to roll my T and a heavier car around. They work fine, BUT there was virtually no lubrication in the casters when they were new. I took all the casters apart and lubed them with lithium grease before the first time I used them. Still a good deal since they are under $45 per pair with the 20% coupon.
Their tools are pretty much crap! Spend your money on quality and you won't be disappointed!
For cutting cold roll shapes, it is way cheaper to use a bandsaw, especially in heavier cross sections. Dave in Bellingham,WA
A little off topic, but Sears sold the Craftsman tool name and line to Stanley - Black & Decker.
Craftsman tool quality has been falling off for some time and now ... we'll see.
Going to be right there competing with HF quality . . . a dead-end for the weekend handyman. Sad, all three names once stood for very good tools.
Any HF tool that has a cord on it can be considered a 1 use tool.
I buy their cheepo DVM's I usually loose 2-3 a year when I misplace them, give them away or run over them.
Watch for coupons - they give the cheepo DVM's away for free.
There is one in arm's reach everywhere in my shop.
I have a HF saws-all that I have used hard for10 years and today as I was cutting down some old fence it was still working google.
My Milwaukee sawsall did not last that long. It was 165 green ones, the HaF cost me 20 bucks.
I have a 1.5 ton floor jack that I use daily, about 6 years now. I like it.
I use their half inch and 3 eighths ratchets in my daily job.
The torques sockets are too brittle.
I have four different side cutters that cost from 4 to 6 dollars each. They can be misplaced or lost just as easy as Macs 35 dollar side cutters.
I have never been able to get a Harbo Frieght paint spray gun to wok good enough to use.
You can't beat Snao-On sockets, but I still use a lot of HF sockets in my daily mechanic work.
The gloves are as good and cheap as anybody's.
I have one of those chop saws. I think I paid $60 for it, there great for tubing if you let the blade do the work like Harold said. Not good for large solid stock. You don't always get what you pay for My lincoln welding helmet didn't out last my harbor freight one. Some of there stuff I buy others no. But then I didn't buy the $600 set of ratcheting combination wrenches of the Snap On truck either.
If you were closer I would sell you the chop saw I have from there cheap. It works fine, but aint no way in heck I am going to use it in my shop. SPARKS fly everywhere. I have set it up outside and used it some . The type blade you buy can affect it to. I had 1 blade in it that bogged bad. I changed it and the new 1 wears fast but cuts quick.
Alot of shop process's create some sparks but man alive that thing makes the light up like july 4th
Oh yea, don't go online to see about how to get a warrenty replacement Mac tool. You will be shocked as I was when you find out Stanley owns them as well!
I just bought my second auto change welding helmet today from harbor freight. my 7 year old 1 still works but the lens is getting scared up and the new 1 has a grinding setting so you can grind with the hood down.
My sheet metal shears work great after about 7 years of hobby shop use and the stud welder works well for a fraction of what 1 would cost elsewhere.
Air die grinders, last a couple years of my use. I mainly use the electric die grinders. They cost about 20 bucks and the air compressor is much more expensive so it is cheaper in the long run to use electric die grinders.
I use the wooden furniture dollies as engine stands (not to work on, but to be able to roll them around the shop for storage).
I have a cheap cross Pacific type that I use once in a while. I prefer to use the also cheap metal band saw that I purchased many years ago for cutting like you want to do. It cuts faster and you can walk away while it cuts. No sparks but you have to buy blades once in a while because teeth wear.
Their hvlp spray gun works well. You can buy them on sale for $9.00. With the cost of thinner or reducer, it cost almost that much to thoroughly clean them so I use them once and throw them out. I have six new ones in stock now.
I have a set of Mac Tools half inch drive impact sockets that I bought 32 years ago. Well, 6 months ago I broke one. We haven't had a Mac dealer come to our shop in 5 years. Well, I look up online the company phone number. Called them up, told them the socket number I broke and they sent me a new socket (free of charge including shipping) and they told me I didn't have to send the broken one back! Now that was some customer service! I still like my Snap On tools better and would never consider buying HF tools. A guy I work with buys them and they are pure junk! I just look at him every time he shows me a tool he broke. The guy will never learn........
I had one of those cheap HF DVMs. It's in the trash and I'll never have another, even for free. I was diagnosing a battery problem on my truck. Every time I touched it to the battery terminals, it gave me a different number between 11 and 18 volts. (truck not running) Completely random. Went and got a "real" meter and the voltage was a solid 12.2. That's when the HF meter went in the trash.
Mack is right about blades. I wish I could remember which ones we used to use, but in another life as a maintenance supervisor, I used to spec all the maintenance department's supplies. There was a distinct difference in chop saw blades and it didn't take long to determine which one was best (Or at least which ones you never wanted to buy again). Same went for port-a-band blades and sawzall blades. Purchasing liked to change up brands on me to buy what was cheapest. I had to start writing "NO SUBSTITUTIONS" on my PO requests.
If I used hand tools to earn my bread I would not use HF tools. However I find them ideal for hobby (model t)use. I have never used their power tools.
I have HF branded engine hoists, presses, air compressors, tools, and some air and electric tools. The hoists,presses, and the larger air compressors are probably fine for even light commercial use and plenty adequate for hobbyists. The air tools are sort of crude, but functional. The electric tools aren't much of deal if you value reliability, particularly over time. I much prefer Dewalt power tools over anything HF offers, but you pay for it. I have never been thrilled with the quality of their drill bits or blades.
There are acceptable cheap options for some things, but it seems
some people have trouble telling the difference between being a
cheapskate and knowing what a cheap but acceptable option is.
For those who have a hard time knowing the difference, imagine
hiring a mechanic and these guys shows up:
Maybe the price is cheap, but the product is questionable. And
what your discerning peers think of you can never be won back.
I don't know about horse power on the power tools. I go by amps. I usually try to get 15 amp if I need heavy duty. They have them.
I'm really surprised that I haven't seen any comment on their ratchet quality. It's shocking how good the quality is for the price. I wouldn't try any extensions I've seen from them but the ratchet quality is very good. They have several videos on Youtube of people trying to break them. I have Snapon, Mac, Proto and Willams in my various boxes but generally use the HF ones. The composite ones are nice for the show cars. Most of the stuff there is hit or miss but if you haven't checked out the ratchets in the last year you really should. They look like blatant ripoffs of Snapon and Gearwrench. I guess if you are going to copy someone then choose a good one.
(Message edited by 1912Max on February 13, 2017)
Harbor Freight 12VDC electric winch w/ wireless remote control.
Harbor Freight 4 ton aluminum racing jacks.
Harbor Freight blue nitrile gloves.
Interesting how some folks badmouth products they have never used.
I always look at the latest auto magazines when I am waiting at the tire store or mechanic shop - usually there are HF ads in the back with better deals than the HF flyer you get in the mail.
Florida Freighter Jim
I have used those thin blue nitrile gloves. Nothing special about them other than they can split very easy right out of the box! My work used to get those until enough guys complained about it them tearing when you tried to put them on.
They now get Panther Guard black gloves that are like twice as thick and only 25 pair per box vs 50 per box of the blue. The black gloves you can over and over many many times before they finally tear. The blue gloves, if you were lucky maybe you could use them a second time (the ones that didn't split after the first use).
I think the bad reputation for HF tools is deserved, but I'm not so sure it applies as much now. Yes, their stuff used to be very poor but I think over the last few years they have been working to improve. I will admit to buying a pilot bearing puller for doing a clutch job on my sons Jeep that I expected would be pretty well done for with one job. It worked just fine and I expect it will work the next time I need it. Chose from their tools carefully and I think you will find some good values.
Troy, I said I use HF ratchets, half inch and 3/8 .
I their ratshits. I have never broken one.
I use the flex ratchets and the sliding handle ones everyday.
I have been using their cheapo half inch impact wrench every day for several years, we do a lot of brake jobs every day.
How does a " ratshit " work ...... exactly ....... ?
Florida Freighter Jim
This is many ,many years ago, but I worked in a shop where just everybody agreed on what were the best mechanics tools, and Snap-On won, hands down! Except for one thing. Again, it was almost unanimous among all the mechanics that SK Tools (Sherman & Klove) had by far, the best ratchet. (....and, they're still available) Very easily rebuildable (tho' seldom necessary) and a very fine acting ratchet action that is so important for those very tight places where you only get such a slight "swing" that you only gain one click at a time with most ratchets, but at least two clicks with the SK. I still have my SK sockets sets and ratchets after all these years,......FWIW,.......harold
One aspect of HF that hasn't been pointed out yet is the marginal (sometimes non-existant) availability of replacement parts. It seems that they don't expect you to ever repair their stuff. You're supposed to throw the old away and buy a new one.
Even fresh out of the store, replacement parts are sometimes unavailable. It's a good idea to look at your HF purchase and try to predict what parts may need to be replaced in the future. Then buy the parts right away while the tool is still actively being sold. Better yet, buy replacement parts at the same time you buy the tool. No parts, no buy tool - unless it's cheap enough that you can throw it away if it needs repairs.
I bought their 2 piece (big gun and small one) HVLP spray gun set a year or so ago and on first use discovered that there was a seal missing. So I hot footed it down to the store hoping to buy a seal set. Not only didn't the store have seals, but the main warehouse didn't either. No such thing. Never had such an item. I came home and quickly machined a seal out of a stick of nylon that I happened to have and was in business.
Would they give me another gun that was complete ? No. I was already beyond the short warranty period and besides didn't have my receipt.
Yet another reason not to buy their crap!
Few will ever say that HF tools are stellar, but I do occasionally buy stuff there that I would otherwise probably never own due to cost. I'd venture to guess that most of it is acceptable for the occasional use by a hobbyist. But it's kinda like they used to say about riding a moped. It feels good until someone you know sees you doing it. I have to admit, there's not too many HF tools I would want someone to run across in my box.
The wooden dollies are great and inexpensive. They work well for rolling the car around in the garage.
I'm a huge fan of these dollies from HF. I have a set for all three cars. I can shut off the gas, back the car in, jump out and jack up all four wheels and start rolling the car into its spot in the garage before the engine chokes out of gas. They're durable and really easy to use without anyone helping. Great for making three cars fit into a two car garage.
If you save up four of those $20 off coupons and buy four dollies separately, or with a friend, you get a sweet deal.
This just popped up on MSNBC.