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.
I have the latest design red small car Tata Genx Nano. I am Using the Central Pneumatic 3 gallon air compressor for my little car. I called it is my dream car with love.
Chamily Zoie is a spammer selling air compressors
Reviving an old thread ?
I also use the black 3/8 “ ratchet - great tool.
Bought a 1/2 “ socket set - so far so good.
Predator 2000 watt generator starts & runs in 0 degree weather.
Used a Stormcat 1000wt 2 stroke generator to build an addition to a barn at my rural property. Worked great for everything except cutting the metal siding. Have over 125 hrs on it now. Trick is to break it in right and use good 2 stroke oil. Can't beat it for $89.
I use their hand tools in my secondary kits. A tip: if you are buying a set of their polished combo wrenches, take a set of nuts with you and check to see if the wrenches actually fit. I had to go through 5 sets to make a complete good one, but you can't beat $7 for an occasional use set. I have bought mostly hand tools and select consumables from them, but have recently added some electric and pneumatic tools which have been OK. I put my savings towards the pro quality tools that I actually need. My 2 cents. Bill
PS their auto dark welding helmet works great for me!
in reference to the chop saw the first poster ask about, i have had 1 for a while now.I didn't like it.Bogged down and wouldn't cut hot butter.
But when i started cutting the metal for the hardware on my t body I had hurt my shoulder and could not hold up the portaband saw. So I got the chop saw out. I was of course reminded of why I didn't use it. Sparks flying,and no cut.
It dawned on me,what if it is the blade? So I had a pack of blades. I put on a new 1 and it cut for about 1/4 inch and it started the same thing.
I went to Ace hardware and ask about blades. The guy looked at my old blade and saw the name and said,"there's your problem." He sold me a blade that has cut all the metal so far with out a issue.but you still need to let the blade do the work,it is not a power house.But it allowed me to work a bit with a bad shoulder so I could get more done.
I didn't know I was reading an old thread until Berger posted, then I thought he was back, then I looked at the date.
I enjoy reading the posts. It reminds me why I buy name brand quality tools! Yes, I buy from the manufacturer made here in the USA. I take pride in buying American made. Of course, I have more than enough invested in tools that I could easily buy 3 more well restored/preserved antique cars but, with the 4 I already own I don't have the time nor space for more. This is just my view though....
Don't always blame the grinder, blame the blades, I have bought blades that only polished the metal on a lawn mower blade and some cut so fast you can damage the blade. I like a band saw over a chop saw, I have a 4 inch band saw, the kind you see different colors different names are all the same. I cut 2 and 3 inch solid bar and can't remember when I put on a new blade. black and decker cheepened their tools to sell to places like wall mart changed their good line to deWalt That generator Jim was bragging about is made by Generac
One of the previous posts said "hammers are fine for everybody".
Don't you believe it! I was just helping my son do some bathroom remodeling and teased him a bit about his Harbor Freight claw hammer. It was too small but beautifully polished and finished. He was pulling a nail when the head snapped right behind the hammer face. A close examination revealed a grainy structure that was either cast or malleable iron....but definitely NOT steel. Something like this scares the bejeebers out of me as a chunk of metal traveling at high speed can really injure someone (you'll shoot you're eye out kid!).
A lot of Harbor Freight's tools are fairly decent and put things like hydraulic presses and engine cranes in the hobbyist price range. As for their hammers or other striking tools......be forewarned.
the sign on my tool box reads, NO TOOLS TO LEND!I WILL LOAN YOU MY WIFE,I KNOW YOU WILL BRING HER BACK!when the model t was born the tools were made to fit the space aloud around the [bolt--nut] they were thick and worked just fine,so jap and china still will work on the t.any thing built after 1950 is when you start having the problems with space enough for the tool to fit around the nut--bolt, so as to hang onto it hard enough to remove it.sears in later years began to produce tools that worked [ok] snap on, makes tools that are exact,the problem with them, the older [nut--bolt] castings are not always the same size.so its a toss up,so git your self a good big box with wheels and fill it with lots of every tool you can find, because you will use them at some point.ive been twisting wrench's over 70 years and still amazed at times how many wrench's it will take to git a job done.it is very satisfying to use your hand's to make things work again.model t's love to be tinker'd they reward you with many wonderful hours of pure enjoyment, [at times can be a little frustrating too]. but, those times are when you learn something.that sticks with you.
If you are buying good tools , you end up OVERPAYING !
If you UNDERPAY , you are buying CHEAP tools .
I think thats the bottom line !
So it all depends on what you need .
I love HF when i need something cheap ,
money is not a problem at that place .
You walk in and will never leave
feeling sorry that you spend too much .
Just a quick note for those not aware of it.....
Ever come across an old "antique" wrench that's marked....oh, say 3/8"? Won't fit a 3/8" nut though, will it? That's because it's actually a 9/16", which is the correct size for a 3/8" bolt. You see, back then as a "mechanician" you were supposed to KNOW that automatically!
I have some great old Billings wrenches all marked in that fashion. They're great quality but sometimes it takes some head scratchin' before I remember what fastener they actually fit!
The loan of a tool is a sacred, holy thing, especially when it involves that kind of rare, extremely hard-to-replace, vintage implement that does the job oh-so-much-better than anything manufactured in the last half-century (and you know the type I'm talking about; they're always rust-colored without actually being rusty). -Man, that's an expression of trust and respect bordering on brotherhood!
As an antique car newbie, I've been the recipient of considerable kindness from a few fellows who really know their stuff and I'm occasionally entrusted with the temporary care and feeding of one of their specialized, antique tools. -Not only is that a blessing because it makes the job go so much smoother, but it gives me a feeling of acceptance. -I become part of the fraternity.
And it's kind of an awesome responsibility. -I have to confess that my own tools don't get a whole lot of respect; they sit, gritty and greasy in a plastic bucket in my garage. -But the good stuff borrowed from a trusting friend gets cleaned and stored in a cabinet drawer reserved exclusively for the occasional visiting iron guest.
I was brought up by a second-generation, Italian-American Dad in a paper paint hat, shoulder-strap undershirt and leather tool-belt. -Grandpa wore the same uniform. -Both made their livings as disciplined craftsmen and both treated their tools like a priest treats golden altar utensils. -When he gave me my first bicycle, Dad, in ceremonial solemnity, withdrew from his tool cabinet, a satchel-grip of ancient hand tools — and with laser beam eye-contact, gave me permission to use them as I needed, explicitly conditional on their diligent care and return. -One made certain to be careful with the tools Grandpa had handed down to Dad. -Respect.
Well, Dad has been gone for a number of years and his tools are mine, now (and they sure as hell don't go in the plastic bucket with my Harbor Freight junk). -Some of them have the Ford imprint, for Giuseppe and Conrad were Ford men; and when I reach for one of those wrenches to use on my Model T — which is identical to the car in the sepia-tone photo of Dad and Uncle Lou, for they two went partners on a 1915 Touring just before the war — I get a feeling of heart-tugging nostalgia. -I gaze at that tool in my hand and from the archives of my memory, a video is selected much the same way an old Wurlitzer juke box would extract a single record from a stack of 45’s. -As it plays, there’s Dad looking not quite forty years old, and he smiles patiently as he tells Bobby, not yet Bob, "Before you screw on the nut, turn it backwards till you feel the click; then spin it on."
- Then again, when some guys look at a wrench, all they see is a wrench.
The tools and auto equipment sold at HF aren't all that bad in my opinion. Stuff we use to call junk several years ago has gotten to be better quality over time. The auto spray guns they sell will do a great job. I used to work for a college that recommended the HVLP spray guns in the auto body classes. The paint jobs they would lay down was as good as any other major brand spray guns. The school also used their vises, hand tools, and etc also. The students used and abused them and them daily.
Have beat the livin' c**p out of my 5 year old $20.00 HF cut off saw. Still haven'tchanged out the extra brush set it came with.
LOL, where is Steve Jelf to comment on this thread revival.
You all fell for a thread bumped by a spammer.
What a masterpiece!
Bob Coiro: Bravo!!!!
I think most people can probably agree with this, and it is based on my personal experience with HF Tools.
Harbor Freight is very hit-or-miss.
Some of the tools you get are total junk. Don't even waste your money on them.
Some are pretty decent, or at least about what you'd expect for what you spend. Not the best quality, but not terrible either.
That being said, there are some tools that are just amazing and rival tools that are significantly more expensive, made in USA, etc,. They aren't exactly common, but they're out there. I bought a cheap plastic pipe reamer for $4.99 and it EASILY outdoes the expensive Klein reamer. I've had it for over 2 years and it's still sharp! It's supposed to be only for copper, but it does EMT and even rigid conduit as well. Also works great on PVC. I also bought a pair of channellocks from them a while back. The teeth remained sharp despite being abused. I'd put them above my genuine Channellocks.
Great story Bob Coiro. As for the thread bump, I don’t know how many compressors were sold, but I found the Harbor Freight information very useful.
One big office supply store here bought the other so they combined into one bldg.,Harbor Freight moved into the empty one but to me they don't even exist. The trade deficit is already costing every man,woman and child in the country $6 a day. Any foreign name vehicle vaporizes thousands of dollars out of the economy when they sell,even the so-called American made ones. It's time to tell your grand kids they're faced with a life of poverty and debt. Happy New Year huh?
OH BOY Steve ! I think youre opening a can of worms here ,political worms, or political can ! lol.
I tell you what : i help you .
I think we should give a billions of dollars
tax brake (they never paid much anyway ) to
the Fortune 500 companies. Theyre gonna give
their word that they will create jobs, .
and for the smart ones that believe ...
i have a bridge to sell you !!!
Fifth Third Bancorp
Owners of Stock
Well, back to the OP. My take on HF tools is if you want something to last six weeks, buy it there. And, there are plenty of things that I only need for six weeks.
An angle grinder for one car project for $20, and when it burns up of the bearings go after six weeks, I'm not out anything but time to pick up another one.
But, true story . . . I actually bent one of their tire spoons putting on a new tire on a Model T wire wheel.