Decision Chart - When to buy Harbor Freight Tools

horribleherk

home grown
I have a snap-on rollaway box & I'll be the first to tell you U.S. stuff is better but for my emergency tool kits I pack for my boat & camp trailer is all harbor freight stuff & a lot of times you just figure the cost of the tool into whatever job you're doing I put tile in our downstairs room & bought their tile saw & it worked just fine my next project is making a generator cart & harbor freight is gonna be my source
 

spyralout

🌱🌿🌲πŸ”₯πŸ’¨
Staff member
I have a snap-on rollaway box & I'll be the first to tell you U.S. stuff is better but for my emergency tool kits I pack for my boat & camp trailer is all harbor freight stuff & a lot of times you just figure the cost of the tool into whatever job you're doing I put tile in our downstairs room & bought their tile saw & it worked just fine my next project is making a generator cart & harbor freight is gonna be my source
I totally agree with this herk. One or two time use on tools, Harbor Freight. Otherwise go for better.
Harbor Freight is like the poor person's wish list and sometimes, "OK I need to do this job, and I don't care if it breaks my tools" πŸ˜„
 

OldG

Elite Hobbyist
I think I understand this harbor freight. we have similar stuff here and an awesome store called Princess Auto.

I have shopped there for years but when i asked for a place to get a decent fan...because i blow through a lot of em. Those cheap ones wont last 6 months.

Found a jar of topanga rosin that is aged a bit more than usual (because i forgot i had it and then i found it). put way too much of that between 2 papers because i hate sticky shit. Loaded it up with some Magnum PI Kief and Buds...quite the doob.

A doob of note. Note...make that doob again.

Back to the store. Fans...industrial watch for sales for a good price.

Tools. Well i wrenched on a lot of cars. I only work on Toyotas now and tell everyone to piss off because i dont have to look shit up and i can do a front cv shaft in 30 minutes (too bad they last for 130k miles or id be faster !). Brakes are simple mechanics...they work and are easy to fix and parts are CHEAP!

Cheap tools will fuck you over....on a Sunday when you need your car for work and everything is closed.

I had a set of giant channel locks made in China crap from Princess Auto...they broke when i dried to snap a piece of 1/4 inch plywood along a thin cut...so weak wood...big pliars SNAP.

I went and got Irwin channel locks for a lot more money....12 years ago. I could break bricks with them and still use them every day.

You do get what you pay for. Get basic tools and then invest in the ones you use the most. The cheapos work if they sit in your tool box.

That is my 2 cents...

Snap on is good. But there are a lot of GREAT quality tools not made by snap on which is incredibly over priced. Sears Craftsmen and Canadian Tire have professional series and that shit is awesome. I have an impact gun that weighs a lot less than my air drive one. It has this tiny battery and can hit 150 foot pounds for 2 hours. I used them to take off a wheel nut to get a bearing out of a camry because i was sure it would fail.

Nope. That Elon Musk....keep smoking them doobs bud...your battery tech is making tools a lot easier to lift and use.
 

Amarok

bad mother chucker
I heard someone say "Buy the cheap tool. If you use it enough to wear it out, it's likely worth buying the good one."
I've found this to be good advice.

You also usually learn something from the cheap one so you have a better idea of what you want when you go to upgrade.
 

horribleherk

home grown
I totally agree with this herk. One or two time use on tools, Harbor Freight. Otherwise go for better.
Harbor Freight is like the poor person's wish list and sometimes, "OK I need to do this job, and I don't care if it breaks my tools" πŸ˜„
I use their little 1/2`` fountain pumps for my e&f setups about half the price of the hydro shop ones that are made in China too
 

18B

In Bloom
So I bought a heavy duty hammer drill for driving ground rods...name brands etc...900.00
Harbor Freight 300.00...bought this about 3 years ago hundreds of ground rods driven, drilled hundreds of holes in concrete, chipped up all my glued down wood floors in the basement and all the tile etc...still going strong.
Well worth it.
 

spyralout

🌱🌿🌲πŸ”₯πŸ’¨
Staff member
They're is definitely some deals to be had at HF, just depends really on how hard you go on your stuff most times, I've got mad love for their pumps, I've yet to have one fail
Agreed. Bought 8 more 158 gph pumps, they run just as good if not better than Active Aqua. $11.99?! That’s less than half the price of anything else in its range and they are reliable.
 
The love hate relationship of harbor freight tools. Some products are awesome some are just plain garbage.

The good thing is they'll refund or replace all that stuff for the most part.

Helped my buddy tile his bathroom and he bought a tile saw from them and it worked, lol. But it wasn't the straightest of lines cut.

Then my job in Oregon had an old wood working shop that I used to make parks signs out of 2 x 8 cedar. All the tools were harbor freight tools from the 90s. Planer, router, circular saw and sanders. Still working after all those years. But everything was made better as you travel back in time.
 

Capt's Farm

CHOOSE YOUR TITLE
The love hate relationship of harbor freight tools. Some products are awesome some are just plain garbage.

The good thing is they'll refund or replace all that stuff for the most part.

Helped my buddy tile his bathroom and he bought a tile saw from them and it worked, lol. But it wasn't the straightest of lines cut.

Then my job in Oregon had an old wood working shop that I used to make parks signs out of 2 x 8 cedar. All the tools were harbor freight tools from the 90s. Planer, router, circular saw and sanders. Still working after all those years. But everything was made better as you travel back in time.
Back in the day 60s hb was a school for tool repair , then they started making stuff.. most there stuff was knock offs of black and decker, Stanley and etc.

There saws are all off a 16th ..you have to adjust for it ..lol

Some of it is good and getting better.... I think alot has to do with your age also..
When I was in my 20s I got nothing but the best....
Now I look at cost and how much I'll really use it in the next 10 year's....
I would say I buy a 3rd of my stuff there now...
 

18B

In Bloom
Back in the day 60s hb was a school for tool repair , then they started making stuff.. most there stuff was knock offs of black and decker, Stanley and etc.

There saws are all off a 16th ..you have to adjust for it ..lol

Some of it is good and getting better.... I think alot has to do with your age also..
When I was in my 20s I got nothing but the best....
Now I look at cost and how much I'll really use it in the next 10 year's....
I would say I buy a 3rd of my stuff there now...
Yeah...when ya only got 10 good years left in you...lol...you don't need the best...the reality of getting old.
I mean me...not anyone else.
 

Gentlemancorpse

Cannabis Chaotician
My big issue with Harbor Freight is not being able to get parts for their stuff. I had their electric breaker hammer and it worked but when my crew broke the handle with the trigger there was virtually no way to get a replacement. Super annoying since otherwise it was fine. I actually wound up making a wood handle but obviously it didn't hold up long term lol. When I got sick of duck taping it back together I bought a Dewalt even though it was twice the money... wish I had just done that in the first place. Not only can I get replacement parts now from a local Dewalt and Milwaukee repair shop, it works twice as well so it's basically paying for itself at this point... I don't necessarily shop for the best, but I definitely try to make sure when I buy a tool it's repairable now. Even if it's cheaper I'm just sick of throwing things away because I can't repair them
 

Capt's Farm

CHOOSE YOUR TITLE
Most things that need plugged in you should bypass HF and spend the money...

HF is good for gloves, hand tools, grinder discs, air tools, traps, rope, there Jack's are ok tool boxes aren't to bad I have a small one.. and etc... in my eyes
 
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