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Re: harbor freight tools [Re: sbi] #175991 03/17/08 01:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
Trainwire Offline
Like others have said, depends on what you want to do.

In our business you sometimes have to make tools do what you need them to do,like go around corners.

Watch the guy in charge of the tool board turn purple as he shows up just in time to see a $$$ dollar Snap-On wrench cooling after some "modification".

We always keep a couple of "single use" tools around for just such contingencies.

I have a 4 1/2 inch HF angle grinder that just keeps going and going.... despite the collet lock missing and no grease in the gearbox.


Never trust a weatherman with no window in his cubicle.

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Re: harbor freight tools [Re: NJwirenut] #175995 03/17/08 06:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
u2slow Offline
We have "Princess Auto" up here in Canada... same idea, offshore tools at ridiculously cheap prices.

I find I can afford to buy the cheap knock-off first... see how it lasts and how much I use it. Then when it breaks or I lose it, I decide if I need something better or the same again.

Re: harbor freight tools [Re: u2slow] #176002 03/17/08 09:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 288
yaktx Offline
HF is OK for simple, stationary, single-casting items that can be readily inspected for defects, i.e. tool rests, anvils, etc. Maybe I'd go out on a limb and buy a vise. Anything that rotates at high RPM, watch out! Ditto anything that needs a dielectric. (Call UL and ask them if the product really is Listed.) I've seen far too many pumps and gennies that even the display models were busted.

Oh yeah, and this ad copy on the package of a drill pump:
Do not use to pompe the essence, acide, or other liquides dangerouses!

A reputable manufacturer will hire a French speaker to write French copy, and an English speaker to write English copy; not a marginal quasi-wannabe-polyglot to do both. I might be biased, since I married a technical writer, but this stuff is important to me.

Re: harbor freight tools [Re: yaktx] #176003 03/17/08 09:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 288
yaktx Offline
Oh yeah,
It is currently fashionable to pick on the Chinese, but slipshod workmanship can be found in any country, not to mention doing the tech writing on the cheap.

Case in point: the Bhopal tragedy may have been caused in part by the company's failure to publish technical manuals in any language other than English, in a country where that would be a second language at best for most workers. There were other, absolutely inexcusable failures at work here. Half a million people were exposed, and it has been estimated that one person dies each day as a result of the exposure. If the Bhopal disaster had happened in the US, can anybody doubt the victims would have had their day in court?

I think it is perfectly legitimate to fault the Chinese for making dangerously cheap products, at the expense of the health of their workers. But didn't we do the same before OSHA (pre-1970)? And aren't we still doing it, when we eagerly snap up cheap imports, paid for by the blood of someone we don't know, halfway around the world?

Multinational trade agreements should consider worker safety. Some 20,000 Indians have died as a result of Bhopal, something that happened when I was 16; yet Union Carbide was an American company!

Re: harbor freight tools [Re: yaktx] #176056 03/19/08 04:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,397
Trumpy Offline
Ahh Yes,
The great tool debate.
IMO, if you buy low quality tools and are rough on them, they won't last 5 minutes.
If you buy top-notch tools and are rough on them, expect them to have a shorter lifespan than they were designed for.

During my training as an electrician, I was encouraged to get the best quality tools that I could afford, these being the ones you use the most and cannot afford to have them break during a break-down job and the like.

I still have all of these tools, I look after them.
If you ever break a tool, think about why it broke, were you using it for something it was not made to do?(a common death for a lot of cheaper tools).

Part of being a tradesman is the correct selection and use of hand and power tools, that is usually instilled into a 1st year apprentice.

BTW, someone above mentioned an Auto-Darkening welding mask,
be VERY careful purchasing one of these, some of the cheaper helmets don't have the correct shade for Stick welding and are made for TIG or Gas welding only.

Using anything less, will seriously damage your eyesight.

Having said that, I use a stock, standard head-band type helmet with the flip-up lense.
It only takes a second to nod your head forward and bring the mask down and start welding.

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