I used to consider myself a tool connoisseur; I enjoy working with high end tools such as Proto, JH Williams, Bahco, and Snap-On. There was nothing lower than Craftsman in my toolbox and also quite a few of the above mentioned tools. I've now come to the sad realization that many of these premium tools have changed to become part of global manufacturing and they aren't the same as they used to be. You can't even get an American made vice-grip anymore
! Craftsman has certainly gone down hill and they were one of the few decent tools that I could run to the store and get an exchange for.
This brings me to Harbor Freight:Prior to this past weekend, the only tools from HF that I really owned were just little knick knack tools that didn't really matter a whole lot (pick sets, nylon panel removal tools, etc.). Quite frankly, I always considered everything else of theirs to be crap. Last week, I happened to see the latest HF Flyer here at work and I took note of a few seemingly good deals....the ratcheting wrenches caught my eye for $20/set and I thought "what the heck, I can at least go take a look at them". To make a long story short, I ended up walking out of the store with standard and metric sets of those wrenches as well as a few other tools. Those ratcheting wrenches have excellent fit and finish and I would swear that they come out of the same Taiwanese factory that Gearwrench produces theirs in (Danaher tool group actually). I also noticed that most of the Pittsburgh Pro tools appear to be very well made and I happened to need a 1/2" breaker bar so I picked up one of those as well (I've already put a load of torque on it and I saw no indication of weakness). Time will tell how this stuff holds up, but I'm willing to bet that they will serve me just as well as my other tools have....and HF's no questions asked lifetime replacement warranty is hard to beat.
I suppose what I'm getting at is that it's good to keep an open mind sometimes....I never thought I would be buying any important tools from Harbor Freight but times have changed. What do you guys think?
Flame suit on!!