Has Anyone Else Been Impressed, as of Late, by Harbor Freight Tools? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
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Has Anyone Else Been Impressed, as of Late, by Harbor Freight Tools?

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?

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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I buy lots of stuff from HF. Generally for the price I pay I don't expect any of it to hold up for a long time, but then I don't use most of it very often anyway. I've bougth tools from there for literally a third of what I could buy them for anywhere else, so if they last half as long as the name brand I figure I come out ahead.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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I just bought a couple of tool chests from them. They had a 5 drawer chest with a coupon for $139. I thought it was a good deal so I bought it. Then my wife saw a coupon for an 11 drawer chest that was $149. She said, "Go buy it anyway." After I got the 2nd one, I saw a coupon in JP Magazine that had the first one for $99. I went back with my receipt ready for a battle and before I could finish my explanation they were handing me the $40 refund.

I ended up giving it back to them by purchasing a reciprocating saw and an orbital sander.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jgano23 View Post
What did you not like about the newer Pittsburgh Pro Tools? Have you had issues with them?


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Old 06-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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I love Harbor Freight. We broke some impact wrench bits (Stupid lug nuts and things...) and they exchanged no questions asked. Which is awesome. Ours has good customer service as well which is nice
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Zetsumei View Post
I love Harbor Freight. We broke some impact wrench bits (Stupid lug nuts and things...) and they exchanged no questions asked. Which is awesome. Ours has good customer service as well which is nice
Yeah I really think they're trying to be smart and do things right...instead of resting on their laurels like some more proven tool companies, they're obviously making continuous improvements in order to gain more market share.

....all this coming from a prior tool snob.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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I broke an angle grinder just out of 1 year waranty which did serve me well. Died cutting of my control arm frame brackets. Replaced it with the HD 4 1/2" and a 7" for the big stuff.

I would watch out for the close quarters drill though. I broke 3 of them. Two from using a wire wheel attachment and the 3rd from drilling holes in 1/4" plate with a step drill bit(also HF). Bought a dewalt drill and it melted the drill bit smooth

I get almost all my tools at HF. The socket sets and wratchets and wrenches are at some awesome deals. I also have a electric impact gun that was easily able to remove lugs. It even removed the large nut holding on the front yoke of my t-case for when I did my SYE install. Haven't tryed taking of a hub nut with it yet.

The warranty on them is great though. Expecially when you have the extended warranties. I replaced the drill by just walking in there with only the broken drill in hand and no receipt and walked out with a new one, all three times. I think it is because I was using a close quarters drill for much heaver work than I should have is why it broke. The motor worked, the gears gave out. I actually think it was the casing holding the gears in place as it would spin but you could easily stop it with your hand and hear it skipping.

Also have their cheap $15 each saw horses and two of them held up my ford 9" with a heavy truss on it for days.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:37 PM   #9
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I love HF tools. I have their 301 piece Mechanics tool kit, I have a ton of their air tools, (Can't beat the 1/2" Earthquake Impact gun). I usually don't have any issues with their tools, if I do, it's just a bad tool and I replace it. I have a lot of craftsman tools as well, but I can't justify spending 2-3 times the price for the same quality. And I do use my tools a lot, I've replaced the clutch, Headgasket, waterpump, and many other things on my truck in the past half a year. Also I do a lot of upgrades and other misc things.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #10
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I have one of their 8000# winches on the front of my Jeep.I gave my stepmother $100 used for it.It works just fine!
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