1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

What's your best and worst Harbor Freight buy?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Sprinter, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,740
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I stop at McDonald's for a burger and fries on the way to Harbor Freight and Walmart to pick up a few things.
    MasterMech and swagler85 like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    I'm a big fan of HF. It's great for tools I use occasionally, but I wouldn't buy tools that needed to make a living with. I bought 2 small solar panels to keep the batteries charged in my plow truck and jeep, the jury is still out.;)
  3. Jackadams

    Jackadams New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Let us know how that works. It sounds like a good idea.

    HF is on the way home from my work. I like to stop by to buy only one thing at a time. My white elephant gift this year is going to be 10 "free" tape measures. Since I get two fliers a week, I'll have this many in a few weeks. The flashlights are nice to have on hand, but they stop working frequently enough that I like to keep plenty of extras of those when they are the freebie.
  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    ;lol;lol At one time, we may have run into each other a lot (if it were the same town)
    I stopped eating Big Macs when they hit $3. Now they're $4 (burger only;ex) . Since then, I've lost a little weight and feel better to boot. I'm convinced it's not coincidence. (In fact, my wife has gotten me almost completely off of most meat by now and I'm much better off for it). HF is no longer within driving distance and we rarely go to Walmart. More and more, my friend with the big brown van brings me our stuff. I like it that way.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,229
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I've been in a Harbor Freight store twice. the first time was to buy a few very inexpensive items that I thought would be handy to have. the second time was to return a bunch of cheap crap! There will be no third time.
  6. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Wow, you must really hit HF hard::-) The free tapes are good, even if you pay a couple bucks for them. You can't have too many around the place. The free flashlights are kinda lame (I certainly would never pay for one), but its nice to always have one within reach and they come with batteries.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    LOL. there you have me. I've been to MdcD's twice in the past 41 yrs. 3 times if you count when I stopped in one in India just to see what the sold to a mostly vegetarian population. No beef burgers that I recall, but they did have some chicken and tofu/chickpea burgers on the menu.I passed on that one. Good eats are usually easy to find in India. A nice lunch was often less than a dollar.
  8. Jackadams

    Jackadams New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I really don't. Maybe 5-6 times per year, but the last time I was there, on Monday I decided that since I didn't need any more tapes, I would start keeping them to give as a white elephant gift, so I'll "have" to stop a few more times in the year to buy some little things. One big thing that I want to buy is the 7 ton splitter, but I haven't talked myself into the $320ish before taxes price tag.
  9. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,791
    Loc:
    mid-ohio via St.Croix USVI
    I buy things , slow speed drill etc, to cannabalize into Halloween props. Do not buy them to be used as intended, I have real tools for that purpose.
    do not get me wrong here, most actually seem to work and hold up, being the ones I buy are being abused..........
    I used to make my living with tools so I have quite the collection of good stuff.
  10. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    24" half inch drive breaker bar. I think I paid $12 for it...a "real" one was like $50.

    I hate paying a lot for a tool I have to have but almost never use. I also hate cheaping out on a tool that I use a lot and have to have.
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Don't blame you on that one. The reviews are pretty mixed. Take the "up to" 7-ton rating with a grain of salt. If it really is 7 tons, then it's probably also very slow. In fact, one thing about HF that really gripes me is that they grossly overstate their specs on power stuff. If you're looking for an electric splitter, they've been discussed in the gear forum. There are three or four good quality honest 4 or 5-ton ones available for 300 or less with excellent reviews. I got a Homelite "5-ton" that is very good so far.
  12. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    ;lol But you shouldn't give up so easily. There's still plenty more. Take my carabiner assortment. Please.

    The first two times are just part of the initiation rites::-)
  13. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    788
    Loc:
    Central Arkansas
    The one thing I have found invaluable about HF...this is where to buy the tools you loan out...;)
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,249
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    My mind is still trying to wrap around the idea that they actually have brick and mortar stores . . . never realized this . . . always thought they were internet only.
  15. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Despite all the jokes, they do have some decent stuff. The trick is to get it on sale only, and only with a 20% coupon on top. That said, I don't think I'd ever get anything sight unseen from HF on the net unless I knew it well. Just too risky IMO, although you can take it back to a store and the shipping isn't too bad on most stuff.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,740
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    HF has a lifetime warranty on their hand tools. Sears has gotten really persnickety about what they warranty and what they don't. My Craftsman torque wrench broke and they wouldn't replace it. I picked up a new one at HF on the way home.
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    I didn't know that. Including screwdrivers? I've found them to be pretty bad. Stuff like hammers, the better quality socket sets, etc, seem pretty bullet proof, but not everything. You can usually tell by looking, touching, feeling, which is why I shy away from a HF internet buy, although, God knows, that can go for any internet source.

    Sears is just a ghost of what it used to be. Haven't been in one for years.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,740
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    They won't take stuff like ratchets with cheater pipe cuts in the handle like I saw a Sears store do many years ago.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,229
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Most of my hand tools are craftsman. I have been happy with most if them and have never had a problem exchanging any hand tool the says "Craftsman" on it.
  20. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,229
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I don't think any of the kids behind the counter would be able to recognize something like ratchets with cheater pipe cuts in the handle.
  21. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    I've heard that they went through a period when a bunch of managers were not properly honoring that warranty. I've also heard that they've corrected that a lot. I've got a lot of Craftsman hand tools, too, and they're fine. My experience with Craftsman brand power tools is another story, though, and I just generally don't like the stores anymore, nor their policy of exaggerating their "regular" prices to make their "sales" look better. Just my experience.
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,325
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    I bought a HF 13 drawer rolling tool chest for the garage. I read a LOT of reviews before hand and it was recommended as a much better buy that the typical craftsman rollers. Its a nice sturdy heavy chest... probably the best bet if you are not willing to spend the $$$ for a snap-on roller.

    Ive bought some simple hand tools that I knew I only needed for a one time use, but generally avoid them otherwise.
  23. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    If it's that black 3-piece 11-drawer chest, it's a darned good chest for the price. I was lucky to get mine for about 140, I think, with 20% coupon (I don't think the coupons are good for chests anymore), then I painted it a nice red with chrome colored drawers (shouldn't all tool chests be red?) and it's been really good. It's not ball bearing slides, but they're pretty smooth. EDIT: Never mind. I see the one you mean. Nice looking chest, already red and probably nice glides.:cool:

    Regarding Snap-On, there's something funny going on with that brand name. I've seen some Snap-On power items, like pressure washers and such, that apparently are poorly made and get poor reviews. I'd hate to see a good brand name like that get snowed under by the price wars.
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,325
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Its the bigger one... I splurged a bit. Think I got it a bit over 300 with a coupon.
  25. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,229
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I said HAND tools. I stay away from any Craftsman power tools. They just look crappy.

Share This Page