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bigbens6
bigbens6 Reader
1/25/12 12:51 p.m.

So here is my thought, post the best tools you have bought from harbor freight, post stuff thats the best deals, good quality, good price, stuff that you would buy again!

There is alot of stuff I am skeptical of, but maybe you have tried it and in fact its very good! So lets see what HF is good for, if you feel like it post your HF fails as well.

For me on the plus side:

Spring Loaded center punch: http://www.harborfreight.com/spring-loaded-center-punch-621.html So easy and convenient to NOT have to have a hammer, works on metals as well as wood, just press down and it eventually click and wa-la, a nail/drill bit pilot hole!

Multi Meter: http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-90899.html Can be had for well under 5 bucks, works great, you will spend 20 to get the same functions from a regular store!

HF Fails: Impact screw driver: http://www.harborfreight.com/impact-screwdriver-set-with-case-37530.html 2 bits broke one bit twisted itself 20 degrees, just poor quality all around, hard to reverse directions, poor grip do not buy...

ANY impact sockets: http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-38-drive-sae-deep-wall-impact-socket-set-67910.html I bought them just to have a set, and most of them fractured pretty quickly, i suppose for a small low torque project maybe they are fine but for auto use i ended up with craftsman set and haven't had an issue since. And my gun only has like 450lbft in reverse too...

Let's hear it, what are the HF hidden gems?!?!

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/25/12 1:06 p.m.

I have the 4.5" angle grinder. I use it all the time. Works great. It was like 10 bucks.

I like their welding gloves and welding helmet. I also like the flux core welder (if you use it for sticking two pieces of metal together and don't expect anything great)

I like the cheap price on rubber mallets. Mine still works.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
1/25/12 1:12 p.m.

Flux core welder for sure. Wait till it hits 90 dollars. Its not the best, but it does the job.

Good ole low profile 2 ton Jack.

3 ton truck Jack stands.

Standard practice, wait for a coupon or a sale.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
1/25/12 1:17 p.m.

Better practice- wait for a coupon AND a sale.

DrBoost
DrBoost SuperDork
1/25/12 1:28 p.m.

Jack stand were a winnah. I also picked up the pencil-type air-powered grinder. It was like $15 and I've done LOTS of head work with it.
I'd avoid sockets, ratchets and most other hand tools though.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
1/25/12 1:29 p.m.

My HF DA sander recently took a crap. Looking for an I-R.

corytate
corytate HalfDork
1/25/12 1:30 p.m.

I bought the drive bit set for my electric driver at Hf, like $3, included a 1/4 3/8 and 1/2. awesome deal.
also bought the ten piece plier set and 30 piece screwdriver sets they are advertising now, fantastic. The screwdrivers dont compare to the tool truck brands but they are pretty good, especially when the price comes out to like 50 cents a piece

bigbens6
bigbens6 Reader
1/25/12 1:34 p.m.

I'll second the rubber mallet and dead blow hammer, as well as their regular hammers, i got my first hammer for 2.99 expecting it to be a short term solution, 10 years later it aint broke..

pigeon
pigeon SuperDork
1/25/12 2:01 p.m.
bigbens6 wrote: I'll second the rubber mallet and dead blow hammer, as well as their regular hammers, i got my first hammer for 2.99 expecting it to be a short term solution, 10 years later it aint broke..

Isn't just about everything from HF a hammer sooner or later?

RX Reven'
RX Reven' GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/25/12 2:15 p.m.
pigeon wrote:
bigbens6 wrote: I'll second the rubber mallet and dead blow hammer, as well as their regular hammers, i got my first hammer for 2.99 expecting it to be a short term solution, 10 years later it aint broke..
Isn't just about everything from HF a hammer sooner or later?

…all but the hammers themselves which become hood props.

Don49
Don49 Reader
1/25/12 3:03 p.m.

I've had the aluminum 1 1/2 ton jack for 4 years and it is still working perfectly.

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit Reader
1/25/12 3:19 p.m.

I will give this a BIG +1

bigbens6 wrote: Spring Loaded center punch: http://www.harborfreight.com/spring-loaded-center-punch-621.html So easy and convenient to NOT have to have a hammer, works on metals as well as wood, just press down and it eventually click and wa-la, a nail/drill bit pilot hole!

They also have a long handle 1/2" breaker bar that seems to be well unbreakable, and trust me I have tried real hard (think fence pipe) and its even on sale this week for $9.99 (might have to make a trip to HF today).

http://www.harborfreight.com/interests/automotive/12-drive-25-breaker-bar-67933.html

Paul B

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
1/25/12 3:20 p.m.

Pretty much everything I've bought under the "Pittsburgh Pro" line has been decent, but the 3/8" drive ratchet is excellent.

The 1/2" drive click-style torque-wrench is a good piece, too, and regularly goes on sale for ~$15.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/25/12 3:30 p.m.

My rule of thumb is to avoid Chinese made striking tools and things that spin at high RPM.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
1/25/12 3:33 p.m.

1/2" torque wrench. 3/8" wobble extensions.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/25/12 3:36 p.m.
spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
1/25/12 3:43 p.m.
ransom wrote: Ball joint separator

Thanks I'm going to go get one of those ASAP.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden Dork
1/25/12 3:45 p.m.
ransom wrote: Ball joint separator

Santa brought one of those to my house this past X-mess

Hocrest
Hocrest HalfDork
1/25/12 3:45 p.m.

1/2" composite ratchet http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-heavy-duty-composite-ratchet-66314.html
I bought it a few years ago, expecting it to last a month or so. I have used 3' pipes on it, I have used it as a hammer and I have stood and jumped on it to break nuts free. It has nicks but it still works great. A friend has the 3/8" also and it seems just as stout.

I've enjoyed using these for a few projects over the past few months; http://www.harborfreight.com/30-pack-watertight-heat-shrink-butt-connectors-66729.html

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/25/12 4:10 p.m.

With everyone trashing the sockets, I'll put in a counterpoint.

I bought 3 socket sets at HF, and love them. They are what I use when I go to the junkyard. When I lose something, I don't care.

HF is also a great place to buy like a dozen or so 10mm sockets and ratchets to just strew around your garage so when you look for one, it is RIGHT THERE.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
1/25/12 4:48 p.m.

I had a set of HF tools that I only used when I went to the junkyard. At one point, everything got mixed together and I pick through what I need when I need it. I tend to go to the HF stuff more often than not. I've never broken a socket or ratchet that came from HF, but I've broken my fair share of the other popular choice on this site, Craftsman.

I've been using that big breaker bar for a while. I've done the same crazy stuff with it, and it still looks new. It doesn't feel as nice as a high end tool, but it gets the job done every time.

I remember an article in GRM that flat out recommended the HF 1/2" torque wrench. The article said that if you had it calibrated, it would be good enough for just about everything that we can imagine. I don't think I'd use one on something going to space, but I feel plenty fine using it to torque my balljoints with.

ThePhranc
ThePhranc HalfDork
1/25/12 5:23 p.m.

The stubby ratcheting articulated wrenches are the bees knees.

I just got the 26" 2 piece stacked tool box and so far im very impressed with it.

My 1/2 torque wrench is very good. It's with in +/- 2 pounds of my snap-on.

Paint guns aren't shabby. I wouldn't pain clear with them though.

I got the cylinder pressure tester and it works great.

Calipers and dial gauge are on point.

Never had a problem with sockets of any kind. Extensions I bought were crap once.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
1/25/12 5:59 p.m.

22 piece wrench set (lifetime guarantee) for $20.00

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/wrenches/22-piece-metric-sae-combination-wrench-set-47467.html

I did break the handle on a HF screwdriver last night, but Dad and I were turning it with an adjustable wrench. (Don't ask) I guess they plastic is too brittle to take 12" of leverage. I didn't worry about it too much, though....it was one of their freebies. I'll probably open the next set (also free) tonight.

ThePhranc
ThePhranc HalfDork
1/25/12 6:15 p.m.

I have about 35 free flash lights, a dozen multimeters, 20 scissors and 8 sets of screw drivers.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
1/25/12 6:24 p.m.

Darn all you people straight to heck! I had pretty much sworn off ever buying another anything at HF, and you people have got me reconsidering my position. Aw, poopies!

Sorry for the strong language.

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