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post #21 of 45 Old 02-19-2009, 11:00 AM
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Chicago Electric tools

Like some have said,its an iffy.I bought the 12" compond lazer sliding miter saw a few yrs ago and havn't regretted it.All I did was put a Freud avanti 90+ tooth blade on it and they just don't cut any truer.I pd about 200 bucks for the saw an a two yr warranty.The lazer setup sucks,but I don't use it anyway.
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post #22 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 04:27 PM
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Angry Chicago Electric Miter Saw

I am on my second 10" Chicago Electric sliding compound chop saw this month, and number two will be going back tomorrow for credit. I thought I could save a few bucks as the saw looked solid in the store, but as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." When I started up the first one, the motor smelled like it was burning up, the laser didn't work, and on the second cut I made, the blade guard somehow contacted the blade, shattered, and nailed me in the chest. I had spent a good amount of time setting up the saw, and everything was level and square, so I thought maybe being unfamiliar with the tool, I jammed the wood on the cut, so maybe it was my fault, although I had my old Delta for ten years and nothing like that ever happened. So, I took it back to HFT and they exchanged it for another one. Stupid me. When I got the second one all set up, I used it for an entire day, no problem, as I was extremely careful with every cut. First thing the second day, the blade guard contacted the blade, and although it didn't break apart, it jammed the saw so I had to use a rubber hammer to separate the guard from the blade. Needless to say, I'm going to spend the money for a top-rated saw after I return this thing tomorrow. Yes, you get what you pay for.
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post #23 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Safe Kitty LLC View Post
I am on my second 10" Chicago Electric sliding compound chop saw this month, and number two will be going back tomorrow for credit. I thought I could save a few bucks as the saw looked solid in the store, but as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." When I started up the first one, the motor smelled like it was burning up, the laser didn't work, and on the second cut I made, the blade guard somehow contacted the blade, shattered, and nailed me in the chest. I had spent a good amount of time setting up the saw, and everything was level and square, so I thought maybe being unfamiliar with the tool, I jammed the wood on the cut, so maybe it was my fault, although I had my old Delta for ten years and nothing like that ever happened. So, I took it back to HFT and they exchanged it for another one. Stupid me. When I got the second one all set up, I used it for an entire day, no problem, as I was extremely careful with every cut. First thing the second day, the blade guard contacted the blade, and although it didn't break apart, it jammed the saw so I had to use a rubber hammer to separate the guard from the blade. Needless to say, I'm going to spend the money for a top-rated saw after I return this thing tomorrow. Yes, you get what you pay for.
I think you would find out that most of Chicago Electric tools work good. Every once in a while you run across a particular product that is no good though. When that happens they will give you your money back with no hassle. Really I don't get any more lemons from Harbor Freight than most any other company. Actually Delta is the only company I won't buy tools from anymore.
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post #24 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 07:57 PM
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I bought a dremel like device that was worthless, but Ive had good luck with the rest. I dont think anyone would accuse HF of selling top notch tools. but IMO the corded stuff gets the job done, despite a few little quirks.

There are definitely some tools whos function is particularly simple and importance is low. Those are the kinds of tools I turn to HF for. For me however, a csms is not in that group.
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post #25 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 08:36 PM
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My experience with Harbor Freight is it is either a fantastic jewel or indefensible junk. Many good reviews on their pneumatic tools but I'm 0 for 3 on those. Luckily, for me, is their 12" dual compound sliding miter turned out to be a jewel. Setup was a breeze with only a minor fence and bevel stop adjustment needed. I've only had it about 6 months and haven't really wrung it out but so far has worked well. I mounted it to a deWalt folding/rolling stand which cost more than the saw did but makes a nice setup for working in the backyard or trucking to a job site, usually my sons house to finish off his projects.

John

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post #26 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 09:31 PM
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I've had really bad luck with their compressors. 3 have died within a couple of weeks of fairly light use. The last one died with a huge spark coming from some where in the motor coil. After that, I just gave up on them. I have neither the time nor inclination to keep going back and certainly don't like the idea of fireworks from my compressor.
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post #27 of 45 Old 07-13-2014, 10:44 PM
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I've had really bad luck with their compressors. 3 have died within a couple of weeks of fairly light use. The last one died with a huge spark coming from some where in the motor coil. After that, I just gave up on them. I have neither the time nor inclination to keep going back and certainly don't like the idea of fireworks from my compressor.
Me too. I had one that quit compressing within a week and I took it back and exchanged it for another. Then several months later the connecting rod started coming loose so I fixed it myself. Then a few months later it turned over sitting on uneven ground (my fault) and in the 5 seconds it took me to upright it, it screwed up the pump. I do have a pancake compressor from them I've had for about 10 years that is still going. Still I won't buy another HF compressor.
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post #28 of 45 Old 07-14-2014, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The woodsman View Post
Like some have said,its an iffy.I bought the 12" compond lazer sliding miter saw a few yrs ago and havn't regretted it.All I did was put a Freud avanti 90+ tooth blade on it and they just don't cut any truer.
I agree, I bought the same 12" SCMS and use it on a regular basis, mainly for cutting thicker stock. I also have a 14" HF bandsaw that I bought new in 1997 and it still works great. I bought their multi-tool for a one use job for $15 and it's worked like a champ every since on a multiple of projects.

IMO, your best bet is to read up on all the reviews and decided for yourself. For the most part, I'd avoid their hand power tools (except for the multi-tool), and just look at their larger power tools.

I also have their 6x48" belt sander that's worked like a charm as well.

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post #29 of 45 Old 07-14-2015, 08:57 AM
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Lightbulb Chicago Electric Power Tools

I want to say something in defense of Chicago Electric Power Tools.

For me anyways I am purchasing the 12" Sliding Compound Mitre Saw because I cannot afford to go out and pay the $400 - $600 for a name brand. The thing about being a tool owner is that when you buy a tool of any kind you need to learn everything about that tool including maintenance. When I buy a new tool (or an old one) I always inspect it thoroughly to see if something is missing or damaged and then I fix it. Most machines have warranties for there products and missing parts (if you look for them they can be gotten). It is unfortunate that we live in disposable society where if it breaks we just throw it out and get another one. In my case I purchase old woodworking tools for a fraction of cost of new ones and restore them to use because I have found that in most cases they are of a much better quality than the newer ones being sold today that cost $250 or more. Also most power tools are not ready to use right out of the box, they need to be calibrated and adjusted for peak performance.

The bottom line here is that Chicago Electric sells some pretty good deals and you need to keep an open mind when you purchase them. Fine tune what you purchase. If the tool has too much vibration when it is in use secure it before use. If the parts need tightening, tighten them. One person my have a bad experience but the next may have a great experience. You can buy a name brand power tool and still come away with a bad apple. Be mindful of what you purchase but be aware that there are always alternatives and solutions to the problem.
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post #30 of 45 Old 07-14-2015, 10:29 AM
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HF tools - yeah, you can find some gems but a significant percentage are best used as landfill. My experience with their compressors is a good example. I look at the user reviews which HF seems to not censor. My compressor experience happened before they had reviews on their site. You can not only see what's good or bad but also understand what kind of problems you might see. That gives me enough information to make a buying decision. But there are clearly bad tools in their inventory and it's not a small percentage. Looking at the compressor reviews shows a lot dogs in that rodeo. I don't think the scathing reviews are made up. When the review average is 3.0, that means it's pretty much junk. And no amount of tuning is going to fix that.

Also, there are a class of tool users that simply don't have the time or inclination fiddle around to get the tool working correctly. Most trades people would rather get a tool that just works because time is money. I personally don't mind some fussing (aka tuning) but would rather get my project done with a minimum of digressions.
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post #31 of 45 Old 07-15-2015, 07:45 AM
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Thumbs down Chicago Electric Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Hi Tom,

I went through two of the CE sliding compound miter saws last year (post dated 7/13/14), and I would recommend spending the money for a good-quality brand name saw, and stay away from the CE unit. In my opinion, they are cheaply-made junk, and can be dangerous to use.

Mike Jewett
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post #32 of 45 Old 07-21-2015, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The woodsman View Post
Like some have said,its an iffy.I bought the 12" compond lazer sliding miter saw a few yrs ago and havn't regretted it.All I did was put a Freud avanti 90+ tooth blade on it and they just don't cut any truer.I pd about 200 bucks for the saw an a two yr warranty.The lazer setup sucks,but I don't use it anyway.
I agree. I bought the same saw about 3 years ago and it's great with a good blade.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
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post #33 of 45 Old 03-25-2016, 08:12 AM
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Bought a 12" sliding compund saw and it was broke when I took it out of the box. Now I have to go back and get my money back, think I'll go else where. The box had no damage to it, so it had to be broke when they packed it.
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post #34 of 45 Old 03-25-2016, 09:17 AM
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I think if you look around, you can find a saw much less that the $400. I don't buy HF power tools as I have had a couple of bad experiences. I do buy sandpaper, hand tools, etc. from them. Several years ago, I bought a 2 gallon garden sprayer and it has worked great. My old one was all metal and rusted to the point of turning into junk. HF one is all plastic. I would also read reviews on HF products. Also, I don't buy Sears/Craftsman power tools as I have had bad experiences with getting parts from them.

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post #35 of 45 Old 03-25-2016, 08:41 PM
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I think with a miter box if you just exchanged it the replacement would be alright. You might take it out of the box before leaving the parking lot.
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post #36 of 45 Old 03-25-2016, 09:54 PM
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I have their 5" random orbit sander and it actually works quite well. I also had their plate joiner (aka a biscuit joiner) and it worked fairly well, too. I did Craigslist the biscuit joiner and upgraded it a Makita and there is definitely a big difference, but the Chicago biscuit joiner wasn't bad per se. I, too, was tempted to get the Chicago sliding miter saw (and also the 10" Craftsman or the 10" Kobalt) but after bad experience trying to get parts (and the fact that Sears is on death watch right now) I decided to save my pennies and bought a DeWalt 10" SCMS.
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post #37 of 45 Old 03-25-2016, 10:51 PM
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I know I'm always pumping Makita miter saws on here, but that's because they're great. I've seen Makita 10" SCMS on Craigslist in excellent condition for under $200. $50 or $60 more would be worth it to me for the far superior product. I myself prefer sliding miter saws and have a Craftsman 7 1/4" slider that has a very small footprint when stored at 45 degrees. It hardly takes up any space at all yet cuts 2x8's in a single pass. I know Craftsman isn't the greatest either, but mine's been reliable, fairly accurate and makes nice clean cuts, costing less than $139 to boot! The best part is I got mine from Orchard for only $54.99 (50% off holiday special, and then an extra $10 discount because I did a raincheck and the special order took forever). However, I've been satisfied enough that I would buy it again at full price (about $130). If you're on a budget and don't need to chop 4x4's, it might be worth your consideration.

As for HF in general, I myself don't own any tools from there other than a carpet dolly that cost ten bucks and is no worse than any others I've used. HF seems to be great for things like that which aren't asked to perform precise tasks. A carpenter I work with has a bunch of Chicago Electric. A laminate trimmer, a 15 gauge finish nailer, a multi tool and a jigsaw. They've held up surprisingly well and he does fantastic work with all of them. The jigsaw in particular I have tried and it's a surprisingly good tool. I probably still wouldn't buy a miter saw from HF, but do your research, not everything from there is garbage, and there's plenty of posters on this forum who've been very satisfied with various HF tools.
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post #38 of 45 Old 03-28-2016, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaecken View Post
I want to say something in defense of Chicago Electric Power Tools.

For me anyways I am purchasing the 12" Sliding Compound Mitre Saw because I cannot afford to go out and pay the $400 - $600 for a name brand. The thing about being a tool owner is that when you buy a tool of any kind you need to learn everything about that tool including maintenance. When I buy a new tool (or an old one) I always inspect it thoroughly to see if something is missing or damaged and then I fix it. Most machines have warranties for there products and missing parts (if you look for them they can be gotten). It is unfortunate that we live in disposable society where if it breaks we just throw it out and get another one. In my case I purchase old woodworking tools for a fraction of cost of new ones and restore them to use because I have found that in most cases they are of a much better quality than the newer ones being sold today that cost $250 or more. Also most power tools are not ready to use right out of the box, they need to be calibrated and adjusted for peak performance.

The bottom line here is that Chicago Electric sells some pretty good deals and you need to keep an open mind when you purchase them. Fine tune what you purchase. If the tool has too much vibration when it is in use secure it before use. If the parts need tightening, tighten them. One person my have a bad experience but the next may have a great experience. You can buy a name brand power tool and still come away with a bad apple. Be mindful of what you purchase but be aware that there are always alternatives and solutions to the problem.

This is a pretty good summation of HF tools. Yes, you do get what you pay for. And you pay very little for most Horrible Freight tools. So why would you expect a Fein?

Almost all of the HF stuff can be tuned to perform. You have to get intimate with them; you literally trade your time for your money. They are notorious for under lubrication. They are also notorious for loose fasteners. And they all must be re-tuned to be accurate. But once you know, or realize that these three things are a constant, you are well on the way to a cost effective sometime use tool.

I would never make my living using an HF tool, but I have laid hundreds of feet of tile in kitchens and bathrooms using their tile saw. I have cut up thousands of feet of steel with their little 4"x 6" horizontal band saw, and I've drilled two entire houses worth of concrete anchors (3/8" and 1/2" holes) with their SDS hammer drill. Each of these tools were bought with one project in mind. ALL of them needed work. All of them have exceeded every expectation of mine.

I have seen posts in this thread where a fellow won't buy Delta tools. I've seen posts in this thread where a guy won't buy Craftsman tools. And I'll bet that someone has had a bad experience with every single high end power tool ever made. Buying any new tool is a crap shoot today since the majority of them, no matter who's name is on the side, come from China. And don't think US made tools escape bad reviews too.

The thing is to go into it with eyes wide open. Don't expect miracles out of the box. Better yet, don't expect miracles at all. Trade your time for your money. Take it apart, put it back together. And if you still get a lemon, return it. Their return policy is fairly painless (if you have a store nearby).

Peace.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #39 of 45 Old 03-28-2016, 09:07 PM
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I have a harbor freight angle grinder for 15 yrs now, a Chicago chain saw sharpener and a heat gun. Working on farm equipment requires grinding through a lot of hopelessly rusted bolts and nuts. I heat my house with wood and sharpen a lot of chain. No complaints at all about any of the three. I must say however, I have seen tools there that I would not expect to last the day. They have indeed come along way. They just sold off a model of wood lathe that was too rickety to be of use.. it was a copy of a Craftsman that was equally worthless. They used box channel tube for bed ways.
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post #40 of 45 Old 05-16-2017, 01:11 PM
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10" compound saw spindle

I got a Chicago electric 10" compound miter saw for my birthday, it didn't come with a blade. So I tried to put the blade from my old Ryobi on it and it just wouldn't fit, only just a little it would go on. So I went down to Harbor Freight to look for a Chicago blade and couldn't find one so I got an Admiral 10" one and same problem, will it only take Chicago blade? seems strange
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