Harbor Freight/ Central machinery???? - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 51 Old 03-27-2012, 07:35 PM
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Just be selective with what you buy there and do your research before you buy it.

Many say not to buy anything with a motor from there but those same guys will go buy the same machine with the name Rikon or some other brand and be completely happy with it. What I'm getting at is 90% of the power tools that HF sells is sold elsewhere for more money with another name on it and guys will buy them and not think twice.

A fine example is thier mini lathe. I own it. I love it. Its the EXACT same lathe that Grizzly sells and Rockler sells and many others sell. I see those lathes reccomended at times but no one ever reccomends the one from HF. I saved 100 bucks with mine and the difference is, it has a central machinery sticker on it. Thats it. Parts for it are readily available at Grizzly if I ever need any. I was also able to buy a no questions asked replacement warranty for it for 30 bucks. No one else offers that.

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post #42 of 51 Old 03-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassBlaster
Just be selective with what you buy there and do your research before you buy it.

Many say not to buy anything with a motor from there but those same guys will go buy the same machine with the name Rikon or some other brand and be completely happy with it. What I'm getting at is 90% of the power tools that HF sells is sold elsewhere for more money with another name on it and guys will buy them and not think twice.

A fine example is thier mini lathe. I own it. I love it. Its the EXACT same lathe that Grizzly sells and Rockler sells and many others sell. I see those lathes reccomended at times but no one ever reccomends the one from HF. I saved 100 bucks with mine and the difference is, it has a central machinery sticker on it. Thats it. Parts for it are readily available at Grizzly if I ever need any. I was also able to buy a no questions asked replacement warranty for it for 30 bucks. No one else offers that.
To state that HF, Rikon, and Grizzly are the same is a misleading statement. The real fact as that many of these tools are made in the same factory and even by the same factory workers the difference is the QA checks and specifications that each individual company places on the machine being produced. This has been he practice of many tool manufacturers in China; machine comes off the production line and must meet much more stringent specifications for grizzly, jet, delta, Rikon than that of HF. therefore, their cost to manufacture is higher. Harbor Freight has less stringent specifications thus, can be manufactured cheaper. That reduction in both quality and cost is passed on to the consumer. I am not saying that you can't find a gem but, the quality even within their own product lines is sporadic at best. The fit and finish of Harbor freight tools will never be that of the other manufacturers. It is not meant to be.
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post #43 of 51 Old 03-28-2012, 08:08 PM
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It's my experience that they are either made with the same castings and specs or are closely copied. Yes, with HF the consumer does his own QC for the most part. But I'm okay with that, since the only thing it costs me is time.

I have a 14" bandsaw with 12" resaw capacity for about half of the cost (factoring in shipping) of a Grizzly and about a quarter of a Powermatic. Suits me just fine, and I have two more years of warranty left. Ten minutes down the road gets me a replacement should I need one, not several weeks later. To some that sounds like a bad deal, but don't begrudge the people who don't agree.

Yeah, I don't have the customer service of the others, but I'm technical enough where it's not necessary. 14 months into it and it's still butter, and some good blades are only going to improve on it.
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post #44 of 51 Old 03-29-2012, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwelch View Post
To state that HF, Rikon, and Grizzly are the same is a misleading statement. The real fact as that many of these tools are made in the same factory and even by the same factory workers the difference is the QA checks and specifications that each individual company places on the machine being produced. This has been he practice of many tool manufacturers in China; machine comes off the production line and must meet much more stringent specifications for grizzly, jet, delta, Rikon than that of HF. therefore, their cost to manufacture is higher. Harbor Freight has less stringent specifications thus, can be manufactured cheaper. That reduction in both quality and cost is passed on to the consumer. I am not saying that you can't find a gem but, the quality even within their own product lines is sporadic at best. The fit and finish of Harbor freight tools will never be that of the other manufacturers. It is not meant to be.
To take my words out of context is a misleading statement. The real fact is that everything I stated is a fact. I never said all Rikon and Grizly tools are the same as HF tools. What I did say though is that nearly every tool HF sells is also sold by one of these other manufacturers. Just like the lathe I mentioned, I can also show you a bandsaw being sold by Rikon and Craftsman that is the exact same bandsaw being sold at HF for half the price. A sander sold at HD is the same and the list goes on and on. Yeah maybe there is a little less QC from HF than Grizzly and others, that still dosnt change the fact that the tools are the exact same tools which is all I said. Did I take a chance buying a HF lathe rather than a Rockwell? I dunno. Thats a matter of opinion. I saved 100 bucks though and my lathe does the exact same thing as those others and does it just as well. I guess I could have spent the extra 100 bucks and my lathe would have came black instead of green and would have a silver sticker instead of a white one. I'm sure it would work alot better then!!

My point is, QC or not, they are the same tools. Now, since thier QC isnt as strict, maybe they get more returns, I dunno. The way I see it, thats money out of their pocket, not mine. Most of the guys saying, "I would never buy anything from them with a motor" have never bought anything from them to even know if they are junk or not, so their opinions are from threads like this where a bunch of people want to bash the cheaper tools just because their cheaper when in reality they really have no clue.

RRBrown, knottscott and many others were banned, they didn't just leave. They were banned for standing up to the new owners that are destroying this site. Come join us all at woodworking chat, the best new woodworking site on the net!!
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post #45 of 51 Old 03-30-2012, 12:59 AM
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I am fortunate to live in a relatively small city (Bellingham, WA) that is the corporate headquarters of Grizzly and also has a Harbor Freight store. In my experience, some of the low-end Grizzly stuff is identical or almost identical to that of HF. The dovetail jig is an example. I wouldnít buy either one of them (I bought a Porter Cable) but if you want to go low end the HF price is much, much lower. The HF trim router also appears to be the same beast as the Grizzly. Neither is a high-quality tool, because if you drop it the plastic parts will break. But at HF you can buy a new one (with a 20% off coupon) for about $22. Half the price of the Grizzly. I dropped mine and bought another one yesterday. On the other hand, the HF full sized router is a piece of s***. The exposed on/off switch make is very dangerous. I use it on my router table, and there itís okay. I have a HF framing nailer, which works just fine, and I just bought a HF 2.5 HP, 10 gal. compressor which works great, much better than the Campbell Hausfeld compressor that it replaced. I did buy the two year warranty, and I would recommend that everyone buy it for any expensive item with lots of moving parts. I love walking through the store. Lots of stuff to drool over, but I donít like their clamps. Clunky and hard to use, IMHO. As to a table saw, I just drove over to Grizzly and picked up a G0661. Got it for $750 when it first came out. I would be reluctant to buy a TS from HF.

Dennis

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
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post #46 of 51 Old 03-30-2012, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by missileer View Post
I have purchased quite a few pieces of equipment from Harbor Freight. I bought their 14" bandsaw which I detested. The unit looks great, but you cannot adjust the wobble in the motor. I remounted it four times, and spoke to the experts at Harbor Freight and they said "it does tend to wobble, but just ignore it". The wobble on the motor leads to a wobble in the drive band, which in turn creates intense wobbling in the blade itself....


...I gave the bandsaw away as I just got too disgusted with it. I wouldn't recommend anything from Central Machinery larger than a handdrill.
If your budget leads you toward an HF bandsaw, why not return it if defective as opposed to keeping it and giving it away, which is a total 100% waste of the initial cash outlay?
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post #47 of 51 Old 07-07-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LGC KX5 TC View Post
Ok so i have never really been impressed with harbor freight tools. I have never bought any personally but some friends of mine have i didn't like them. The tools they bought weren't the central machinery brand though they were random welders and stuff like that. They do however have good prices

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93380

Like this table saw for example. Is it worth my time or money to invest in one of these saws or should i just save up and buy a jet or something with a known name?

I Basicly would like to know if anyone has any of there woodworking tools and if so are you pleased or dissatisfied. Any info would be awesome.

Thanks
Jeron

I purchased several hand tools from HF in the past and they are still functioning like new to this day. I recently bought a Central Machinery 14 x 40 wood lathe from them to replace my Craftsman. So far I am impressed with the machine. It has a 90 day warranty plus the extended 1 year warranty I decided to purchase for $19.99 I'm trying my best to break it by working with heavy stock and using it for long hours. So far though it has performed well.
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post #48 of 51 Old 07-07-2013, 01:45 PM
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HF is very hit and miss.

A few days ago I purchased a 6in buffing machine. I was contemplating using it with my Beall buffing wheels. I fell for the $40 sale price.

I got the machine home went to open the box and only then noticed that the box had been opened and re-taped shut. I was suspicious.

I cut the tape opened the box and removed the contents. As I lay down the styrofoam packagaing I saw the bottom of the machine looked like it has splotches of some sort. One of the buffing wheels had the plastic removed.

I removed the styrofoam and saw the machine has vise grip marks on one shaft, likely due to the rust on the shaft having caused the nut to freeze on the shaft. The paint on one end was gone. The machine looked like it was in rough shape.

I immediately took it back to the store. Only about 20 mile drive, but frustrating. I got my money back and asked to see the manager so I could tell him this unit was damaged and should never have been put back into inventory.

This would have been my first powered tool from HF. I think this will be my last.
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post #49 of 51 Old 07-07-2013, 01:50 PM
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I ALWAYS make them open the package... Even at lowes hardware when I buy machinery to avoid this
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post #50 of 51 Old 07-07-2013, 01:59 PM
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I buy a lot of power tools from Harbor Freight and only have gotten one bad one. It was an air compressor and I took it back and got the same model as a replacement and have used it for about four years now. I bought a 3x21 belt sander and a electric power washer on Friday and both are fine. The hose was a bit short on the power washer but I knew that when I bought it.
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post #51 of 51 Old 07-08-2013, 01:40 PM
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I bought a 14" Central Machinery bandsaw in 1997 that stills works like new today. After a few years it developed a wobble, but it's not detrimental to its use. I also bought the 22" scroll saw (that's the exact same as the higher priced grizzly model) and it's worked like a champ for years as well. I also bought their multi-tool, thinking it'd be for one job, but it has been a beast at cutting pvc, removing concrete, etc.

I love the fact that I can get paint brushes on sale at .49 to .69 depending on size. I've had bad luck with their drill bits and some of their blades, but not their bandsaw blades.

I wouldn't buy an HF table saw or RAS because of quality in those machines, it takes an educated buyer at HF to minimize the hit and miss.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
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