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The Old Fisherman
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I know it may sound strange, but I just found out that HF is opening a store about 5 min. from my house. Kind of excited about it. The one I have been shopping at is about 40 min. drive. I am sure I will hear from some of the naysayers out there about the "junk" they sell but I have been happy with the few cheap tools I have purchased from them. The 3x21" belt sander I got has worked fine and I only spent $27 on it and the 3" cut off saw that has been great and I spent $17. I am thinking about getting one of their lathes (as soon as I get my tax refund) that has been getting great reviews, some of those on this forum. If I didn't already have a CMS I would seriously consider their 12" SCMS as it has also gotten good reviews too.
 

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I also have one that's 5 min away. I've had the 14" bandsaw for about 17 years now and it's been great. I also have their 6x48 stationary belt/disc sander and I use it on every job. I've also had their 22" scroll saw which is the same as the Grizzly and others.:thumbsup:
 

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I have one 10 min away. Although I don't buy many of their tools I buy a lot of supplies from them like nitrile gloves, zip ties, abrasive wheels, casters and cleaning supplies.
 

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No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
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I have one 5 min from me as well. I dont own any large tools from there but I have a bunch of small stuff. The lathe I have is awesome, thier clamps are great. I will eventually buy one of thier dust collectors. I have an angle grinder that I paid $14 for. Biggest piece of crap Ive ever own. It eats up a set of brushes in a hurry and quits. They keep replacing it though, no questions asked! I have a ton of thier clamps. The F clamps are great, the quick clamps are junk. I picked up a bunch of quick clamps at a sidewalk sale for really cheap. I break those all the time. The replace those aswell, no questions asked. I normally would upgrade something that I know is going to break rather than keep replacing it, free or not but I literally drive right past the store on my way to work so I dont even have to go out of my way.
 

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I drive by Harbor Freight all the time on my way to the Hardware Store.
 

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If I didn't already have a CMS I would seriously consider their 12" SCMS as it has also gotten good reviews too.
Yah ... Mine is #5 on the HF site. :thumbsup:
 

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No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
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I drive by Harbor Freight all the time on my way to the Hardware Store.
Yeah some people think they are too good or that it would be shameful to have a HF tool in thier shop. Then there are those of us that realise that HF sells many tools from the same factories as name brand tools and dont let the green paint bother us. Yeah much of the stuff they sell is junk but just as much of it is excellent stuff that can be purchased in a different colot at Rockler, Grizzly, Home Depot, etc. Im sure if I took the Central Machinery sticker off my lathe and put an Excelcior sticker on it, it would be a much better machine huh?
 

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Harbor freight allowed me to get my current shop off the ground. One caveat(this is just experience): don't use their vises...ANY of them, including the bench vise on their little wooden benches. I've had every one of them fail on my, causing varying degrees of injury/ work piece damage. Otherwise, clamps seem to be okay. Especially the C-clamps. He bar clamps are okay, but the bars are easy to bend. Wire wheels, too. Lots and lotsof wire wheels. My HF is about 5 minutes away, so I'm there 2 times a week.

WCT
 

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I agree with buyer beware sometimes at HF, but it's the same at HD or Lowes. I can get paint brushes for .39 and .49 at HF that are exactly the ones at Lowes for 1.99, etc. I also buy my wire and grinding wheels at HF also. I've also had good luck with their caster wheels for mobilizing equipment. I also buy most of my sand paper from them as well. :thumbsup:
 

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BassBlaster said:
Yeah some people think they are too good or that it would be shameful to have a HF tool in thier shop. Then there are those of us that realise that HF sells many tools from the same factories as name brand tools and dont let the green paint bother us. Yeah much of the stuff they sell is junk but just as much of it is excellent stuff that can be purchased in a different colot at Rockler, Grizzly, Home Depot, etc. Im sure if I took the Central Machinery sticker off my lathe and put an Excelcior sticker on it, it would be a much better machine huh?
Private label goods are everywhere as you pointed out. And nearly anyone can slap their name on a product but the difference comes in the level of support you receive when you need parts or service. I guess it may be that I'm not in the market for equipment and am quite content with supporting my local, privately (locally) owned small businesses for my everyday needs. But if I need a 2-1/2 floor jack I don't know that I can trust an unknown brand who may only be using the same color paint. That's a big problem when you import goods from China. There are knock offs of Chinese made goods that look like they're from the same manufacturer but can be quite inferior. I think with Harbor Freight you take your chances. Buy on price, pay for price.
 

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And nearly anyone can slap their name on a product but the difference comes in the level of support you receive when you need parts or service.

HF has a level of customer service that rivals any brand and any store out there.

I think with Harbor Freight you take your chances.

Nah, I do my research. Ive known exactly what I was getting everytime I have ever made a purchase at HF.
....
 

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The Old Fisherman
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Discussion Starter #13
That's all you can do on anything you buy. Check any reviews you can find, get a few recommendations, and you pull the trigger. HF does have a pretty good rtn/exchange and on some items they have lifetime warranties. On some of their items you can buy 4 or 5 of them for the amount you pay on a name brand item. If it works, I will happily use it until it doesn't.
 

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Wood Snob
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BassBlaster said:
Yeah some people think they are too good or that it would be shameful to have a HF tool in thier shop. Then there are those of us that realise that HF sells many tools from the same factories as name brand tools and dont let the green paint bother us. Yeah much of the stuff they sell is junk but just as much of it is excellent stuff that can be purchased in a different colot at Rockler, Grizzly, Home Depot, etc. Im sure if I took the Central Machinery sticker off my lathe and put an Excelcior sticker on it, it would be a much better machine huh?
I'm way too much of a snob for HF.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Al B Thayer said:
I'm way too much of a snob for HF. Al Nails only hold themselves.
I'd have never guessed.....after all everyone knows that only the finest of tools can make anything worthwhile..
 

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Wood Snob
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CaptainMarvel said:
No, Really? ;)
I also don't like substandard tools that don't do a good job. I'm very smart with my money. That's the biggest reason I don't buy their tools. Besides I have all the tools I need.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 
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