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Old 01-08-2016, 01:39 PM   #1
B47
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First time Harbor Freight visit.

After being a life long Craftsman and Snap-On tool customer,I was bored the other day and decided to visit a HF store just for kicks.

I walked in the door and walked up and down each aisle looking like a kid in a candy store.

They have items I would have never thought of - a grommet repair kit for tarps to safety wire pliers and everything in between.

I talked to a few guys and came away agreeing with them when they said that most items were satisfactory for the average home mechanics,but most items were not suitable for contractors.

I brought a battery/alternator tester for $5.00.

What have your experiences with HF been?

I am hearing about a similar company called Northern Tools - anyone know about them?
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:51 PM   #2
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What have your experiences with HF been?

I am hearing about a similar company called Northern Tools - anyone know about them?
They can sure pack a lot of junk in one of those HF places. What little time I spent in a Northern Tool the one thing I noticed they did have name brand or two floating around.

My experiences are when using a HF socket or wrench wear gloves for when it shatters like glass. If you need to mix bags of concrete mix, buy the HF electric cement mixer for $99 when its on sale with the coupon. It lasts about long enough for mixing about 50 bags before it smokes and smells like a vintage Lionel train engine. Then you don't have to worry about cleaning it. Just set it out on the curb with a free sign on it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:52 PM   #3
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I've bought items from both companies and as you stated, they're mostly ok for occasional home use, but not for heavy or commercial use.

I do love making a trip in the local HF once in a while. As you said, they have things you never think of.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mr Havercamp View Post
They can sure pack a lot of junk in one of those HF places. What little time I spent in a Northern Tool the one thing I noticed they did have name brand or two floating around.

My experiences are when using a HF socket or wrench wear gloves for when it shatters like glass. If you need to mix bags of concrete mix, buy the HF electric cement mixer for $99 when its on sale with the coupon. It lasts about long enough for mixing about 50 bags before it smokes and smells like a vintage Lionel train engine. Then you don't have to worry about cleaning it. Just set it out on the curb with a free sign on it.
Thanks for that. Sounds like what I expected and Yes they don't waste any floor or wall space displaying their stuff.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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I go to Harbor Freight when they have a big sale and look for trinkets (flashlights etc...) for the grandkids and myself. Bought a little bit of everything tool wise, filled up an empty tool box. I have used them around the house. I am satisfied for what I paid.

However, if you need tools to make your living or have your life depend on them, go elsewhere.

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Old 01-08-2016, 01:59 PM   #6
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Yeah you are like a kid in candy store when you go into HF X2 on most items being satisfactory for the average home mechanic. I have purchased a few large items like an 10 gallon air compressor I had to return two of them in the last two years because they failed I purchased the extended warranty for a few $$ on them so I was able to return them without any issues...

My thoughts are if it something I am going to want to last and be of above average quality HB for the most part isn't the place to purchase it from if your not so much concerned that something breaks or fails or perhaps you only use it infrequently it works fine for that plus there is some comfort knowing you got it for a lower $$$
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:03 PM   #7
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I go to Harbor Freight when they have a big sale and look for trinkets (flashlights etc...) for the grandkids and myself. Bought a little bit of everything tool wise, filled up an empty tool box. I have used them around the house. I am satisfied for what I paid.

However, if you need tools to make your living or have your life depend on them, go elsewhere.

Right on.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:06 PM   #8
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I've bought items from both companies and as you stated, they're mostly ok for occasional home use, but not for heavy or commercial use.

I do love making a trip in the local HF once in a while. As you said, they have things you never think of.
I just looked up Northern Tools and they have some stores around DFW,SO I guess I'll make a visit to one of them also.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:10 PM   #9
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HF is for stuff you might think you will only need once or twice in your life. I got a puller to remove the pulley off GM power steering pumps there years ago. I have only needed to use it 2 times, and once loaned it to my neighbor. It's a low quality POS, but it does the job and cost very little. If I had to use one every day, I would not have bought it.

Tim
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:13 PM   #10
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HF is for stuff you might think you will only need once or twice in your life. I got a puller to remove the pulley off GM power steering pumps there years ago. I have only needed to use it 2 times, and once loaned it to my neighbor. It's a low quality POS, but it does the job and cost very little. If I had to use one every day, I would not have bought it.

Tim
I'm thinking that what you said is the HF business mantel - cheap stuff,many choices for the average guy.
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