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  1. #16
    Senior User mpholway's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    You can actually google "Harbor Freight Gems" and there are numerous lists (and some quite comprehensive) that people have put together suggesting when the Harbor Freight tool is the best option. I tend to stay away from their power tools but needed an oscillating spindle sander and took a chance on it. I do not use it a lot and it is a little under powered but it is serviceable for how much I need it and the price.

  2. #17
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    Mainly looking for users here. I'll add a couple more. Hose ends for air hoses. Buy the four piece set when it's on sale for $1.99. When the coupler starts to leak in a couple years, take it apart, and reverse the rubber bushing. The NMH rechargable batteries in both AAA, and AA. I use them in my transmitter for music from computer, head phones, and "Work Tunes," along with several flash lights. Sure beats the heck out of having to buy batteries.

  3. #18
    User Brogan's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    I'll have to start compiling a list and wait for the next sale.

  4. #19
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    Re: HF clamps I would and would not buy again

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilley23 View Post
    The bar clamps are definitely a great deal. They work just as good as any Bessey that I have for less than half the price.

    Bryan
    I have had the opposite experience - well it depends very much on which bar clamps you bought.
    In my experience:
    - The 'one handed" quick clamps are to be avoided as they simply give (snap, break, fatigue, sheer....) under pressure,
    - the F style clamp - the blue handled Pittsburgh clamps are OK (if I recall correctly), whereas the red handled ones slip on the serrations of the bar (and therefore are useless)
    - the blue handled aluminum U-channel clamps also fail under pressure - the tongue that holds the adjustment for the tail piece slips out all too often under pressure.
    - scissor style hand clamps have worked for me.
    - I have not purchased pipe clamps there.

    THe BEST of the lot IMO for HF clamps are their wooden handscrews - these have held up great for me and while not inexpensive, are a good value! They are wonderfully versatile but don't help much in clamping up a cabinet.
    Henry W
    Prolific creator of sawdust, and sometimes shavings - with the occasional completed project.

  5. #20
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    Re: HF clamps I would and would not buy again

    I have 8 of these 12" F style clamps and they have become my go-to clamps for light work. I also have some of the Pony (Jorgenson) brand and I can't see much difference. Good value for the money, especially w/ a coupon.

    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


  6. #21
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    Re: HF clamps I would and would not buy again

    Just recently bought the cast iron grinder stand. Very happy with it, and the very same piece at twice the price at Tractor Supply or Northern Tool. Had to order it online. Bought many HF items in the past and have no regrets as to usability and durability. Have HF 2 h.p. dust collector I bought used, but like new. Have it in an 8'x8' room built on the side of the shop, and permanent 4" pvc ducting. Works excellent, and use the clear plastic bags I bought from Klingspors. Been using the same bag over and over for dust collection. Have several free tape measures and flashlites, enough to last me for a long time.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

  7. #22
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    Personally, I would not trust any precision tool like dial indicators from HF.

    I did buy a few of the quilted moving blankets $6.

    I was at a friends metal shop one day and saw 4 different 4" side grinders he got from HF. He keeps a cutting wheel on one, a grinding wheel on another, a flap wheel on another and a wire brush on another. He said for $20 he just tosses them and buys another. He said they last anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. ;-)

    I did buy an oscillating saw on sale....just to have one. ;-)

  8. #23
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    I think my rule of thumb is if going to be a go to tool look elsewhere. But if it's a one time or occasionally used tool I'll go HF. I do have one of their aluminum racing car Jack's that I love for 54$

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  9. #24
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    Re: HF clamps I would and would not buy again

    Henry, thanks for the info. I have the blue ones pictured in the post below yours from above. Years ago I did have a quick clamp from them that had neon orange pads and that guy was junk for sure. The only ones that I've tried recently are the blue handled screw clamps....they've worked very well for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry W View Post
    Bryan
    I have had the opposite experience - well it depends very much on which bar clamps you bought.
    In my experience:
    - The 'one handed" quick clamps are to be avoided as they simply give (snap, break, fatigue, sheer....) under pressure,
    - the F style clamp - the blue handled Pittsburgh clamps are OK (if I recall correctly), whereas the red handled ones slip on the serrations of the bar (and therefore are useless)
    - the blue handled aluminum U-channel clamps also fail under pressure - the tongue that holds the adjustment for the tail piece slips out all too often under pressure.
    - scissor style hand clamps have worked for me.
    - I have not purchased pipe clamps there.

    THe BEST of the lot IMO for HF clamps are their wooden handscrews - these have held up great for me and while not inexpensive, are a good value! They are wonderfully versatile but don't help much in clamping up a cabinet.

  10. #25
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    My best buy has been their variable speed oscillating tool for $20. Seems to work fine after a couple of small remodeling projects.

  11. #26
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    it took me two tries but i have a drill press from HF. The spindle bearing on the first one was a little cockeyed and so i returned it and got a second one. it works great.

    be sure to give your email / phone when you check out. that will put you in the system so returns are much easier. Most are 90 days.

    i also have a HF 12 inch disk sander which i love.

    plus one on the HF dust collector mod. i love mine with a winn filter.

  12. #27
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    I have one of the HF combo disk/belt sanders. It's usually on sale for $59.99. It's not something I use all the time, but I've had this one for several years now and had no problems with it.


  13. #28
    User Brogan's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    For $60 that seems like a good deal.

    I may have to keep my eye out for one of those on sale.

  14. #29
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rwe2156 View Post
    Personally, I would not trust any precision tool like dial indicators from HF.
    Bring your Starrett, Browning, Fowler over and we will check them side by side. We did this when I took machine shop back in the nineties (remember them?) You are working with a medium that will change sizes over night with humidity changes. Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a piece of chalk, and then cut it with an axe. It's precision work because we measured it with a micrometer.

  15. The following user says Thank You to junquecol for this useful post:


  16. #30
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    Re: Harbor Freight Gems Things - That You Would Buy Again.

    Chisels.

    I have two sets of cheap harbor freight chisels that I use for all of the pounding, scraping etc. and I save my quality chisels for precise cutting. (I can also leave these chisels out in the open so when my husband goes looking for one, he won't use one of my good chisels for adjusting the door).

    Also, their small routers.

    I kept one mini router with a small chamfer bit in it at all times and another with a roundover bit. It was so easy to pick it up and quickly round over or chamfer cabinets, frames, boxes, etc.
    If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    “Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow-creatures is amusing in itself.” - James Anthony Froude


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