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Harbor Freight

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
A lot of companies have become quite crafty at the "made in the USA" label. We have a local plant that has two haves of its product made overseas. Once they arrive they are put together with a few screws and the "made in the USA from global products" label goes on. The screws may be the only USA product used. You'll also often see the "assembled in the USA" label on products. Very similar to the prior statement.
Made in USA can be hard to do. I build a little product called a DI box. It has 8 components. They come from 4 countries. The major components. The transformer that gives it it's quality, and the top plate that make it unique and mine are made in USA. It has two kinds of connectors, both are the best available. One is made in USA the other is made in Liechtenstein. The other components are from Japan, Taiwan, and China. I couldn't find the parts to get everything from USA
http://lbpinc.com/DI.html
 

Beanscoot

Registered
"One is made in USA the other is made in Liechtenstein."

So you're the guy responsible for all the good jobs going to Liechtenstein!

On a side note, congratulations for making a quality device. It is satisfying to find a gadget that is high quality for a reasonable price. It does sometimes take a fair bit of searching on the old Internet to find such a thing among the heaps of typical Chinese junk, however.
 

ronny p 148

Registered
I have my fathers 1950 Craftsmen what is called a locomotive 3" belt sander I got hold of a company in Grand Haven Michigan that make any size custom abrasive paper so they call it I call it sand paper like calling a snowmobile a ski-doo . Very nice people the Tec support person actually found my sander on E-bay . There even sending me a belt to try at no charge . Very nice people Here's their phone number 1-616-846-8768 ask for Joe . They have been in business since late 1800's still US owned .

Ronny
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
I got the bigger ultra sonic cleaner a few years ago.Got the extended warranty. No questions when the first 1 started leaking. This 1 I have now has cleaned so many carbs and what not I have lost count. Looks like heck. but it will still work. I will be upgrading to a bigger 1 off ebay at some point so i can get 4 barrel carbs in it easier.
That cleaner is the 1 thing I have really got my use out of. if it dies tonight,I can't complain.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I've got 1 of the 2.5 L ultrasonic cleaners, bought 2 years ago, only use it occaisionally, but its still working.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Bought a 3/8 impact last week and used it for the first time yesterday. I happily buzz a bolt in until it gets somewhat tight then the thing stalls.
It won't hammer, just sits there and passes air. Back to HF I go.
 

s100

Registered
My take on this is, there are two potential customers for the cheap HF tools.One is professionals and the other is the guy who will use something once in a blue moon. I know, that's a pretty disparate selection. But think about it. The pros, who have workers beating the hell out of their tools every day, dropping the things, losing them, who knows what. if you buy them the best top quality tools they'll be junk in a few weeks or best case months anyway, so why not buy the junk for a tenth the price and the first time it acts up, throw it away and pick up a new one. You'll be dollars ahead. Note that the issue is different for some guys who work on their own and enjoy using good tools, and will take good care of them. The occasional user, that is self explanatory.

I have two HF power tools, a little Dremel wannabe and one of those multi purpose things you can use to cut and scrape, no idea what they are called, I call 'em a wiggling tool. Neither will ever be confused for quality tools but for the few times I need 'em, I can put up with the screaming and vibration. I bought the Dremel-ish tool because I broke off a 3/8" tap in a big casting and had to cut it out with a carbide burr. The tool did the job, although I had to go to the local hardware store to buy a carbide bit that cost almost as much as the tool itself. I haven't used the thing since. The wiggling tool has turned out to be a lot handier than I could have imagined. It's great for cutting into old plaster when adding an outlet box or something similar, and for making any small cuts that ordinary tools won't fit into. I think if that one dies (no problems so far, and it has gotten a fair bit of use) I will replace it with a better quality tool since it's proved to be so useful.

That said there are things I would not buy at HF. I would never take a chance on any of their hand tools, especially sockets, allen wrenches, and most of all screwdrivers. All I need is to be in the middle of a project that has to get done and a key tool breaks, causing me to have to search around for another or worse yet have to adjourn to make a trip to the store for a replacement. Craftsman tools are marginally OK, except screwdrivers. Screwdrivers are the one tool where it's worth every penny to buy the best available, such as Snap On. One of the worst things that can happen is that a cheap screwdriver messes up a screw head, or socket rounds off the head of a balky bolt. Sometimes I spent more time dealing with those headaches than on the project itself.

I'd also stay away from anything at HF that has any rubber on it, wheels, inner tubes, tires, etc. I bought a bunch before I knew better, and boy am I sorry. I also bought a soda blaster, figuring I'd give it a try and if liked what it did I would buy or make a better one. I got it home and started to assemble it. That thing was such a Rube Goldberg mess I never even finished assembling it. I took it back and got a refund.

So while it rubs me the wrong way to buy anything imported, i'm ashamed to admit I will occasionally patronize HF, making sure to have my coupon to get my free tape measure (those tape measures may well be the best thing in the store, they are actually really decent tape measures.)
 

slip knot

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/27/2019
The 44in roll cab tool boxes are great. I've bought two of them and use them every day.
I bought the 20 gallon parts washer and when the girl asked if I wanted the warranty I told her no, that I was going to take it home and cut a hole in the bottom of it 1st thing. I had a few mods I wanted to do on it. She said they get that a lot.:D
 

Sonny Reese

Registered
I have bought LOT'S of stuff from HF over the last 25 years and most of it still is usable.----We are getting a store 20 miles from us ,might be open this summer, and the next close one is 38 miles, and the third one is 75 miles!
The stuff that they sell is not all that bad,--Wish it were made in Japan!!! ---they had better quality!! thanks; sonny
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
I've found their sockets and allen wrenches to be good quality. Drill bits are spotty and on the packs of smaller drills say 3/16 and smaller it's hit and miss. Some have the tips ground backwards! I find that with most of their drills if you run them at a very low speed to keep heat generation down they'll do the job as the alloy is generally crap. Their TiN coated bits are a joke. The nifty gold coating seems to be merely a coating that resembles paint if it's evaluated to wear resistance. But they're smart as the gold coating implies a good bit and for them it's a marketing tool.

I'd love to buy a quality USA/Canada made bit from a jobber but simply can't afford to. As a hobbyist and short run manufacturer I can get a whole set of bits for what one good Triumph or other brand ~3/8" bit costs. I can live with running something around 1/2 inch at 80 rpm as I'm not in a hurry. Besides, it seems if one of my kids borrows something I never see it again.

---------- Post added at 06:34:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:29:17 AM ----------

A lot of companies have become quite crafty at the "made in the USA" label.
Reminds me of a trade dispute about forty years ago. A lot of stuff was coming in from Japan stamped made in USA. It seems on the south end of Japan there is a region or town named Usa. Cagey tactics! We squashed that marketing deception fairly quickly.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
That hose/extension cord looks like it could double my productivity, and those Sonny Bono safety glasses look pretty stylish:)
 

Tom Marshall Jr.

Subscriber
Age
76
Last Subscription Date
12/29/2019
Anyone have a 3/4 air gun (Earthquake XT ) sold by H F. Good Bad ect. home shop use . Thanks Tom
 

ronny p 148

Registered
Well got the abrasive belts the other day from the company I mentioned in start of this thread They sent me a 100 grit to try sent it at no charge to try and it fit like a glove I tried to pay them for sending the 1st belt and shipping would not take a cent I purchased 3 different grits only 24 dollars and change and now I have my dads old belt sander working. When I fired that thing up you can hear all the way up to heaven I bet my mom said to him I thought you left that darned noisy thing behind :) I'm glad I took the effort to find the belts and gets dads sander going again.

Ronny
 
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