Harbor Freight Tools

Discussion in 'Materials' started by dskira, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    that and she is lopsided
  2. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    They all are, a bit, Bos. You'd know that if you weren't so dumstruck by the sight of the ones you've seen. When you get as old as I, you can be more objective! Somewhat of a connoisseur, I almost failed to notice the orteil de chameau.
  3. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    lopsided I can handle but lopsided and corns


    well that and she is pencil thin :p :p :p :p :p :p
  4. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    I received my corded 1/2" drill from harbor Freight.
    The color is orange!
    Weight a ton, looks like built in the sixties.
    Will let you know, if I still alive, and not fry by this beauty of technology :p
  5. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    The drill work fine
  6. froudedude
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    froudedude Junior Member

    Crappy tools that can , usally, get the job done. They are great for consumables. A $20 angle grinder will give you 20 dollars worth of service.
  7. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Cutting tools like drill bits and end mills are some of the very best tools to buy from Chinese sources. The QC is still very good (as far as the average user will ever know; machines shops may disagree) because they are made on completely automated machines. These machines are in almost every case the old cast-off US and EU sourced machines that had their first career at American and European manufacturers who upgraded their equipment in the 80's and later. These old machines went on the used market and a huge number wound up in the far east making cutting bits again to sell back to us.

  8. Jimbo1490
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Let's not forget the 'Big Four' motorcycle makers, who went on a deliberate campaign to destroy US and EU bike builders. Having (mostly) accomplished this, they still continue to 'dump' huge overproduction of street bikes into the US each year, wiping out successive generations their dealer networks over and over again.

    It's called 'exporting unemployment': Japanese factory workers vs American dealer/service workers.

  9. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    my god break out the champagne and college girls we actually agree on something Jim
    had to happen eventually

    best of luck
  10. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Some of the tools I would NEVER recommend from HF include:

    Chainsaw chain sharpener (three in a row, finally got my money back instead of another one. Bought a Tecomec)

    ANY of their rotary buffers (you would burn one up polishing one plug, mold or boat.)

    ANY of their metal lathes. These are VERY poorly made Chinese lathes, and not particularly low priced. If you decide to buy a Chinese metal lathe (which I don't recommend to begin with) the Jet, Grizzly and Encos from Taiwan are much better quality for little or no more money.

  11. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    I was going to get one of those but I built a machine shop for a friend a while back and he has bloody everything and top notch stuff as well

    he says the cheap chinese stuff will get you into the 15~25 thous range which is hardly good enough for any kind of decent fit between parts
    that and the power on those is so low your going to be lucky to work aluminum and your more likely to be relegated to plastics
    the middle of the road stuff should get you to 5~10 thous range and the stuff in his shop has tolerances of .5~2 thous
    he often heats one part and cools another for an almost inseparable joint between pieces

    guy used to be head machinist at Ball Airo Space
    really talented individual

    has mind bending machinery in that shop of his

    laughs at the mere mention of HF
  12. alanrockwood
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    alanrockwood Senior Member

    It makes one wonder if your friend has ever actually used one of the Harbor Freight mini lathes. There are many people out there who are using them and doing far better than the 15-25 thous range estimated by your friend.

    Think about it: 25 thousandths of an inch is 2.5 hundredths of an inch, which is 1/40". You could do better than that by freehanding it, with the work piece held in a cordless drill and the cutting tool being a file.
  13. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    Im pretty sure thats what he meant to imply

    you have to remember this guy was head machinist at ball airo space
    he is used to extremely high tolerances

    I was working on a bridgeport and talking about wanting one of my own when the subject of the mini lathes from someone like harbor freight came up

    he laughed and said old 3 axis mills are a dime a dozen and for what you spend on a mini you can get a used full size one and three times the accuracy

    they weigh a ton and use 3 phase but still
    he even had his buddy call me trying to sell me an old mill at 700
    worked fine but had been replaced with a c/c
    you need a crane to move it though
    that and it would take up half the garage
  14. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Even small and medium-sized machine shops have mostly switched to automated machines and have idled their manual machines. This has resulted in the used market being flooded with good US, EU and Japanese sourced manual machines of very high quality. These machines are literally better at 20-30 years old than a Chinese machine is new out of the box. Look on Craigslist or ebay or even a used machine tool dealer as they have many bargains. That's where I'd put my machine tool money.


  15. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    that is precisely what my machinist friend says
    mater of fact he has all his start up stuff just sitting and has been offering it to me from time to time dirt cheap if I'll just get it out of there

    stuff is a pain in the *** to move and the market for manual heavy machine tools is dead and burred

    its still perfectly good in terms of its accuracy ~2 thous or better with good sharp bits

    glad we found something we can agree on Jim
    hope all is well
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