The infamous Harbor Freight Buying Guide got an extensive update today!
Here’s what’s new:
5 items added to the “Bad-but-Buyable” list
11 items added to Abysmal list
48 items added to the “Good-Enough” list
37 ranking updates for Good List HF Tools
4 threads added to resource section
4 photos added
8 nicknames added
The lions’ share of additions came from the 63 comments YOU added to the guide, so THANK YOU!
+1 Mention to Existing Gems and +1 or More Mentions for New Items
Some old standards got new mentions – the Nitrile gloves for example and just about any socket set. Harbor Freight clamps picked up over 10 more “gem” mentions.
Some new tools came out of the gate strong… they hadn’t been on the list before but turned out to be good performers based on user experience. The #93440 18 Volt 3/8″ Drill for example, came out of nowhere. So did the compressors, which really surprised me. The #47257 Harbor Freight 6″ Digital Caliper came from nowhere with 4 mentions, too.
the welding magnets: 4 (mentioned several times, did not specify type…)
#46309 18 Gauge 3/8″ to 2″ Air Brad Nailer: 3
-18 ga nailer. People really rip on this one. It was jamming on me for a while. I kept trying to oil up the hammer, but it would jam again. I finally removed the entire piston assembly (allen bolts through the exhaust vent cap) and oiled it up well and it’s worked great ever since. $15 nailer!!!
New Good-Enough Items with One Mention
Getting on the “Good-enough” list isn’t tough for Harbor Freight tools – they just have to have a single mention from someone. This doesn’t mean they’re great, just that one person had a good experience with them.
#42202 Abrasive Blast Cabinet (with mods and fixes)
New Bad, But Buyable Items
If you’re a hacker/DIY type then these tools might serve you well. Just figure out an hourly rate for yourself and then add an hour of work to the cost of these tools ;)
-If you want a cheep 18 gauge nail gun for a weekend woodworker, buy HF and tweak it to work well … (I have done this with my HF air nailers and they work fine for friends that want to borrow my tools…. that way the Senco and Bostich guns stay in the shop!!)
-Pittsburgh wrenches: Wouldnt recommend. Just junk wrenches you dont mind abusing. Chrome on your arms if you wrench too hard. Good warranty though.
-Hand operated well pump
-HF biscuit joiner
-stationary power tools
New Abysmal Items
These items are no-buys under any circumstances… unless of course they show up on the “Good-Enough” list ;) That’s the enigma of Harbor Freight – one man’s “Abysmal” is 4 guys’ “Good-Enough.”
-Chicago Electric close quarters drill #92956
-the plastic wire ties.
-NEVER buy the bunjee (tie-down) cords!!
-The 4″ jointer (65673-1VGA) is useless, mainly because of the poor quality fence.
-Nitrile Gloves: NOT “I’m not a chemist but sodium hydroxide,(paint remover) ate through HF Blue Nitrile gloves.”
-bench drill press (…often recommended)
-3/8″ Corded drill.
-I got a small benchtop blasting cabinet. I HATE IT!!
-black bar w/ orange grip bar clamps.
For fun, here are the new nicknames that HF shoppers use to deride the store they secretly love:
# Harbor Fright
# Bottom of the Harbor Freight
# Harbor Hate
# The Chinese Cheesecake Factory
# For their inexpensive, thrice-yearly-use Chinese air tools, we call them, “INGERSOLL-CHAN.”
# I thought that I would tell you what my wife calls HF; we speak Russian at home, and she calls it vonuchka, or “little stinker.” She hates that HF smell of uncured rubber.
# “Harbor Sheight” (…Shite)
# China Fright
Read the Harbor Freight Buying Guide and remember to always trump your friends in the forums when they start talking about a great tool they “discovered” at Harbor Freight ;)