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Review by Purrmaster posted 01-22-2013 11:40 PM 5691 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Arghhh No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This review for the Harbor Freight adjustable roller stand. Item #46086. The one with the red roller.

I got this last week to use as outfeed support for my planer and jointer. I needed something cheap and easy to support the long beech boards I was planing.

This tool has mostly been an exercise in frustration.

The bad news: Adjusting it is very difficult and highly annoying. It’s adjusted by moving the rod that holds the roller up and down within the base. This is a common design and not one I’ve had trouble with on other tools. But on this thing…. the rod fits into the base extremely tightly. So tight that getting it into the hole in the first place is a chore. Once you do get it in you have to bear down on it with all your weight to move it.

But moving the rod up is the really fun part. The fit is so tight that I cant just pull up on the roller. The only way I have found so far to adjust the roller up is to turn it over and whack the bottom of the rod with a deadblow mallet. After a few blows you can move it a couple of inches.

Not only does this make adjusting it a huge pain, it almost makes it impossible to do fine adjustments on. If you need to set your roller to a certain height you are going to go through much trouble. If you need to adjust it frequently you are going to want to smash it to pieces.

I have tried wax, 3 in one oil, and WD-40. None of them helped much. My assumption is that the paint on the rod is too thick. I could, in theory, sand off the paint. But not only would that be time consuming and annoying it would also remove the rust protection the paint gives the steel.

Lastly, the assembly instructions suck.

Now the good news: The roller spins freely and the epoxy coating on it gives a pretty good grab. The tripod base doesn’t wiggle or wobble. It’s also pretty light weight so you can pick it up and move it around with ease.
It can be adjusted to be pretty tall if need be (just don’t forget your mallet). And most importantly, it costs less than 20 bucks.

The question may arise: Why not just give it one star? Because if you can get it to the height you want, it does work. And it is pretty sturdy. If you need a roller at a specific height and don’t need to adjust it much this tool may serve you well. The price of admission is certainly low.

I intend to take this thing back and to get a replacement. Perhaps this is a problem just with mine. But I doubt it. I have not tried their other, somewhat smaller one and can’t comment on that model.

If I get a replacement that works fine I’ll update the review to let you know.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2894 days

26 comments so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3724 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 12:21 AM

I’m with you Purr. I bought two of them so I cuss them twice as much! I don’t even try to use them anymore.

-- Life is good.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3665 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 12:28 AM

Very helpful review. Thanks for the heads up.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4310 days

#3 posted 01-23-2013 12:33 AM

man don’t get me started on these. I have two and ….i just went to set one up and the the tightening wheel broke.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View sdmref's profile


15 posts in 4008 days

#4 posted 01-23-2013 04:43 AM

Huh…that’s really too bad. I also have one and mine works adequately. It is not the best but for the price I really can’t complain. Sorry to hear yours is not working out.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3476 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 04:52 AM

I have two of these, one adjusts rather easily, while the other is as you describe. Luckily, I got them off of CraigList 2 for $10.00, so my price of addmission was low. Eventually, I’ll upgrade to better ones, but I can make do for now.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3735 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 05:24 AM

I agree.

It’s a piece of junk.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 09:32 AM

I’m glad to hear at least some of them work okay. Perhaps I got a dud but from the comments it appears duds may be fairly common.

I may end up sanding down the paint to get a looser fit.

I should have mentioned the tightening wheel. It is… delicate. Don’t tighten it down too hard. I almost wonder if that’s the reason it fits so snugly: They were trying to get people not to tighten it down so hard.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3724 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 12:08 PM

I even drilled and tapped the bottom where the tightening wheel is and put a 1/4-20 bolt in it to use. It still isn’t anything to write home about so I quit using them altogether.
We used “pipestands” in the pipefitting industry that had infinite adjustment on the top. I don’t understand why the woodworking industry doesn’t come out with one.

-- Life is good.

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3982 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 01:17 PM

I got one also and generally agree. It’s ok for the price, on sale or with a coupon, but wouldn’t get another one. The other problem I have with mine is where to store it. It doesn’t fold up so it takes up a lot of real estate in a small shop.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3667 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 01:22 PM

These sorts of things is where a small welder and metal cutoff saw comes in handy. You can make all sorts of things like this that are far sturdier and cheaper than anything you could buy.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3434 days

#11 posted 01-23-2013 01:55 PM

Not to hi-jack the thread, but I recently picked up a roller support from Sears that works quite well. I paid ~$18, but even at reg price, they are still $22-25. Sturdy enough for my needs but can be folded-up and hung on a wall after use. The red tabs are to prevent a workpiece from sliding off the side of the stand, but they retract when not in use. It also has an eccentric foot that allows you to level the stand on uneven surfaces (within reason).
Sears also sells a similar model that uses several ball bearings as the roller mechanism. It cost an extra $10.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4033 days

#12 posted 01-23-2013 02:51 PM

I have 2 of these as well. Although I haven’t had the problems you have with the rod being so tight (from the looks of it, I got REALLY lucky), however mine are pretty wobbly and I don’t trust them to hold stock on the jointer / planer infeed / outfeed… For the most part they suck up valuable shop space. I am actually considering getting rid of them.

I guess wobbly isn’t the right word I am looking for.

You see my shop floor slopes, a lot. And there is no adjustment for the feet on these things to level them out. so when my jointer is on the bench, and I have these set up, they feed at a funny angle.

I guess if I had a flat floor, I would be happier with these…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3736 days

#13 posted 01-23-2013 03:41 PM

I have the one from Sears too. It works well. I think I paid around $20 for it.
Thanks for the review. If i need another I’ll go back to Sears.

View Nordraw's profile


6 posts in 2755 days

#14 posted 01-23-2013 06:32 PM

What a surprise huh? Something from HFT is junk. It is a junk store for the most part. Let the buyer beware was written for that store.

-- Cucamonga CuCu

View madts's profile


1941 posts in 3140 days

#15 posted 01-23-2013 07:12 PM

You said you wanted something cheap!! I myself prefer to buy inexpensive. Not trying to be a smartass. Just stating the difference between the two.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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