Harbor Freight junk

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Review by SigThrottle posted 12-06-2013 05:28 PM 5518 views 0 times favorited 68 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Harbor Freight junk No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve owned this planer a while now and would not recommend it to anyone. The handle doesn’t tighten all the way and the screw comes loose after a few strokes. There is no real lateral adjustment, instead there are a pair of screws that hold the blade quite clumsily. The screws also aren’t straight. There s no chip breaker so the only pressure on the blade is a lump of metal and a pressure screw that is prone to failure.
The redeeming qualities are it’s price ($12 that could be better spent) and a passable quality blade for its price point. I’ve been able to get consistent and smooth shavings with pine and tzalm, rough, lacy shavings in ash and oak. Of course the blade needs to be dressed out of the box, as with all planers.
Honestly if you are strapped for cash enough that you can’t afford a good tool, new or used, then avoid this and buy a good (Stanley or better) rasp plane and sandpaper. This piece of junk is not worth the time and wasted material.

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14 posts in 2113 days

68 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4057 days

#1 posted 12-06-2013 05:36 PM

Can’t really tell what the photo is. HF is always a crap shoot ,some of there tools are worth having some not ,the good news is they have a good return policy. Thanks for the review ,one less thing to order from HF to see what its about.

View mnguy's profile


283 posts in 3878 days

#2 posted 12-06-2013 07:35 PM

For a tool like a plane, to make it work well and consistently, a certain amout of machining is required on properly formed castings and a certain level of metallurgy in the components. This requires machinery and skilled labor, and no one can put that level of quality into a plane today for $12 or $30 or even $50 at retail. It is just not possible.

View TerryDowning's profile


1122 posts in 2597 days

#3 posted 12-06-2013 07:51 PM

I have heard of people modifying these for scrub duty.

Put a heavy camber on the blade, sharpen good enough and scrub away!

-- - Terry

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3112 days

#4 posted 12-06-2013 08:58 PM

I saw one of these in the store. It looked/felt like 100% junk.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2967 days

#5 posted 12-06-2013 09:12 PM

Tedstor, why do you even go into HF if everything you have ever seen is junk? Are you that fond of just finding items to compare to all your highest dollar tools?

Come on guy, lighten up a bit. No one ever said HF was top of the line but you have taken it as your personal quest to demean anything anyone has ever said about what is good about the store.

You ruin your own credibility by always finding fault, never finding anything redeeming.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3112 days

#6 posted 12-06-2013 09:30 PM

Dallas- I have several HF tools that I like quite well. I’ve never considered myself a HF basher, and don’t remember the last time (before this thread) I commented negatively about a HF product (although I’m sure I have at some point in history).
Perhaps you have me mixed up with someone else?

PS- Sorry if my comment about this plane hurt your feelings. And thanks for that attack on my credibility :) LOL.

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3599 posts in 2967 days

#7 posted 12-06-2013 09:41 PM

Ted, I may have to apologize… I am so exhausted right now and so tired of attacks on HF , (Same people don’t attack Northern Freight that carries the same lines), because of medical problems.

Your Mr. Yuck avatar isn’t good at instilling confidence.

Sorry if I said anything wrong.

Maybe 140 characters is the right amount to keep it real.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3112 days

#8 posted 12-06-2013 09:50 PM

Oh no- I should be apologizing to you…...for my avatar. I should have known it would incite such unprovoked attacks. It’s definitely my fault.
“MAY have to apologize” “Sorry IF I said anything wrong.
I’ll just leave here and chalk it up to you having a bad day. LOL

View bobasaurus's profile


3603 posts in 3664 days

#9 posted 12-06-2013 10:21 PM

HF makes a few decent items worth buying… I have their angle grinder, spindle sander, and 60” workbench and love them, but their hand tools and hardware seem to be a complete bust. I’ve had driver bits break in half, clamps bust apart, screws strip/snap, and other failings that make me avoid HF for anything that I don’t research thoroughly beforehand. I guess I can add their hand planes to the avoid list. Like others say, maybe you could camber the blade and make a scrub instead of junking it.

For quality hand planes that you can get cheap, go used and old. Find a stanley bailey (or sargent, miller falls, etc) on ebay, de-rust, sharpen, and possibly flatten the sole/frog/blade. You’ll end up with a great tool for a good price. Alas the more I use planes, the more and better I seem to want… It’s a slippery slope. Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen eat a good chunk of my income nowadays, but I love these tools dearly and will use them forever.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View wunderaa's profile


248 posts in 2682 days

#10 posted 12-06-2013 11:25 PM

Great scrub plane.

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3104 days

#11 posted 12-06-2013 11:52 PM

I believe Stumpy fashioned a scrub plane out of one of these. It turned out to be a serviceable scrub.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View stratiA's profile


101 posts in 3855 days

#12 posted 12-07-2013 12:05 AM

I am a brand new Snap-on franchisee and I represent the complete other end of the spectrum. I admit our tools are amazingly expensive. We offer value in a different way. HF has its place and admit I like some of there stuff (clamps and such). I do wince when I see some HF products in mechanics toolbox. But that is mostly because in the mechanics world of heavily used tools, these pose a potential danger risk. A kid recently showed me a set of HF impact sockets and told me paid $12. we sell those for several hundred $. I have visions of this kid losing an eye to a socket that has come loose or worse explode with heavy use. I am not here to debate the benefit of Snap-on and lee-valley compared to HF. It is what it is cheap tools for little money. There is a place for HF. Just realize you get what you pay for.

-- Strati Alepidis, Burlington, Ma, Member Red Sox nation

View slabster's profile


8 posts in 3035 days

#13 posted 12-07-2013 12:46 AM

I subscribe to bobasaurus’s  ”used and old makeover” school of thought for hand tools. Besides quality they often have character, reminding me of prior times when you had to make your tools. Purchased some from a guy who had made many of his very nice furnishings with such handcrafted tools including a lathe he cobbled together.

-- David, USA - New Jersey

View Richard's profile


11298 posts in 3512 days

#14 posted 12-07-2013 12:55 AM

As Jim said “Can’t really tell what the photo is.”

So I took the Liberty of Cleaning it up as best I could. It’s actually kind of “Artistic”. Did you take the Photo?

Also just a Minor point. A PLANER is an Electrical Woodworking Tool.This is better known as just a PLANE, or HAND PLANE

I also went to Harbor Freight to have a better look. It’s shown at a Price of $9.99 as compared to your $12.00 and a Customer Rating of 4.5/5. Not that they are always dependable.

I searched Lumberjocks to see if there were any other Comments or Ratings. There are 2 Postings. I just looked at One from about 660 Days ago. It’s also shown at $9.99 and the Vast Majority of Comments were all Positive. Perhaps You just got a Bad One. HF also has a Return Guarantee.


I’m not sure what this means…. “Honestly if you are strapped for cash enough that you can’t afford a good tool, new or used, then avoid this and buy a good (Stanley or better) rasp plane and sandpaper. This piece of junk is not worth the time and wasted material.”

Thank You.


PS: I have NO Idea why they Bolded the HF Statement. But I can’t get if off.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4245 days

#15 posted 12-07-2013 01:20 AM

Question: If someone says “LOL”....... are they really LOL? or just snickering?

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