Another disappointment from Harbor Freight

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Review by John Mills posted 07-18-2016 04:51 AM 12098 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another disappointment from Harbor Freight No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I would have rated it Zero, but you don’t allow me that option.

I bought the Harbor Freight Central Machinery 14” 4 speed band saw while living in Casper, WY back in 2009. They shipped it to me in three packages, each weighing 50+ pounds. Each box arrived on different days, the last being two weeks after the first arrived. After assembling it and trying to make sense of the chicken scratch they call instructions, I had a good idea how it was to go together. However, that ended when the parts didn’t match and the motor mount didn’t line up with the bolt holes. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the plate to mount correctly and the motor wouldn’t mount to the plate. I called their Customer Service line, only to find that the number they gave me was no longer in service. I called the store, who gave me another number. Thankfully, that was the correct number.

After talking to someone that actually understood English (if I remember right, there were four women who spoke broken English/Spanish before I found someone who understood American). I explained the situation in detail, and they told me to pack it up and send it back. It took me three days with my broken back to haul it into my basement, so now they wanted me to do it again; this time partially assembled. All I wanted was the motor mount plate replaced. They eventually sent me a replacement plate, which also did not fit. I gave up, got the drill press out and redrilled the holes so the mount would fit (also being aware I had invalidated the warranty). I put it all together, tensioned the belt and aligned the blades. When I started it up, the whole until started bucking like a bronco and I shut it down. I rechecked everything twice, then rechecked the motor mount and it was secure, so I restarted it. It turned out the motor drive shaft was out of alignment and so was the pulley on the bottom. I realigned the pulley’s but the motor shaft was definitely bent. I called back Customer service and was told again…pack it up. This time I did, and sent it back with help from friends. They told me that since I modified the motor plate mount, I invalidated the warranty and it was by my doing that the shaft was bent! I had the names of the all the people I had spoken with, and yet nobody wrote down a single word of my previous three calls. Nothing was on file. I ended up eating it and will never, ever buy any large machinery from Harbor Freight again.

-- John M. - Iowa "If the women don't find you handsome, at least they'll find you handy"

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John Mills

21 posts in 1488 days

3 comments so far

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2394 days

#1 posted 07-18-2016 05:15 AM

I’m sure sorry to read about the tribulations you had here. I think ordering large power tools is scary, no matter who the vendor, or what the price.
I’d like to make sure I understand one part of this, and that’s the timeline. Your review here today is about a saw that was most likely produced in 2008, or 2009. Thus, you are telling us about a 7 year old tool – right?

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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John Mills

21 posts in 1488 days

#2 posted 07-18-2016 03:46 PM

Correct. I also helped another friend who bought the same model last year (even after I warned him not to) go through the very same issues with mounting plate and vibrations. His didn’t have a bent motor shaft, but the actual drive wheels were bowed in the frame.

-- John M. - Iowa "If the women don't find you handsome, at least they'll find you handy"

View Bill1974's profile


139 posts in 3795 days

#3 posted 07-18-2016 07:01 PM

That is why you buy with a credit card. When in doubt call the CC company and tell them not to pay and say you are returning the item. You can call the company with the CC on the line and generally the CC will say go ahead and return and you will not be billed for the item.

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