Harbor Freight acceptable tools list

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Forum topic by interpim posted 03-02-2010 03:05 AM 15325 views 8 times favorited 63 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1170 posts in 3998 days

03-02-2010 03:05 AM

I remember a while back someone posted a list of HF tools that were actually good buys. Does anyone know where this list is? I am thinking of picking up their 6” digital calipers, and was wondering if there was anything else worth looking at since I am making the trip.

-- San Diego, CA

63 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4237 days

#1 posted 03-02-2010 03:13 AM

just look up and you will see what they have on sale

View iamwelty's profile


264 posts in 3655 days

#2 posted 03-02-2010 03:15 AM

I’ve got the digital caliper… I’ve tried to replace it with more expensive ones, but so far the HF one outlasts the “better” ones, it’s a crazy-good cheap tool. You’ll also want to get a HF Multi-tool… there on sale locally for $34.00. Sands, cuts… works incredibly good. I’ve also have a HF finish nailer that is probably 15 years old and does a great job… but I’ve had two other HF nailers that just barely made it home until the broke…

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3998 days

#3 posted 03-02-2010 03:19 AM

GMman, I am not looking for the sales items… I am looking for a list of products that HF sells that are better quality than their typical junk.

Thanks iamwelty, I am relieved to hear that the calipers aren’t junk.

-- San Diego, CA

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3714 days

#4 posted 03-02-2010 03:19 AM

How funny :-)

I wish it were that simple.

There’s a place in MY world for HF, but … it’s not enough to list the acceptable tools. You have to be really vigilant, and really lucky.

Even within the good tools, you have to get a good one.

In other words, their quality is all over the map. People might recommend their bar clamps, but … spend a little time going through their stock. You’ll likely find BIG differences in finish, machining, precision, etc.

IME, that’s the HF game: You gotta’ be asking yourself ONE question: Do I feel lucky?


Do ya’ ... punk? :-)

[I hope it’s clear that was a “Dirty Harry” line, and not an insult :-)]

-- -- Neil

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3998 days

#5 posted 03-02-2010 03:22 AM

LOL… I got the reference NBeener :)

-- San Diego, CA

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4237 days

#6 posted 03-02-2010 03:25 AM

Well I would say that most if not all is junk I got some of their tools and after a few use the go to the dump, don’t go waste your money.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4528 days

#7 posted 03-02-2010 03:33 AM

I have heard some people have real good luck with their stuff, but I hear a lot more people that don’t.

If it’s something that you plug in, hit it with a hammer or sharpen, I will avoid it.
I would rather spend more to get something reputable.

Their “C” clamps, wheels, gloves and things like that I have no complaints about.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View hairy's profile


3004 posts in 4072 days

#8 posted 03-02-2010 03:36 AM

This is a horrible fright gem:

It gets a lot of use on my lathe. I go there for rubber gloves and Titebond glue.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View grub32's profile


215 posts in 3588 days

#9 posted 03-02-2010 03:37 AM

I have the digital caliper too… they work just fine.

I also have a hose real and it works good.

I also have about 30 of the 6 in clamps from china and love em.

I have a framing nailer and roofing nailer that are as good or better than my bostish gun.

that’s a good start on list… I also have covered my floors in their mats when on sale.

Good luck,


-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3998 days

#10 posted 03-02-2010 03:39 AM

I actually have that Chuck hairy… can’t beat $7.99 for how much I use it.

Oh, and the fact I have a coupon for 66% off the calipers isn’t bad either :)

-- San Diego, CA

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4117 days

#11 posted 03-02-2010 03:40 AM

I have purchased their 2 hp dust collectors , 3/4” pipe clamps (lots of them) digital calipers. All of these items I have found to be good tools considering their cost and I would buy them again. On the other hand I have returned many other tools of theirs because they were junk.

View KevinVan's profile


91 posts in 3691 days

#12 posted 03-02-2010 03:42 AM

Google harbor freight gems and you will find some lists.

-- ALS IK KAN “to the best of my ability,”

View Bothus's profile


442 posts in 3716 days

#13 posted 03-02-2010 03:42 AM

Neil: Ha. That’s funny you quoted Dirty Harry and then had to explain it.

It’s funny because I just quoted Wesley Snipes line from “White Men Can’t Jump” to a friend of my daughter’s that I don’t know that well, but I called her first to make sure it was okay. He finally beat me in a game of Words With Friends on our iPhones so I told him “The sun even shines on a dog’s ass some days”.

Interpim: I am happy with the digital dial indicator (shown here: But I agree with most people here about their quality.

Did you search LJ for “Habor Freight”? I just did and there are a lot of reviews of different tools.

Good luck.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Bothus's profile


442 posts in 3716 days

#14 posted 03-02-2010 03:47 AM

Grub32: I was planning to buy their hose reel. Glad to hear you are happy with it.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Greg Elam's profile

Greg Elam

29 posts in 3580 days

#15 posted 03-02-2010 04:08 AM

Im with a1jim, I purchased one of the 2hp dust collectors not to long ago and it works great in my shop so far. I am looking to replace the bag filter with a wynn but other than that it was hard to beat for $140. I will also have to agree with the others, gloves, hammers, items with non moving parts I would purchase. The other items I would take a very close look at prior to purchase. You can always search the forums to see what kind of luck others have had with a certain tool.

-- Greg Elam - Berea, Kentucky

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