Harbor Freight Parking Lot Sale

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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 06-11-2011 04:31 AM 3524 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1782 posts in 3104 days

06-11-2011 04:31 AM

I know a lot of people may shudder just reading that title. I know I know that with woodworking you need precision that HF just doesn’t offer, but especially when they have a sale and you have extra coupons, some of HF’s stuff is just too cheap to pass up. I spent $140, but their list price for everything should have been over $300.

3 Oscillating Multi-Tools ($20 each) with extra sanding accessories
1 Rotary Tool with 80 accessories ($7)
1 4” Angle Grinder ($13) with ten grinding discs
Doweling Jig and 3 different sized doweling starter kits
Feather board
Screw driver set

I guess thats about it. I feel like I made out well.

Sale goes through Sunday. They also have their Father’s day sale through the 19th, and then a 4th of July Sale from the 20th until the 4th.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

13 replies so far

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 05:03 AM

Being a tool junkie(no known twelve step program) I haunt my local HF searching for deals. The ‘sidewalk sales’ have been known to put me into severe anxiety…’specially if I’m between paychecks:):):)

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3833 days

#2 posted 06-11-2011 05:09 AM

Harbor Freight is selling parking lots now? How much are they? 10 bucks?


-- LAS,

View NavyCop68's profile


38 posts in 3801 days

#3 posted 06-11-2011 05:11 AM

So, what is the bottom line with Harbor Freight? I hear the power tools are all Chinese makes and to avoid them, but the other tools are good for the price.

What say you?

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3172 days

#4 posted 06-11-2011 06:04 AM

@ Navycop
HF power tools are often not built to the same standards as other brands. However, thats not to say they aren’t a good value and worth owning. For a power tool I only plan to use on an occasional basis, I tend to gravitate toward HF tools. For a tool that I plan to use a lot, I usually look elsewhere. But exceptions do exsist.

I have a HF multifunction oscillating tool that works extremely well. Many people swear by nicer models like Bosch and Fein. Of course, those tools are hundreds of dollars. The HF model was $29. Since I only use the tool 4-5 times per year, it made absolutely no sense to pay for the top-tier brand name. I’m 100% sure the Bosch and Fein are better tools and built to higher standards. But I simply don’t need that level of quality and performance. Fitted with a diamond blade, the HF tool made short work of a miserably large regrouting project I did last year. That project alone was worth the $29.

Grinders are another example. HF often sells a basic angle grinder for $12 on sale. I bought two and fit them with different wheels. Other makes and models can be $50-$100+. It would be silly for me to buy an expensive angle grinder that I’ll only use a couple times per year. If I were a professional welder, or otherwise used a grinder every day, I’d probably pass on the HF product.

You can usually google the title or product number of a given HF tool and find real-world reviews. The truly crappy HF tools get dimed-out pretty quick.

HF hand tools are definitely a mixed bag. There are some real gems, and some utter crap. Most work ok though. Some of the great hand tools I’ve bought from HF include:
Japanese Pull Saw
Flush Cut Saw
F-clamps (see the LJ review)
Needle Files
Pittsburg Screwdrivers (black handle)
A others I can’t remember.

The worst are:
Mortise gauge
sharpening stone
Large mill file
Quick Action clamps
Quick release bench vise.

HF does have a good return policy though. So if you get a tool that you can’t live with, it can be returned. I never bothered returning anything though. Its not worth a 40 min drive or the hassle of return shipping over a $5-10 tool.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 4081 days

#5 posted 06-11-2011 07:26 AM

Everybody goes through the HF stage (some never get over it). I’ve bought my fare share from them in the past but now don’t even look at their sales anymore. Guess I’ve grown out of them. :) If it works for you…. To each his own, right?

-- Childress Woodworks

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4292 days

#6 posted 06-11-2011 08:04 AM

Must say this first, my shop is 90 percent Delta-Porter Cable, and Jet, but HF has it’s place. I won’t let Crapsman tools into my shop after a bad taste they left in my mouth in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I have found that HF “can” have things that are of a great value, I have one of their 6×48 belt sanders, and it just keeps on working. I have mixed feelings about their clamps, after all the orange handled quick clamps broke on the first glue up, and they would not take them back with out a recept. Some of their stuff is junk, some not so bad, but the “Parking Lot Sale” Dumps a lot of stuff on us that we may not need.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View rsdowdy's profile


105 posts in 3735 days

#7 posted 06-11-2011 08:27 AM

Tedstor….I agree with you 100%. Not everyone can buy the best tool. What kind of car is everyone driving? You mean you’re not driving a RollsRoyce or a Jag? Humph!

I’d love to have all top of the line tools but I have to be realistic as well.

This is not to say that for those people that can afford them or the professionals that need them that it is the wrong choice, but for me…well…. HF looks real good sometimes.


View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 3232 days

#8 posted 06-11-2011 03:13 PM

Yes I buy HF for tools I use rarely but I did by their bottom of the line 4 1/2” angle grinder just because these tools get beat grinding and cutting steel, which I do lots of. As a matter of fact I bought 2 just in case I was in the middle of a job and one gave out. Well that first grinder is still going strong and the other is still sitting in the box on the shelf and I bought them quit a few years ago. I’ve seen brand name grinders give out long before this. I guess I just got lucky because I certainly didn’t expect them to last as long as they have. Ah the casino of HF there are winners and there are loosers.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View MrRon's profile


5770 posts in 3783 days

#9 posted 06-12-2011 12:23 AM

I own some great American made tools, but I am at the stage where I can’t afford to buy the best. What I’ve seen of the tools sold under brand names, none would I consider top-of-anything. That said, I have found certain HF tools to be as good as some of the name brands. A comparison of certain machine tool catalogs indicates some of the HF tools are identical to the name brands. I find that castings are pretty much identical to those of name brands and cost much less. If you are handy with tools, have the time and skills, you can take a rough HF tool and transform it into one equal or better than the name brand. I can sometimes take a HF tool and re-manufacture it into a quality tool at little cost; only my time. Being retired, I can do this. I think of it as recycling in reverse. Not only do I save money, but it gives me great satisfaction to transform the proverbial sow’s ear into the silk purse. I do the same with furniture and household goods found in thrift stores. I can take a dresser that costs me 5 bucks and re-manufacture it into a very serviceable item, either to keep or re-sell. A coat of paint does miracles. I can better be described as a dumpster diver. Recycling has been a word in my vocabulary for a long time.

View MrRon's profile


5770 posts in 3783 days

#10 posted 06-12-2011 12:27 AM

For the record, I would not bash HF. Sears; that’s a different story. I have had too many bad experiences over the years to ever have any confidence in the tools they sell. Taking service and warranty into consideration, HF is better than Sears.

View jonchilds's profile


26 posts in 3107 days

#11 posted 06-12-2011 01:18 AM

I have a bunch of stuff from HF, and while some of it is a mixed bag I always went in with the idea that if whatever I was buying turned out to be useful I wouldn’t feel guilty upgrading because everything is so cheap. They got me today with the $7 rotary tool. I used me Dremel last year to carve pumpkins and it was a real pain to get all the pumpkin gunk off it. For $7 the kids will now have their own for Halloween use only :)

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3833 days

#12 posted 06-13-2011 03:55 AM

Some say they cannot afford nice tools. In my opinion it is better to save up and buy the nice tools rather than buying 10 lesser quality ones. If that means you have to deal with only owning a few tools for a while and being limited in what you can do, then so be it. You are better off in the long run. If you are not serious about woodworking then anything will do. If you want to get better at what you do and use tools that make you happy and do a much better job then suffer for a while and save up some money to buy something of quality. I recently bought a starrett combo square which cost me $90. I thought I must be crazy! I’ve used it to make quite a few joints and setups since buying and it has made my work that much more accurate. My old combo square was a $10 empire from HD. It was just okay but never told me for sure if my joints/ setups were truely square. I would always wonder why I’d end up with gaps and problems in my projects. This and several other nice setup tools have really changed the way I work. It took me a long time to save the money to buy these and it hurt. But I am serious about my future in woodworking as a hobby/ art and I want it to be the best I can make it.

-- LAS,

View Jaybird719's profile


141 posts in 3432 days

#13 posted 06-13-2011 08:06 AM

I don’t own any HF power tools, but I do stop by there to stock up on project supplies and some misc. odds and ends for the house.
I have been contemplating a tight quarters drill from HF for sanding bowls, but I noticed that they changed the model and the price shot up.
I usually buy nitrile gloves for applying finishes, etc. I have picked up safety glasses, brooms, rags when I run out of old t-shirts. I have purchased tarps there as well – while the last tarp I bought was not the greatest, it got me through what I needed it for and was half the price of the big-box stores.
I stopped by my local HF yesterday to check out their sidewalk sale and cashed in a few of the freebie and 20% off coupons – got one of the free screw driver sets – again, its not the first screwdriver I reach for, but it always seems like my good ones have grown legs and walked away whenever I need one.
I agree with some of the others – I’d buy a tool from HF if it were one that I would use fairly infrequently and/or I knew I would probably only use for one project. HF has it’s place, but you certainly are taking some risks with some of your purchases there.

-- -Jay Hartman - Morrisville, PA

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