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Old 12-27-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
Bolster
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Default The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

The problem with HF is that some of their stuff is decent, and some of it is horrid. But you never know which is which, till you buy it and try it.

So what if we made a thread where we posted our HF purchases with a PASS or FAIL grade? After awhile we could check this thread and see what's what.

A couple things to keep in mind:
1) If you have to fix it before it works, it's an automatic FAIL.
2) This thread is for identifying quality HF tools, and for warning fellow tool-heads away from low quality HF tools. It's NOT a thread for rejoicing about low cost.
3) Don't review tools until you've used them awhile. Posting self-congratulatory praise immediately after your purchase is not helpful. Use the tool awhile, then post.
4) Please post a product number or photo if possible.

Use the blue "Search This Thread" button above to find what you're looking for.

Another idea for searching this thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bchee View Post
I figured out a cool way to view this thread. Search for "harbor freight pass fail" using the search function. It will highlight PASS and FAIL in red, making it easier to read.
WARNING: HF changes suppliers frequently. Good reviews on an item from months ago may tell you nothing about newly-sourced items currently found in stores. Look for recent ratings to guide your purchases.

Thread started: 12/27/2008
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Last edited by Bolster; 10-02-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

I'll start.

Paint Gun Cleaning Set (contains mostly small bristle brushes): FAIL. The bristles fall off when you are cleaning the gun and lodge inside your paint gun, making an even bigger mess which requires tweezers and patience. On second thought, DOUBLE FAIL.



Buffing Wheels: somewhere between PASS & FAIL. They throw off a lot more threads than 'real' buffing wheels, take longer to break in, and seem to be more off-center, too. But they work once they are broken in.



Microfiber towels, major PASS...great for cleaning before painting.



Castors with Red Wheels: PASS, they work OK so far, no complaints.



Metal Socket Rails: FAIL, very hard to take sockets on and off.



Pipe Clamps (red): FAIL, they don't get very tight, and they twist more than 'real' (Jorgensen) pipe clamps. Purchased as disposable clamps for outdoor use, but not even good enough for that.



Dial Gauge on Magnetic Base: marginal PASS, are the same as sold by Lee Valley/Veritas. Obviously no competition for Starrett, but a temporary solution. The fine adjust is rougher than I'd hope.



Dial Calipers (stainless steel): Currently FAIL (2011) but older models PASS (2008). The 2008 calipers were a decent pair. Picked up a second pair in 2011, FAIL because they have dramatically cheapened the calipers. You can spot the new cheapened version by a black plastic thumb ramp, a two-step depth rod, no carriage cushion on the backside, and a horrible gritty feel, compared to the 2008 model.



Orange Dead Blow Hammers: PASS, held up for longer than I expected.



Plastic Storage Boxes/Containers: FAIL, the catches are way more difficult to work than other plastic storage boxes. I had to modify the catches with a Dremel to get them working appropriately.



Parallels: PASS. No complaints.

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Delmar O'Donnell Bolster. A bona fide Soggy Bottom Boy.
There is no certainty; there are only people who are certain. --Renouvier
Casually collect Proto with pebble field & other Proto Los Angeles items.

Last edited by Bolster; 01-20-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

Fail!! Bawahahahahahahahaha!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
The problem with HF is that some of their stuff is OK, and some of it is horrible. But you never know which is which, till you buy it and try it. So what if we made a thread where we posted our HF purchases with a PASS or FAIL grade? After awhile we could check this thread and see what's what.
Sounds like a good idea...but you'll have to ban Merkava!
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

Ok ... I bought two items from HF recently and they both PASS ..
First item was a floor jack saddle pad and the second item was a 3 lb neon orange dead blow hammer ...
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

digital vernier caliper for $15: PASS

Can we get a sticky on this thread? I think we need one of these threads for northern tool also...!
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

I didn't know they sold urethane jack pads. Maybe I can stomach going in there and pick one up for my jack.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

I like the idea of this thread as well. I'm planning a trip soon and would like to make a list. So far, urethane jack pad and dead blow.

My contribution is the right angle die grinder:

PASS- I use this ALOT and it works great.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

1/2 inch drive impact sockets: Pass
12 ton Jack Stands: Pass
Full Polished combo end wrenches: Pass so far
Grinders: Fail
Ratchet Straps:Fail
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

2 Ton cherry picker with foldable legs: Pass
Engine leveler for above: Fail
3 ton and 6 Ton jack stands: Pass
US General 44" roll cab: Pass
Wooden handled hammers: Fail
Nitrile Gloves (dark blue 50/box): Pass

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Old 12-28-2008, 12:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...


6" Digital Caliper - PASS


1/2" Crown Air Stapler - PASS (although it lacks a safety, still value at $20)


MOTORCYCLE WHEEL CHOCK - PASS


BUTANE PENCIL TORCH - PASS / FAIL
Was great while it lasted, but didn't even get a year of use out of it. Cheap enough though.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

The HF digital caliper sure looks like the Mitutoyo caliper ...
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

I think the Drill Master unibits PASS. Some members made some positive comments about them. They always seem to be on sale too
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91616
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

I would give the 1/4 rotohead ratchet a PASS. It's been working fine so far.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=96781
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

1/2 inch impact socket: Pass
1/2 and 3/8 impact extensions: Pass
1/2 25" breaker bar: Pass
4 piece professional adjustable wrenches: Pass
Midget hammer: Pass
2 pieces rubber strap wrench set: Pass
2 pieces "talon" wrench set: Pass
3 pieces hex drill extension: Pass
1/2, 3/8, 1/4 tumb ratchets: Pass
4 pieces socket adapters: Pass
45 pieces tap and die: Pass
OBD II code reader: Pass
Inline spark checker: Pass
4 piece nomarring scrapper set: Pass
magnetic tray: Pass
AC manifold gauge set: Pass
Funnels: Pass
Disc brake tool set: Pass
Coil spring compressor: Almost pass
Sandpaper (their lowest quality version): Fail

And too many others to list
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

Digital caliper: Pass

Boxes of chip brushes and foam brushes: Pass

Step drill bits: Pass

Blue tarp: Pass

1" rotary hammer a friend bought: Pass

Rubber mallet: Pass

15" adjustable wrench: Pass but I only use it to fix toilets and urinals...i.e. not much torque.

Welding pliers: Pass
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93062

Swivel Pad pliers: Pass
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=37006

Sandpaper: FAIL..sanding with a piece of toast would be better.

1 ton chain hoist: Pass. My buddy uses his on his farm and no problems.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...Itemnumber=996

Magnetic parts bowl: Pass

Carpenter pencil: Pass


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Old 12-28-2008, 02:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

HF flare nut wrench set - Fail. Rounded off the flare nuts like crazy. If your flare nuts are pristine, they may do the job, but if they're a bit crusty forget about it. Craftsman replacement worked perfectly.

1/2 in drive impact socket set - pass
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

disc brake pad piston compressor - PASS
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34304
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

Large size, black handle, telescoping magnetic pickup tool: Passes nicely

Small pocket size (orange in color) telescoping magnetic pickup tool: Fail, flimsy, bent easily and magnet falls out

Black plastic handle (SO look alikes) heavy duty type screwdrivers on sale for $4.49 for a set of 8: Pass w/ no problems so far and I actually like using them

Metric Stubby combination wrenches: Pass. They aren't comparable to my Williams set of SAE stubbies, but they are a nice little set of stubbies.

Round tractor utility lights: Pass, all though I thought they were floods and they ended up being a spotlight type style.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Harbor Freight PASS/FAIL Thread...

disc brake pad tool FAIL X2
brass hammer PASS used for years at 5.99 good deal now cost 25.00
tap and die set PASS so havent used too many times
ball pein hammer PASS came loose after much use repaired good as new
stubby metric wrenches PASS dont use alot but come in handy and didnt cost 150.00
automotive boost box FAIL biggest piece of shit i ever bought dont think it would start a lawnmower
drill bits PASS barely but price was right
rubber shot filled hammer PASS use the hell out of it
pliers PASS but only good for at home not at work
xx large pliers PASS the only pair i use at work to remove stubborn oil filters has paid for itself many times
3/8 drive impact sockets PASS have broken a few and tossed away but they lasted for yrs and if i lose one ...oh well ....do these have a warrenty?
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