DANGER Harbor Freight is close!

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if I’m hungry at lunch, I can get a burger or some filet mignon. You don’t need filet every time.



I’ve got a tool box. Seems pretty solid to me. Definitely some corners cut - like some bolts where a high-end would be welded. But for home, no need to go $1,000 Snap-On.
$1000 hardly buys a small add on side hanging cabinet from snap on
 
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Some of this is because skinflints but honestly a lot of American brands started whoring their production out as soon as it made them more money anyways. Country of origin matters little to fake jingoservative consumers. It only matters in virtue signaling... They talk shit about buying American with the car/truck they drive but they're first in line at harbor fright.... [rofl]
Dont look to deep into where most of the shit on cars and trucks are made.
China,mexico,Canada, south asia countries. Then assembled here.
Its all fun.

you buy what you like and feel you get the best value for your money.
How much of the blue coolaid reloading stuff is made out side USA or parts sourced out?
Lee is considered skin flint but I,have not seen made in china on anything I,have bought lately.
Another reason I like brownells is their made in USA search feature.
 
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Annin Flags-are the best flags out there. All US made.
Their website seems to be down right now? I hope all is well with them?

Annin flags
IDK if all thier flags are USA made but bought their flag pole 20 years ago, been great. Wife loves their USA made flags. Sadly their solar light is china made because they could not find a good source state side. My solar unit has been going 12 years now on original batt.
 
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LOL. This thread has gone a lot further than I thought it would.
FYI her kitchen tool box is not wimpy. It has 13 drawers and the extension has 7.
She liked it so much she wanted another for the family room, but didn’t want red so we got a black Husky big 9 drawer from Home Depot.

As for quality — much depends how often you plan on using a tool or how little your balls are.
Little ball guys need to have the absolute best even if they are going to use something a few times.
Big ball guys get by with something that will do the job.
Big ball guys get top notch stuff when they plan to use something again and again.
 

42!

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Never let her on a Snap-On truck.
If you do you’ll beg for HF back!
One my Snap-on dealers was called "The Reverend" with his mobile home of chrome, and we all made weekly donations. For $35 a week you could buy nearly anything. Ah the good old days. And they'd give you "free" stuff. My free Snap-on winter coat only cost me $3600.00 and this was in the late 80s
 

radioman

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Valley Forge Flags are the best, by far. All US made.

And, just so you know, the link you provided above is NOT Annin flags. That is a reseller.
Thank you for that? I said the Annin site is down that’s why I posted the dealer.
Also Annin doesn’t sell direct. You want one get it from their dealers. I’ve been
buying Annin for 45yrs. Ive never found a better flag.
 

Uzi2

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I don't buy much there for tools. But I will get some things there. Cheap paint brushes, drop cloths, moving blankets, tarps, etc. Their drill bits are pretty good, sharp and last a while. I have bought the occasional tool there if I knew it was a one and done. But so much of their stuff is really poor quality.

There is one in Medford that is just a few minutes from me, I used to hit the one in Danvers before that.
All of their tools come with the exact same warranty as any other major brand ( read over priced) tool company's tools.....Lifetime......replaced with no questions asked.
I work on every piece of equipment and vehicle I own, many times with HF tools and the only thing I've ever broken was an allen wrench.
I have heavily worn impact sockets by Mac Tools......good luck finding a place or truck to replace them, same thing with Cornwell, Snap On, etc.
The set was about $130 dollars new (circa 1986). For that same money today I can buy six complete sets of actually better quality impact sockets from HF and not worry about finding a place to exchange one if it broke ( which is unlikely).

Their tool quality is more than adequate for the average guy that does their own work on things or has to equip a few different tool boxes.

If Chinese tools suck so bad, how did they become a world super power? Are they buying and using American tools?
 
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Uzi2

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One my Snap-on dealers was called "The Reverend" with his mobile home of chrome, and we all made weekly donations. For $35 a week you could buy nearly anything. Ah the good old days. And they'd give you "free" stuff. My free Snap-on winter coat only cost me $3600.00 and this was in the late 80s
Ya ......"Strap On".....cause you'll get bent over everytime you step into the truck.
 

EddieZoom

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The HF "Chinese Oak" bench (with some mods) has served me well as a reloading bench. When the plastic ammo cans are selling for $2.99, I'm buying them. Also good spot for disposable gloves, tumbling media, and one-off tools (aka the post hole digger).

I bought a battery operated pump/syphon for filling up my generator from 5 gallon gas cans that works really well.

To the @EddieCoyle HF rule, I would also add anything meant for precision measurement. I may buy a cheep ratchet there, but would never buy a torque wrench.
 
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Harbor Freight has its place. The tools usually do not preform like the better made counterparts.

I have one of the larger tool boxes (44" I think) one of the drawers has nothing but dollies etc. Basically filled with steel and works fine. The negative is that the drawers are short and shallow compared to my KR1000 Snap on Box.

The air tools are pretty powerful and work well. I have about 5-7 die grinders of 12-15. They are not as smooth as my higher end ones. The run out is hit or miss meaning you may or may not be able to run a carbide burr in one smootly.

Other stuff works well with modification. I beefed up the bead roller and English wheel with box tube and they work well.

As others have said for one time use or to see if a tool will work with out breaking the bank it's a good place.
 

01bmf

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My Harbor Freight rule:

Never buy anything from Harbor Freight that has a power cord or a cutting edge.
- EddieCoyle
I go by the rule of moving parts when it comes to HF. The more moving parts the item has, the less you should consider buying it. Paint brushes, zip ties, tarps, lint free rags, good to go.

Edit: There is an exception to your rule of cutting edges. The little $10 pull saw they sell is brilliant for hand cut dovetail joints. It's on my bench next to an $80 saw and gets used as much.
 
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The HF "Chinese Oak" bench (with some mods) has served me well as a reloading bench. When the plastic ammo cans are selling for $2.99, I'm buying them. Also good spot for disposable gloves, tumbling media, and one-off tools (aka the post hole digger).

I bought a battery operated pump/syphon for filling up my generator from 5 gallon gas cans that works really well.

To the @EddieCoyle HF rule, I would also add anything meant for precision measurement. I may buy a cheep ratchet there, but would never buy a torque wrench.
My carpenter friend loves those benches. The draws are junky he says but said try and build a bench like that for $100 and see what you get.
He has 5 that i know of. 2 reside out side he just smothers them with linseed oil every spring.
I keep saying im going to pick one up as its the right size for my space but i keep finding other things to spend $100 on.
 

zboys

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The 3", 4",4-1/2" cutoff wheels and grinding wheels are the best value by far.
I use cutoff wheels A LOT, always bought Forney, Norton, and similar. After using some HF ones my son bought a few years ago I could not believe how long they lasted. Previously a Forney wheel would wear to nothing 1/2 way thru a job, now with the cheapo HF ones I'll get thru 3 jobs.
A couple months ago a ran out of cheapo cutoff wheels and bought some Forney from a welding display, sure enough, I could watch the blade wear as it spun, I stopped to pick up a couple sleeves of HF ones, and once again, their wheels cut thru multiple pieces before wearing to nothing.
Their grinders suck but I do have several of the $20. ones just to save from switching wheels so often.
 

Bt74

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People dont want to pay more for same quality no matter where it is made.
Honestly love to see US make everything of high quality that the average US salary worker can afford.
I was a carpenter steward on the Rt3 widening project about 15 years ago, and in down time I would repair tools. I had a big box of DeWalt angle grinders, about a dozen or so that were not working. Figures I could put a few together out of the pile, and discovered ALL of them had stripped pinion gears made of plastic. $85 grinder VS $10 grinder.... the price!
 
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Ya ......"Strap On".....cause you'll get bent over everytime you step into the truck.
Funny that you say that, Back in the late 70's I worked on Allis-Chambers Fork Trucks in Wilmington, Ma. We threw the Snap on guy out of the shop and bought tools from an independent dealer, a guy by the name of Cliff Alcorn.
 

Bt74

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Harbor Freight has its place. The tools usually do not preform like the better made counterparts.

I have one of the larger tool boxes (44" I think) one of the drawers has nothing but dollies etc. Basically filled with steel and works fine. The negative is that the drawers are short and shallow compared to my KR1000 Snap on Box.

The air tools are pretty powerful and work well. I have about 5-7 die grinders of 12-15. They are not as smooth as my higher end ones. The run out is hit or miss meaning you may or may not be able to run a carbide burr in one smootly.

Other stuff works well with modification. I beefed up the bead roller and English wheel with box tube and they work well.

As others have said for one time use or to see if a tool will work with out breaking the bank it's a good place.
I have their Bead Roller, bought it back when there were only a few stores. Bought it in Fla. and brought it back in my checked luggage. The bead roller will NOT work out of the box, unless you're rolling tinfoil. Beefed it up with 2" square tubing and it's the tits! Just the roller dies were worth what I paid for it.
 

new guy

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LOL. This thread has gone a lot further than I thought it would.
FYI her kitchen tool box is not wimpy. It has 13 drawers and the extension has 7.
She liked it so much she wanted another for the family room, but didn’t want red so we got a black Husky big 9 drawer from Home Depot.

As for quality — much depends how often you plan on using a tool or how little your balls are.
Little ball guys need to have the absolute best even if they are going to use something a few times.
Big ball guys get by with something that will do the job.
Big ball guys get top notch stuff when they plan to use something again and again.
So how big are one’s balls if they have 20 drawers from HF in their kitchen and another 9 from Husky in their living room?
 

Racenet

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Thank you for that? I said the Annin site is down that’s why I posted the dealer.
Also Annin doesn’t sell direct. You want one get it from their dealers. I’ve been
buying Annin for 45yrs. Ive never found a better flag.
That's okay. No one will hold that against you.
 

radioman

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HF did not exist when I was buying the bulk of my tools circa 1983.
I can’t predict what I would have done if they did. I do buy some HF stuff
today like there cutoff wheels. As others have said they do make a good
cutoff wheel and the price is right. The quality of Asian tools has increased
100 fold since then. I hear some Snap-On tools are being made in Asia?
All the tools in my pick-up are HF. Couldn’t see spending 1000’s for a
tool set I’d use once a year.
About 7yrs ago my tools were busting
the seams of every storage space I had. I’ve had my Mac 1700 since 1987.
It was time to get something else. I priced new and used. Nothing U.S. built
was in my price range. The trade in value of my Mac was next to nothing.
So I held on to it. I found this Chinese brand "Extreme Tools". The blue
box in the photo is the box I bought from them. It’s built from 1 sheet metal
gauge heavier than the rest of there boxes. As I unpacked it the feel of it
was the very minimum of what I thought a tool box should be. A Snap-On/MatcoD739E3D1-E82F-47BB-9303-AF4813C9ED72.jpeg
box of the same size was over 15k. This one was over 6k so not cheap but
affordable to me at the time. 7yrs in I’m very happy with the box. All ball bearings
in the drawer slides. Locking mechanism works well. Drawers were lined from
the factory. Paint is sturdy. No complaints.
In 1983 Chinese tools were junk. We used to
call them knuckle busters. The wrenches and sockets would snap with
only moderate force. Anyone who had Asian tools that was trying to make
a living with them was considered a moon-bat. Kind of like how we used
to treat shooters who used bump-stocks before they were banned. Took
me a long time to throw off that stereotype even to walk into a HF. They
do have their place but I still wouldn’t want to make a living with them.
 

Dennis in MA

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This is the logic I love. Trump supporters get all indignant about the China trade war / deficit and how we should support American companies. But really what they are saying is that they want AMERICAN made goods at the same price as Chinese goods...and we all know that will NEVER happen. Their production cost is far lower and the only way to fight it is tariffs. But the Chinese then fight back and slap their own tariffs, yada yada yada. Nothing is to change because Americans can't compete with foreign manufacturing.
Don't buy into the cable-news liberal hype. Trump was NEVER going to permanently increase tariffs. A tariff war hurts China FAR more than it hurts the US. We have the resources to weather it. Single-handedly, he got them to the negotiating table and started a deal that will be beneficial to our nation.

As far as manufacturing overall - we CAN compete in a lot of spaces. Some manf's are seeing that with QC and shipping, it is equal-cost to build in the US. Sometimes cheaper. Not everything is going to China. (And China is getting undercut in many areas by other countries. Same problem Japan had 35 years ago - when your main selling point is price, someone will ALWAYS beat you on price.)

The reason HF does well is for the people who just cant afford better or even still cant afford to pay others to do the work.
HF is a blessing to some.
Only thing I buy regularly from HF is the pittsburg dead blow hammers and grinders. Only because even “big name” grinders dont last in the rough and abusive shop enviroment
Dammit. I can't afford better. Why didn't anyone tell me. ;)

People dont want to pay more for same quality no matter where it is made.
Honestly love to see US make everything of high quality that the average US salary worker can afford.
Well now, if we're living in fairy land I want chocolate cream pie to cure cancer, too.

What you want is the best of the old world (all US made) and the best of the new world (owning stuff). Your average house 50 years ago was about 1/3 of the size, you owned half as many cars, a quarter of the TV's, no cell phone, no savings, your vacation was camping in a tent in a mosquito-infested swamp for 5 days and your life expectancy was about 65. We can't have both. We have to have what we have now OR we have to have what we did then. There isn't an in-between.

THAT said, I do work fairly hard to buy US made stuff. But a box for my tools? or a scroll-saw my wife is going to use 3-6x/yr? I welcome HF in those circumstances. Because in 50-years-ago's world, we couldn't "afford" to own either.


1000 dollar Snap-On? Try 10,000!
OK, I looked. It's only $2,000. I was close. LOL. I'm sure my less-than-$200 HF model will do just fine for me.
 
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