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Old 09-07-2004, 01:49 PM   #1
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Harbor Freight Buying Tip...

Over the weekend I discoverd something about buying tools at Harbor Freight that I thought might be of interest to others. I wanted to buy an air-powered blind rivit gun so I went to the Harbor Freight web-site to see what they had available. There was one listed on sale for $24.99. I called the local store to see if they had the item in stock but did not think to ask what the price was. At the store the item was priced at the normal amount of $52.99. The store employee I asked about it said that the web-site sales did not always align with the in-store prices but that if I brought in a print out from the web-site that they would honor the web-site price. I asked him if I was going to have to go all the way home and come back with the printout. He graciously went to the office and printed the item out for me saying this was a one-time favor.

So here is the buying tip:

Check the web-site pricing and get a print out before going to the store.

By the way I see that the price on the web site today is $34.99 so I got a great deal. The riviter works just fine too. For anyone interested here is the item:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=167

Malcolm
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Old 09-07-2004, 01:52 PM   #2
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Good suggestion. I had done this my self a few weeks back, got a 19.00 angle grinder for 9.99 Of course I dropped another 40 bucks on other stuff, but what a deal!!
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Old 09-07-2004, 04:50 PM   #3
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Been wise to that for a little while. I do that everywhere now. Find it on line print and buy it local on price match. Got $150 off both my Digital camera and My Video camera both at Target. $180 off a GPS at Circuit City.

I bought the same rivet gun as well but I think I got it for 29.99. It has worked great. Saved me a lot of blisters. Only word of warning is make sure the stem has made it into the catch. If the stem is in there and you try to do a second rivet it will jam up and have to be taken apart to clear.

The cheap air shear they sell also works better then expected.
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:34 PM   #4
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Gigaparts, a computer supply/repair place, is like that too.

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Old 09-07-2004, 06:03 PM   #5
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I bought that same riveter myself after seeing an earlier post. I can't wait to try it out.
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Old 09-07-2004, 06:42 PM   #6
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From the comments above it appears that tools from Harbor are of satisfactory quality. I have been shy about buying them because of the low price. I would like to see comments from others about their experience.
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:04 PM   #7
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Talking

We all have flats and know we are susposed to torque our lugnuts. Well I finally got around to buying a torque wrench from HF for less than $30, really don't remember the price but I have used it on my trailer twice and on others as well. It works good, better than expected.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner1239
From the comments above it appears that tools from Harbor are of satisfactory quality. I have been shy about buying them because of the low price. I would like to see comments from others about their experience.
Wayne
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner1239
From the comments above it appears that tools from Harbor are of satisfactory quality. I have been shy about buying them because of the low price. I would like to see comments from others about their experience.
Wayne
Some yes and some no. This happens to be a bargin for a decent working product. Probably not up to use by a pro but for general repairs and the type stuff we are doing its well worth the price.
Harbor and Northern sell simular product. While I have had luck with the above I have not had good luck with the Alltrade brand impact wrenches and ratchets. I replaced the impact with a Ingersol Rand and By far much better products in that class. The cheap Alltrade cut off on tha other hand has stood up to 6 years of my thrashing.... .

Just educate yourself on what your getting. For light use some of it is just fine. Impacts....Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get the Ingersol Or Cambel Housfeld (sp) Hand tools are the same. Most of the Harbor hand tools like ratchets, screw drivers are junk. Craftsman, Cobalt or Husky all the way on that stuff. The Harbor impact sockets do OK...Go figure.
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:30 PM   #9
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I purchased the 29.99 Chicago brand angle buffer at HF. Got it home and put it to use. It lasted about 3 minutes and died. I took it back in the original box with the sales receipt and exchanged it, no questions asked. I haven't had a problem with the second one. The way I figure, it only needs to get me through the compounding process and I'll be happy. I'm almost completely done with the compounding and I'm hard on power tools. Works better than expected and with the number of hours polishing, is comfortable in my hand. I'd buy another if needed.

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Old 09-08-2004, 06:05 AM   #10
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My impression is that Harbor Freight's tools are very low quality. Sometimes maybe that's what you want. I always have a hard time buying cheap tools. Cheap tools not only fail on you by breaking down, many times they have far more aggravating consequences such as wobbling chucks, slightly out-of-square tables and such that can cost you material and time in the long run.

RE: matching prices locally. Many places don't honor on-line pricing and they shouldn't. Local merchants are offering their expertise, convenience of walking in and talking to a human being. They also..and this is most important..support your local (insert favority charity here) and sponsor (insert favorite bowling, baseball..etc team here). They pay local taxes, they are your neighbor and could use the business more than (insert mega-lo-mart name here).

Of course, I live in a small town and own a small business so maybe my opinion doesn't apply to all but that's my 2-cents worth.
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:13 AM   #11
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Johnboy, I agree with what you say in principle,, BUT the local tool store owner in my small town( even though charitable, honest taxpaying, likable ,very nice peson) charges many times what harbor frieght or Home Depot in a nearby town charges. So he only gets my emergency bussiness. There is a limit to what the traffic will bear
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Old 09-08-2004, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMullen
<snip>BUT the local tool store owner in my small town( even though charitable, honest taxpaying, likable ,very nice peson) charges many times what harbor frieght or Home Depot in a nearby town charges. <snip>
Then your local guy is a crook and should be avoided..after all when you say he charges "many times" that means on a $100 tool at HD, he is charging at least $300 which is of course price gouging. So I agree, you should avoid this guy. I personally find this very...very difficult to believe that he charges "many times" what HD charges. Have you got some examples? Are you comparing apples to apples? You can't compare Harbor Freight's "chicago" tools to something like a Milwaukee or Dewalt tool for example. I have a friend constantly bragging how he got such a great deal on something at HF and thinks those of us that buy expensive tools are dopes but he is constantly returning tools and complaining about them breaking.

again..just my 2-cents worth
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Old 09-08-2004, 08:58 AM   #13
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Here is the reason I bought an angle grinder at HF.

I needed to cut off 10-20 blots, and do some clean up of steel in preparation for welding. I have Had a welder for 2 years, and been working on stuff automotive and around the house for decades. Never needed an angle grinder before, might not ever need one again.

Do I get a cheap disposable tool for HF or try to justify the cost of a cheap name brand that is 6 times more money. For a hobbyist (that is what I consider myself) the quality is fine. If I was planning on doing this every weekend, or for a living I would buy the best quality I can because I want it work every time every day. This was not the case. I have loads of Crasftsman, Black and Decker, Ryobi, etc on my workbench.

John Boy, I WISH I had a local tool guy that I could go buy from, but I live in the land of Wal Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears. No local owner exists to take them on, so my choices are big box, big box, or bigger box store When I lived in Milwaukee I had a number of small independents I purchased from on a regular basis. I think this is a byproduct of our disposable socity. Don't fix it, replace it. Must not dust off the soapbox.............
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
<snip>

John Boy, I WISH I had a local tool guy that I could go buy from, but I live in the land of Wal Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears. No local owner exists to take them on, so my choices are big box, big box, or bigger box store When I lived in Milwaukee I had a number of small independents I purchased from on a regular basis. I think this is a byproduct of our disposable socity. Don't fix it, replace it. Must not dust off the soapbox.............
Yep, unavoidable fact of life. We now have a Sooper mega Wallymart and the biggest Menard's in the country. We now no longer have a bike shop, a decent hardware store, only one surviving grocery store..etc so I completely understand. My original rant was against the practice of trying to save a few bucks when the local guy existed and has what you need. I totally despise what walmart has done. I don't shop there but it's just my choice and notice please that I am not in any way implying that they don't have a right to do what they do. I buy camera equipment online because we no longer have a camera shop. I buy my camping equipment locally because we still have someone who has survived, even though I can save by going on line. I buy my groceries from the local. I buy my lumber from the local. It's all my choice.

Anyway...it's a free country..let's keep it that way.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:28 AM   #15
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Johnboy. First off You are quite right I was on a rant comparing apples and oranges. second I have never bought a hundred dollar tool from him, only small stuff. and on small stuff he is realy high. I am a tool designer by trade and a 60 year tool user. and I can say quite emphaticaly that most of the tool brands like Black and Deker, Delta, Porter Cable, sell a large line of tools comparable to Chicago brand from Harbor frieght. I have quite a few of these tools and quite a few from Harbor frieght and a few large tools from Grizzly. The large tools from grizzly beat Deltas large tools in construction and in workmanship. pluss their half the price. Many tools that you can buy from harbor freight, like drill bits, saw blades, angle grinders are only 1/4 as much money so you can have 4 angle grinders with four differant applications all at once. But your right about good tools Like my new Bosh plunge router or my lincoln wire feed.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:47 AM   #16
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Like everyone else, I buy a tool to match the job. Why pay $200 for a pneumatic riveter I will use once and then put away for 10 years? Put the money into stuff I use everyday, like a portable drill motor.

Of course if I was buying a parachute, I would spend enough to get the very best. But even parachutes have been known to fail on the first use.

NASA had a mantra a few years ago: "Better, Cheaper, Faster!!" Everyone knows that you can only pick TWO items from that list. Why does NASA think they are immune to the laws of nature, physics, and economics? I'm just glad their little spacecraft didn't land in any populated areas.
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:50 PM   #17
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Extra cost replacement warranty...

I forgot to mention one other aspect of my air riviter purchase. I usually do not go for extra cost warranty packages but decided to this time. HF sold me a "no questions asked" return policy warranty good for two years on the air riviter for $9 and some change. So my total purchase price came to about $35. So if the unit I bought breaks any time over the next two years I can replace it. Hopefully my remodeling will be done by then.

Actually in this case the on-line price was from Harbor Freight and was being honered at a local Harbor Freight so it was all in the family so to speak. I generally favor buying quality tools too but have also come to the conclusion that sometimes throw away tools are justified based on the time and agravation saved. In this case I would not spend $200 for an air riviter for the amount of work that I have in mind. I would just suck it up and do them all by hand.

I am glad in this case to have found a "cheap" alternative. While it is it nice to have the power assist I think the real benefit is that I can set the rivit with one hand while I am holding onto the material with the other. With my manual tool it was really hard to set a rivit with one hand because of having to open the pliers for the second or third squeeze. The air riviter also makes it a lot easier to push against the work while setting the rivit. It is great for the belt line molding in that I could push the molding tight against the body with the nose of the riviter before pulling the trigger. That was hard to do with my manual tool.

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Old 09-08-2004, 07:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Why does NASA think they are immune to the laws of nature, physics, and economics? I'm just glad their little spacecraft didn't land in any populated areas.
Texas may not be #1, but it does have some population now-a-days, & it's 'fixin' to get some more !

BTW: I think I'm related to an air-riveter!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:32 PM   #19
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Texas may not be #1, but it does have some population now-a-days, & it's 'fixin' to get some more !

BTW: I think I'm related to an air-riveter!!!!!
Oh? Well I'm glad their spaceship crashed in Utah, then.
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:22 AM   #20
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I've bought from Harbor Freight on many occasions because they do offer such low prices on thir tools. I have always bought over the Internet and waited for the items to arrive. The only advice that I would give is to make sure you have the time to wait for them to ship items to you. It always seems to take them a couple of weeks to ship out the items and they have a bad habit of placiong items on back order. Right now I am still waiting on 300 shop rags that I ordered in early August.
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