Road Tools

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2013/01/02 21:11:38
I'm looking to buy some inexpensive but workable power tools. There's a Harbor Freight near me. Looking at reviews I have seen, all of their tools are unreliable, but some apparently work pretty well before they break down. I'm thinking of buying a few of their better-reviewed tools with their replacement plan; they're still a damned sight cheaper than even Skil or Black & Decker.
Anybody here have experience with them?
Filet Mignon
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/02 21:27:33
When it comes to power tools, there is no such thing as "inexpensive but workable". Unless, of course, you don't actually want to use them for much. My suggestion? Do what I did when I was building my stock...wait for Father's Day sales and get good ones rather than cheap ones. You won't be sorry.
Filet Mignon
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/02 21:47:18
bartl, For the most part, Harbor Freight tools are worthless, even for the weekend warrior.
Major brands are mostly made in China(even Makita I believe)and disposable.  What I mean is, the price to repair them exceeds the cost of the item.  I use DeWalt.  If they break within 3 months, most retailers will replace them free.  If they break after 3 months and within the one year warranty, you have to take them to an authorized repair center.  Most times the repair center will just issue a new tool.  As a homeowner though, these tools should last you a lifetime.  As a contractor, we burn up a bunch of them.
Look for the multi-packs if you need several tools, and make sure they use the same battery.  Good luck.
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/02 22:16:27
Joe has some good advice, Delta / Porter Cable is the same way on warranty, I have had my circular saw replaced once, no questions asked (even though it was my fault)
If you are getting the cordless, you might consider not getting the 18v or the 24v powered tools unless you REALLY need them, the 14v work much the same, the batteries are MUCH LIGHTER, and after repetative use you will think the 14v are feathers compared to the 18v or 24v boulders.
I have a mix of Brands from Dewalt (cordless series), Delta / Porter Cable (planer, joiner, drill press, scroll saw, radial arm saw, table saw, routers...) and Craftsman for the hand tools (gotta love lifetime warranties)
Filet Mignon
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/02 22:37:14

I have a mix of Brands from Dewalt (cordless series), Delta / Porter Cable (planer, joiner, drill press, scroll saw, radial arm saw, table saw, routers...) and Craftsman for the hand tools (gotta love lifetime warranties) 

For a second, I thought I'd typed that.  
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/02 23:02:39
Save your money.  Harbor Freight is good for inexpensive gadget type tools that don't work.
Hot Dog Empire
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/03 18:28:53
Pawn shops. Know your prices before going in, I have picked up $900 rotary lasers for $250 that were practically new.
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/03 23:15:43
the old adage is true  .you get what u pay for.i have no problem paying good money for a tool that will last a long time.alot of times you buy tools on sale at some good prices.i always watch for end of season sale and when selling older models for newly designed models.i like sears  i remember when sears screwdriver were all polished steel.i broke a rachet from sears last year that was about 6 mnts old and they tried giving me a rebuilt one.that didnt suit me .i opened my mouth and got a brand new one.
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/04 09:34:41
Bart, do you go to auctions?  They can be great sources of used quality tools, both hand and power, if you have an idea of what you're looking for.
Years ago there were a couple of women around here that would have a sale every spring.  Their late father had been a Snap-On tool collector and had accumulated a sizable collection, so after he passed they would sell off some of the tools (most of which were new or barely used) every year at 1/2 the catalog price.  And they worked from outdated catalogs, too...many of the mechanics here at my job saved significant amounts of money stocking their toolchests!
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/04 10:02:03
I am going to play devil's advocate here. If you are buying something that you will use uinfrequently, and have the proper "you get what you pay for" expectations, you can do okay at Harborfreight. I have several air-tools that get limited use and have worked fine for me. I am not a pro and don't use them daily. I also was doing some work on a boat and needed several clamps to hold a long trim piece in place. I bought a bunch of bar clamps for about $3 a piece and they did exactly what I needed them to do. Also have some jacks, tool boxes, impact tools, hand tools and other items that have served me well. I'd stay away from anything sharp...saws, drill bits, etc, as the cheap stuff doesn't hold an edge well. Not disagreeing with the point others make, that good tools are worth the money, just saying these tools have their place as well.
Just to add, I have bought a lot of good tools, often top quality tools that will outlive me, at garage or yard sales...particularly moving sales. 
Re:Road Tools 2013/01/04 13:10:08
Garage sales are the perfect place to find tools.
I used to outfit my store mechanics with garage sale tools because they had a bad habit of leaving them at customers' homes.