Paint Like a Pro!

Exterior Painting Tips and Tricks

Your house has endured the elements for several years and it’s time to repaint the exterior. You call painting contractors to get estimates and discover that you may need to take out a second mortgage to get the job done! Painting your home’s exterior by yourself can help you save a bundle of money, but you don’t want the end result to look schlocky!

With these tips and tricks, and a little help from Harbor Freight Tools, you can do the painting yourself and get professional results!

Plan Ahead When Painting

Sounds obvious but weather definitely needs to be taken into consideration. The last thing you want to face is a downpour in the middle of the job. Choose a dry time of the year with little to no rain and lower humidity. The quicker the paint dries, the better off you’ll be. Avoid high winds as well. Not only will it make it difficult to work and could pose a hazard (e.g. working from a ladder), but the wind can blow dirt and debris on your freshly painted surface.

Determine Method

Should you use a sprayer, rollers or brushes to apply paint to your house? Here are a few considerations to determine which method is best. Use a sprayer if you’re painting gutters with the trim, areas with all siding and no brick, or when staining fences and decks. You should go with a roller or brush when the wind is above ten miles per hour, painting above a roof (overspray is an eyesore), when there is simply too much to mask, or when there is only one coat to apply (prep time to spray would be less efficient). Painting trim will most often require brush work exclusively.

Use a High Quality Paint

High quality paint provides better coverage compared to cheaper paint and will also last longer thanks to advances in painting technology. You don’t want to go through all the effort of painting your house only to watch the color quickly fade. High quality paint will retain the color longer.

Another consideration is whether or not to use a primer … Prep, prime, sand and apply your color coats was the tried-and-true method for years. But with new paint technology, manufacturers are combining primer and paint into one product, which means less coats to apply. While there’s no standardized method to evaluate or rate how well a combination primer/paint will work, you can get a good idea by reading product reviews about certain brands of paint online, paying particular attention to people who have used a given product in your area.

Prep Work

The lion’s share of painting work is really in the prep—and the better you prep the surfaces being painted, the better the results will be. Taking a pressure washer to the exterior is a great first step to get rid of surface dirt. Once dried, scrape and sand surfaces as needed—and then scrape and sand a little more. Be sure to prep every square inch, including the trim. New paint will not adhere well to peeling paint or dirty surfaces.

Don’t Paint Rotted Materials

The old saying “put lipstick on a pig” probably came from a painting contractor. It’s futile to paint rotten wood or siding material because it will continue to deteriorate—and take your new paint with it! For small areas, you can use a wood hardener with a filler product. For large areas, consider replacing the components. Once replaced, prep as recommended above and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Combine Cans of Paint

Take individual gallons of the same color paint and mix them together in a larger container, like a five-gallon bucket, until the paint is uniform in color. Pros call this method “boxing the paint” and it helps to produce color consistency when applied.

Work from Top to Bottom

Working with gravity will help control streaks. When drips happen, and they will happen, working from top to bottom enables you to feather out in the direction you’re going, resulting in a more uniform look.

Seal Paint Properly

When you’re done for the day, seal your paint well to keep it from drying out. Lightly hammer lids shut with a rubber mallet. You can also apply plastic wrap over the opening to secure a tight seal.

Protect Your Landscaping

New paint will look great on your house—not on your hedges, lawn or flowers … Use drop cloths and either weigh them down, wrap or tie down the corners securely around the planted area, shrubs, etc.


Harbor Freight Tools is your “one-stop shop” for painting supplies and accessories, including these items:


Airless Paint Sprayer Kit
The airless paint sprayer does it all and will greatly reduce the time spent painting exteriors, decks, ceilings, doors and frames, etc. No need for a compressor, just plug it in and start painting! You can paint straight from 1 or 5 gallon buckets which makes cleanup easier. Features include a 1000–3000 PSI piston pump for high pressure and better coverage, easy pressure control twist knob, built-in filter for simple flushing and cleaning, and a No. 517 nozzle for a 12–16 inch fan width.


Heavy Duty Portable Scaffold
This scaffold is an essential tool for outdoor painting as well as interior painting, drywall work, etc. With a weight capacity up to 900 lbs., this portable scaffolding goes where you need it on smooth-rolling 5 in. dia. casters that won’t mar floors. Once positioned, the casters lock in place for stability. Additional features include heavy-duty welded steel construction, adjustable platform from 28 in. to 71-1/8 in., 30 height adjustment positions, built-in fittings for optional toe-boards and safety rails, and a 28-1/2 in. x 67 in. wooden plank.


2 Amp 5 in. Random Orbital Heavy Duty Palm Sander
Greatly reduce prep time with this orbital palm sander. The industrial fan-cooled motor delivers up to 12,500 OPM to smooth wood and get surfaces ready for painting. The sander features a comfortable rubber palm grip to reduce fatigue. The 3/32 in. orbit delivers swirl-free results. The hook-and-loop pad attachment makes sandpaper changes quick and easy.


And that’s just the beginning. Harbor Freight carries painter’s tape, scrapers, roller sets, mixers, brushes—and much more! Before you start painting, be sure to visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.




Source material:
The Spruce
Grant’s Painting


How To Use a Magnesium Fire Starter to Make a Campfire

When camping or backpacking, fire is crucial for providing warmth, cooking food, sterilizing water, etc. You need a reliable source for making fire that’s also compact and lightweight. The magnesium fire starter is a tried-and-true tool—and the favorite choice among many outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists.


Harbor Freight offers a Magnesium Fire Starter at a fraction of the price compared to the competition. The starter features an integrated full-length flint and striker knife along with an ample block of magnesium. The shavings burn at 5400° so they can ignite combustible materials even when they’re damp.

While the magnesium fire starter is easy to use, it’s definitely a good idea to practice with it so it will be that much easier to get a fire going when you need it.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use your magnesium fire starter …

Find an area where you can have a fire, hopefully a spot protected from elements like high wind or rain. Clear the area of dry grass, twigs, etc.


Gather up tinder. The best “domestic” tinder would be petroleum jelly-saturated cotton balls stored in a Ziploc bag, newspaper or even a paper napkin. If collecting natural materials, dry moss, pine cones, dry pine needles, tiny twigs, dry grass and thin shreds of wood all make great tinder. Make sure your tinder is as dry as possible. Leaves can work too if they’re really dry.


Build your structure. The three go-to designs for a campfire are teepee (far left), log cabin (middle) and lean-to (far right). For this article, we’re using the teepee. Construct a teepee from twigs and small branches, evenly distributing so it can bear additional wood after the fire takes.


Once your structure is built, make a bundle out of your tinder that will catch the sparks from the fire starter—positioning the bundle in the “doorway” is best. On top of the tinder bundle, place a dry leaf, an old receipt or something else to contain the magnesium shavings. Keep water nearby in case you need to put the fire out.

Hold the magnesium block down, pointed at the tinder bundle. With the other hand, hold the serrated metal blade that comes with the magnesium fire starter at a 45-degree angle against the block and shave tiny flakes downward onto the bundle. Small shavings work best. Keep going until you have a pile of magnesium shavings on your tinder bundle about the size of a quarter.


Using your serrated blade or the backside of a knife, strike a spark to ignite the magnesium on the tinder bundle. Note: instead of sliding the blade down the flint toward the tinder, hold the blade stationary and slide the flint up toward you. This keeps the spark close to the tinder. Keep scraping until a spark lands on the magnesium shavings and ignites them.

When a spark catches the magnesium, the shavings will burn bright, hot and fast. The generated heat will then spread to the tinder, catching it on fire as well. This is a crucial moment. You may have to urge the young flame on by very gently blowing on it to give it additional oxygen. You may also need to adjust the bundle a little here and there it to allow the young fire to spread.


As the tinder fire grows, you’ll need to carefully slide the intact bundle into the teepee structure. Use a couple of sticks to push the bundle further in if it’s too hot to handle. You may also need to feed it some more tinder material to keep it stoked.


Another crucial moment. Fire needs a proper blend of oxygen, fuel and heat. As the fire grows, blow on it and feed it by gradually adding slightly larger and larger twigs and sticks. Don’t get carried away—give it time. If you drop a big piece of wood onto it too soon, you’ll be back at square one, rummaging for tinder materials. Don’t be that guy or gal …

When you need fire, you really NEED it, so as recommended, practice using your Magnesium Fire Starter prior to your outdoor adventure. For other camping and survival items, be sure to visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

20V Hypermax™ Lithium 1/2 in. Hammer Drill Kit

Superior Performance and Durability for Drilling Into Concrete and Masonry

Portability or power? That used to be the choice you had to make with power tools.  “Cordless” enabled greater portability but demanding jobs like drilling into concrete or masonry often required more power. With Bauer, you don’t have to choose between portability or power—you get both!

Featuring a high-performance motor, the Bauer Hypermax Lithium Hammer Drill delivers 0-7200/0-27,200 BPM for drilling into concrete or masonry. All-metal gear construction provides durability while the lightweight design and textured overmold grip reduces user fatigue.

Use the two-speed selector to match speed and power to your particular application. Easily switch from drilling to hammer drilling to fastening mode! A bright LED light illuminates your work areas for increased visibility. The hammer drill also features a ½ in. keyless chuck for quick bit changes.

The kit comes with a rugged tool bag, two impact bits, charger and 1.5AH battery that’s interchangeable with all Bauer 20V cordless power tools.

Check out the Bauer 20V Hypermax Lithium 1/2 in. Hammer Drill Kit as well as the whole line of Bauer tools and accessories at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

Drill/Driver Vs. Impact Driver

Hercules answers the cordless conundrum

The cordless compact drill/driver is one of the most popular portable power tools of all time. The versatility of drilling and driving screws is indispensable for tackling countless projects. So what’s the difference between a drill/driver and impact driver—and why would you need one over the other?

A drill driver has a keyless chuck that accommodates a wide range of round and hex-shank drill and screw-driving bits—in addition to hole saws, rotary sanders, wire-wheel brushes and other accessories. Cordless drill/drivers also feature a slip clutch which enables the user to adjust the torque level for precise and consistent driving.

An impact driver looks similar to a drill/driver but instead of a keyless chuck, it features a collet that accepts hex-shanked driver bits. By utilizing bit rotation and concussive force, the impact driver is designed for one job—driving screws, which it does more efficiently than any other tool. An impact driver can generate two to three times the torque of a drill/driver. For example: an impact driver can drive long, large fasteners like fat lag screws that would stall the very best drill/driver.

If your focus is on tasks or projects that involve driving numerous screws or a lot of long or large screws—like building decks, installing tile backer board or laying down plywood subfloors—you should consider an impact driver. Otherwise, you’ll probably do great with a reliable drill/driver.

Professional-grade Hercules offers a drill/driver and impact driver:

20V Lithium Cordless 1/2 In. Compact Drill/Driver Kit
The Hercules drill/driver’s pro-grade design features all-metal gear construction for extreme durability and a 4-pole motor for optimal performance—550 in. lbs. of torque and 0–2000 RPM for effortless drilling and fastening. The drill/driver also features the Jacobs® ½-inch ratcheting chuck providing ultimate bit retention and a built-in LED light with a trigger-release delay to illuminate your work area. The Hercules Lithium battery system—charger and battery—delivers fast charging and long run times.


20V Lithium Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Compact Impact Driver Kit
The Hercules impact driver provides up to 1500 in. lbs. of torque and 0-3200 IPM for demanding applications like decking, fencing and drywall. Like its drill/driver counterpart, this impact driver features durable all-metal construction and 4-pole motor delivering maximum performance in a compact size. Change out bits quickly with the ¼-inch hex chuck and illuminate your work area with the integrated LED light. The impact driver also features the Hercules battery system for fast charging and long run times.


Hercules professional-grade cordless power tools are guaranteed to deliver legendary performance! Check out the complete line of Hercules tools and accessories at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.





Source material:
Popular Mechanics

EarthQuake XT Cordless Impact Wrench Delivers the Power of Air …

EarthQuake XT air impact wrenches have been shaking up the industry for a while now. Videos like this one from Real Tools Reviews shows how EarthQuake XT stacks up against Snap-On on power, functionality and price. EarthQuake is clearly the better value!

Sometimes, more portability is needed and that’s when you’ll want to turn to a cordless impact wrench. The main concern when you go portable is power. But no need to worry about that because the EarthQuake 20V Max Lithium 3/8 In. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench delivers big— 370 ft. lbs. of bolt breakaway torque for lightning-fast removal and 0–2000 RPM. It’s powerful enough to use in the field with no need for an air supply!

This cordless impact wrench has a super rugged design featuring a metal nose piece and all-metal drivetrain for extreme durability.

Additional features included an ergonomic overmold grip to reduce fatigue, variable speed trigger, electronic brake for precise control (helps avoid overtightening) and a built-in LED light to illuminate your work area, like dark wheel wells.

The EarthquakeXT Lithium battery system provides extended run times. The long-life, high-capacity 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery has a “fuel gauge” that lets you know when it’s time to swap out batteries. Also, the battery has no memory so it can be used with a partial charge.


When you want to go cordless, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store and check out the EarthQuake 20V Max Lithium Three-eighths In. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench Kit complete with impact wrench, charger, battery and sturdy carrying case. If you need even more power, you can move up to the 20V Max Lithium 1/2 in. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench Kit which delivers up to 1200 ft. lbs. of breakaway torque and 0-1700 RPM.


Get Your Firewood Ready!

Log splitters make winter prep quick and easy

In the middle of a hot summer, it may seem strange to discuss prepping for cold weather, but when it comes to firewood—it’s the perfect time! The reason is that wood needs time to season which means drying it out so the moisture content drops to a low level which enables the wood to burn better. Cut wood can have up to 50% moisture by weight. Well-seasoned wood should have between 15-20% moisture by weight to burn optimally.

To get your wood fuel supply ready, here are four tips:

Cut wood to the right length for your stove, fireplace or furnace. A good rule of thumb is three inches shorter than the firebox width or length depending on how you load your wood. Pieces longer than 16 inches are generally more awkward to handle.

Split it to the right size depending on where you’re burning it. When splitting, keep smaller pieces for kindling. Splitting can be a real chore—but with a log splitter, it can be real fun! Consider these models:

10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
You can split logs up to 18 inches long and 6-1/2 inches in diameter (depending on wood density) with this Central Machinery log splitter. Manually work the jack handles to generate up to 10 tons of splitting force. The extra-long handles provide good leverage. The compact size is ideal for convenient storage.


5 ton Log Splitter
Split logs up to 10 inches in diameter with this Central Machinery electric log splitter featuring a powerful 1.8 horsepower motor. The unit also features 6-inch wheels for transport, easy grip handle and compact size for convenient storage.


20 ton Log Splitter
Put the power of a 212cc gas-powered 6.5 HP Predator engine behind your firewood prep! This heavy-duty unit tackles logs 23-1/2 inches long and 16 inches in diameter. It has 16-inch wheels for easy transport and is towable. Note: this unit is not for sale in California.


Pile in a single row exposed to the sun and wind to get the moisture content under 20%. The pile should be placed in an area where the sun can warm it and wind blow through it to faciliate drying. The wood should be raised off the ground to prevent rotting and mold. Also, do not stack the wood too high for safety and be sure to stabilize the stack with cross pieces and solid ends (e.g. a post driven into the ground – see pic).


Let the wood dry at least six months for proper seasoning. If you live in more humid areas or use dense wood like oak, you may have to give it more time. Come fall, move the wood to a dry sheltered area that’s fully protected from rain and snow. It’s ill-advised to store a large amount of wood in your house due to the potential of mold growth which can contaminate your indoor air. To determine moisture content, you can use a wood moisture gauge or go by as many of these indicators as possible:

  • Check for cracks in the end grain
  • Look for wood that darkens from white or cream color to grey or yellow as it dries
  • Bang two pieces together—dry pieces sound hollow while wet pieces sound solid and dull
  • Split a piece—if the exposed surface feels damp, it’s not seasoned enough
  • Burn some—dry wood ignites and burns easily while wet wood is hard to light and hisses in the fire

Don’t get caught in the cold! Preparing for winter can be a fun warm-weather project with a little help from log splitters available at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!




Source material:
Log splitter review

Performance Under Pressure

Tackle the toughest cleaning jobs with a pressure washer!

A pressure washer is far more than a glorified hose. In fact, a pressure washer is a versatile tool that enables you to tackle numerous cleaning tasks quickly and easily. There are three key factors to consider when purchasing a pressure washer: pressure (PSI – pounds per square inch), waterflow (GPM – gallons per minute) and work (HP –  horsepower).

Pressure/PSI is especially important when considering applications. Light duty (1000-1900 PSI) is good for cleaning vehicles, boats, bricks, fences and decks. Medium duty (2000-2900 PSI) is ideal for cleaning your house, larger vehicles including airplanes and fleet trucks, pools, sidewalks, driveways, roofs, exhaust vents and garages. Heavy duty (3000-5000 PSI) is best for stripping paint, heavy grease stains, concrete restoration and clogged pipes.

Waterflow helps determine time of cleaning—the higher the GPM, the less time it will take for the dirt to be removed from the surface. The lower the GPM, the longer it will take for the same job.

Work facilitates the pressure and waterflow respectively. In general, the more horsepower an engine has, the better it can facilitate higher pressure and waterflow. More power translates into finishing the job quicker as well as a longer life expectancy of the unit.

Now that you’ve determined the types of jobs you’ll be performing, it’s time to go pressure washer shopping! Next stop—Harbor Freight Tools!


2500 PSI, 2.4 GPM, 4 HP (160cc) Pressure Washer EPA/CARB
This gas-powered pressure washer is designed for tough jobs with up to 2500 PSI, 2.4 GPM and 4 HP of cleaning power. Two heavy-duty pneumatic tires make transport and positioning easy while a long-reach (25 ft.) high pressure hose allows you to clean wide areas. Additional features include an EPA/CARB certified 160cc Predator engine with low oil sensor and recoil start for optimal performance, commercial grade axial pump, five quick-connect tips and chemical/detergent injector on the pump.

3100 PSI, 2.8 GPM, 6.5 HP (212cc) Pressure Washer CARB
When you want even more power, this pressure washer is the ticket! It generates up to 3100 PSI, 2.8 GPM and 6.5 HP. The pressure washer also features two heavy-duty pneumatic tires, 25-ft. pressure hose, commercial grade axial pump, five quick-connect tips, chemical/detergent injector on the pump—and CARB-certified 212cc Predator engine with low oil sensor and recoil start.

1750 PSI 1.3 Electric Pressure Washer
For lighter duty jobs like power-cleaning walls, yard equipment and vehicles, this electric pressure washer delivers up to 1750 PSI.  Lightweight and portable, this pressure washer features 4-in. diameter wheels and a 20 ft. pressure hose. When the trigger is released, the flow stops automatically to prolong motor life.

Here a few tips when using a pressure washer:

Wear appropriate safety attire. That means safety googles and protective footwear like rubber boots—might as well make them waterproof. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are also advised for protecting your limbs from flying dirt and debris.

Protect plants and breakable objects. It’s easy for items to get damaged if accidentally hit with a high-pressure stream of water. Simply move or cover items to protect them.

Prep the pressure washer for use. Sounds basic but it will save you a lot of hassle! If it’s a gas-powered pressure washer, fill it with the appropriate engine oil and gasoline—do not fill it while it’s on! If it’s a plug-in washer, plug it in to a properly grounded outlet.

Connect the water supply hose (e.g. garden hose) to the inlet. Turn on the water supply before turning on the pressure washer to avoid damaging the pump.

Fill the reservoir with a detergent solution if you want extra cleaning power. Make sure the solution is compatible for use with a pressure washer.

Attach the proper spray tip to the nozzle. Certain tips may be required when using detergent. Be sure to read the user manual carefully.

Position the spray tip at least 2 feet from the surface. When starting to pressure wash, it’s better to start further back and gradually move closer. You may risk damaging the surface if you hold the tip closer than 12 inches.

Move the spray in a side-to-side motion. Don’t spray too long in any one spot.

Apply detergent starting low and moving upwards. Allow the detergent to soak for at least three minutes before rinsing. Don’t let it dry—rinse the surface by spraying water from the top down.

Flush the system if using detergent. When the job is completed, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for flushing the system.


Once you start using a pressure, you’ll truly wonder how you ever got along without one. To view the pressure washers featured above, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.


Source material:
ultimate washer



Creekstone Submersible Fountain Pumps

Pure pumping power—nothing watered down here!

Whether it’s a small garden fountain, large pond or anything in between—you want a pump that’s efficient, reliable and powerful. Look no further than the Creekstone line of submersible pumps!

158 GPH Submersible Fountain Pump
Bring your fountain or water feature to life with this submersible pump generating up to 158 gallons per hour. Features include an inline flow control valve, easy-to-remove inlet screen for quick cleaning and a removable stand with suction cup feet for positioning.

Straight out of the box this pump is easy to use and works effortlessly. I use it with a 3ft fountain on my porch. – Scott, Wayland, LA


200 GPH Submersible Fountain Pump with Auto Shutoff
When you need a bit more muscle, this submersible pump generates up to 200 gallons per hour. In addition to an automatic low-water shutoff sensor to prevent motor burn-out, this pump also features an easy-access filter, inline flow control valve and two adapters—sprinkler and waterfall heads. This pump is not available in California.

Used this pump for a decorative fountain that pumps about 4 feet in vertical height. Perfect flow rate …  Swamped, SW Florida


264 GPH Submersible Pond Pump
This high-quality pump generates up to 264 gallons per hour and will add life and beauty to your pond. With the two included adapters, you can shoot a fountain of water skyward or create the look of a natural spring. Other features of this submersible pump include an inline flow control valve, removable filter for easy cleaning and removable stand with suction cup feet for placement.

The pumps perform as well if not better than originals, and it beats paying the ridiculous pricing that the big box stores want for essentially the same pump. – Tennessee, Cleveland, TN


620 GPH Submersible Pond Pump
For larger ponds or water features, this submersible pump generates up to 620 gallons per hour. The pump features an inline control valve, removable filter for cleaning, removable stand with suction cup feet and two adapters so you can shoot a fountain of water upward or create the look of a natural spring.

Bought to replace pump in small pond with fountain and waterfall. Old pump was 500 GPH and the filter on it was never right. Paid $99 for it. The new one from Harbor Freight is 620 GPH and works perfectly at almost one third the cost. – BEACH, Spotsylvania, VA


2500 GPH Submersible Waterfall Pump
Designed for continuous use, this high capacity pump generating up to 2500 gallons of water per hour supports a waterfall weir up 1-1/2 feet wide and five feet high. The energy efficient motor uses less power compared to standard water garden pumps. It provides 19 feet of total head lift and has an easy-to-remove filter for cleaning. There is no oil inside so it’s safe to use in ponds with fish.

I bought this as a replacement pump for my outdoor koi pond … This pump puts out the volume I need and is adaptable to various hose sizes. It appears easy to open to clean, no screws to remove. Good price, no complaints. – Jay, Springfield, MO


4500 GPH Submersible Waterfall Pump
This high-flow pump generates up to 4500 gallons per hour and supports a waterfall weir up to three feet wide and five feet high. The pump is designed for continuous use and features 23 feet total head lift. Additional features include an easy-to-remove filter for cleaning and no oil inside so it’s safe to use in ponds with fish.

Used this to replace a pump for a 2500 gallon Koi Pond. Didn’t want to spend the $350 to replace the original. This pump actually increased the waterfall pressure … CK, Ohio


In addition to the Creekstone line of submersible fountain pumps, Harbor Freight also carries sump pumps, sewage pumps, fuel transfer pumps, well pumps, compressor pumps and more! Check out all pumps and accessories at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.


Source material:

10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw

The remodeler’s best friend

Growing up, we were taught not to mix water and electricity. So, when it comes to remodeling projects, we may be hesitant at first to use a tile saw which utilizes water and electricity—and a diamond rim rotating blade! But you needn’t worry because there’s no better way to cut a voluminous amount of tile or other masonry materials than with a tile saw, also known as a “wet saw.”

The Chicago Electric 10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw is a must-have for remodeling with tile, brink and other masonry.

The two-position cutting head enables you to adjust the blade for a variety of materials up to 3-1/2 inches thick and 24 inches in length or width. You can also make 22.5° and 45° bevel cuts. The tile saw includes a 3-gallon per minute water pump and high-impact ABS water tub that’s easy to clean. Additional features include a powerful dual capacity motor with sealed bearings and thermal overload protection, heavy-duty cast alloy column and cutting head for reduced vibration and an oversized steel frame with a precision linear bar system for smooth operation. The folding stand with wheels and diamond blade shown are sold separately.

If you’re never used a tile saw before, here are a few tips to get you started.


Position the tile saw on a solid and level surface. Sawing on a wobbly table could result in inaccurate cuts and potential injury.


Fill the tile saw’s reservoir with clean water—use a garden hose or pitcher. Make sure that the water pump is completely submerged.


Position the tile onto the cutting board. Adjust the fence so the blade lines up with the pencil mark demarcating where the cut should be. Keep the widest part of the tile between the fence and the blade so you can keep your hand as far from the blade as possible.

For cutting tiles along the diagonal, position a miter guide or speed square between the tile and the fence.

When making partial cuts, for example, an L-shaped cut to fit around an electrical outlet, set up the cut the same way but only feed the tile far enough into the blade as needed.


Position the tile, turn on the saw and make sure water is being sprayed onto the blade before cutting the tile.


Use a steady grip to feed the tile slowly into the blade, especially toward the edges of the tile as this is where the most breakage can occur. Do not force the cut.


When the cut is complete, carefully pull the pieces away and turn off the saw. Position the next tile for cutting and repeat the steps above.

Additional safety notes:

The water keeps the blade and tile cool and helps prevent particles from flying around. The water should flow freely around the entire cutting edge of the blade. If not, don’t begin cutting as this could damage the blade as well as the tile and potentially cause serious injury.

Always keep your hands away from the line of the cut to prevent injury.

Always wear safety glasses to prevent particles from injuring your eyes.


To insure electrical safety, it’s best to create a “drip loop.” See the illustrations above. Notice how the loop is lower than the outlet so water does not drip into the outlet.

The Chicago Electric 10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw is an unbeatable value—many customers have expressed how it’s cheaper to buy this tile saw than to rent one from a big box store.  The only problem is there will be no excuse not to tackle more remodeling jobs! Check out other tile saws and accessories available from Harbor Freight or visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.



Source material:

Saw blades a cut above …

There are several considerations to make when purchasing a saw blade. First  and foremost is the kind of cutting you’ll be performing. In general, saw blades are designed to deliver the best results for a particular application, for example: ripping, cross-cutting, rough cutting, finishing, etc. Another key consideration is the type of material you’ll be cutting—wood, plyboard, non-ferrous metal, cement board, etc.

For the DIYer and professional alike, tooth count is also important. As a general rule of thumb, the more teeth or cutting tips (e.g. 60T = 60 teeth), the smoother the cut. A lower tooth count translates into more material removed but a rougher finish, like framing work.

Other considerations include size of the gullet (rounded space between tips cut into the blade plate), kerf width, tooth configuration and the tooth angle (a.k.a. hook angle).

Whether you’re building pictures frames for a hobby, a new deck for backyard entertainment or a new house for a client, you’ll want saw blades that stay sharp and consistently deliver high-end results.

Admiral is a line of professional-quality saw blades for those who don’t want to pay a premium but still demand performance that’s a cut above! Check out their current selection:


5-1/2 in. 30T Circular Saw Blade
This top quality circular saw blade features resharpenable long-lasting C3 carbide tips delivering four times the cutting life compared to standard circular saw blades. Additional features include an ultra-thin kerf with Nitro Shield™ non-stick coating and anti-kickback design.

Went to work on a new deck and this blade performed like a champ. Clean cuts and no bogging down. Can’t beat it at this price point. – Rusty-c, Skiatook, OK




7-1/4 in. 24T Framing Circular Saw Blade
The C3 carbide tips are impact resistant and won’t break, fracture or crack when hitting nails or other foreign objects while cutting through solid, natural wood. Designed for heavy-duty use, the blade features a carbon steel body, heat vents and expansion slots for smoother cuts, thin kerf with Nitro Shield non-stick coating and anti-kickback design.

Also available in a 3-pack!

One of the cheapest, but has been the best saw blade I have purchased. Needed to last for small porch job, but works so well, it has lasted thru several and remained just as sharp as when I first purchased it. – John, Lake City



7-1/4 in. 40T Finishing Circular Saw Blade
Featuring resharpenable construction-grade C3 carbide tips, this blade will last up to 50 times longer compared to standard carbon steel blades! With a hardened carbon steel body for resilient durability, this outstanding circular saw blade is ideal for any home garage or professional shop for a variety of projects! Additional features include a thin kerf with the non-stick Nitro Shield coating and anti-kickback design.

Cuts as well or better than any carbide tipped blade I’ve used at a much lower cost. Didn’t expect it to perform this well. – Chuter, Green Bay



7-1/4 in. 40T Fine Finishing Circular Saw Blade
The resharpenable construction-grade C3 carbide tips provide longevity up to 50 times longer than other brands of carbon steel blades. The blade features shock-resistant brazing and a hardened steel body for resilience and durability. It also has a thin kerf with the Nitro Shield non-stick coating.

Clean, fast cuts. Could not be happier. – Sonone4fun, Ventura



7-1/4 in. 60T Ultra Finish Circular Saw Blade
Ideal for finishing work, this saw blade features alternate top bevel C3 tungsten carbide tips which are ground to a razor-sharp edge. The heat-treated carbon steel body has a hand-plated surface to prevent pitch build-up. Ground hand-tensioned expansion slots provide cooler running with less binding. The blade also features a thin kerf with the non-stick Nitro Shield coating, shock-resistant brazing and anti-kickback design.

This blade produces a smooth finish, and the carbide teeth insure a long, sharp life. – PHR, Bloomington, MN



7-1/4 in. 48T Metal Cutting Circular Saw Blade
Make quick cuts in light-gauge ferrous metal with this metal-cutting circular saw blade. The blade features resharpenable construction-grade C6 carbide tips, shock resistant brazing, thin kerf with Nitro Shield non-stick coating and anti-kickback design.

I used this blade to cut a metal roof and sides from an old house trailer. No problem… it made the job easy. – anton, Chanango Co., NY



7-1/4 in. 140T Plywood Circular Saw Blade
Cut plywood, paneling and veneer with this high tooth-count saw blade. It features a ground and polished carbon steel body and is rated for 8000 RPM. Designed for improved accuracy, this circular saw blade features steel teeth and a thin kerf with the Nitro Shield non-stick coating.

Sliced through 3/4 plywood with a smooth, clean cut. Only bought the one blade, but will be back for more. – B.Lade, Niagara Falls, NY



7-1/4 in. 4T PCD Fiber Cement Circular Saw Blade
Cut cement board, backer board and green board with ease using this polycrystalline diamond-tipped (PCD) saw blade. The hardened teeth can last up to 60 times longer compared to standard blades. The blade also features ground hand-tensioned expansion slots providing cooler running with less binding and thin kerf with the non-stick Nitro Shield coating.

I had a siding job using Hardie board siding. This blade cut smoothly with much less dust than the masonry blade I had been using … – risky, Burns, OR


10 in., 40T General Purpose Circular Saw Blade
The Nitro Shield™ non-stick coating helps this circular saw blade last up to four times longer compared to regular steel blades. A narrow kerf generates smooth, clean cuts with no burning or dragging. The circular saw blade features construction-grade C3 carbide tips and anti-kickback design.

Had a Diablo [saw blade] … big name blade with broken tooth … replaced with this one and wow, so much better. – the farm




10 in. 50T Combination Circular Saw Blade
This combination saw blade is designed for ripping and crosscutting lumber and plywood. Run it up to 7000 RPM to power through projects ranging from furniture building to remodeling. The blade features construction-grade C3 carbide resharpenable tips, thin kerf with Nitro Shield nonstick coating and anti-kickback design.

I used this the first day I purchased it. I got a nice smooth cut and have used it more than I ever thought I would and very pleased! – frostmarketing1, Spring Hill



10 in. 60T Finishing Circular Saw Blade
The alternate top bevel design is specially engineered for clean cutting and lasting performance. This industrial saw blade features a full kerf laser cut body with Nitro Shield non-stick coating, construction-grade C4 carbide tips and anti-vibration design.

I am going on 30 years of wood working and always trusted my work to name brand saw blades with fancy this and that. I tried this blade on an oak desk I am creating from the ground up and find it cuts as smooth as any fine toothed blade I have ever used. – Woodworker Dan, Boise, ID



10 in. 80T Fine Cut Circular Saw Blade
This alternate top bevel blade provides precision cutting and enduring performance! The saw blade features a full kerf laser cut body with Nitro Shield non-stick coating, construction-grade C4 carbide tips and anti-kickback design.

Same quality as the big box stores, sells for half the price they sell it for. Excellent quality and every bit as durable. Cuts great and true and clean. I will buy again and again. – Joe, Staunton, VA




12 in. 60T Fine Finish Circular Saw Blade
You’ll get smooth cutting action with this blade which features construction-grade C3 carbide tips, heat-treated high carbon steel body with a hand-plated surface to prevent pitch build-up, thin kerf with Nitro Shield non-stick coating, ground hand-tensioned expansion slots for cooler running with less binding and anti-kickback design.

It cuts smooth and it is very sharp. I used a DeWalt blade before, but it was not as good as this one. – Mangi, Jeff City, MO



12 in. 80T Finishing Circular Saw Blade
This high-quality blade is designed for keen cutting and consistent performance. The blade is heat-treated, surface ground and plated for toughness. The blade also features construction-grade C3 carbide tips, heat vents and expansion slots to prevent warping and anti-kickback design.

Works as good as blades costing three times as much. Good job HF!! – cottonwood, NW, KS



12 in. 96T Finishing Circular Saw Blade
The construction-grade C4 tungsten carbide tips stay sharp cut after cut! The blade also features a full kerf laser-cut body with the Nitro Shield non-stick coating and anti-vibration design. Expect nothing less than precision results and long life from this saw blade!

Everyone on the job laughed at me when I told ‘em how good it cut. Now every saw on the job has one on it and the trim is getting cut faster and looking better than ever. – TW, LA


For more detailed information, you can also check out the full line of Admiral saw blades here or visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store!