Popular Hot Rodding Review: ‘Cool’ Harbor Freight Tools

In the upcoming January, 2014 issue of Popular Hot Rodding magazine, several Harbor Freight products are featured among 23 Cool Tools: Home Garage Helpers You Gotta Have That Won’t Break the Bank. Says PHR columnist Rob Kinnan:

“You know Harbor Freight as the place to get dirt-cheap tools, from tiny stuff to the bigger power tools, presses, and such, but your author has put a ton of use in their tools for decades and can attest that the “cheap tools” thing is mostly a myth. And they have everything, including a lot of things that the other tool companies don’t offer. Check ‘em out.”

step drill bit set 3-pc

First on their list is the Warrior 3 Piece Titanium Nitride-Coated High Speed Steel Step Drills. Rob said:

“We call this dynamite little tool an “unbit”, and if you don’t have one in your toolbox then, sorry, you’re an idiot.”

This 3-piece set of titanium nitride-coated, high-speed steel bits replaces 28 individual drill bits! Which means you don’t have to constantly change bits when drilling the range of holes necessary on a countertop, for instance, so you can speed-up the process. Also automatically deburrs holes as you drill. #60379 $12.99

 

heat gun

Next on their list is the Drill Master 1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun. Here Rob poses the question:

“Why would you need an industrial-strength hair drier? Because a true heat gun is much more than that and is a handy thing to have in the garage.”

Harbor Freight’s Drill-Master heat gun is the ideal tool for stripping paint and varnish, removing decals, shrinking wire wraps, loosening fittings, thawing pipes and more! The heat gun features two heat settings (572° F and 1112° F) to accommodate a wide variety of jobs and a superior coil design that heats materials more quickly than other heat guns on the market. Great for both the do-it-yourselfer and professional contractor. #96289 $14.99

 

7 inch sander polisher

 

Another great deal covered in Popular Hot Rodding is the Drill Master 7″ Variable Speed Polisher/Sander:

“While it’s true that a paint job is only as good as the prep work, it’s equally true that it’s only as good as the cut and polish after the paint and clearcoat has dried, and Harbor Freight has just the inexpensive tool to do it.”

This versatile polisher-sander from Harbor Freight is powered 600-3500 RPM, so you can easily polish your vehicle’s finish or sand all types of larger work surfaces. The all ball-bearing construction also helps the polisher/sander operate smoothly. Features a six-speed thumb control and spindle lock for easy pad changes. #69474 $39.99

 

1-ton shop crane

 

As a final addition for the budget garage, Rob recommends the Pittsburgh Automotive 1-Ton and 2 Ton Foldable Shop Cranes:

“Also known as a cherry picker, a shop crane is mandatory to remove or install an engine in a car, but they take up a boatload of room when not being used. Harbor Freight solves that with a foldable crane in either 1-ton or 2-ton capacities.”

The Pittsburgh Automotive foldable shop cranes deliver the lifting ability you need with the combined advantage of compact storage! Double bearing swivel casters provide smooth and easy maneuvering around your work space. The 1-ton boom extends from 34 in. to 45 in. and its crane height adjusts from 85 in. to 94 in. The 2-ton’s boom extends from 41″ to 61-3/4″ and the crane height adjusts from 73-5/8″ to 89″. They include ram, chain and hook. #69512 $146.00, #69514 $219.99

For this and more awesome articles on hot-rodding and rod-wrenching, check out the January issue of Popular Hot Rodding magazine!

A Versatile Tool Kit to Handle Nearly Any Job

There are a bunch of different kinds of Mechanic’s Tool Kits out there but not all are created equal.  Sure, you might find a measly 170 piece tool kit or maybe a laughable 206 piece tool kit, but what all of these are lacking are like… a hundred other tools!  Check out the Professional 301 Piece Mechanic’s Tool Kit from Harbor Freight Tools if you’re tired of messing around with incomplete tool kits.  Obviously, these other, lesser tool kits will contain all of the obvious tools that you’ll need most often but what about those specialty tools that will get you out of a jam when you’re in the middle of an important job?  That’s where those other hundred pieces come in.  And at just $187.99 (or roughly $0.62 a tool), there will be less of your hard earned cash going out.

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This kit is pretty much like having an entire garage in a portable, easily storable case.  With a comprehensive collection of the most used automotive and mechanic’s tools, you’ll have adjustable wrenches, pliers, and sockets at your fingertips with both SAE and metric options included.  What more could you ask for??  How about ratchets, breaker bars, extensions, and universal joint adapters?  Maybe some hex keys and screwdrivers?  There are so many pieces in this jam-packed tool kit that it would probably be easier to list what it doesn’t have.  But then I’d have to make up fake mechanic’s tools because this kit has everything.

“I bought this tool set to be able to drive out to repair a vehicle or to have tools when going to car shows and long hauls. It has just about everything you would need for most jobs on any vehicle. I recommend this tool kit for anyone who also wants to start off as a mechanic or for someone who just needs a bigger set for the house.” – By Matt from Copperas Cove, Tx

“This set is awesome! I was very impressed with everything it included. You definitely get more than you would anywhere else. I would recommend this set as a gift for yourself or friends/family. My brother is going to fill his shorts when he sees this set for his birthday!” – By Everyone’s favorite fix-it-up guy* from Littleton, Co

(*We at Harbor Freight Tools cannot confirm the validity of this reviewer being everyone’s favorite fix-it-up guy)

“I purchased this set 2 years ago as a “cheap set for the house”. After moving my shop to my house, I decided to unpack it from its case and organize it in larger tool chests. When organizing it, I was amazed at what I actually bought!! This set is complete and high quality. If you’re looking for a professional set at a “cheap set for the house” price, this is the set for you. Although this set is complete, you might want to scroll around the hand tool section and check out the ratcheting wrenches. They’re an awesome compliment to this set.” – By Louis from Jessup, Pa

So while a 200 piece tool kit might sound impressive (especially at the price some places charge), it pales in comparison to the 301 Piece Mechanic’s Tool Kit from Harbor Freight.  And best of all, it’s a great kit even if you’re not a mechanic.  Home repairs, workshop projects, hobbies and more can all be tackled with this tacklebox of a tool kit.  …Okay, that one wasn’t very good but you get the idea!  Check out this great kit and be ready for anything!

Amaze Your Friends with the Disappearing Shop Crane!

Not all garages have the room for a heavy duty crane designed to lift up to 2,000 lbs.  So what’s a do-it-yourselfer supposed to do when he or she needs to move heavy equipment?  Well, with the 1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane, space is no longer an issue!  This durable shop crane from Harbor Freight Tools folds down to make storage easy so you can open up space in your shop or garage when you need it.  Plus, with double bearing swivel casters, the crane is easily maneuverable to wherever the job is!  And with enough lifting capacity to get most jobs done quickly and safely, this handy tool is the perfect combination of functionality and compact storage.

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In fact, everyone from home handymen to professionals are raving about how easy and convenient this foldable shop crane is!

“I got this in November of 2012 to work on one of my car’s engine mounts.  Since then I have pulled 4 engines and have had no issues with it at all, great buy!” – car_guy719 from Colorado Springs, CO

“This crane is awesome. I am doing a frame up build of a jeep wrangler. I just pulled the engine and tranny to put in a new frame. The crane was wonderful. I left the tranny bolted to a straight 6. I did the transplant myself. The crane was shipped to my house. I had it assembled in a 1/2 hour. I would highly recommend this crane.” – Brachilius from Pittsburgh, PA

“You cannot get anything better at this price. If you were to rent one for use, and needed it for more than a weekend, you could’ve already bought a crane like this. Took me roughly an hour to piece it together when I got it. It just takes time because of all the small 4 bolts that holds all the wheels to the frame and legs. Straightforward instructions and anyone literate can put it together no problem.  So far I have used it to pull two engines, both successfully and smoothly.” – egress from Bay Area, CA

This top notch shop crane comes in at just $184.99 and, like egress says, this is a great crane to purchase, even for limited or infrequent use!  You’d save money in the long run by always having a dependable, sturdy crane at your fingertips.  And when you’re not using it, no one will even know it’s there as it’s safely stored away in your shop.

Fan Friday Review – 64 Piece Socket Set

Welcome to the inaugural Fan Friday entry!  Each week we’ll feature some of the hard work our customers and biggest fans have done with and about their Harbor Freight tools.  To kick things off, here’s a look at the 64 Piece Socket Set by Frank Oedeloam.  This great kit is already available for just $29.99 but as Frank mentions, don’t forget to pick up a 20% off coupon to save even more!

Performance Metrics

It’s National Metric Day… so, let’s measure up and celebrate by taking advantage of the great metric tool deals at Harbor Freight!

deep wall socket set - metric

 

Take, for example, the Pittsburgh 13-Pc. High Visibility 1/2″ Drive Metric Deep Wall Impact Socket Set (say THAT three time real fast!). There’s a reason why customers gave this high-quality socket set 5 STARS! The deep wall design allows you to reach fasteners on longer studs while the hard-core construction stands up to the demands of the most brutal impact drivers. Reach even fasteners on long studs– and, each piece is clearly marked to make size selection fast and easy! Priced at only $23.99, this will be your go-to socket set for years to come! Here’s what customers have to say:

“I bought this set and use it almost every weekend on my personal cars, family’s, and friend’s cars. I LOVE the fact that it comes with a 30mm and 32mm socket that I can use as a Axle nut socket also. For the price that I bought it for equals the price of a single axle nut socket. Can find a better set for the price anywhere else!”  Peter – Columbia Heights, MN

“I bought these mainly because the sale price was so attractive; we have 1/2 deep impacts in the shop, but I figured I’d save a trip to the other toolbox when I need the 17mm for VW or Audi lug bolts. The entire set of 13 sockets cost me significantly less than just one socket from the tool truck. I wound up beating the snot out of these doing front-end work on a dump truck, and they withstood much harder use than I had ever intended to subject them to. These sockets are very sturdy, but the fit on the fastener is very good as well. These are a real bargain, I recommend them to both amateurs and professionals.”  Bill – Scranton, PA

 

ratcheting combo wrench set - metric

And speaking of 5 STARS, feast your eyes on the Pittsburgh 7-Pc. Metric Ratchet Combo Wrench Set. Made of the same durable chrome vanadium steel as the deep wall socket set, the ratchet ends give a generous 5-degree turning radius for working in tight areas. The fixed side features a 15° offset head for added torque when turning. Comes with a custom storage case to keep wrenches organized and quickly accessible. Priced at only $23.99.

“I purchased this set because I didn’t feel like spending a fortune on a name brand set that was smaller than this. Ihave to say… WOW!! Worth every penny!! Not one skip and gets into all the tight spaces! I do a lot of work on automobiles of all sorts, and that implies a lot of torque and on these high torque applications, no skipping or binding whatsoever!!”  JeepGuy – Long Island, NY

“My wife got me a Channellock set in SAE sizes, but we have a Toyota and a Kia so I needed metric. The SAE set gets used for mowers, etc., and this set is for the cars. Guess what? IT IS IDENTICAL to the Channellock set in EVERY WAY except for the brand name on it. The fit and finish is very high quality. I used these to replace the rear struts and springs on my Toyota, though it was widely advised that I wouldn’t be able to remove certain lower mounting bolts without an impact wrench. I used an HF breaker bar (the 1/2″ drive one) with an HF 17mm impact socket, and using the 17mm open-end from this set holding onto the other end of the bolt to keep it from turning. Came off with no problem , though it was the original strut and had been exposed to Michigan road salt for 19 years!”  Joe Louis – West Michigan

 

21 pc SAE metric socket set

Finally, there’s the 5-STAR Pittsburgh 21 Piece High Visibility 3/8 In. Drive SAE/Metric Socket Set. OK, so we fudged a bit, throwing in a partially SAE-populated product, but hey… with this set, there’ll be no whining! These wrenches are constructed of tough chrome vanadium for strength and durability. They’re also triple-chrome-plated and etched with high visibility markings for quick grabs. The set comes complete with a quick-release ratchet with reversible 72-tooth gearing and a cushion grip. All for just $19.99! And what are the customers saying?

“I rarely used 1/4 drive sockets, picked these up just to round out my tool collection. Now I’m reaching for this set every time I have a bolt under 14mm! The ratchet is comfy and good quality, and a big plus is having all the sockets in order on the plastic holder rather than scattered in the bottom of a tool box. One hint, I used a silver paint-pen to write the socket size on the holder. Easier to find it fast. Really like these, especially for the price!”  Joel – SW Ohio

“I bought this set mainly for small things here and there at work. I work in a collision shop as a painter and occasinally I need to loosen bolts, nuts etc. This set is great. Beats paying hundreds for those name brand sets off the tool trucks. I am thinking of buying another set to keep at home. They have a pretty solid, sturdy feel.”  Burbs – Shelby Twp., MI

Don’t forget to snag your Harbor Freight Tools 20% Off Coupon before you head out the door!

And be sure to ask the clerk where they keep the metric screwdriver sets and a metric crescent wrenches. They love that.

Raise Your Frankenstein with the 4-1 Jump Starter w/ Air Compressor

jump starter air compressor

Few things in this life are as frustrating as getting stuck– and we’ve all been there. Flat tire, dead battery… who needs it?

Well, as this IS National Frankenstein Day, it’s the perfect time to tell you about the Cen-Tech 4-In-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor at Harbor Freight Tools! Perfect for those times your four-wheeled creature’s on the slab with ne’er a twitch in its toes.

This amazing resuscitating tool is a powerful jump-starter, rechargeable 12-volt power supply and 260-PSI air compressor– all in one handy unit! It gives up to 50 hours of 12-volt power on a single charge, making it perfect for power outages, emergencies or your next camping trip. The 4-in-1 Jump Starter/Air Compressor comes with features such as a built-in emergency work light, battery condition and charge level indicators, and heavy-duty, all-copper booster cables, all in a bug-out style case!

Here’s what some of the mad scientists had to say–

“I bought this to power the HF 3000-lb Camo Winch (#95912) bolted to my garage floor for pulling disabled cars in. It works GREAT! I’m not second-guessing this buy at all! This Jump Box is Awesome, you won’t regret it! Very powerful.”  Doug

“This unit has been a great addition to my travel gear. It has been able to jump start a diesel pickup truck in the winter and the compressor has kept everything from my kids’ bicycle tires to a flat on a friend’s SUV inflated. I also found that by using the 12-V outlet with my invertor, I can use items like my TV while camping and not run down my vehicle’s battery nor keep the engine running.”   Jeff G.

” I use this thing all the time. For cars boats and motorcycles and had never had a problem. The air pump on this thing is pretty impressive. There is no way you can beat this thing for the price!!”   Jackson – Erie, PA

Last, but not least, check out what this happy customer said after using the jumper/air compressor:

You can dig up the Cen-Tech 4-in-1 Jump Starter with Air Compressor #69401 for just $62.99 at your nearby Harbor Freight Tools, or summon it online at www.harborfreight.com with only $6.99 flat-rate shipping!

Lift Quick with This 3 Ton Floor Jack!

Looking to lift your ride in a hurry?  Whether you’re changing a tire or performing other automotive repairs, the 3 Ton Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump from Harbor Freight Tools gets the job done in just 3-1/2 pumps!  That means you can lift your vehicle quickly without sacrificing safety.  And when you’re doing several jobs in a row, a rapid pump feature can make all the difference.  But you don’t have to be a pro to take advantage of this tool.

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“I got this jack on sale and for the money it can’t be beat. I received mine and had no problems, didn’t have to bleed it or anything, just put it together and went to work. I use it on cars, riding mowers and used it to mount my buddies 54” tractor tires on his tractor and worked without a hitch. Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a good affordable jack.” – Penguinboy1995 from Stafford, VA

“Worked perfect, right out of the box. Didn’t see a need to “bleed” it. Used it to lift the entire front, then entire rear of a ’01 Suburban 4×4 while doing a brake/rotor job (using jack stands also). Also used it to r/r a fuel tank from ’07 Trailblazer, made it easy.  I couldn’t ask for anything better for the price, its great.” – Nimrod from Joplin, MO

By the way, our customers do pick their own profile names, so don’t look at me.  The point is, they love this floor jack just as much as I do, and with one in your garage, you’ll love it, too!

Ride Like the Wind with Predator Gas Engines

Get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway!  Or the back yard, or lake, or wherever your powerful Harbor Freight Gas Engine takes you!  If you’re lookin’ for adventure, or maybe a reliable replacement motor, you’ve come to the right place.  With various displacements and many sizes available, we have an appropriate engine suited to fit your needs.  And, like a true nature’s child, we offer clean burning options to fit those tough California emissions laws.

It would take up a lot of space and time to go through all of our awesome Predator engines, so for now, we’ll just look at the range in sizes and power, starting with our smallest engine.  The 79cc gas engine is the ideal replacement engine for 3 HP motors.  What might you use this engine for?  Tons!

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“This little motor was a direct replacement for my old 2hp Briggs on my edger. True, the motor is no quieter or smoother running but, it starts very easy and makes good power. For the money, I give the little motor a 5 star rating…” – Jim in Sidell, LA

“I put one of these 79cc engines in a small mini bike-it will pull my 235 lb. frame along at over 30 mph!!!! When you first pull away, you will notice a definite vibration, but it goes away quickly and the little engine really pulls!!!!” – T-Bucket Timmy from Allison Park, PA

If you think that little engine pulls its weight, just wait til you see the 420cc motor!  This one, just like all the Predator engines, is both durable and easy-to-use with a variety of items from lawn mowers to log-splitters.

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“Used this to replace the blown engine in my OLD (1972) garden tractor. Works great. First real test was a blizzard (3 feet of snow fell, drifts over 5 feet in my driveway). Ran it for eight hours straight with no problems at all. Has at least as much torque as the 15hp engine it replaced.” – Gearheadengineering from Central CT

Whether you’re looking to replace a big engine or a small engine, or just looking for a new and reliable engine, the Predator gas engines are built for performance and longevity.  Just like Steppenwolf.  …?  Steppenwolf… Magic Carpet Ride?  No?  Born to Be Wild?  Okay, fine, the Predator engines are built to outlast and outperform Steppenwolf.  But, I say check out both and decide for yourself!

Four Wheeler Review: The Best Torque Wrench for the Price

1-2 torque wrench

So, what is the best torque wrench for the buck? After all, there are a lot of torque wrenches to choose from, running the gamut from the really cheap to the “skip-the-cruise-this-year” price. Is it really smarter for a home wrencher to go with a $500 torque wrench?

four wheeler harbor freight torque wrench test

Recently, Four Wheeler magazine decided to test the You-Get-What-You-Pay-For theory by pitting three popular 1/2″ click-type torque wrenches–

— against each other for performance and value. In his How-To article, “Who Builds the Best Torque Wrench for Less,”  columnist Jeff Smith took the tools to Cornerstone Metrology in Van Nuys, CA, “a company that does calibration work for both industrial and individual mechanics,” where they measured the three dial torque wrenches on a digital scale accurate to within 0.10 of a pound.

digital torque adapter

Then out of curiosity, they used the Pittsburgh Professional Digital Torque Adapter (#68283, $31.99) to compare their findings. Amazingly, after several measurements they found the digital adapter hit within 0.10 of a pound as well!

It comes as no surprise, the Pittsburgh torque wrench came out being the best value for the home or pro mechanic looking for a mechanical click-type torque wrench. And with Harbor Freight Tools‘ incredible lifetime warranty on all hand tools, it just doesn’t get better than that.

To get more details on Four Wheeler’s test, check out the article, and to learn more about the Pittsburgh Pro 1/2″ Torque Wrench, visit the product page at Harbor Freight Tools!