Opinions are like hand tools: everybody's got them. But while they vary when it comes to which Harbor Freight tools customers have on their wish lists, one item seems to make ALL the lists-- the wildly popular US General Pro 44" 13-Drawer Roller Cabinet.
How many times did you have a 'honey-do' fix, or faced a weekend auto project, and didn't know exactly where your needed tools were? They used to be in that drawer... or was it in that one spot on the workbench? I think it's safe to say, I'm not the only one who goes through that hellacious routine from time to time.
In the December 2012 issue of Chevy High Performance, Henry De Los Santos shared that, since his team finally graduated to a "real toolbox" (the 13-drawer cabinet), they now enjoy being able to find any particular tool right away when they need it. And since this tool cabinet is modular, he gushed, it can expand even more, with the industrial-strength US General Pro Top Chest...
...and the super-tough 7-Drawer End Cabinet.
Whatever your work or hobby, the US General tool cabinets and carts are the best values you're going to find. A lot of folks try saying that about their cabinets, but they don't quite live up to the combination of solid construction and low prices you'll find at Harbor Freight. Of course, you don't have to take my word for it, or even the testimony of a magazine. Just go on the site and read the dozens of reviews given by the customers who use them every day. They pretty much all say the same thing as this owner of the 13-drawer cabinet:
"I have shopped around for a new tool cabinet for quite some time, and this is by far (very far, actually) the best value I have found. The reviews confirmed what I had already seen in the stores, so buying this beauty was a no-brainer.
The cabinet is very well built, and the sheet metal is a much heavier gauge than the competition. The large top drawer and the two deep bottom drawers have a double guide set-up to carry some extra weight, which is a very nice touch when you have to store heavy tools. They'll load it for you at the store, but you better ask a friend to come over and help you unload this sucker or you might get hurt! When I unloaded mine, I had to remove all the drawers to even be able to slide it to the tailgate.
I bought it to put my mini-mill on, and I was a bit worried about how the 44" span above the top drawer would do with a 150 lbs mill on it. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood as a bench top, put the mill on it, and the cabinet didn't budge one bit. I had planned to bolt the cabinet to the wall to make the setup more rigid, but I didn't have to, it was solid as a rock after locking the casters. However, it does have threaded holes (for the handle) on both sides, so it would be very easy to add wall brackets if I ever decide to do so.
The handles have paper labels with plastic covers, a nice feature for us who want to keep things organized.
I'm pretty picky with everything I buy for my shop, and usually try to stick with the "pro brand" stuff. However, this cabinet blows the competition plumb out of the water. A similar unit from the big brands would run at least three times more, and would still not be the same quality. Granted, I haven't compared with the top-of-the-line professional brands, but it sure beats everything I have found in the department stores and home improvement stores." TN Gunsmith
Air tools are convenient time-savers, and can be fun when performing tasks like whizzing off lug nuts with an impact wrench. But, when doing bodywork, it's not just convenient to have an air compressor on hand, it's essential.
In the November 2012 issue of Car Craft, John McGann shared how, while working on a past project, his team's home air compressor couldn't keep up the air demands of their spray gun.
"We could spray for about a minute before the air pressure began to drop, and when that happens, the spray pattern changes and becomes inconsistent, and we'd have to stop and wait for the compressor to charge back up. When spraying a solid color enamel, painting the car panel-by-panel is possible, but metallics and pearls need to cover the car all in one coat. If not, the pattern of the effects will vary from one panel to the other."
John concluded that, to do the job right, get the biggest air compressor you can afford.
"Compressor horsepower ratings and tank volume are good selling points, but the real spec to be concerned with is the CFM rating. This rating refers to the volume of air the compressor can deliver at a given pressure, usually 90 psi."
Although the compressor he was using had a 9 CFM rating, it wasn't able to maintain enough air volume and pressure to power a sander or grinder for more than 30 seconds. Because it couldn't keep up, the pressure dropped to around 60 psi and the motor continuously kept running. Consequently, moisture from the air got into the tank and water began to spray out of the air line.
"You don't have to know a thing about painting cars to know that water in the paint will will ruin the paint job."
After careful research, the team decided upon the Central Pneumatic 5 Horsepower, 60 Gallon, 165 PSI Two Stage Air Compressor (the manufacturer recently changed its name from U.S. General). With a 15.8 CFM rating at 90 psi, this reliable two-piston compressor's got capacity to spare for a pro auto paint job, where the spray gun (the most demanding air tool) usually requires 12 CFM at 45 psi for proper performance.
The Car Craft team also installed a Central Pneumatic Industrial Air Filter Regulator, which manages air pressure and separates foreign matter and water, maintaining a steady 90 psi of dry, clean air, as well as Central Pneumatic 3' Lead Air Hose, capable of 200 psi working pressure.
Now the latest of a long list of car enthusiast magazines, Car Craft affirms the value and performance of the products at Harbor Freight Tools.
In their October 2012 issue, Auto Enthusiast magazine featured a transmission upgrade for a '68 Camaro. The new tranny, a modified T56 Magnum-- called a "Tranzilla"-- was converted by Rockland Standard Gear. As AE reported:
"What they do is take the Magnum from Tremec, upgrade to carbon rings on gears one through four, and slap on a Viper tail shaft."
This conversion allows the car to run up to 1,000 lbs-ft. and 1,200 horsepower.
In the process of switching out the transmissions, the techs at Auto Enthusiast noted how pleased they were with the Central Hydraulics 450 Lb. Capacity Low Lift Transmission Jack:
"We have to wrench on our stuff just like everyone else, on the ground. We found this helpful scissor transmission jack at Harbor Freight for $65. Trust us, it was the best $65 we ever spent. It made this job almost too easy." (from slide #4 on the article)
It should be noted that the $65 price came with the use of a Harbor Freight 20% coupon-- so make sure to clip one of those before you shop!
The 450 lb. transmission jack is perfect for removing trannies on small-to-mid vehicles. Riding on smooth, easily-maneuverable 3" swivel casters, this tough jack was forged for rough, long-term use in the shop or garage. The saddle tilts for easy positioning during repair, making it the right tool for any professional auto garage or hobbyist.
And while you're at it, pick up your copy of the October 2012 Auto Enthusiast and check out that great article, Bang, Shift, Zoom about the transmission switch.
If you thought "ultimate work truck," how do you envision it might be outfitted? The staff at Truckin' magazine recently took up that challenge, and in their October and November 2012 issues ran a 2-part series on creating the "Ultimate Ford F-150 Work Truck"-- with a little help from Harbor Freight Tools!
Taking a 2012 F-150 SuperCab in Part 1, they installed a cool bed slide, a monster ladder rack (capable of holding 1,000 lbs) and a sweet commercial-grade diamond-plate toolbox.
In Part 2, they went on a shopping spree at Harbor Freight Tools and picked up a Predator 4000 Watt Portable Generator-- to which they installed a shock/motion-activated alarm in the back of the truck, lest any covetous individuals think bad thoughts-- a 17 Ft. Type 1A Multi-Task Ladder as well as a full stock of tools for the toolbox:
- Central Forge 6" Swivel Vise with Anvil
- Chicago Electric 12V Cordless 3/8" Lithium Ion Drill
- Pittsburgh 6-piece Plier Set
- Pittsburgh 7-piece Screwdriver Set
- Pittsburgh 4-piece Adjustable Wrench Set
- Pittsburgh Professional Rip Hammer
- Hard Cap Gel Knee Pads
- Work Gloves
- 50-ft. x 12-ga. Extension Cord
Then to fortify their heavily-equipped new rig, they installed a ladder lock, and secured the toolbox and everything else with a myriad of cables and locks, including the hitch. The end result: a "certifiable worksite on wheels."
Take a peek at Truckin' magazine's drool-inducing articles-- with lots of pics-- and while you're at it, check out the low prices and great reviews of the aforementioned tools on Harbor Freight's website!
Last month I compared different methods for cleaning used gun cartridges ("Cleaning Brass: Tumbler, Ultrasonic, or... Cement Mixer?" Jul 25, 2012) that are practiced out there, and pretty much left it up to the reader to decide which one would be best for them. Well, I recently came across this video made by "GalsnGuns" that she admits is a "novice review of the Harbor Freight Dual Drum Rotary Rock Tumbler."
I was really impressed by how she took us with her on her journey, experimenting with media, cleaner, different caliber shells and other things to get the best performance out of her tumbler. Her video-- which is almost 8-1/2 minutes long-- made a believer out of me that the Chicago Electric dual rock tumbler is a solid contender for cleaning gun brass.
A DIY reloader of .38, .357, 9 mm, .223, .556, .45 ACP, .44 magnum, 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 x 54, GalsnGuns has her work cut out for her, so-- as she puts it, "first things first"-- making sure she uses ready-clean shells is of the utmost imporatance.
Check out her video, and while you're at it, take a look at the incredibly low-priced single and dual drum rock tumblers on HarborFreight.com, read the reviews and see if this sounds like just the ticket for you.
Harbor Freight does not endorse any other business or organization or any technique in any customer video or blog post. Always follow all of the instructions and warnings included with our products. Harbor Freight makes no representation or warranty of any kind by including the information on this website.
If there’s anything I learned about Harbor Freight customers, it’s that they’ve got a lot of stuff to haul. A utility trailer is worth its weight in load—and Haul-Master’s been the go-to vehicle for years.
Foldable-- AND Brawny!
I was curious why customers were so sweet on the Haul-Master utility trailers. I mean, it’s not like there’s a shortage of other brands. The first thing that caught my attention was all the noise about their durability. Talking about the 1195 lb. Capacity 48”x96” Foldable Utility Trailer (#90154), for instance—
One guy said: “I bought this trailer about 8 years ago and have abused it without mercy during that period. I estimate it conservatively has about 7000 miles on it now. The longest single trip being around 1000 miles carrying a 2500 lb load…”
Another added, “Having just returned from a 5,000 mile trip carting a 500# motorcycle without any problems......THIS LITTLE TRAILER is AWESOME.” (caps included).
And the comments just kept on coming.
When choosing a utility trailer, consider the space it’ll take up at the house. In some areas they don’t like it when you park it on the front yard, driveway or street (the neighbors might think it’s an eye sore-- there’s no accounting for taste). But the nice thing about the 1195 lb. trailer, you can just fold it and lay it flat against the garage wall, or out back, and it takes up next-to-no room! And, whether it’s a full-size Harley, a power washer, a half-ton of top soil or a teardrop trailer, the formidable 1195 lb. Capacity Foldable Utility Trailer will take it on, and give you years of reliable service.
Solid Super Duty
If you prefer an un-foldable utility trailer, but still want the heavy load capacity, the 1720 lb. 48”x96” Super Duty (#94564) is just the ticket.
Able to take on everything the foldable trailer does—and more!—the Super Duty is a favorite among ATV, quad and kayak junkies (as well as others) ‘cause it’s lightweight, durable and it’ll tilt to the ground nicely for loading and unloading. One happy owner raved, “I have had one of these for almost 7 years and I love it. I've gotten so much use out of it, it's paid for itself tenfold, at least.”
Another reported, “This is my fourth trailer. I have not worn one out yet but seem to give them away to the family. The one my son has is about 8-yrs old and still kicking.”
Point being, it’s a tough little sucker.
As with others, by adding your own planking to the 5-lug Super Duty, you’ve just created a heavy-duty cargo trailer, ready for anything. Head on over to your local home improvement store and get the thickest pressure-treated decking you can find. This type’s best ‘cause it’s got factory-injected water repellant,-- which is up to eight times better than the surface-applied repellant—and they make awesome planking.
Because both the Foldable and Super Duty trailers sport 12” wheels, they’re great for camping trips-- even spots that take you off-road—as well as transporting & launching small boats and jet skis. The trailer is fine going into salt water; just be sure to hose it off with fresh water when you get home. The 12 inches also provide a greater load-carrying capacity.
The Mighty Mini
If either one of those utility trailers is too large for your needs, Harbor Freight has smaller models to accommodate you. The 1090 lb. 40-1/2” x 48” Mini Utility Trailer (#90153) is every bit as rugged and reliable as the foldable and Super Duty models,…
Bikers like this trailer, too-- not only to haul their motorcycles, but also to pull cargo behind their rides. One biker told us, “Went over 3K miles on one trip. I highly recommend this to pull behind a motorcycle…” The Mini’s light, durable frame also makes it ideal for pulling behind smaller vehicles, and its space-efficient size allows it to fit nicely in the back of the garage.
Utility trailer love spreads thick over other models as well. “This thing towed beautifully, solid sturdy and straight… What a great little trailer!” said one owner about his 870 lb. 40”x49” Utility Trailer (#42708).
Another shared this amazing story about the 950 lb. 4’x8’Foldable Utility Trailer (#42709): “Bought this trailer from the original owner who's had it approximately 20 years” (underline added).
I have to add, I was also impressed with the countless ways customers made use of their utility trailers: besides the methods already mentioned, I read about dump runs, moving furniture, picking up lumber, pulling behind a garden tractor; hauling lawn mowers, sod, refrigerators, wood pellets, mulch, scuba gear, dog kennels, building materials, race tires, jacks, tools, luggage, sheetrock, DJ gear-- even making campers out of them!
Last—and definitely not least—buyers couldn’t say enough about what a great value the HFT trailers are. Time and again, I kept seeing, “the best utility trailer for the price!” No argument here.
In this country's growing Survivalist Nation there's a tribe known as the “Urbivalists”-- or “urban survivalists”—preppers who live in towns and cities, and have adapted their survivalist skills to more metro environments. One such urbivalist is Dan, a "self-proclaimed tenderfoot and city kid" who runs a survival-themed blog called The Daily Prep. Recently, Dan posted a video of a shopping trip he made to Harbor Freight--
--which included a tour of some of his favorite products. “It’s a man mall!” he proclaimed.
It’s no wonder HFT is popular with those who take survival preparation seriously. A renowned purveyor of hard-to-find and odd hardware-- plus, a huge selection of essential tools and supplies at extremely low prices-- it’s a no-brainer. (Brains? Zombies? Apocalypse? Harbor Freight!)
So, what were some of the products Dan thought fellow preppers should look into? The video does a good job showcasing generators, welders, tarps, car battery jump starters, jerry cans, rope, axes & hatchets, duct tape (“of every kind!”), magnesium fire starters, solar panel kits, knives, slingshots, safes, winches, flashlights and batteries-- and Harbor Freight’s low prices make preparation a lot more doable.
FYI, for those looking to prep their home for the garden variety emergency, HFT also carries towing supplies, trailer hitches, alarms & security products, jack stands, engines, head lamps, cast iron frying pans, face masks, space saver vacuum bags, air compressors… you get the point. Harbor Freight is the “go-to store” for your doomsday prepper needs.
The Daily Prep isn't alone when it comes to survivalist forums swapping favorite HFT products that they keep in their arsenals. Surf the 'net and you'll find tons of great ideas. And while you're at it, why don't you share yours with us?
I was puttering around the house last Saturday, when I heard my wife in the other room suddenly burst out, "That's CUTE!" I assumed she found another pair of shoes or a purse on sale, or maybe one of those Cape Cod beach houses only a Kennedy could afford. But then she hurried in, gripping a magazine. "Isn't that CUTE??!" she asked (rhetorically, I hoped), holding the mag open in my face. And there it was...
In their June 2012 issue, Better Homes & Gardens featured the U.S. General 350 lb. Locking Drawer Tool Cart as an addition for a home organization project:
"A tool cart is a good home for bulky items, plus you can use it as a service station or bar."
Not to mention that it's a good-looking and affordable alternative to organizers at those shi shi "home" stores. Huh... using a Harbor Freight tool cabinet for kitchen design, or a design idea for any room in the house. I get it.
And the wife got it.
I went into my local Harbor Freight Tools store and picked up a Digital Inspection Camera with 2.4" Color LCD Monitor. It takes 4 AA batteries (not included), so I picked up a 24 pack of AA batteries from Harbor Freight as well for under $6 bucks – great price and now I have back up batteries! Some online recon revealed that competitive brands of inspection cameras with monitors were exorbitantly higher priced than the Harbor Freight version at under a $120. Would the Digital Inspection Camera from Harbor Freight deliver on its claims? That was my mission and I chose to accept it--fortunately, the Camera did not self destruct in five seconds.
The packaging claimed that with this device, I could "make easy visual inspections, even in hard-to-reach places." I couldn't count the number of times I'd dropped hardware into the abyss of heavy machinery or needed to inspect behind a wall before drilling into it. And then there's dropping keys that somehow get kicked under a shelving unit with 40 metric tons of equipment on it. Hopefully, the Digital Inspection Camera could help remedy these types of situations.
The light at the end of the camera provides the 4 ft. night vision as described previously and also illuminates the tight spaces you're in, which are usually dark. This became especially useful as I soon discovered.
The monitor is amply sized at 2.4" and provided easy viewing but to document my adventure, I utilized another useful feature of the device. With the included video cable, I was able to plug the device into the video-in port on my wide screen TV. Then I practically had theater viewing.
Once you start using the Digital Inspection Camera with 2.4" Color LCD Monitor, you'll never know how you lived without it! The device is easy to assemble and operate. The lighted camera integrated into the end of a three foot flex hose provides excellent maneuverability in hard-to-reach areas, and the monitor picture is clear and detailed. The attachments are extremely useful! The hook is ideal for locating/feeding wires behind walls or behind equipment. The magnet is effective in picking up fallen hardware and even small tools. The angled mirror allows you to view underneath places where you would not be able to bend the flex hose.
From plumbing and electrical work to retrieving lost items and viewing places that are otherwise inconvenient or inaccessible to reach, you owe it yourself to get the Digital Inspection Camera with 2.4" Color LCD Monitor.