Automotive Gift Guide 2014

As well as you know your friends and family, it’s not always easy to shop for them during the holidays! That’s why Harbor Freight is here to help pick through the clutter and find that perfect present. We know that there are all sorts of tool types out there and for those who would rather look under the hood than under the Christmas tree, a special surprise could be the very thing that makes their holiday season the best ever!

So we’ve compiled a handy list of the best automotive gifts to pick up for the auto enthusiast in your life. No matter what your price range might be, we have a great selection of tools and accessories that will fit your budget.

Under $20

12 Volt Deluxe Battery Maintainer and Float Charger (Item #: 61911) – $19.99

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Don’t be alarmed if you have no idea what this tool does. The car buff you’re buying it for will know. And they’ll be impressed at your auto tool knowledge as well. But your secret gift selection process is safe with us. However, in case you get asked, this handy float charger essentially keeps truck or car batteries fully charged even during long storage periods. Easily attached to the vehicle’s battery, the float charger maintains a full charge so that when the vehicle is started up again, the battery still works like new!

16 ft. 6 Gauge Heavy Duty Booster Cables (Item #: 60396) – $19.99

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That’s right. Booster cables. Jumper cables. Whatever you want to call them, these automotive mainstays are essential to any car owner, let alone mechanics and gearheads. And a set of cables from Harbor Freight aren’t just affordable but reliable as well. Jumper cables are designed to get you out of a jam and when you need a jump, you need cables that you can rely on to get you down the road for repairs. By hooking up your car buff relative with these booster cables, you’ll ensure that they are never stranded with a dead battery.

 

Under $50

120 LED Rechargeable Under Hood Work Light (Item #: 60793) – $34.99

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If there’s one place that automotive enthusiasts love to be, it’s under the hood of a car, checking things out. But in order to check things out, you have to be able to see! Even the most savvy mechanics can’t make their way around an engine in the dark so why not help your relative or friend shed some light on the situation with a 120 LED Rechargeable Under Hood Work Light? With its rechargeable Lithium ion battery, this really is a gift that keeps on giving since it can be used over and over for a vast range of automotive projects! Featuring two brightness settings, this shatterproof work light is easily adjustable to fit the task at hand.

Solid Steel Auto Ramp Set (Item #: 68365) – $39.99

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A ramp set might seem like a fairly unimpressive gift choice but these are incredibly versatile to anyone working with vehicles. These ramps don’t just make it easy to lift trucks, cars, and other vehicles up to 6,500 pounds for general maintenance, but they’re also helpful for handling oil changes and car repairs from the comfort of your own home or garage. If you want to ramp up your gift giving this holiday season, try picking up a pair of these solid steel automotive ramps.

 

Under $100

Digital Inspection Camera (Item #: 67979) – $99.99

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This highly versatile and helpful automotive accessory is a must-have for anyone working under a vehicle (or with home appliances, inside electrical equipment, and more!). This rechargeable inspection camera allows you to get into tight spaces and recesses like engine bays or air conditioning units and other appliances for maintenance and repair. The camera features a high resolution lens for clear visibility and a zoom function to get an even closer look. You can even hook the inspection camera up to your laptop or home computer for review.

3 Ton Low Profile Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump® (Item #: 61282) – $92.99

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If you’re going to work on vehicles, it’s often necessary to raise the vehicle for repairs or maintenance underneath. Of course, the perfect automotive tool for this task is a Floor Jack. But what if you’re working on cars with a low profile? In that case, the 3 Ton Low Profile Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack with Rapid Pump handles the job perfectly, complete with Rapid Pump technology that allows for quick lifting and easy lowering of vehicles. The low profile aspect won’t always be necessary but whoever you plan on gifting this floor jack to will certainly appreciate the extra feature that is sure to come in handy several times over.

 

Over $100

OBD II & CAN Professional Scan Tool (Item #: 60694) – $110.00

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Now we’re getting to higher end items that are great if you want to really impress the automotive fan in your family. This advanced OBD & CAN Code Reader is an excellent choice for mechanics and anyone who needs to diagnose engine issues in vehicles.  The scan tool makes it easy to read troubleshooting codes and get to the bottom of automotive problems quickly. Plus, the code reader is just the right size for stocking stuffing!

500 lb. Capacity Hydraulic Table Cart (Item #: 61405) – $159.99

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This is a fantastic item not just for the automotive enthusiasts out there but anyone who works in a shop or tinkers in a garage. The 500 lb. Capacity Hydraulic Table Cart is ideal for lifting and raising work pieces up to 500 pounds, taking the “heavy” out of heavy lifting. And the best feature on this convenient table cart is the foot pedal. This make it both easy to lift the table cart while also keeping your hands free for positioning or supporting a cumbersome work piece as it’s lifted. Whether it’s an engine or your next metalworking project, the hydraulic table cart takes it to the next level.

 

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of the range of automotive products available at Harbor Freight Tools as well as several good ideas on what to get your car-loving friends and relatives! Whether you’re looking for something small and thoughtful or a special gift that will stand out from the rest, you can find it all at your local HFT. If this still doesn’t help you figure out the perfect gift, keep in mind that a Harbor Freight gift card is always in season!

Why You Need a Harbor Freight Service Cart

The 30” Large 350 Lb. Capacity Glossy Red Service Cart with Locking Drawer (Item #: 90428) from Harbor Freight might be a mouthful but that won’t stop you from telling everyone how awesome it is. Besides, the name spells out all the important information on this durable tool storage unit. That’s 30 inches of storage space for up to 350 pounds of your tools in a durable glossy red unit with a locking drawer to keep parts and equipment safe and protected.
But there are still plenty of excellent features on this tool cart that the name doesn’t tell you about. Like the smooth-rolling, non-marring casters that allow you to maneuver the cart to wherever you need it to be. And two of those casters include locking brakes so it will stay there too! For the storage capacity, convenience and shocking versatility this unit provides, the $69.99 price tag is a steal. With the money you save, you’ll have plenty left over for some Non-Slip Toolbox Liner (Item #: 65565) to further protect tools during storage and transport.

Harbor Freight Tool Service Cart

This is the perfect cart for a small home garage or a busy shop that could benefit from movable tool storage when going from one job to the next. As you can see, our customers aren’t shy about sharing their love for this service cart!

“Use it to keep tools for whatever project I’m working on (truck, lawn mowers, snow blower, etc). Got really aggravating picking up tools all over driveway, never the right tool in arms reach! This cart has changed my life. It’s a good way to be lazy with everything all in one place. I have not had any problem with drawer glides or drawer sliding while rolling. No scratches, dents or missing parts. I have been truly blessed. If you feel the need to get organized get one of these now!” – by reddog from Garfield Heights, OH

“I bought this cart about 4 months ago to keep my most used tools at hand in the shop I work in. I have dropped brake rotors on it and thrown tools at it and the only thing that made a dent in it was the 12 pound sledgehammer I threw at it when I got aggravated with the truck I was working on. Overall it’s a good cart.” – by Redneck from Chicago, IL

“I bought this cart to use in my garage and I was very impressed. It is very well built. I used it today to carry tools out a friend’s car to install shocks. This cart is awesome, it rolled perfectly over cords in the driveway. Every mechanic should own one of these. I would recommend this to anyone who works on cars.” – by Michael Jones from Hampton, VA

This cart handles such a wide variety of tasks, it’s hard to pin it down for just one particular job. For auto work, a professional garage, or general use around the home, the 30” Large 350 Lb. Capacity Glossy Red Service Cart with Locking Drawer keeps your stuff accessible and protected. Notice I didn’t specify tools…

tool cart bar cart

tool cart home cart

10 Legendary Favorites from Harbor Freight Tools!

Everyone’s got their favorite tool or accessory that they got from Harbor Freight Tools. Even if nothing else in the store tickles their fancy, there’s that one thing they either love to own, or dream of getting someday.  Actually, it’s more like 20 or 30 things, but for the sake of this post, here are 10 of the Customers’ Favorite Tools from Harbor Freight:

 1. 3-Ton Low Profile Steel Heavy-Duty Floor Jack #61282

3 ton steel jack low profile

You won’t find another deal like this classic workhorse– for the price, this baby can’t be beat! Tired of paying someone else to do your tires, brakes and rotors? The Pittsburgh 3-ton Low Profile Steel Floor Jack almost immediately pays for itself. It rolls smoothly on the garage floor, fits under the low, low show cars, lifts to almost two feet and lowers with ease. Plus, the floor jack’s dual-piston Rapid Pump technology lifts most work loads in just 3-1/2 pumps. Sells for $92.99, but you can usually find a coupon or sale on the 3-ton steel jack for even less. Read the customer reviews and you’ll be a believer, too!

2. 13-Drawer 44″ Roller Cabinet #68784

13 drawer tool cabinet

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, this is a real nice box. For all the sizes and types of tool chests Harbor Freight has, the U.S. General 44″ Industrial Roller Cabinet is the darling of the bunch. Sizable and sturdy enough to handle a slew of tools, yet easy to roll around the shop floor– not to mention smoothly opens and closes the drawers on ball bearing sliders– the 13-drawer tool cabinet hits the sweet spot like no other. Priced at a doable $389.99 (and that’s when it’s NOT on sale!), it’s built with the same industrial quality as other brands that go for 4-5 times as much. Comes in a glossy powder-coated red finish, guaranteed to snazz up the garage and turn the neighbors green.

3. 12-inch Double-Bevel Miter Saw with Laser #69684

12 -in double bevel miter saw with laser

“Pleasantly surprised,” “Nice handling,” and “Holy crap, that’s sweet!” come to mind when operating the Chicago Electric 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Guide. At $199.99, it handily surpasses all expectations with its smooth, clean cuts and precision accuracy– at a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere. It cuts through lumber like butter, and will even go through old oak without chipping. And powered with an ample 15 amp motor, the 12″ miter saw will tackle any house job you’ve got to throw at it.

4. 90-Amp Flux Welder #61849

90 amp flux wire welder

Welding continues to be a growing hobby in this country, and the “5-star”-rated Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder has been a wildly popular choice for beginners to get their feet wet. Extremely easy to start and practice with, the 90 amp welder doesn’t require gas to operate and needs only 120 volts. Great for 18 ga.- 5/16″ steel and stainless steel, it’s a great go-to tool for vehicle repairs, creating shelving brackets, making a welding cart and other structural components, trailer hitches, small welding repairs and cleaning jobs… If you’re a newbie, or just looking to do small jobs around the property, or if you’ve ever considered trying your hand at welding, this wire-feed welder is the ticket! Goes for $111.99, but like the other Harbor Freight favorites, a coupon or sale is always around to seal the deal.

5. 8750/7000W 13 HP Generator #68530

8750-7000 watt generator

Predator generators have built a rock-solid reputation for quality, price and staying-power, and the EPA-certified Predator 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watt, 13 HP (420cc) Generator has literally been a light in the storm for so many power-deprived families and preppers. This generator, hands-down, is the best buy for your buck. While the rest of the neighborhood struggles in darkness, this bad boy will keep the lights on, as well as the fridge, central air, big screen TV, electric water heater, etc. When you consider the motel and fast food costs you’ll be saving– or the comfort of sleeping in your own bed, cooking your own food and getting the hot showers you so love, without a hitch… the $599.99 investment is a sweet price point. But don’t believe me. Check out the reviews by the actual owners!

6. 4-pc. Ratcheting Tie Down Set #61524

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Whether you’re moving furniture, securing a kayak to your trailer, strapping gear on the roof rails, hauling timber, holding a garden tractor or ATV on the truck bed, or keeping your tool box from rattling around the back of your Jeep, these Haul-Master Ratcheting Tie-Downs are the greatest invention since sliced rope. Easily adjustable to secure loads to truck beds, roof racks and trailers, their ratchet handles make it a snap to adjust strap length and pull tight. The tie downs’ vinyl-coated S-hooks also prevent scratching on painted surfaces. At $13.99, these weather-resistant straps are an extremely popular “no-brainer add-on” for customers who come to Harbor Freight with other purchases in mind.

7. Mini Moving Dolly #61899

mini mover dolly

Move 1,000 pounds for $11.99? That’s what we’re sayin’… cheaper than buying your buddies pizza and beer to help you move the stuff. Is it any wonder why the Haul-Master Mini Mover’s Dolly is on Harbor Freight’s Top 10 Favorite list? Save your back as you move stacks of loaded boxes, heavy machinery, engine blocks and transmissions, or furniture when the wife’s got a hankering to redecorate. The carpeted surfaces protect furniture finishes and the hard-rubber swivel casters won’t mar your floors. Did I already mention, they’re $11.99?

8. 8-Channel Surveillance DVR with 4 Cameras #61229

8-channel DVR with Cameras

A great addition for home protection, the Bunker Hill Security 8-channel DVR with 4 Cameras and Motion Detection installs easily and can be set up to monitor on your computer or smartphone, so you can keep an eye on things while you’re away! Each camera offers a wide view span with a high resolution, so you can spread them over the areas you want observed and glimpse the four shots simultaneously. It even comes with night vision to keep you apprised of any nefarious nocturnal characters that venture onto your property (imagine your neighbors’ surprise when they see their kid up to no good on Facebook). The 8-Channel Surveillance DVR set sells for $299.99, and you can often find it on sale or a coupon. You can also use the Harbor Freight 20% Off coupon. Hey, where else can you get a room with a view at such a low price?

9. 3-Gallon 100 PSI Oilless Air Compressor #61615

3 gallon 100 psi oilless air compressor

If you’re looking for a small air compressor to keep in the garage for filling tires and balls, or maybe using with a blow gun, airbrush, brad nailer or other small jobs, the Central Pneumatic 3-Gallon PSI Pancake Air Compressor is just the ticket. For an airy $59.99, this little gem is there to save your family bike trip, keep the bounce in your game and help put up the trim and Christmas lights. The fact that it’s “oilless” means less maintenance for you, and the “pancake” low-profile shape means you’ll save garage space and easy portability to wherever the air compressor is needed. How’s that for a breath of fresh air?

10. 12,000 lb. Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch #61256

12000 lb off road winch

Finally, the top ten list rounds out with the uber-popular Badland 12K Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch with Automatic Load-Holding Brake. Smell the mud, don’t get stuck in it! This off-road winch is a veritable lifesaver in the swamp, snow, ice and that black, slimy, stinky stuff that they don’t have a name for. Awesome for trucks, ATVs, Jeeps and other 4-wheelers… even great for uprooting trees. It also comes with an incredibly handy remote for easy operation. Don’t be the bud who needs his bacon saved– save your buds’ bacon with the Badland 12K winch!

So, there you have it– the legendary favorites of the Harbor Freight Tools catalog. Chances are you already have one of them. Chances are even better that you’ve got a mind to go buy one (or four) real soon!

The US General 5-Drawer Tool Cart: Too Sexy for Your Tools?

If there was a category for “Single-Most-Loved Product” at Harbor Freight Tools, the US General tool cabinets and carts would probably be in a tight group, a length ahead of all the others. Be it the insanely popular 44″ 13-Drawer Tool Cabinet, the extra large 56″ 11-Drawer Industrial Rolling Cabinet, the mammoth 72″ 18-Drawer Industrial Roller Cabinet or the economical, yet rugged, 4-Drawer Tool Cart, the US General tool chests have amassed a ton of rave reviews– both for the quality and the value.
Which is why it’s no surprise to see the way-thumbs-up reviews of the 700-lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart

Same beautiful fire-engine red as the other models, the rugged all-steel, 5-drawer tool cart is the ideal choice for the wrencher with just enough– but not too many– tools. As pointed out by Jeff G. Holt in the May 2013 Used and Abused column of Hot Bike :

“This all-steel 120-pound tool cart is a great place to store a myriad of tools for not a lot of money. This bright-red powder-coated rollaway is constructed (of) 14-gauge steel and can hold up to 700 pounds worth of stuff.”

Jeff wasn’t a pushover for just the pretty face, though. He put the baby to work immediately.

“Sure, that is all well and good, but for a cabinet such as this, with a rather low price tag, I was worried about things like the drawers opening smoothly and other quality-related issues. Once I freed it from its shipping box, I assembled it (it took less than a half hour) and loaded it full of my wayward tools and was able to put it to the test. The ball-bearing rails on each of the drawers worked smoothly and they even had a locking lever per drawer like only the carts costing three times the price usually possess. The key-controlled locking mechanism on the top of the cart also worked flawlessly, which is truly a feat for something of this price. When fully loaded, this cart rolled around freely due to the two fixed and two swiveling locking casters. It even did so on chunky asphalt.”

Sounds like a winner. But, how about down the road? Did the tool cart stand the test of time?

“After throwing tools in and out of the cart for almost a year now, I have been pretty impressed with the quality construction and ease of use. The only problem I am currently having with it is that I am running out of room and I’ll need to switch to a larger storage system. If you are looking for a rolling workstation such as this, don’t let the low price keep you away, buy this and save a couple hundred dollars over the competition.”

A larger storage system? Harbor Freight can do that! Or, how about just getting a second tried-and-true 5-drawer tool cart? You can find the 700-lb.Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart at your local Harbor Freight, or online, for a low $199.99– or, keep your eyes peeled and get it for $169.99 with coupon! Girls on Hot Bike magazine cover not included.

Johnny Hunkins, editor of Popular Hot Rodding magazine, also posted a great article on his blog about Harbor Freight’s tool carts. When he visited our QA facility in Calabasas, CA, he was impressed with the thoroughness of our tool testing. 5 drawer tool cart, and the US General tool cart was actually one of dozens of products he got to sample side-by-side with competitors’ products that are generally much more expensive. As Johnny observed:

” You really have to put your hands on this cart, open the drawers, slam the lid, and roll it around to believe it. With severe-duty ball bearing roller tracks, thick gauge steel cabinet, chunky ball bearing casters, smooth pneumatic lid struts, locking drawer tabs, grippy drawer liners, durable powdercoat red paint, and beefy frame, the HTF cart would be a welcome addition to any garage at twice the price.”

Jacob Jackson of Truckin’ magazine had his own thoughts on the subject, handing the crown of “Best Mechanic’s Cart Under $250″ to Harbor Freight’s tool cart:

“It’s difficult to overstate the incredible value the US General Pro five-drawer tool cart, represents in the tool world. You get super-strong 14-gauge steel, five storage drawers of varying depths, and gas struts for the lid, which can support 176 pounds. The bright-red powdercoat was tough yet looked good, and for under $200, you get a legitimate mobile workstation and not just a little cart. It was the clear-cut winner of this shootout.”

Decide for yourself. Come visit your local Harbor Freight Tools and try the US General 5-Drawer Tool Cart mano y mano. We think you’ll walk away a believer– and a proud new owner– too.

Harbor Freight Celebrates International Girls Day

Recently, Teddy Robertson posted on her blog:

“Surprisingly, the Flint store is very female.   Of course, you see a lot of women in Home Depot and Lowes.  They are selecting paint colors or lighting, or bathroom fixtures.  At Harbor Freight women roam the drill bit aisles.  And what’s more, women—middle-aged women—are on the floor helping them with real tools.  Maybe years back they would have worked in the shop.  Today they work at Harbor Freight.”

Today, November 14, is International Girls Day, and it’s fitting that Harbor Freight Tools takes notice. The girls have been coming to HFT in growing numbers, sharing the checkout lines with the boys, carrying miter saws and cordless drills; on the Web, you now stumble across Girl Power blogs like Pink Toes & Power Tools and Ana White, sounding the alarm that women are taking over the home DIY projects.

That being said, I’d like to submit…
10 Tools Every DIY Girl Should Own
tape measure 30 ft
  1. Pittsburgh 30 Ft. X 1″ QuikFind Tape Measure #69081 – You can never have too many tape measures around the house, and you’ll like this guy because it displays the fractions. Not to say you’re working with a dumbed-down tool, something akin to a Jitterbug cell phone, but rather something that helps determine measurements faster and more efficiently. The tape extends a long way before it falls, and you’ll appreciate the rubber-wrapped case (not that you ever drop your tape measure, right?). Heavy-duty and helpful! $4.99plier set 7 piece
  2. Pittsburgh 7-Pc. Pliers Set #69355 – Pulling, pinching, stripping, bending. You can face all manner of tasks in the home, and these babies can be invaluable. And the quality-to-price ratio is NICE! 8.9932 pc screwdriver set
  3. 32-pc. Screwdriver Set #90764 – You’ll probably put the most mileage on this set around the house as it accommodates most all domestic jobs, including a bendable snake unit that’s awesome in hard-to-get-to areas! $7.99claw hammer
  4. Pittsburgh 16 Oz. Claw Hammer With Fiberglass Handle #47872 – I’m sure you have a hammer somewhere in the house. Hammers are like tape measures; it’s good to have a few around. Whatever you do, though, invest in a nice claw hammer. It’ll do a good job driving in nails, but it';; also help you remove the bent ones if you make a mistake… which I’m sure never happens. Hammers are the great go-to’s for hanging pictures, putting together modular furniture or small woodworking projects. This fiberglass one provides a comfortable grip and less shock than the wooden ones.  $3.99 socket set 64 pc
  5. Pittsburgh 64 Piece 1/4″, 3/8″ And 1/2″ Socket Set #67995 – For nuts and bolts, and screwing in lag bolts in your beams for heavy wall-hangings and earthquake straps, putting together the tyke’s bike, or working on the car. You might think this set’s a bit overkill, but you never know when you’re going to need the odd-sized piece– and socket sets provide torque strength a mere wrench can’t come close to. $31.99torpedo level
  6. Pittsburgh 9″ Magnetic Torpedo Level #96676 – Take away the guesswork and eyeball calisthenics when trying to hang pictures or put up shelving. You’ll learn fast what a godsend this simple tool really is.  $7.99 staple gun
  7. Fasten Pro Three-Way Tacker Staple Gun Kit #96755 – For everything from craft projects to reupholstering chairs, making wood box valances, putting up plastic sheeting, running cords along the wall, window screening, and other DIY projects. Another tool you’ll love love love!  $6.99 5-drawer tool cart
  8. U.S. General Tool Cart, Five Drawer, 700 Lb. Capacity #69397 – You’ll need a place to store all of these handy tools and, take my word, you’ll outgrow a toolbox almost immediately. A larger one on rollers– like this 5-drawer favorite– is great to move around your home, craft room, studio or garage. It gives you plenty of room to organize and quickly access the tool you need when you need it!  $199.99 3-8 cordless drill 68239 19.99
  9. Drill Master 3/8″ Cordless Drill/Driver With Keyless Chuck, 18 Volt #68239 – A rechargeable drill is essential to have around for your light-to-medium DIY projects around the house. They’re light to carry and great for making holes, or using as a power screwdriver to speed up the fastening process. Got a remodeling project in your future? Get it!  $19.99 orbital palm sander 5-in
  10. Chicago Electric 5″ Random Orbital Palm Sander #69857 – If you’re restoring furniture, an old boat or other object of love, invest in an orbital sander. Great for getting a smooth finish on large surfaces, and the palm sander version gives you great control. $24.99
There are other great, handy tools for your collection that you’ll eventually want: stud finder, brad nailer, jigsaw, compound miter saw, circular saw… and Harbor Freight Tools has them all at tremendously low prices! It’s a great way to get your projects off the ground without smashing too many piggy banks.
Of course, there’s more to life than always working. As Teddy Robertson closed in her post:

“Last year toward the end of summer Dennis came home with battery powered fly swatter he’d gotten on sale for $3.99 (reg. $7.99).  We sat on the porch in a warm twilight sipping margaritas and swinging at mosquitoes.  Can’t beat Harbor Freight.”

You go, girl.

Attack of the 580 Lb. Capacity Roller Cart

Looking for the perfect combo of storage space and portability? Well, your prayers have been answered with the 580 Lb. Capacity 4-Drawer Roller Cart from Harbor Freight Tools! Featuring over 6200 cubic inches of storage space, this tough all-steel cart gives you the space to store a wide range of tools with easy accessibility.  Plus, the cart practically glides across your work space on smooth-rolling, lockable casters.  That means your tools are both safely stored and easily maneuverable.  But even when this cart is loaded to capacity, the $154.99 price tag always stays light so you can put your money into your work, not over-priced tools.  But enough of my yappin’.  Here’s Pat to give you an up close look at what other features make this roller cart the perfect choice for your shop or garage!

Taming the Tool Cart

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 an old magazine (she keeps them for years– last week I found a Look magazine with Mamie Eisenhower on the cover).

“Isn’t that CUTE??!” she asked (rhetorically, I hoped), holding the mag open in my face. And there it was…

Tool Cart for the Home

In their June 2012 issue, Better Homes & Gardens featured the U.S. General 350 lb. Locking Drawer Tool Cart #90248 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. Here’s another great example where someone used it as a bar cart:

Tool Cart Bar Cart

 

It’d probably make a dandy arts n’ crafts cart, too. I also noticed the tool cart’s on sale this month for just $74.99. A pretty good deal.

Huh… using a Harbor Freight tool cart for kitchen design, or a design idea for any room in the house. I get it.

And the wife got it.

Hot Bike Review: The US General 5-Drawer Tool Cart

If there was a category for “Single-Most-Loved Product” at Harbor Freight Tools, the US General tool cabinets and carts would probably be in a tight group, a length ahead of all the others. Be it the insanely popular 44″ 13-Drawer Tool Cabinet, the mammoth 56″ 11-Drawer Industrial Rolling Cabinet or the economical, yet rugged, 4-Drawer Tool Cart, the US General tool chests have amassed a ton of rave reviews– both for the quality and the value.

Which is why it’s no surprise to see the way-thumbs-up review of the 700-lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart in the May 2013 issue of Hot Bike (this issue can be found in magazine stands but is not, as of this writing, online). Same beautiful fire-engine red as the other models, the rugged all-steel, 5-drawer tool cart is the ideal choice for the wrencher with just enough– but not too many– tools. As pointed out by Hot Bike writer, Jeff G. Holt, in the Used and Abused column:

“This all-steel 120-pound tool cart is a great place to store a myriad of tools for not a lot of money. This bright-red powder-coated rollaway is constructed (of) 14-gauge steel and can hold up to 700 pounds worth of stuff.”

 Jeff wasn’t a pushover for just any pretty face, though. He put the baby to work immediately.

“Sure, that is all well and good, but for a cabinet such as this, with a rather low price tag, I was worried about things like the drawers opening smoothly and other quality-related issues. Once I freed it from its shipping box, I assembled it (it took less than a half hour) and loaded it full of my wayward tools and was able to put it to the test. The ball-bearing rails on each of the drawers worked smoothly and they even had a locking lever per drawer like only the carts costing three times the price usually possess. The key-controlled locking mechanism on the top of the cart also worked flawlessly, which is truly a feat for something of this price. When fully loaded, this cart rolled around freely due to the two fixed and two swiveling locking casters. It even did so on chunky asphalt.”

Sounds like a winner. But, how about down the road? Did the tool cart stand the test of time?

“After throwing tools in and out of the cart for almost a year now, I have been pretty impressed with the quality construction and ease of use. The only problem I am currently having with it is that I am running out of room and I’ll need to switch to a larger storage system. If you are looking for a rolling workstation such as this, don’t let the low price keep you away, buy this and save a couple hundred dollars over the competition.”

A larger storage system? Harbor Freight can do that. Or, how about just getting a second tried-and-true 5-drawer tool cart? You can find the 700-lb.Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart at your local Harbor Freight, or online, for a low $199.99– or $169.99 with coupon! Girls on Hot Bike magazine cover not included.

Harbor Freight Tool Cabinet Coupons –

Click Here for Coupons

WHAT??!

Harbor Freight NEVER has coupons for their tool carts or tool cabinets! And yet, here they are– coupons for the US General 5-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart, the 4-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart, the 11-Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet and the small  Locking Drawer Tool Cart. These deals are good ’til March 17, so take advantage of them NOW– along with tons of other deals!

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. the Competition – Pt. 1

While I’ve been posting the progress of the ’67 Firebird’s restoration these past weeks, it occurred to me some of you might be thinking, “Well, so what? That’s what tools are for.” This is true. But the proposition that Harbor Freight’s  tools are rugged, reliable and capable is beside the point. The purpose of this exercise (besides showing you a sexy car) is to demonstrate how someone can execute something as meaningful and professional as restore a classic car while spending a lot less money– or getting a lot more value for the money– for the tools to do it. That’s a pretty big deal.

So to better illustrate the point, I’ll compare the prices of the tools used on the project with similar (if not exact) products the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Craftsman, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. I don’t think this compromises the test, however, because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not function.

In the first segment, we’ll be looking at the Harbor Freight tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video:

 

This solidly-built, steel tool cart is the perfect rolling workstation for wrenchers, able to hold 700 lbs of tools and easily roll around the garage.  Standing at over 41″ high and 37″ wide, there’s tons of space, and with 5 drawers, a bottom shelf, a covered tray on top, side slots and more, it will keep you fully armed at your spot without having to go “fetch” a tool.

  • Craftsman – 3-Drawer GRIPLATCH Utility Cart – $349.99
  • Northern Tool Excel – 5-Drawer Rolling Metal Tool Cart  – $399.99
  • Home Depot – Excel 600 lb. 4-Drawer Steel Tool Cart – $369.99
  • Lowe’s – Task Force 400 lb. 6-Drawer Steel Tool Chest – $189.00
  • Grainger – Westward 250 lb. 4-Drawer Utility Cart – $572.50

The huge, industrial-quality tool set contains a comprehensive collection of the most used automotive and mechanic’s tools, including adjustable wrenches, ratchets, breaker bars, pliers, sockets in SAE and metric, extensions and universal joint adapters. This treasure trove of tools is built to last!

  • Craftsman – 309-pc. Mechanics Tool Set – $249.99
  • Northern Tool – 305-pc. Mechanics Tool Set – $299.99
  • Home Depot – Husky 264-pc. Mechanics Tool Set – $198.00
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt 227-pc. Mechanics Tool Set – $199.98
  • Grainger – Craftsman Industrial 273-pc. Mechanics Tool Set – $985.00

 

This little 2-1/2 lb. air ratchet delivers up to 50 lbs. of torque! The slim design allows mechanics get to fasteners in cramped and hard-to-reach spots that standard impact wrenches can’t hope to go! Features easy reversible action.
  • Craftsman – 3/8″ Ratchet Wrench – $34.99
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench – $29.99
  • Home Depot – Campbell Hausfeld 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench – $32.68
  • Lowe’s – Campbell Hausfeld 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench – $48.38
  • Grainger – Westward 3/8″ Air Ratchet Wrench – $79.00

 

Central Pneumatic 1/4" Mini Air Ratchet
This thing fits everywhere! Only 5″ long, the compact 1/4″‘ air ratchet wrench is ideal for tight work spaces like under dashboards or in engine bays. Designed to work with all 1/4” drive sockets, this rugged air tool has a die-cast aluminum body and a black oxide-coated head that resists corrosion. It’s got just the right amount of torque for tightening small bolts.
  • Craftsman – 1/4″ Mini Air Ratchet – $49.99
  • Northern Tool – AirCat Mini 1/4″ Air Ratchet – $99.99
  • Home Depot – Black Bull 1/4″ Air Ratchet – $21.97
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Westward 1/4″ Air Ratchet – $69.75

So as you can see, when you buy at Harbor Freight Tools, you really are getting the best of both worlds– great tools at ridiculously low prices!

Join us next week when we’ll review the tools employed to remove the engine!