Hammer Time

I’ll admit, Harbor Freight forced me to adjust my philosophy on buying. For the longest time, I (and I’m sure I’m not alone) hung onto the credo, “You get what you pay for.” That’s why we lay down the heavy dinero for bigger name brand clothes, shoes, watches, mayonnaise, dining experiences, hotel rooms, guns and tools. Heaven forbid you cave to the temptation of saving some bread and end up with a dog of a purchase. More than a root canal, I hate when that happens. But, like I said, Harbor Freight Tools readjusted my mental state. I still look for the better guns and mayonnaise, but now when I look for a tool, I first go to the HFT website, check out my options, prices, ALWAYS the reviews, and more often than not I come away sold on something– and I have yet to be disappointed with this formula.

Which brings me to the Chicago Electric 5.2 Amp 3-In-1 1″ SDS Plus Rotary Hammer (upgraded versions now available). A friend recently bought a house and considered renting a rotary hammer to rip up his concrete patio. The best price he could find locally was $48/day. As luck would have it, he mentioned the plan to me before he took the plunge, and I told him about Harbor Freight’s SDS rotary hammer, priced $99.99 (even less with a coupon!). The beast will pound 2920 blows per minute through concrete, masonry, stone or pretty much any other hard, brittle material. Whether it’s for drilling holes, chiseling or chipping, it won’t let you down. Plus, the stop-hammer feature on this powerful SDS rotary hammer lets you drill precision holes in wood, too. I told him to check reviews on Google and on the HFT website to get an idea of what other owners of the rotary hammer thought. It was an easy sell:

“As a heavy/civil engineering construction inspector, I was on a job 3-4 years ago when the contractor showed up on site with a HF SDS unit (this was on a project with a contract north of $6 million). I made some sort of wise ass comment about the quality of his tools and he said, these things are great and if you drop them, so what? He drilled hundreds of holes 1/4-5/8″ with that thing and it was still going. I went out and bought one as my roto-hammer was an old Milwaukee hex shaft with dull/broken obsolete bits. Damn thing has been great!”  OldWino, GarageJournal.com

“I was apprehensive about buying this tool because of the low, low price compared to similar tools of different name brands prices. I called the rental store and they wanted $50.00 a day for rental, plus buying the bits. I drove to the store and bought this tool including all the bits for just a little more than the rental store was willing to rent for their tool for 1 day. I have used this tool for drilling, tearing out brick columns, taking up ceramic tile, spudding built-up rocks off the roof for flat roof repairs, and it has not let me down yet. I did purchase the 2-year warranty for just in case but have not had to use it yet. This tool has easily paid for itself.”  Valdosta Repair Man, HFT customer review

“My wife and I own an HVAC company . I have had one of these for at least 5 years and use it pretty regularly going through brick to run flue pipes and line sets for HVAC systems… I have a plumber buddy who has had to have his Bosch rebuilt twice in the time I have owned my HF and mine still works like it did the day I got it .” rickairmedic, GarageJournal.com

“This drill does it all. It is more like a home demolition hammer drill. It drills, it hammer/ drills, or it just hammers depending on how you set it up. Other posts talk about it being metric bits. I don’t see the issue. Just like all drills there are thousands of bits. You can buy a any size standard “SDS Plus” (Shank Size) bit at any big box chain home improvement store or industrial supply store. You can by masonry chisels, dirt digging spades, bull nose chisels, along with any size drill bit you can think of. I have used mine around the house for many extreme projects. It has a built in grease cup which must be filled ever so often as part of maintenance. I service mine before ever use and it has not let me down. I also bought the extended warranty but have not used it yet. It could be broken if it was just thrown down, but they all can. I take care of my tools and they take care of me.”  Rider7767, HFT customer review

 “Harbor Freight’s SDS Rotary Hammer – I am handyman/audio video guy. I have used this to bust thru concrete walls to run cable, etc. It comes with bits and a chisel. Has already paid for itself in savings over the Bosch units I would rent. For my occasional use it is great. There is nothing quite like a hammer drill to make short work of drilling thru concrete, if you have ever tried even small holes (like ones for tapcons) with a regular drill, they are a major bear! This tool makes very short work out of it!”  OKnewguy, TractorByte.com

Of course, my buddy bought the Chicago Electric rotary hammer with absolutely no regrets. He made short order of the old patio, and has since moved on to creating his dream backyard… well, his and his wife’s dream backyard…

Woodworkers’ Favorite Harbor Freight Tools

The great thing about the Internet, whatever your passion, you can find a slew of guys and gals who share it. Forums abound for everything from cooking to alien sightings to ham radios to ham. One of the most strongly represented tool niche groups online is the woodworkers group. There are dozens of woodworking forums on the ‘net, where they exchange tips and experiences, and as any craftsmen, they’re passionate about their art, their projects, their conventional wisdom… and their tools. So, given the variety of tools and equipment Harbor Freight has– not to mention the prices– you can imagine how many times the discount tool store becomes topic of conversation.

I took a look at one of the more popular forums, Lumberjocks.com (all woodworking, all the time), and compiled a list of what their members said were among their favorite Harbor Freight acquisitions. See if you agree, or have anything to add:

 

The Momentary Power Foot Switch

“How many times when starting your router or your drill press, or other power tool, did you wish you had one more hand to firmly grab on the piece you were ready to machine? Often we present a piece of wood on the router just at right place to route it, and then we need to let go of it to start the router, and then the piece moves. Or we hardly can hold one large piece. We don’t feel safe and then we need to let go of one hand to start the router or the drill press. With the Momentary Power Foot Switch you can feel a lot safer when you start the router, firmly grabbing on the piece to machine with both hands. It greatly improves the safety and control of the execution.”

b2rtch on Lumberjocks

 

10″, 40 Tooth Carbide Tipped Circular Saw Blade With Titanium Nitride Coating

“I’ve been using this blade for a few months now. It’s lived in my miter saw most of that time and I just tried it out on the table saw for rip cuts. I’ve been very pleased with this blade, overall. The titanium nitride coating does seem to reduce friction and give a somewhat cleaner cut. The blade is nice and sharp out of the box. It cuts more easily and cleanly than the Kobalt blades I had been using in the miter saw. And the rip cuts it did were good, too. The saw didn’t bog down as it had with some other blades. The best part is this thing is less than $15 at Harbor Freight. Even less with a 20% off coupon. At that price you can keep a couple of spares around when you need a fresh blade. Note to SawStop owners: The titanium nitride coating does not interfere with the SawStop safety system’s detection or trip the brake.”

Purrmaster on Lumberjocks

 

300 Lb. Capacity Mobile Base

“I own 4 of these bases. Obviously, I like them and think they are a good product. They are well made and glide easily across the shop floor. Assembly with the first one was a bit confusing, but after that the other 3 were easy. I don’t exceed the 300 lbs. but I think they could support more than that. They are thick, heavy and finished well with decent nuts and bolts. The big knobs turn easily, steadies your machine level and don’t move while in use.”

kdc68 on Lumberjocks

 

Cen-Tech Digital Mini Moisture Meter

“Went into a newly opened Harbor Freight store in Florida, and while cruising around, I came across the Cen-Tech Digital Mini Moisture Meter (item 67143). Wasn’t looking for one but when I saw this– and the price– I figured what the heck…go for it. I’m glad I did because it really works, and now I won’t touch a piece of wood for turning until I check the content first. I was actually quite surprised at how high the moisture was in some of my wood. When I go back next spring, I’ll likely get some for friends….can’t go wrong with that price! BTW, it also does it for C or F, has a ‘Hard Material Mode’ and measure ‘Environmental temperature.’ The readout is clear as well.”

Salmo on Lumberjocks

 

Chicago Electric 4 ” Magnesium Belt Sander (Replaced with the 10 Amp 4 in. x 24 in. Variable Speed Professional Belt Sander, item #: 69820)

“Now that I’m semi-retired, I have more time to drift through tool stores, home improvement centers, and the like. In HF the other day, I noticed the 97593 Magnesium 4X24 Belt Sander on sale for $69.99, usually $79.99. With my 20% coupon, walked the last one out of the store for a ridiculous $55.00! Now, I know we all like to think somewhere along the line we graduate from ever using belt sanders ever again, but for some reason their use pops up from time to time, and for me, it always seems like I never have a big enough one to do the job.

“The Harbor Freight Chicago Tool 4X24 Magnesium Belt Sander is one of those tools that I think you would use to sand the paint off that old picnic table, or take down 8-10 coats of whatever off any larger piece of wood you need cleaned. This thing is just a flat-out HORSE. Even with the magnesium frame, it still weighs. Mine was the last one my store had, and did not have a manual, (have to download it), but the website says it puts 1640 feet of sandpaper per minute on the wood, pulls 10 amps, and weighs somewhere around 15 lbs. I believe it all, having hogged down a piece of 2 ft. by 5” wide solid piece of oak from rough mill cut to smooth in less than two minutes. Mine tracked perfectly out of the box, and I love the little handle on the side to loosen the belt, rather than have to do the “front roller dance” pushing it back and hoping it catches, change the belt, then hope you can get it to snap back and re-tighten by running the tracking knob back and forth. None of that with this sander. Simply loosen the handle on the side, change the belt, snap the handle back in place, and keep going.

“I really went into HF to look at driveway sensors for my wife, and the lathe tools recently reviewed here. I ended up buying the sensors and this hog, and I’m really glad I did. I don’t use a belt sander much anymore, but when I do, I want a large surface belt, and for $55 compared to a smaller PC for $169, this was a no-brainer.”

Tennessee on Lumberjocks

 

Chicago Electric 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw

“This saw has a 15-amp motor that sliced through everything I threw at it with no issues. The action of the slide and is very smooth. Though I used it only for 90 degree cuts, the table movement and compound movement were very smooth and didn’t move at all when set and tightened. First thing I did after setting up the saw was to build some 3’ extension wings on both sides out of 3/4” pine with 1/4 hard board across for my zero clearance backing. I couldn’t be happier. I was able to do the final trim on about 60 shelves and sides (3 cuts per board) in maybe 2 hours. Everything came out great, true and square – no issues.”

SchottFamily on Lumberjocks

 

Drill Master Portable Pocket Hole Jig Kit

“I’ve always called Harbor Freight “God’s gift to men,” and since there’s been a bit of hubbub about this tool paradise on this site recently I thought I’d post some reviews of my favorite HF Gems…

“This one I just bought TODAY and I already can see that it is among the best tools in the store! For one thing, this thing is extremely well made! If you had this jig sitting alongside the Kreig version, I guarantee you’d pick this one up to examine first. Why? Because it really looks great. While the $100 Krieg jig is mostly plastic, this is all aluminum. And I don’t mean that crappy cast aluminum. This is precision machined aluminum.

“The design is also very well executed. The heart of it is the guide holes, of course. There are two sets of two, so you can drill a pair side by side in your piece. One set is at a steep angle for 1/2″-to-1” thick material, the other set of guide holes is at a lower angle for thicker material. You can move the hole guides to adjust how far apart you want them using nicely etched measuring marks so no ruler is needed. Lock them in place with the knob and use the very nice, heavy duty hold down clamp to secure your piece and you’re ready to drill. The bit is included as are a bunch of screws. Another nice feature is that you can remove the hole guide assembly from the stand and clamp it to large parts that the stand won’t accommodate.

“Bottom line is- this jig is WELL worth the price… and may even be better in many ways than the twice as expensive Krieg jig.

“That’s my two cents…”

StumpyNubs on Lumberjocks

 

Central Machinery 2 HP Industrial 5 Micron Dust Collector

Finally… it seems like the single-most talked about Harbor Freight tool– by far— in the woodworking world is the Central Machinery 2 HP Industrial 5 Micron Dust Collector. Mentions about this thing just come up over and over, again.

“A year ago, when I was building my shop, I was shopping around for a dust collector to be the heart of my system. I looked at General, Jet, Grizzly, etc. But then I read several really postive reviews on the HF 2 HP model. I had a coupon for 169.00 for it so I figured, why not? Let me tell you, this thing is at least the equal of all of those others! I actually got a chance to examine a Jet, and a Grizzly….and they are almost identical. My longest run is 45 feet and I’ve had no trouble running one tool there and another 25 feet in the other direction, at the same time. It gets it all. Now I make a lot of dust here in my shop so this has gotten a workout in the last year, and I’m not disappointed. This is one of those rare Harbor Freight gems.”

njcraftsman on Lumberjocks

“There isn’t much this little thingie can’t handle. Cabinet saw, no problem. 12 inch Planer, same same. 6-inch jointer, 6 x 48 flat belt, compound miter saw, nada. Moderate-sized drum sander, no problem-o. Don’t expect this rig to evacuate a 52-inch double wide belt sander though, but for most small shop cabinet men, chair makers and burl workers this will execute without hesitation. I’ve got mine in a room adjacent to my shop running through a bulkhead fitting; all you hear is the quiet screaming of the sawdust as it is slurped off to the Great Beyond. A metal trash can will fit nicely under the bag within the frame, which eases the unloading of poor, dead tree powder and other assorted shop waste. Don’t think you can run a 100-ft hose from your shop to your neighbor’s basement though; any DC system can only handle X amount of hose, especially if it is corrugated or has numerous 180′ turns. All in all, very pleased with this item, it can run with the big dogs all day long (going on 6 years) as long as you keep good duct work and hoses in the equation and mind your housekeeping regarding the top bags cleanliness.”

R. E. Parks on Dakota Heirloom Woodworking

“At the end of the day, is this thing worth it? Heck yeah! I don’t think there’s anything that’s comparable for the price. As I stated, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with dust collectors, but I have no idea what a more expensive single stage dust collector could do that this one can’t. This product comes with a high recommendation from me, and it’s a pretty big improvement over my old shop vac based system.”

haugerm on Woodworking Talk

Reciprocate With Brute Force

You live long enough, you start building a list of stuff you’ve done that you never, ever want to do again. Like eat something on a dare that sounded gag-inducing before you even looked at it… because it also sounded fun. Or go on a blind date with someone you met on the Internet whose profile pictures consisted only of her cat, arched eyebrows and Sweet Polly Purebred from the Underdog cartoons. Or maybe (on a more relateable level) like spending an hour struggling with a hacksaw on pipe.

Well I can’t help you with your bonehead dare acceptances or harikari methods of courtship, but I can  tell you how you can affordably retire that hacksaw. Introducing the Chicago Electric 6 Amp Reciprocating Saw with Rotating Handle. Don’t let the low $29.99 price fool you. This saw has a plethora of power to get the job done! It cuts like butter through tree roots, limbs and stumps, plastic and metal pipes, cast iron, deck planks– nails and all!–and so much more.

A customer in the Southwest recently gave the Chicago Electric reciprocating saw a zumba workout and came away very happy:

“I’ve been using this saw for a few months now. I’ve used it for demo (cutting 2×4’s with nails) and recently put it to the test by using it to cut an entire 30′ tree down with the HF 9″ pruning blades, which worked really well. The quick blade change is very nice and saves time. Overall, really good value in my opinion. Handle rotates completely through 180° with five positive stops at 0, 45° and 90° left, and 45° and 90° right for comfortable and controlled cutting from any angle.”  Gringo – Phoenix, AZ

Another guy who hails from the Beehive State had this to say:

“Used this tool to cut lattice for an inclined ramp at my parents house. It worked better than I could imagine. Made the job go extremely fast. I was worried about how I was going to get the job done quickly and having this tool made all the difference between a day job and a 3-day job. Highly Recommended!!!”  Tim – Utah

And for having such a low price, the heavy-duty reciprocating saw’s got a ton of great features:

  • Powerful 6-amp motor with a variable speed trigger
  • Handle rotates 180° with five positive stops
  • Shoe plate pivots up to 30° for increased stability
  • 1/2″ twist-lock blade chuck for fast, easy blade changes
  • Rubber grip for comfort and durability
  • Variable speed trigger with switch lock-on button

I also definitely recommend you use the savings to stock up on extra special-use blades. Harbor Freight Tools stocks incredibly durable sets that require little investment and big performance:  Warrior 5-Piece 6″ Wood-Cutting Bi-Metal Reciprocating Saw Blades, ideal for cutting nail-embedded wood; Warrior 5-Piece 6″ General Purpose / Demolition Bi-Metal Reciprocating Saw Blades, this blade can be used to cut a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, pipe and drywall; Portland Saw 5-Piece 9″ Wood Cutting Bi-Metal Reciprocating Saw Blades, longer blades designed to accommodate a variety of wood-cutting operations; Portland Saw 2-Piece 8″ Diamond Grit Reciprocating Saw Blades, for cutting into the hardest materials, including cast iron, clay pipe, brick and marble. Plus, many more in our stores and on our site.

A New Polisher Outshines the Competition

New Product Alert!

Always known for finding a great solution at a better price, Harbor Freight Tools recently introduced  its new Chicago Electric Platinum 6″ Variable Speed Polisher #69924. This dual-action, random-orbit dynamo delivers the same professional mirror finish as the machines used by car dealerships and detailers– but at a fraction of what the competitors are asking for while on sale at $59.99!

The 6″ Chicago Electric Platinum polisher has six variable speed settings, a two-position side handle for optimal control, a hook-and-loop pad attachment, and powers up to 6400 OPM for supreme performance. It includes a 6″ backing pad, spindle wrench and carbon brushes.

To fully arm this bad boy for all contingencies, add a Warrior Compound/Cutting Foam Pad #60311 for applying polishing and rubbing compound for deep scratches, a Polishing Foam Pad #60309 for applying polishes and cleaners to remove swirls, marks and water spots, and a Finishing Foam Pad #60310 for the final step, applying waxes and sealants.

Destined to be a Harbor Freight Tools bestseller, the Chicago Electric Platinum 6″ dual action polisher is already getting accolades from customers:

“This was nothing short of amazing. I have been buying harbor freight for a year now. I can’t believe what I have been missing before! I was shopping for a good DA Polisher for about 3 months online and everywhere else. Out of nowhere I thought of Harbor Freight. I could not believe they had one. Unless you are willing to spend over $300 on a German-made polisher, this is the best money can buy, hands down!” NickyG- Scottsdale, AZ

“This tool is great– especially for the price! Porter Cable has this same style of tool in their line up, but it’s $129+ and the body is really big and not very comfortable to hold. I have pretty big hands and it’s still big for me. This one has a much smaller gripping area that makes it easy to hold on to. It doesn’t have forced rotation of the disc so it works more like a regular random orbit but it has a much larger orbit diameter so it cuts pretty fast when sanding. When using for polishing, it spins really nice and makes buffing out finishes really easy. I used it to restore the headlights on my car. Got some of that headlight restore compound and it worked great in conjunction with this tool and the buffing pads… Buy this tool!!!”  Ronnie Ron- Seattle, WA

“This thing rocks! Polished my motorcycle and an acrylic aquarium… looks like glass!”  Pleaser- Phoenix, AZ

“This thing took the water spots off of my truck, quick and in a hurry… this works just as good as the expensive ones for the fraction of the price!”  Paul- DeRidder, LA

You don’t have to do hard math in your head to realize you’ll be saving $100’s by staying away from the auto spas and getting professional swirl-free finishes on all your vehicles at home. Add the new heavy-duty Chicago Electric Platinum 6″ variable-speed dual-action polisher to your tool arsenal while this low price holds!

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 7 – Painting the Car

After all the hours, all the work, all the details– not to mention the social hari kari– it does the heart good to see the fruits of the labor coming together.

We’re now at the seventh installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project.

Recapping — HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s approaching the project from scratch.

Now in Part 7, Jeff has advanced to the painting stage. The primer is already on, so our designated restoration artisan turns to the Central Pneumatic 2-pc. Professional Automotive HVLP Spray Gun Kit, along with a 33 Oz. Gravity Feed Paint Cup to spray two coats of red paint and three coats of clear. After which, he color-sanded the body with dish soap & water,  1200 Grit Sandpaper, using a 4-7/8″ Soft Rubber Sanding Block to knock off the “orange peel.” Following this, Jeff buffed, using a Chicago Electric 7″ Electronic Polisher/Sander With Digital Display, and then with the waxing, delivered the classic car to an incredible mirror gloss finish!

Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need– and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!

Stay in touch: There’s still more to come!

The Multitasking Multifunction Tool

It was a really dumb procrastination. A broomstick, cut to be a patio sliding door jamb as an added security– except it was about 1/2″ too long, and for the longest time, just propped up at an angle. It was an eye sore, classic jerry-rigging in the spirit of the copper penny and chewing gum. I told my wife for weeks that I’d take care of it, but the thought of sawing that little stub off the end sounded like such a royal pain, I kept putting it off.

Of course I knew about the Chicago Electric multi-function tools. They’re some of Harbor freight Tools’ bestsellers and favorites in the toolhead community. It’s just another thing I was putting off– going out to get the tool. Ha!

There are different models to choose from, all with the same professional-quality performance:

Why buy several power tools when one incredible tool can tackle so many jobs by itself? The corded Chicago Electric Multifunction Single-Speed Power Tool is the basic weapon of choice for all the small-to-midsize cutting, scraping, sanding and sawing projects on your to-do list.  This professional quality, yet very affordable, multifunction tool powers at 21,000 oscillations per minute, putting to put some real muscle into the tough jobs. The multi-tool easily cuts through cable, air ducts, downspouts, plasterboard and pipes… sands down cement, concrete, stone, plaster, tile adhesive, paint and wood . . . it can even saw through wood up to 2″ thick! It’s the “go-to” tool for remodeling and repair jobs, as well as hobbies, tile, car repairs, even scraping freshly painted windows or old floor coverings!

 

For a little more money, you can get the same versatile tool with variable speeds— raging from 10,000 to 20,000 oscillations per minute– and including 4 multi-function attachments! The Chicago Electric Multifunction Power Tool, Variable Speed Oscillating features the same rugged die cast aluminum gear housing and sealed bearings, and with the variable power and included attachments, it becomes even more power tools-in-one!

 

Going forward, we move on to the Chicago Electric Cordless Oscillating Multifunction Tool. If there isn’t a convenient plug around, or you just like the freedom of a cordless tool, this is the ticket. With speeds up to 15,000 oscillations per minute, this cordless tool is fast and tough enough to handle the difficult jobs as well as fine detail work. Like the others, it can cut through plastic, cable, air ducts, downspouts, plasterboard and pipes. Its unique spindle and blade arbor design positively locks the blade in 7 forward positions for added versatility. Attach the sanding pad and sand down cement, concrete, stone, plaster, wood, tile adhesive and paint. This cordless multifunction tool is ideal tool for home remodeling, auto repair and a whole lot of other jobs! Be sure to get a second battery you don’t find yourself with downtime in the middle of a project.

 

 

Finally, we come to the Central Pneumatic Variable Speed Multifunction Air Model. Whether it’s a tough job or detailed work, the variable speed multifunction air tool provides the solution. A great, little tool for the hard-to-get-into areas, it’s ideal for cutting cabinets, underdoor frames, ABS pipe, for Terrazzo restoration & more. The multiple attachments make it easy to cut wood 3/8″ deep… plastic, wallboard and more, scrape away linoleum, laminate and adhesives, remove grout, sand wood or metal– the list goes on! The unique spindle and blade arbor design positively locks in 7 forward positions for added versatility. At 90 psi air pressure, it powers up to speeds of 17,000 OPM!

Whatever style you choose, you’ll find your Chicago Electric multifunction tool to be an invaluable addition to your DIY arsenal. Also, be sure to check out the collection of available attachments to accommodate any and all your mutlitool needs.

Here Comes Honey Chip Chip

Now that fall is here and winter in the not-too-distant future, death is all around us: dead leaves, dead branches, and all other sorts of recently-deceased debris– a virtual backyard apocalypse. Make disposing the remains easy on yourself with a powerful chipper/shredder or leaf eater/shredder from Harbor Freight. Choose from these high-performance models:

Quickly reduce piles of leaves and small branches into useful mulch. Mulch is a standard form of winter protection for many shallow-rooted plant, acting as insulation for the soil and plant roots. This powerful 14 amp electric chipper-shredder can handle limbs up to 1-1/2″ in diameter and its rugged polypropylene hopper won’t rust or dent. Also, it maneuvers easily through the yard on smooth-rolling 6″ wheels.

 

This gas-powered dynamo is an essential tool for landscapers or anyone cleaning up their yard. The chipper-shredder handles limbs up to 1-1/4″ thick and features a four-chipper-blade design to quickly turn limbs, twigs and small branches into mulch, perfect for flower beds and vegetable gardens. Easy on gas, tough on branches, this little chipper eats brush like it’s nothing.

 

The Godzilla of the group! Easily decimate tree branches, leaves and vines with this wide-mouthed, 11 horsepower gas-powered chipper-shredder. The wood chipper chute handles branches and vines up to 2-7/8″ in diameter while the leaf-hopper shreds leaves and grass clippings up to 3/8″ in diameter. This dynamic chipper/compost shredder features a dual-blade design with both a chipper blade and impeller blade. Even though it’s a tree-thrashing brute, it moves and maneuvers easily on smooth-rolling pneumatic tires.

 

When life hands you thousands of dead leaves, make mulch! This efficient, economical, and ecological electric shredder makes it simple to get rid of leaves by breaking them down into serviceable mulch or compost for your yard and garden. No more laborious bagging of yard waste! Choose between fine, medium and coarse shredding levels.

Shop Harbor Freight for the right heavy-duty chipper and/or shredder for your needs. As always, you’ll find great performance at incredibly low prices!

 

Welterweight Welder

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting into welding. Perhaps you’ve had a run-in  or two with a home or car repair where you thought a welder would be just the thing. Or maybe a buddy recently modded a grill or trailer, or made a cool metal rack on the cheap with his handy-dandy welder, and you thought, ‘Dang… I’d like to do something like that.” Well, join the club. But before you go out and get the coolest, top-of-the-line welder, you need to hang on and know a few things.

  • Practice

Welding–like any craft– is a skill . It takes a lot of practice to get even close to being competent. When you first take hold of that welder, for heaven’s sake, don’t use it on something you don’t want ruined. Practice on LOTS of scrap metal– preferably around the same thickness as what your first project is going to be. You should be able to find some good stuff at your local metal or welding shop. Get used to the action and the way the metal reacts. Work on avoiding “bird poops” (the unsightly metal globs you sometimes see on rough welding jobs), and start feeling comfortable with your developing “technique.” Then, use some scrap to make something you don’t care about, like a homemade grill for a fire pit or bookends out of 350 engine pistons. Only after you’ve gotten a handle on that kind of stuff should you attempt a project that does matter.

  • Start Small

You wouldn’t learn how to ride a motorcycle on a Harley Fat Boy or start target shooting with a Tac-50. The same goes with your first welder. Welding is not a low-cost activity, so before you know you it’s something you want to get into, starting smaller and cheaper is the way to go. An ideal model with which to “get your feet wet” is the popular Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder. It’s easy to set up, can weld metal up to 3/16″ thick and is perfect for small projects around the house and garage. A quick browse through the 90 amp’s customer reviews will give you an idea of what it’s capable of. Here are a few comments:

“I’m a former auto technician and have welded hundreds of times over the years using various machines. I was hesitant to purchase this item… but after doing so I am thoroughly pleased. It’s was very easy to set up. Made numerous repairs to an existing metal decorative fence. It handled the 12 ga metal without hesitation and I decided to attempt it on another project that was heavier metal. It worked flawlessly producing strong welds on 3/16 metal… Overall a great machine at a great price. I’m completely pleased!”  DennisF – Temple, TX

“Very easy and fun to use. Fabricate anything I need to my (on) trucks and machinery. Very happy!”  Landscape Designer – NJ

“Wow, this is nice. How could you go wrong with the price, well worth the money. I’m going to buy one for my boy who has never welded before. Thanks for a great product.”  Boonie – Mt. Vernon, IL

“I needed to do some light welding on my car. I figured it was either hire someone or get my own welder and teach myself. I bought this with a 25′ #12 gauge extension cord and an auto dark helmet. I had never used a welder before, I don’t even have a book except the book that came with this welder.”  Mike – Hollywood, FL

“It’s a awesome welder and works great, can’t ask for much more. I love it. I made prerunner bumpers and skid plates, also welded up a few exhausts. I even made a welding cart and welding table with welder. Overall, buy this welder and make stuff with it and sell the stuff you make well worth the money!”  T-Man – redneckville

Once you’ve mastered your 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder, you can expand to bigger projects and maybe move up to a Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder or 180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder for more power and thicker metal.

  • Safety

Obviously, the foremost thing to keep in mind about welding is safety first. Most of it is common sense, but for the sake of health and property, keep in mind that welding can be dangerous. Welders throw sparks, they can cause fire. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area you’re working in, and if you’re welding on the grass or near bushes, it’s probably a good idea to wet down the ground. Also, wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants without cuffs, and long Welders Gloves. Of course, also get yourself face and eye protection. I particularly like the Chicago Electric Auto-Darkening Helmet with Blue Flame Design.

Once you get the hang of it, working on welding projects can be a blast– for the home, the car and all kinds of hobby projects. And Harbor Freight’s got the perfect, low-cost way to start!

Truckin’ Magazine: The Ultimate Work Truck– with Harbor Freight Tools

The Ultimate Work Truck Stocks Up on Harbor Freight Tools

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:

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!

The Affordable, Rugged Pickup Truck Crane

A Central Hydraulics Pickup Truck Crane is like a smartphone (girlfriend? TiVo?): For years you’ve managed without one, but once it came into your life, you can’t imagine going on without it.

This brute lifter mounts to your truck bed– or other solid base– swivels 360 degrees and can lift up to 1,000 lbs! Lift scrap metal, firewood, motors, heavy machinery, beehives and more. It’s a favorite tool among Harbor Freight customers and, rather than me going on pitching the sucker, I’ll let them tell you how awesome it is:

“Bought it and put it in my Dodge to make it easier to load scrap… does a very good job lifting motors and scrap metal, in and out of my truck.”

How about for at the dock?

“I mounted this to the stern of my boat to lift my dingy and motor out of the water. It is perfect for this job. I also had it powder coated for corrosion.This is the best buy I’ve made in a long time. Thanks Harbor Freight.”

Or transporting heavy equipment?

“Bought this crane and mounted it to my welding trailer about two or three years ago, and about a month ago I used it for the first time to lift my engine-driven welder off the trailer. The crane works very well. Very happy with it.”

A common modification is to switch out the manual winch with an electric one, such as the Badlands 12-Volt 2,000 lb. model

“This works great on my log splitter. Put an electric winch on it and makes job much easier. Also made base for trailer to load big wood on it.”

…or adding an electric hoist, like the Best Value Chicago Electric 1,300 lb. Electric Hoist:

“I  bought this truck crane & mounted it to my 9′ deck behind my house to raise loads of firewood off the ground. Reconfigured it with an electric hoist and built 2 wooden boxes for the lift. The crane mounts through the floor near the deck railing & with the proper angle swivels out and clears the rail. My wife operates the winch from above. While I’m loading the lower box from the woodpile she’s unloading & stacking the other load to the deck woodpile. What a backsaver. Great product for the money!!!”

Whatever your load, the Central Hydraulics Pickup Truck Crane at Harbor Freight will make your life a whole lot easier.