The Truth About Fish Tape

Whether you’re a professional electrician or just running wiring in your own home, you’re going to need some fish tape.  Now, if you have no idea what fish tape is, then you’re not alone.  This highly versatile and useful piece of equipment is not one of the more well known tools out there.  However, even though it has a fairly specific use, it can be helpful in a few different situations.  Because when it comes to pushing wire, no tool does it better!

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Fish tape has nothing to do with fish and not much to do with tape so its name can be a bit misleading.  This non-conductive nylon tape is primarily used for pushing wire through insulation, ducts, and panel boxes for wiring, electrical applications and running cable.  With a steel leader and interchangeable eyelet, the fish tape helps push those wires and cables through tight or occupied areas to smoothly guide them to where they need to go.  And if you’re a do-it-yourselfer handling home projects or remodeling, this is an essential tool that will make a seemingly tough job much more simple.  Of course, maybe hearing from some actual customers will help:

“I have used this tool plumbing wire for electrical outlets and speaker wire installation on multiple occasions. I bought this tool after I bought my first house. That was 12 years ago and I am now in my 3rd home. Very good tool.” – Richard Smith from Puckett, MS

“Used this fish tape several times and it worked great. I’ve paid ten times as much for fish tape for use at work and this one I bought for home use. I can’t tell the difference. Worth the money.” – Rex Cannon from Parts Unknown

“Bought it to run cable for additional electrical outlet and routing ethernet cables. It works well.
I wondered whether this would be a good product for the price and was considering buying one of the same length at another popular hardware store for about 5-1/2 times the price. I decided to go with Harbor Freight and I am very happy with the performance of this tool.” – Tilla from Kansas City, MO

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If Rex Cannon can’t tell the difference between that high-priced fish tape and the more affordable version, then you know it’s high quality!  And with both 50 ft. and 100 ft. version s to choose from, Harbor Freight Tools has the perfect one for whatever project you have planned.  Like I said, if you’re a guy who likes to take care of things on his own, then you’ll definitely need some fish tape ready to go for when you need to handle a wiring job.  Don’t pay someone else to do a task that you can easily do yourself!  For just $6.99 for 50 feet or $14.99 for 100, you can be just as prepared as the professional electrician while saving money and time too!

Keep Cargo Secure with Reliable Ratcheting Tie-Downs

When you’re securing cargo or heavy loads, you want to make sure that you have reliable tie-downs that will keep your stuff safe and undamaged!  With the 4 pack of Ratcheting Tie-Downs, you can rest easy while transporting or securing just about anything.  These cargo straps adjust easily to fit the needs of the job, whether you’re tightening down a load in the bed of your truck or just storing materials for later use.  And with a quick release thumb button featured on each tie-down, they’re just as easy to remove.  Plus, the bright orange color makes these tough cargo straps easy to see, even in dim light!

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It’s no surprise that these Ratcheting Tie-Downs are so popular with Harbor Freight Tools customers.  At just $13.99 for this pack of four, the straps pay for themselves even with infrequent use.  Because you never know when you might need to secure materials, tools, or just about any cargo you might need to keep safe.  And best of all, you won’t have to worry about your cargo getting scuffed or marred thanks to the vinyl-covered S hooks!  But from the looks of these reviews by actual customers, you won’t have to worry about much when it comes to these great Ratcheting Tie-Downs:

“These straps are the best deal in town (esp. when on sale) and they work great. I’ve had mine for years and no troubles at all! Very durable and well made.” – by Jeffro from Raleigh, NC

“I am so impressed with this product I am seriously considering going back to HF in the morning to grab another pack of four. My old set had the bare metal edges and when tightened down would cut into my hand if I didn’t use gloves. I especially like the plastic handles on these to remedy that situation. Great product for the price.” – by BeninChesapeake from Virginia

“I used these to secure a 16′ fiberglass canoe to the top of my minivan. I drove fine down the interstate at 70mph with no problems. I have secured several things on my vehicle for transporting and never experiences any of the issues reported with bending clips, etc. Frankly for the value, they are worth it.” – by Jeff from St. Charles, MO

Don’t transport cargo or equipment again without these reliable Ratcheting Tie-Downs!  With these in your truck bed or tool kit, you’ll always be prepared to strapping down an unwieldy load.  But with the included low cost, you won’t find yourself strapped for cash!  Pick up a set at your local Harbor Freight store today and keep just about any load safe and secure.

Get Pumped with Quality Motorcycle Lifts

Even when treated with the utmost care and attention, all motorcycles will eventually need repair. This is where having a motorcycle lift comes in handy, especially for the dye-in-the-wool wrenchers and DIYers. Whether performing an overhaul or just fitting new motorcycle accessories onto your baby, a motorcycle lift jack is a wise addition to your battery of motorcycle tools. Although some routine maintenance can be done with your motorcycle leaning its side stand, any serious work usually requires the bike to be lifted up.

Even dirt bikes that come with a center stand can be more conveniently serviced when using a good motorcycle lift jack. When servicing large bikes, a motorcycle lift jack is an absolute must. With all the options out there, just how do you choose the right motorcycle lift for you?

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When it comes to finding the right motorcycle lift jack for you and your motorcycle, Harbor Freight Tools offers select choices that can meet your needs. The Pittsburgh 1,000 lb. Capacity Motorcycle Lift (#68892) has a foot-operated pump that allows you to easily lift your motorcycles or small RV hands-free. Made of of diamond plate steel, it easily lifts up to a 1/2 ton! Features include retractable casters for easy movement around your garage floor, a 7″ wide tire stop and an integrated leg-lock for safe operation making this motorcycle lift ideal for any biker or motorcycle mechanic that needs to tune-up their ride.

 

Lightweight Aluminum Motorcycle Lift from Harbor Freight

For those looking for a motorcycle lift that is easier to transport, check out the Lightweight Aluminum Motorcycle Lift ( Item #60636). This model weighs a mere 46 pounds, but has the same 1500 pound maximum lift capacity of its heavier cousin. Its extra-wide base offers a stable foundation. It even includes rubber grip pads which will help protect your beloved motorcycle’s frame.

 

High Position Motorcycle Lift from Harbor Freight

For some motorcycle enthusiasts, ground clearance is more important than maximum capacity or lift weight. This is where the High Position Motorcycle Lift (Item #99887) comes into play. This motorcycle lift weighs a hefty 140 pounds, but for a good reason: it can lift your bike anywhere from 2.6 to 30 inches off the ground! You can easily work on your bike both safely and conveniently with such ample clearance. Although it supports a maximum capacity of 1100 pounds, it more than makes up for the lower capacity in convenience. For those that hate laying down on the ground to service their bikes, this is the right choice for you. With such a high clearance, you can even sit in a chair to perform a simple oil change. With its placement wheels, included safety pin, and tie-down straps, this is one of our most popular motorcycle lift jacks. For those that hate laying down on the ground, this High Position Motorcycle Lift is the right choice for you.

Check out these and all our other motorcycle lifts!

As with servicing any vehicle, safety is a priority not to be taken lightly. All of these jacks are hydraulically operated and are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 90 days from the date of purchase. Regardless of which model you choose, rest assured that you will have no regrets when it comes to making a motorcycle lift your next tool purchase. You may even have to purchase two to keep your riding buddies from “borrowing” yours permanently!

 

Pittsburgh Auto Aluminum Racing Jack: Off-Road’s Tool of the Month

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In the April, 2014 issue of Off-Road magazine, staff writer Jay Kopycinski declared the Pittsburgh Automotive line of aluminum racing jacks the Tool of the Month! Jay chose to demonstrate with the 2-Ton model (SKU #68051) because, as he put it:

“Its size seems perfect for most off-road trucks running larger tires.”

It’s no wonder that this high-performance jack would receive such lofty accolades. It practically pays for itself in no time! Use it to install tires on a truck, replace tire rods on a wagon, do brake jobs, replace shocks on an SUV, etc. With its high-quality construction, the jack easily lifts cars, trucks and vans– and it’s far easier to maneuver than a steel floor jack of the same load rating. Take it with you on the road when pulling travel trailers and 5th wheels; it can take it! You’ll enjoy its relatively light weight– and its extremely light price of just $159.99!

Just read what this NASCAR mechanic had to say:

“I work,,in and out of different NASCAR shops rebuilding suspensions and designing them.All of the shops that I’m connected with have at least 15 to 20 of these jacks for “in the shop work”,not so much at the tracks because of the weight,,but in the shops they can’t be beat.Please ignore any of the negative reviews from the DIY’s,,these jacks are the best you can buy for the money.The jacks we use at the tracks are very good,,but extremely expensive,,but these Harbor Freight jacks have been perfect for the shops.They perform and hold up,,just as good,,if not better than a lot of the really expensive ones.We have yet to have one bleed down or pop,,when in use,,and believe me,,they get used.”  A.R.T.S – Atlanta, GA

The Pittsburgh Automotive 2-Ton Aluminum Racing Jack is available at both Harbor Freight Tools brick-n’-mortar stores and online.

A High Quality Racing Jack without the Jacked Up Price

Need to get under your vehicle but aren’t a genetically modified super human capable of lifting heavy items with one hand?  Well then look no further than the 1.5 Ton Aluminum Racing Jack from Harbor Freight Tools!  Singled out as “the undisputed king of the garage” by Four Wheeler magazine, the lightweight and compact floor jack lives up to its stellar reputation at a price that floors the competition.  With this workhorse jack in your arsenal, it’s the perfect way to lift up to 3,000 lbs. with just 3-1/2 pumps without putting any undue strain on your back.  At least until those genetic modifications become legal.

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“I have an older version of this jack. It is so easy to use that, even with my medical problems, I can still work on my cars. It fits under my Chevy Citation, and Chrysler New Yorker, but it has the power to lift our Mercury Villager easily! It raises the vehicle up high. When my cheap jack was stolen from under my van, I bought one of these, and I have never regretted it, even with the new lower price!” – Gary from San Diego, Ca

“I fell in love with this jack after my wife bought it for me. It’s the first jack I’ve owned where I felt I had complete control of the jack going down.  It is the main reason I like it and it’s easy on my bad back.” – Bob from Aiken, Co

“The jack worked well right out of the box. I didn’t have to bleed or adjust anything. The valve works well, the car can be lowered as abruptly or gradually as you want. I’ve used the jack for a year so far with no tricks or surprises. An excellent tool.” – Rantbot from Boston, Ma

Look, you don’t have to have a bad back to take full advantage of the awesome aluminum racing jack.  I don’t even think cyborgs like Rantbot have backs.  But for quick and easy lifting, you can’t go wrong with this tough, portable jack.  Well… I guess you can if you try to lift more than 3,000 lbs.  So, be sure to follow those instructions.  I know the guy who writes them and he spends a lot of time making sure they’re correct so don’t feel the need to test them.  We do that here.

Vertical Jump – The Central Pneumatic 2HP, 29 Gal, 125 PSI Cast Iron Vertical Air Compressor

Get the boost you need to fully power your pneumatic tools and equipment! The Central Pneumatic 2HP, 29-gal. Vertical Air Compressor (#69865) allows up to 125 PSI of air at your control. Features include an easy-access handle, smooth rolling wheels and a fully-shrouded pump and motor for protection. Woodworking, sand blasting and metalworking shops– or anywhere where pneumatic tools are used– can benefit from this powerful air compressor! Out of the box, the cast iron vertical air compressor comes with:
  • An oil-lubricated pump for reliable performance
  • Twin capacitor motor for easy start-up
  • Adjustable handle and semi-pneumatic tires for easy maneuvering
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Dual pressure gauges and a built-in quick coupler

Here’s what a couple of happy owners of the air compressor have to say:

 “I’m using this for sandblasting small items and for normal home use. It can supply a steady 60 pounds of pressure indefinitely, and obviously a lot more for brief periods of time. The compressor is relatively quiet. It takes about 2 minutes to fill up and shut off. The tank seems to hold its full pressure indefinitely, and is ready to use anytime. After a month of use, it seems like a good quality product.”  newshirt – Colorado Springs, CO
“I find uses for it EVERY DAY. Blowing up balls, handheld palm & air nailers,staplers, impact wrenches… blowing off sawdust & ? after weed eating, cooling off, too! EASY to move, inside if it’s cold out for easier starting, it won’t trip breakers OR blow fuses that way! DARN good value for the money! H-F stands behind their products!”  Ugly Gene – Pinee Bush, NY
This sturdy, capable vertical air compressor, priced at the incredibly low $357.99,  is currently available only at Harbor Freight Tools  brick n’ mortar stores. Pick one up for your shop and never worry about having enough power again.

Save Space and Add Convenience with the Retractable Hose Reel

Sometimes a tool simply adds convenience to your garage or shop, or has a space-saving feature that gives you more room to work in and to store your stuff.  And sometimes there’s an item like the Retractable Hose Reel with 50 Ft. Air/Water Hose that does both!  With this handy steel hose reel mounted in your work area, you’ll have instant access to your water or air hose and, when it’s not in use, it’s out of the way and neatly stored.  This not only frees up space but keeps the hose off the floor where it essentially becomes a tripping hazard.  With all of these benefits and an $89.99 price tag, you can’t afford to pass this incredible item up!  And if that still doesn’t reel you in, check out what actual customers think:

“No complaints. Works as advertised. Very solidly built. You may need an extra set of hands to mount it because it’s pretty heavy. No more air hoses to trip over. Makes things a lot easier.” – Dan from Jacksonville, FL

“I have used this for about 4 months in the shop daily for air, my pressure is 145psi. This unit always locks, always draws up nice, and does not leak. I am very happy with it and glad I bought it.” – Nathan from Elk River, MN

“I bought 2 of these. One for the shop and one for home. I have a 150psi air compressor and no problems with the hose or anything else. This was worth every cent and if you’re looking for a hose reel this is the one!!!!!” – Kevin Steele from North Jersey, NJ

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I would expect no fewer than four exclamation points from someone named Kevin Steele from New Jersey and Kevin doesn’t disappoint with a solid five.  And much like Mr. Steele, the awesome Retractable Hose Reel from Harbor Freight Tools won’t disappoint either!(!!!!) Use the included 50 foot, 3/8” diameter hose anytime you need it and, when you’re done, it retracts smoothly and effortlessly with a spring-loaded release so you can move right on to the next stage of your project.  Just mount the reel to your wall, floor, or ceiling and get to work!…!!!!

Versatile and Comfortable: Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set

Tired of working tired?  Well, be tired no longer with the 4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set from Harbor Freight Tools!  That’s right, Anti-Fatigue.  These mats hate fatigue just as much as you do and they’re specifically designed to keep your feet comfortable even while standing for long periods of time!  But these mats aren’t just anti-fatigue.  They’re anti-slipping, waterproof, and impact absorbent!   It’s almost like these mats were specially made for hard-working individuals like yourself…  For additional insight, here’s what some other hard-working individuals had to say about these easy-to-use mats:

“Started with one set in front of the new workbench, also purchased at HF. After feeling the softness and comfort, we decided to get more and eventually covered the entire basement floor. Now when going down the basement to get something, we can even go barefoot. Great product. Keeps dry and very comfortable.” – Mike from Monroe, CT

“I bought my first set of these to use in front of my workbenches but I keep buying more as various needs arise.  I also found myself dragging these out to the driveway to work under the cars as they separate me from the concrete and require less vehicle height than a creeper. My wife bought a set of these to dampen the vibration from her “Total Gym” that sat directly on a hard wood floor and they worked out perfectly. These mats are great for reducing foot and ankle fatigue while working at the bench, but even better, separate my feet from the ice cold concrete floor in the winter time. These are so handy and inexpensive I keep extra sets around so I don’t have to relocate those that are in designated work areas.” – EvilSteve from Warren, MI

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You see, even supervillains like EvilSteve love these mats and those guys hate everything!  But, I guess supervillains get fatigued too, what with all the evildoing.  So, it only goes to show how diverse and versatile these mats really are.  And at just $9.99 per four-piece set, these mats go easy on your tool budget too.  Add safety and comfort to your work area with this fantastic mat set!

Chicago Electric 4-1/2″ Angle Grinder – Not the Usual Daily Grind

At $19 you wouldn’t expect much performance out of an angle grinder. Nowadays, 19 bucks barely covers two people at McDonald’s… but a heavy-duty angle grinder? Next you’re going to say I can make hundreds of thousands of dollars at home in my pajamas, or that there can never be too many PC “inspirational” quotes on Facebook.

But the truth is, the Chicago Electric Heavy-Duty 4-1/2″ Angle Grinder DOES perform– with a vengeance— and can tackle tough metal cutting, shaping and slag removal-jobs with the efficiency of a grinder five times the cost. A valuable tool for the professional metal worker or hobbyist. That’s not just me talking– or the Harbor Freight marketing mucky mucks– that’s coming from the customers who bought it:

” Well worth the money, and a fraction of the cost of something similar from a box store… and CONSIDER getting an extra grinder. It’s a hassle switching back and forth between wheels, and these are cheap enough you can have two on hand with different wheels. (And you’ll *still* come in cheaper than getting one from a box store!)”  goodeknight – Chesapeake, VA

“LET ME TELL YOU…. I have now owed this cheap-O thing for 2 months shy of 5 yrs, and besides fading from leaving out in the sun and some paint splatter, it’s been going strong. Pretty much the same as day one. I still do the same things I did before as when I was using the Makita, however I have added using it for cutting bricks, and sanding custom formed concrete boulders adding sharp angles that I make for water features.”  Scott – Queen Creek, AZ

“This angle grinder is a great deal for the price, it works fine, put some quality grease in it and allow to cool properly, it will serve you well, its already paid for itself many times over.”  buffington – Redondo Beach, CA

“I started a car project that required paint stripping, approximately 3 coats of old paint required removal. I slapped a GatorGrit paint removal wheel on this cheap little grinder, and to my surprise, this thing kicks b***.  I removed all the paint from my car in no time! If you get name brand grinder discs and paint removal wheels, the grinder rarely bogs down… it has handled everything I have thrown at it; tiles, metal, paint removal, blade sharpening, etc… Love it for the price, and will buy another when this one dies. So far it’s still kicking!”  Tony – Undisclosed

Check out the powerful, smooth-running Chicago Electric 4-1/2″ angle grinder for yourself. At just $21.99 (or $17.59 with your Harbor Freight 20% Off Coupon!), it may turn out to be the best deal you ever made on a power tool.

It’s a Nice Day for a Wire Welding

Been thinking about getting into welding this year? Maybe you’ve had a run-in  or two with a repair job where you thought a welder would be just the ticket. 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 first need to understand 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 Desert Eagle .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, start smaller and cheaper. 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

“I run this welder for tons of different jobs. Its best for minor projects, although I have put mine to the test. I was on a budget so I bought this welder to get me from town to town for on-the-move jobs. I worked 12-hour days for about a month-and-a-half, the welder was in use for 6-8 hours most of the time. It ran great, ran beautiful beads with lincoln wire and never quit on me. I use it strictly on tubing as I build fences and doors, but with a little practice you can get good heat control on thin metals, and good penetration on thicker materials. Those that say u cant run nice beads with flux core are liars. I can run beads just as nice as my lincoln mig welders. Get some good wire and practice, practice, practice. Great little shop welder, perfect little learners welder!  Garcia Welding – New Mexico

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!