10 Customer Reviews Of Harbor Freight Products That Might Surprise You

HFT mosaic sale pic

As is always the case, this coming weekend’s Parking Lot Sale– our January Blowout– is garnering a lot of interest, particularly from those who are looking to add to their shop and garage for the coming year. Customers will find a number of products on sale that they’re familiar with (maybe some not so much) and have already formed opinions about. However, since there’s nothing like getting it from the horse’s mouth, here are ten customer reviews for products that will be among those on sale, some of which may persuade you in ways you didn’t expect (Note: prices on the individual product pages will reflect the PLS during its run. To see PLS prices now, click on the above image):

 

tool cart 4 door black

U.S. General 26-in. 4-Drawer 580 lb. Capacity Glossy Black Roller Cart

Bought this box two years ago and work out of it almost daily. I use the heck out of this thing and it rides in the back of our box truck work truck strapped in everywhere we go. It is loaded to the max and the wheels and drawers have never failed, and I cannot believe how much stuff I can fit in this box. With four longer carriage bolts you can bolt a 2×4 wood bumper across the back just under the lid and the height elevation lines up perfectly for the lower E-track strap system inside most commercial trucks and trailers. This is a great tool box, worth five times as much in my opinion. Cant go wrong with this.”  B. Hill – Cameron Park, CA

 

motorcycle lift

Pittsburgh Motorcycle 1000 lb. Capacity Motorcycle Lift

I have own this lift for a year and love it! I lift my Harley Davidson Street Glide and Soft Tail with with no problem. Also, a couple of my friend’s Ultra Classics. I’ve used it for maintenance, and repair on my bikes. This lift has saved me a lot of cash and allows me to do all my own bike services. Not to mention all that free beer my buddies bring over to use my lift! Read all the info that comes with it. It will tell you to put hyd. oil in the lift. I’ve left bikes on it for weeks at a time and it holds firmly. Yes it’s heavy, but it works great.”  USMCVet – AZ

 

90 amp flux wire welder

Chicago Electric Welding 90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder

I have a nice Hobart MIG, but it’s heavy and requires 240V. I bought this welder for welding in areas I don’t have 240V, but since I bought it, the Hobart has barely been touched. This welder is light, works great, and could not be more convenient. I’ve had it for a year or so, and it’s been dragged to races, and probably has ten or so hours of welding on it. It hasn’t missed a beat. If it died tomorrow, I’d happily go buy another one without complaint. I’ve done a fair amount with it… made a coffee table out of wrought iron, made a pit-cart, and swapped the entire body of a Toyota Pickup onto a Mercedes. It’s gotten some use, needless to say. It lays down nice welds for flux-core, and while it probably won’t last forever, the quality is surprisingly good. Gun feels a little flimsy and can get hot, but it’s never really bothered me. It’s one of my favorite HF purchases. Also, they include a full spool of wire, which impressed me.”  Ted – Spartanburg, SC

 

welding cabinet

Chicago Electric Welding Cabinet

I own and run a busy sculptural blacksmith shop and now have 3 of these carts. I have my MIG, Tig and Plasma cutter on each cart and I use them everyday. I love the working height of these carts and that they have well-built heavy drawers for storing tools and consumables. I am very hard on my equipment and tend to overload my carts with no problems. My work are is now cleaner and more organized.This cart is mostly assembled.You have to screw on wheels,casters, handle, tanks brackets and hose hooks. This took me about 15 minutes on the first cart and maybe 10 minutes on the other two.”  Bender Dave – Maine

 

tile brick saw 10 inch

Chicago Electric 10-in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw

I am a patio installation professional, but I was working on a multifaceted concrete paver project on my own home. I wanted a low-cost saw that I could use exclusively for this purpose without slowing my crews down by borrowing their tools. One thing that I learned: this saw specifically states in the product manual that it is to be used with a CONTINUOUS RIM diamond blade, not segmented. However, I had already purchased a segmented diamond blade and it worked fine to cut my pavers.

I performed approximately 100 linear ft. of paver cuts on the first project, then another 50 linear ft. on the second project. Initially, the saw started up fine. This saw has a 15 amp draw, so make sure you size your extension cord properly as to not blow a fuse or trip a breaker. I used a 12-gauge 25′ extension cord to be safe. The pump worked great. I took special care to properly clean the pump and saw surface after each use. Plenty of power, smooth swift cuts that look great upon completion. Sliding guide plate was properly adjusted to make straight cuts, and saw arm can be used in a fixed or downward motion. Did many angled cuts. Used it on 2 3/8″ pavers and 4″ block, no problem.

In my experience a pump needs to be properly cleaned and no allowed to freeze or dry up after each use. I stored my pump in a bucket of water at room temperature between used and had no issues. Also, keep your slurry water changed regularly as to avoid it binding up your pump.

Next project planned is a tile project in bathrooms/kitchen. Most reviews say it works great. I am also planning to go ahead and buy the stand, as it will be more convenient.

I have owned and used many different wet saws during my career and one thing is for sure: these saws take a beating with brick dust, vibration, loading/unloading, etc. It’s my opinion that it’s ridiculous to invest $1k in a saw that lasts just as long as this one. I recommend this product to the novice because it’s safe if procedures are followed, and to the beginning professional who has knowledge enough to appreciate a good value on site.”  XMark – Indianapolis, IN

 

12K winch

Badlands 12000 lb. Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch with Automatic Load-Holding Brake

I just used this with the HF hitch mount receiver. I pulled my 2500HD with 8-ft plow out from being buried in heavy snow to the frame on an incline (I was pulling UP hill!). I used a winch block to gain some extra pull, but the winch and mount had NO problems moving the truck. I attempted to pull the truck with other trucks and a loader with no luck. I couldn’t believe how easy it moved. I have used other name brand winches in the past, and yes they are faster and have a longer duty cycle (which I exceeded with the HF and had no signs of motor overheating) but they do come with a HEFTY price tag that I will no longer justify. If you don’t need it or use it everyday, you can’t afford NOT to buy this. Really, it would have cost me a few hundred for a tow. Overall its great product and well worth the money.”  Sierra – CT

 

 8750-7000 watt generator
Predator 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator EPA III

I bought the generator because my uncle has this one,, and he swears by it..Sure enough this bad boy powers the house …I have the fridge ,, upright freezer,, central air,, big screen tv,,, electric water heater ,, ADT…and it runs it all.(.Dont get crazy ,, but run the essentials)..Just have an electrician wire it up 30amp style to your electric pannel , and your golden..I did load it a little heave once and it threw the breaker on the generator,, but I just pushed the button to reset and we were rolling again..Easy pull start too,, buy a battery , and it just starts with the push of a button..also buy the wheel kit,, , you will need it to move it around.”  Not-in-the-Dark, Crossville, TN

 

6.5 gas engine

 Predator 6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA

 I put this motor on my roto-tiller last year and wanted to get a full year of service before writing a review. ‘Awesome’ is the word that comes to mind. WHAT AN EASY INSTALL!!! Fell right into the mounting bolts. The motor is easy to start and control, the most dependable I have ever used. Fuel use is great and it is pretty quiet for a 6 HP motor. I am buying another just to have a spare for any other projects that come up. Thanks, Harbor Freight, for a good price on a great product!”  Garden Man – Swedesboro, NJ

 

IR Temperature Gun

Cen-Tech Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer With Laser Targeting

I bought mine years ago to monitor the oil temperature in my turkey fryer, and it worked great! Then I used it to monitor the temp of my parts while powder coating (350 – 450 degrees), and it works great for that too. On performance engines with individual exhaust runners, I use it to spot a rich or lean cylinder. If you have a Weber kettle BBQ grill, it works good to monitor the cooking temp.”  Curt – IL

 

3-in-1 jump starter

Cen-Tech 3-in-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply

I bought this in the winter of 2005, and it has been a life saver every year. I don’t know how it has lasted as long as it has, but I plug it in for recharge any time I use it and just keep it in my truck the rest of the time. I have helped dozens of other drivers along the way as well as myself at each year among the 4 cars we own. This is going on 7 years, and I just used it again this morning, and it still charges to over 14 volts, and it will still crank a 350 over and over. I plugged a USB DC outlet into the jump starter to see if i could charge my phone with it and it worked.Get one!”  chefrick – CT

Let This Shop Crane Do the Heavy Lifting…

Whether you need a general shop crane or an engine hoist for your garage, the 1 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane (Item #: 69512) gives you the power and convenience you need in a lifting tool. Easily adjustable, smoothly maneuverable, and a breeze to use, this shop crane from Harbor Freight Tools is a must-have for anyone lifting heavy equipment up to 2,000 lbs. Even if you pride yourself on your own personal strength and powerlifting abilities, no one will think less of you for having a reliable lifting tool for some occasional assistance. In fact, people will be impressed at your foresight and humility. Not to mention, your impressive frugality for spending just $179.99 on an item that retails for double that elsewhere!

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When it’s in use, this shop crane is the center of attention in any shop or garage, handling the heavy lifting with ease. Smooth-rolling double bearing casters let you get the tool into the best location for the job, no matter if it’s in the shop, the driveway, or the backyard. And when the job is done, the crane folds away for even easier storage so it’s out of the way until you need it again. But, we won’t judge you for wanting to leave this awesome shop crane out in the open, just so the neighbors can see it.

“I picked this up with an amazing price to pull the engine out of my MGB. I took it home in two boxes and put it together in less than an hour. I added a bit of extra jack oil and bled it as directed in the instructions, not sure if that was needed or not. In any case, the ram worked very well and held the engine up overnight when I needed to interrupt the project. Due to the position of the engine in the car, I needed to set the crane up at the longer, 1/4 ton position. No problems lifting the near 500lb engine and transmission combo out of the car. The legs squeezed between the front wheels and under the front spoiler, even with the rear end jacked up. I’m also very happy with how tightly this crane folds up and out of the way. It’s not a tool I’ll use every day, so it’s nice that it is easy to store without taking up too much space. This is a great product that does what it’s supposed to do at a great price!” – by Brian from Colorado

Amazing price + No problems = Very happy. Well put, Brian.

“I bought this because I had 5 very large bushes to remove from my property that were in a tight spot. I used this and Item#44847 to pop them right out of the ground after seeing a video of it online. Worked like a charm and in about 2 hours I had them all out… I was covered head to toe in dirt but it was well worth it!” – by Troyallen from Chicago, IL

That’s right. This crane isn’t just for lifting engines. There is a wide array of lifting, hoisting, and pulling jobs this crane can handle safely and efficiently. With an included ram, chain, and hook, you’ll have everything you need to get started on your own lifting jobs right away. And with this awesome item from Harbor Freight, you’ll be finished just as fast!

Pittsburgh Tubing Roller: This Is How We Roll

If you’re in the market for an economical manual tubing roller, you really should take a look at the Pittsburgh Tubing Roller (SKU #99736) from Harbor Freight. This sturdy, heavy-duty tubing roller is an absolute wonder.

It’s easy to use and includes 1, 1-1/2 and 2-inch rollers that can bend tubing anywhere from 3/4-inch to 2-inches in diameter. It even supports 3/4-inch, 1-1/4-inch and 2-inch Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) conduit sizes.  Whether your project is for work or hobby, the tubing roller works incrementally so that you can create bends as precise as necessary. An excellent tool for the price!

tubing roller

The Pittsburgh tubing roller bends it like Beckham.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller does a lot and takes up little space. It’s portable and a prize to have around the shop. It’s made for bending mild steel, copper and aluminum tubing, alike. You can use it to fabricate an exhaust, roll bars and many other projects. This is one of those fun toys when doing a cage because your tube work can follow the arc of the windshield, have a domed roof, or whatever other normal or wacky job you can think of. It also does a decent job with bike-quality bends for the serious cyclist. The roller can be bench-mounted as well on this Central Machinery Adjustable Pedestal Stand (sold separately); just make sure your workbench is solid, level and strong enough to support not only the tool itself, but your work material and any pressure applied while bending.

Here are just a few comments from owners:

Really great tool and easy to use. This took about 5 minutes or less to complete and I was going slow and easy.”  The Nettletons – Marietta, GA

“Works great. If you start rolling bigger tube such as 1 1/2″ you will get a work out but 1″ and smaller is a piece of cake but no matter what size you roll the results are amazing. Just take your time and it will turn out great. I have been using mine to build furniture and it turns out gorgeous.”  JoeBro – Undisclosed

“I am always afraid of cheap tools but this is a great tool for the price. It is a substantial piece of equipment. It comes with 3 sets of dies and works very well. I bought the flat die set as well. Makes beautiful rings in 1/4 x 1 1/2 steel.”  Robert – Undisclosed

Keep in mind this unit is designed for bending copper, aluminum and mild steel. Never try to bend plastic or PVC pipe with it. Another word of caution: Always check your minimum practical bend radius. This depends on the diameter and wall thickness of the tube you are working with. Making bends with too small of a radius will result in tube deformations like flattening, folding or rupturing. As always, practice on a piece of scrap material prior to starting your project.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller performs like much higher-priced models without bending your budget. At just $169.99, it’ll keep you rolling for years to come!

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.

image_11503

“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.

Truckin’ Magazine Review: Socket Tray Organizers

truckin 5-2013

“Ever need a 10mm socket and opened your toolbox only to find a sea of  random sockets rolling around in complete chaos?”

Uh, yeah, like every weekend! And in the May 2013 issue of Truckin’The World’s Leading Truck Publication – they tackle this very subject, pitting Harbor Freight Tools’ Pittsburgh 3 Piece SAE (#68100)  and 3 Piece Metric Socket Tray/Organizers (#68102) against the other guys.

socket organizer SAE

Pittsburgh SAE Socket Organizer

socket organizer METRIC

Pittsburgh Metric Socket Organizer

The 3-piece socket organizer fits nicely in your tool chest, and will fit most socket designs, including both regular and deep wall sockets. Holders for 1/4″, 3/8” and 1/2″ drives are also included on both the SAE and metric trays. Each 3-piece set sells for an incredibly low $7.99 and will service your needs for a lifetime!

So, what did Truckin’ magazine have to say about the Pittsburgh socket tray organizers? Good stuff, of course!

“Purchased locally from Harbor Freight, the Pittsburgh three-piece organizers were easy to read, easy to handle and accommodated a total of 168 sockets, placing it in a tie for third-highest capacity. Large impact sockets fit with no issues, the organizers feature a lifetime warranty, and both SAE and Metric sizes only put us out of pocket for $15.98– an incredible value. Overall, for weekend warriors or lifetime mechanics, the Pittsburgh socket tray/organizer is certified Truckin Tough.”

Harbor Freight customers who have already bought these trays, love them!

“I use these at home along with the metric set in my tool chest to organize my socket. The price of these is incredible when you compare it to any of the alternatives that allow you to stand up your sockets vertically. They’re built well, marked well, and do the job perfectly. Great buy!”  Big Al – Ottowa, ON

“Accomplishes the same thing as other socket trays at a much lower price. They work great in the top of a tool chest or in a deep drawer… I have several sets that I use for standard/impact, 6pt/12pt, etc. and I highly recommend them.”  Isaac – Pella, IA

“I am by no means a mechanic, but I love my tools and try to take care of them. My wife got a Habor Freight magazine and she found the above-shown socket organizers. She bought them for me and I have to say I’m very happy with the price and quality. These socket organizers are made with thicker plastic post for your sockets and the trays are more sturdy than the “high end” brands… trust me, for the price you can’t go wrong.”  Scooter – Chowchilla, CA

To read the entire “Socket Organizer Shootout” article, pick up your copy of the May 2013 Truckin’ magazine!

 

Carrying

Last Fathers Day,  I bought myself an old ’72 GMC long bed pickup. A friend of mine who runs an auto parts store told me one of his regular customers– the original owner– had to sell it because he couldn’t drive anymore. The truck was in great shape; perfect body, clean interior, bulletproof 402 cu. in. V8 with a Turbo 400 transmission. It’s my “man cave on wheels.” I put in a new stereo, gutted a dead CB radio that came with it and now hide a small .38 in it when driving cross-country. I also added a cooler with a cup holder lid as kind of a “center console.” However, the vehiclewas still missing the one thing every pre-computer-age car has got to have– a tool kit. Nothing super fancy, just something reliable and sturdy enough to deal with the off-chance mechanical mishap. So, the next time Harbor Freight had a coupon sale, I picked one up:

The Pittsburgh 105 Piece Tool Kit With 4-Drawer Chest goes above-and-beyond any other basic tool kit, for the home, auto and for the price. A dramatically thorough collection of sockets, bits, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hex keys, utility knife and more, the only things I had to add to complete the package were duct tape, galvanized wire and fuses. It also comes with a sturdy 4-drawer case, which is extremely convenient… for anyone else. I threw all my tools in a canvas bag which I tucked under the bench seat.

A lesser-known bonus: Harbor Freight Tools guarantees their hand tools for life! So if you’re the kinda guy that needs reassurance, there ya go.