Miter Saw Tips For Beginners

miter saw glam shot

You recently started woodworking and totally love it. Now you’re ready to take your mad DIY skillz to the next level? Well, the miter saw is an awesome tool to have in your workshop arsenal. This is the go-to tool cuts for crown molding, picture frames, door frames, window casings, decks, furniture, flooring  — and that’s just a fraction of what it can do. When asked what their favorite tool in the shop is, a lot of folks say, “My miter saw! I love it!”

miter saw angle

The miter saw is designed to cut different kinds of angles.  If a board is flat on saw’s base, the cut across the wide part is called a miter. Hold the board vertical and set it against the saw’s fence,  you’re cutting a bevel. Most saws cut from 90 to 45-degrees, but some can cut even steeper angles, up to 55 degrees.

miter saw 10 non slide

Before you go to the store, know this: miter saws are NOT created equal. There are three types of miter saws on the market: miter saw, compound miter saw, and sliding compound miter saw. A compound miter can cut a bevel and a miter at the same time. It’s great for cutting things like crown molding. A sliding compound miter cuts multi-angles like a compound miter, but also has a sliding action that lets you cut even wider boards.

miter saw cutting angle

Miter saws also come in two sizes, 10″ and 12″, based on the diameter of the blade. The size you get depends on the work you anticipate doing, but know that the 12″ blade is able to cut thicker and wider than the 10″. For example, a 10″ miter saw will cut a 2×6 at 90 degrees and a 2×4 at 45-degrees, while the 12″ can cut a 2×8 at 90 degrees and a 2×6 at 45 degrees. A laser marker feature is also nice! So, before you lay down your money, think carefully about all the things you might use it for. It also stands to reason that a 12″ sliding compound miter saw will cost more than a 10″ compound.

Miter saws can take your DIY skills to the next level, but it’s important to make sure you follow some basic safety tips before starting your cuts.

miter saw CU laser

Before You Cut! Safety Tips:

  • Before the switch is thrown; safety glasses, ear buds, gloves, dust mask!
  • Remove all distractions (kids, pets).
  • Remove scraps and other foreign objects from the machine before operating; also remove loose chips along the way, after the blade stops.
  • Keep a firm grip on the saw handle and on the work piece; make sure it is firmly up against the table and fence before cutting.
  • Anticipate flying pieces– getting startled with a spinning blade in front of you could be bad.
  • Never work with a dull blade.
  • Don’t operate a saw without a blade guard.
  • Never leave the machine until the blade comes to a full stop.
  • When the board is cut all the way, release the trigger and allow the blade to come to a complete stop, then raise the blade. If the blade is still spinning when you lift, there is more apt to be flying pieces.
  • Never start the saw when the blade is touching the wood; allow it to be at full speed before cutting.
  • Never put your body in the path of the blade (sure, you say “duh” now); never let your arms cross while cutting.
  • If the piece you’re working with is short, use clamps; don’t get your hands too close to the blade, stay at least 6″ away.
  • Make sure your work piece is supported before cutting. More than half the length should be resting on the saw. You need to focus on your cut, not balancing the wood.
  • Go slow when cutting knots; they can break up and shoot pieces.
  • Make sure you’re not cutting through metal (nails and staples).

And if that weren’t enough, here are some more tips in FineWoodworking.com’s Miter Saw Safety Manual.

miter saw handyman

Tips On Operating a Miter Saw

  • When working with small pieces of wood, cut with a chopping motion; when cutting a large piece, slide blade out, cut down and push back in.
  • When marking your board, draw the line all the way across the stock, then drop the blade to the wood to check your alignment. Adjust the piece as needed before cutting.
  • Go slow with bevel cuts, especially if you’re chopping with the blade as opposed to sliding.
  • When first cutting your miter cuts, purposely cut slightly long and just a little at a time so you can readjust as you go. If you try to get right on the line, chances are good you’ll cut short.
  • Always cut the factory end from a board before measuring for your final cut. This ensures better fitting parts.
  • Let the saw do the work; don’t force the blade through the wood.
  • More teeth means better quality cuts: Use a blade with more than 50 teeth for construction cuts, and with more than 90 teeth for fine cuts. For treated lumber, use a lower tooth count, even for fine cuts; the open spaces between the teeth clear the debris and puts less strain on the saw’s motor.
  • If possible, cut one angle end of a part first, then mark the cut on the opposite end after you test fit the first cut.
  • When making repetitive cuts, set up a stop block. For long boards, set the stop up next to the saw. For short cuts,draw a line on the saw. Use masking tape and a pencil to make the line. Then remove the tape when done. This is much more accurate and efficient than individually measuring each part.
  • To speed up the cuts and increase their accuracy, cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood the height of the fence and the length of the saw. Attach it to the fence on both sides of the blade with double-face carpet tape. Then make a cut through the plywood. This will show you exactly where the saw blade will cut. Then move your marked board up to the edge of the cut for a perfect result.

As this is a serious purchase for a serious tool, I encourage you to surf operational videos, blogs and forums to get a well-rounded understanding of miter saws. When you’re ready to pull the trigger and shop for yours, be sure to make your first stop Harbor Freight Tools. They have all types and sizes of saws, safety gear, blades, stands and more!

2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide

fathers day 2015

When you think of the best parts of your childhood, Dad is indelibly among them. The smell of his after shave and brush of his stubble. The excitement of his coming home and throwing you in the air. The weird songs he chose to sing along to when driving or working in the garage (“Love is a burning thing…“). Yup, Dad is a large part of our favorite memories, so of course we somehow want to convey that to him come Father’s Day. And since he still likes to tinker in his garage, work on his car and stay busy, here are ten excellent suggestions from Harbor Freight Tools on what to get him.

 

3 ton steel jack low profile

This best-selling 3-ton low-profile steel jack can fit in small spaces and lift big things– and it makes the job easier, ’cause it gets the vehicle up, fast and high. Embodied with strength and durability, the heavy-duty jack rolls and maneuvers easily on concrete with its wide steel wheels, and is long enough to get way under the vehicle. A winner for anyone looking for a “heavy” jack!

 

13 drawer tool cabinet

For the man who has everything… something to put it in! Finally, Dad can consolidate his multiple toolboxes into this one durable, spacious cabinet. Made of heavy-duty industrial-strength steel, this baby can hold over 2,500 lbs. of tools and roll around the garage to assist him with whatever job he’s got cooking. You’d spend hundreds more elsewhere to get the same lifelong service this favorite tool cabinet will provide.

 

12000 winch FB

If Dad’s the kind of guy who boldly goes where no man (in their right mind) has gone before, then our Badlands 12K electric winch is the ticket. Built to be tortured and come back for more, this winch will emancipate stuck vehicles, haul downed trees and load boats. Rain? Snow? Mud? Please. Throw in the Wireless Winch Remote #61474 and Dad can Snapchat his adventures while the winch does all the work!

 

90 amp flux wire welder 61849

If you’ve noticed that, from time to time, Dad’s been in need of a welder– or if he’s expressed interest to get into welding– here is the perfect unit to get him equipped, With our best-selling 90 amp flux core welder, you get the functionality of a MIG welder without the hassle of gas. Set-up and operation are way easy, and the performance is awesome! Dad will find out soon enough how invaluable this welder is, for small repairs and in the garage. Pick up one of our Auto-Darkening Helmets #61611 while you’re at it.

3 gallon pancake compressor 61615

While the old man’s still got plenty of hot air to spare, why not make life easier for him by having one of these handy, reliable units in the garage? This 3-gallon oilless air compressor is a mighty mite for inflation, stapling, nailing, sanding, buffing, spray painting and all kinds of small pneumatic projects around the house. It takes very little space and tucks out of the way until it’s needed again. A nice addition in any home, shop or garage.

 

ladder 67646

With the ability to set up in 23 different configurations, our multi-task ladder will perform for Dad like a boss, whatever his chore. Made of super-strong aircraft-grade aluminum,  this unit can transform into 4 kinds of step ladders, 6 kinds of stair ladders, 7 types of extension ladders, 2 kinds of scaffold trestles and 4 sizes of storage ladder. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’ll make him a sandwich, but don’t quote us. As the title suggests, our multi-task ladder stretches out to 17 ft. and can easily sustain 300 lbs. And, it sells for much less than the leading competitors! (*in stores only)

 

10-inch miter saw 61971

This 10″ sliding compound miter saw will easily make a home in your Dad’s shop. For it’s size and price, he will be pleasantly surprised at how big a cut it makes. Great for plywood, baseboards, trim, molding, flooring– and with the switch of a blade, can also cut masonry and metal. With its robust 15 amp motor this power saw delivers precision cross, bevel and miter cuts. A great deal and a handy addition for Dad.

 

reciprocating saw 62370

Here’s the tool Dad will grab whenever he announces, “Stand back, Junior, and prepare to be dazzled!” Our 6″ reciprocating saw is a top-rated workhorse that cuts through heavy lumber, nails, siding, branches and roots, exhaust pipe, etc., like butter. This is the go-to tool for remodeling kitchens, tearing down porches and removing a door or window. One of the features he’ll really like is how he can control direction, making it easy to get around tricky areas. The reciprocating saw could easily become his favorite tool in the garage.

 

motorcycle lift 1000 lb cropped

If Dad’s a “Wild Hog,” here’s the item on the type of every rider’s wish list. With our motorcycle lift, he can wrench and clean his bike with ease, saving his back and knees,  and making it a lot less effort to get up for another tool. With just a pump of the foot, he can lift his bike to a comfortable level, safe and secure on the stand. This motorcycle life is strong, rugged and could easily be employed for commercial use. Throw in a couple of our Magnetic Bowls, and the old man will be in hog heaven!

 

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Speaking of wrenching, may we suggest Harbor Freight’s most complete, end-all mechanic’s tool kit. At a fraction of the cost competitors’ similar sets, this professional mechanic’s tool set contains a comprehensive collection of the most-used automotive and mechanic’s tools in both SAE and metric sizes.  It’s got everything organized and clearly labeled so he won’t waste time zeroing in on the right tool or right size. Dad will not only be excited about the performance of these tools, he’ll be happy to see how many different kinds are all together in one box. As one customer put it, “Hands down, the best tool set for the money!”

Whatever you think your dad might like, chances are good you’ll find it at Harbor Freight Tools— and because of the low prices there, you’ll be able to get something really nice and look like a champ (not that you’ll ever be the champ Dad is).

 

 

 

 

Gettin’ Jiggy with the Pocket Hole Jig Kit

You may not have ever heard of this particular tool but if you have furniture in your home, it was probably constructed with a Pocket Jig! And no, a Pocket Jig is not an Irish dance. It’s a useful item that allows you to make frames and rock-solid joints in wood. And the Portable Pocket Hole Jig Kit (Item #: 96264) from Harbor Freight is easy-to-use, portable version that will keep your tool budget strong as well! At just $67.99, this is the perfect pocket jig for occasional jobs yet it still holds up to frequent use.

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Sure there are other ways to attach two boards together, but with the Pocket Hole Jig Kit, there’s no messy glue to worry about and no wait time! Just drill the hole to your desired depth, insert the fastener, and you’re set. Whether you’re building furniture, creating cabinet frames, or simply need to join two pieces of wood securely, you won’t find an easier way to do it than with this Portable Pocket Hole Jig Kit.

“Very impressed with this tool. I love that it is made of aluminum unlike some others of its kind that are made of plastic. This jig makes joinery very easy and simple. I used it to join boards to make a table top out of 2×6’s. It feels very solid and well built. Good job HF.” – by Martz from Phoenix, AZ

“The Pocket Hole Jig is extremely easy to use. This kit drills pocket holes in materials from 1/2″ thick to 1-1/2″ thick with its two position hole guides. As a bonus you also get an easy to use portable guide plate. This works just as well as my other unit for a much better price. This one of HF’s gems.” – by GW from Jacksonville, FL

“I have a few projects lined up that would benefit from making pocket holes rather than drilling straight through. This jig was definitely worth the money, especially after using a super coupon. I love the portable base that allows you to remove the guides from the mountable base so you can make pocket holes in items that may not fit otherwise. You won’t regret buying this jig!” – by Mil from Philadelphia, PA

Drill holes into a range of material thicknesses with maximum precision! With this pocket hole jog kit in your possession, you’ll never be at a loss again when it comes to joining wooden work pieces confidently. With the kit, you also receive drill guide blocks, an L base, a 3/8” step bit with depth collar,  100 self-tapping screws and hex wrenches. Everything you need to start your next project today!

Multiple Functions, One Powerful Tool

Webster’s Dictionary defines “function” as ‘the purpose for which something is designed or exists.” Actually, that’s one of 9 definitions but it’s the only one we’re concerned with in this case. Because it illustrates what the Multifunction Power Tool (Item #: 68861) from Harbor Freight Tools really does: a whole bunch of cool stuff. Multiple functions means this workhorse of a power tool is designed for handling several tasks, making it one of the most important tools in your arsenal.

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The multifunction power tool puts the power of an entire toolkit into the palm of your hand with easily interchangeable attachments for each different job. From buffing to cutting, and everything in between, the Chicago Electric multi-tool is a handyman’s dream. The low vibration and ergonomic handle make it both easy and comfortable to use, no matter the application. Hobbyists will love the sanding attachment that will smooth wood, tile, plaster and more for an even professional-looking surface while woodworkers will appreciate the saw feature which cuts through wood up to two inches thick! And of course, the innovative do-it-yourselfer will find a variety of ways to employ the tool whether it’s slicing through plasterboard and pipes or scraping away paint from old floorboards. Whatever task you have at hand, the multifunction power tool likely has an attachment that will make your project go faster and easier!

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“I do outdoor power equipment repairs and this tool has really made it easier for me. Whether sanding odd shapes or cutting materials, it does what I need! I’m finding more uses for it each time I use it.” – by JD from Austin, AK

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“This is my go-to power tool for small jobs. I have not had any problems with it and it is a great time saver. I recommend this tool for wood, plastics, and light metals.” – by Down South Scrapper from Palestine, TX

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“I bought one of these to grind the grout out of tiles in my first house (it needed a lot of work). That was three years ago, and since then I’ve used this tool to cut wood, grind metal, scrape grout, and sand everything that I could find. I feel that I’ve put it through its paces and it is still going strong.” – by At home armorer from Salt Lake City, UT

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Everyone loves this tool! Armorers, scrappers, guys named JD! You may purchase this multitool for one job but you’ll find yourself using it for countless others down the road. But you only pay $19.99 for this versatile tool and that’s a price you’ll only find at Harbor Freight.

What? You want a multifunction power tool with more versatility and functionality? Well, alright then. How about the Variable Speed Oscillating Multifunction Power Tool (Item #: 67537)? You get the same variety of attachments and functions but with this handy multitool, you also have the ability to vary the speed for jobs requiring more precision like sanding or shaping different materials.

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This model is priced at $39.99 which is still a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere. Just ask these satisfied customers:

“I have used the tool for cutting and shaping wood, drywall and metal. It cuts through anything with no problem consistently, and for less than half price of the overpriced major brands. Definitely a good tool which I would buy again. Well done, HF.” – by Springtucky Monkey from Tampa, FL

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“I bought this to sand an area so I could repaint my windows. Then I noticed the scrapping attachment. I thought the caulk on the windows needs to be redone as well. I tried to scrape off the caulk manually for an hour and got a quarter of the caulk removed. It was going to take forever. Then I tried the attachment and ten minutes later the entire window had all the caulk removed! Simply an awesome tool!” – by ike1969 from Glen Ellyn, IL

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“I had a Dremel multi-tool which died on me after a few years of light use. I was searching for a replacement and considered another $100 one. But then I saw this one. So I figured for the price, I’d give it a try and purchased the extended warranty because I can be a bit rough on my tools. And really, how good could it be at this price? Well, I used it many times during a lengthy involved renovation. This is one heavy duty tool! My helper found this to be his favorite tool and ran out and bought one too. My only regret is purchasing the extended warranty. It’s tough to kill this thing. I’m VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE QUALITY OF THIS TOOL. Even if it broke tomorrow, I would have no regrets.” – by Bill Mac from Woburn, MA

I think the all caps speak for themselves in this review. Workers everywhere are truly impressed with the power, precision, and performance of this amazingly versatile tool. With over 30 attachments to handle cutting, grinding, sanding, scraping and more you’ll fly through that check-list of home repairs in no time! But once you’re done with those, you’ll find even more jobs for this durable item, so don’t wait. Get down to your local Harbor Freight store today and pick up the one tool that replaces all other tools: the Multifunction Power Tool.

 

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

ratcheting tie downs

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!

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.

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.

One Tool to Rule Them All

If there’s one tool to have in your shop, it’s the Variable Speed Oscillating Multifunction Power Tool from Harbor Freight.  Because of its functionality and versatility, it’s actually like having an entire toolbox in one handy unit!  It can perform a wide range of jobs on a number of different materials quickly and efficiently, so all you need to worry about is affixing the proper attachment for the job.  And even that’s a piece of cake thanks to the included hex wrench!  Everything about this tool is designed to make your work easier while providing the same professional results you’re used to.  Just take a look at some reviews from a few satisfied customers…

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“This tool is great! I am remodeling a house and have been removing vinyl flooring. This thing takes up the sticky flooring like a hot knife through butter. I tried taking up the flooring before and it just was not going to happen. This tool sure made my work easy. Thank you Harbor Freight for this excellent tool at a great price!” – S from Ashland, KY

“Just completed a subfloor replacement job. This tool was excellent for cutting the subfloor out in hard to reach places like under toekicks on the cabinets. Easily worth its asking price. The plastic case is also well made and great for organizing the tool and blades. I highly recommend this tool!” – Andy from Weaverville, Ca

“We bought this tool for use in our home improvements company. I got by for many years without one but one day we had a job that just seemed like there was no real way to do it without this type of tool. To my amazement, this tool performed the job so easily that what had looked like a grueling task had actually become a pleasure. Since buying this tool, I have used it for such jobs as undercutting a door frame for laminate floor installs, plunge cutting into oak hardwood flooring and sub flooring, removing old grout, and much more. It has paid for itself time and time again. Overall, this is an excellent tool and when, if ever, it finally dies then it will be replaced with the same brand and model again.” – JDR from Flatwoods, KY

 

The Multifunction Power Tool is so functional, it even (indirectly) provides lengthy positive reviews, which makes MY job easier too!  As you can see, this tool can handle just about any task you set it to.  And with an ergonomic grip, you can do it in comfort as well.  Whether it’s powering through grout, cutting tough nails, or sanding rough surfaces, this amazing tool is ideal for everyone from the do-it-yourselfer to the professional contractor!

Harbor Freight’s Hot for Teacher

revolving tray

In Thailand,  students honor their teachers with extravagant flower arrangements and traditional dance performances.  In South Korea, teachers get carnations from students and former students, alike. In Estonia-, where my dad’s family comes from, the students give their teachers the day off and teach each other (I’m sure, given the chance, American kids would make every day Estonian Teachers Day).

But in the US we have no rituals or ceremonies for National Teacher Appreciation Day, and if you ask me, that stinks. Some of my teachers were my greatest cheerleaders, extended parents and even friends.

So, allow me to make a suggestion. Take a trip to Harbor Freight Tools and pick out something for your kid’s teacher, letting them know how much you AND your kid really appreciate them. If the teacher’s female, the 12″ Revolving Four Tray Bin is the perfect choice. This fun, spinning bin gives plenty of storage without taking up much room, so it’s perfect for a teacher with lots of doodads and limited space! Each tray contains divided storage spaces to hold stuff like scissors, paper clips, erasers, white-out bottles, etc. Or, if she’s into doing crafts or scrapbooking in her spare time, she’ll REALLY love it! The tray stands 18” high and features ball bearing glide and a tough black enamel finish. At just $19.99, you’re not going to find a better gift for the money.

If you want to add a personal touch, try the idea posted by Jennifer Ciriano, where she wrapped magnetic tape around the sides and decorated it with buttons!

Spinner Rack with Flair

Or, check out Natasha Hensel’s creative ideas, shared on her YouTube video:

Of course, that isn’t to say your guy teachers wouldn’t like the revolving bin, too. I mean, truth be told, it was originally made for the workshop, for nuts, bolts, washers, and other little parts and pieces. However, if yo’d rather have an alternative idea for “Mr. Whatshisface,” then you can’t go wrong with the Drillmaster 18V Cordless 3/8″ Drill/Driver and Flashlight Kit— now on sale for $19.99 when you use the coupon on THIS PAGE!

drill flashlight

So, if you want to give a big “THANK YOU” to the teacher, say it with a revolving bin or cordless drill-flashlight combo from Harbor Freight. It’s better than a hug, and your kid won’t get sent home.

Not the Usual Daily Grind

At $21.99, you wouldn’t expect much performance out of an angle grinder. Nowadays, 22 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.