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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor Freight tools

They're having a "sidewalk sale" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with 4 1/2" grinders on sale for $9.99. I'm going to get a handful. You might check their website to see what else is up for grabs.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 11:00 PM
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I bought a harbor freight grinder once and it lasted for about 15 minutes. Darn thing got so hot I couldn't hold it

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
I bought a harbor freight grinder once and it lasted for about 15 minutes. Darn thing got so hot I couldn't hold it
That never happened to me, must have been what were you wearing



You have to watch HF, most of their stuff is junk. But if you are only going to use it once anyway, well that is your call.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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On average their grinders seem to last two or three years, and I use them hard and often. I keep five of them with different wheels - steel, aluminum, wire brush, cut-off and flap disk. I also keep a couple of spares for when one gives up. I've been doing that for seven years and have spent about what one good grinder would cost. At $10 each I can buy a dozen of them and guarantee that they'll outlast one good grinder, and always have the wheel I need already mounted.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 11:00 AM
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I too have several HF grinders loaded with different media for the price of one so called "good one." They last about the same time as the "good ones."

Caution - The problem with their "sidewalk sales" is they are selling returns. They've been returned for some reason, they didn't work, got hot, were intermittant etc. They don't try to fix them unless it's a real easy fix.

But you can also make money on them. They used to have a big parking lot sale in Carpenteria, CA, their main warehouse. I bought about 50 bench top drill presses - all returns, but at about $5 each. I filled a pickup bed and a trailer with all the "deals."

I had to strip a few of the drill presses to get the parts for the rest. I sold them all at about $60 each at a big swap meet. New they were selling for about $120, now they are much cheaper.
I also bought a huge bunch of impact wrenches, air ratchets, and butterfly wrenches. I think I paid $1 each, sold them for $20-30. Most were just gummed up or were adjusted wrong. A few were trash.

Whatever I could get cheap enough in quantity I bought.

Stay away from their bandsaws, no matter what you do, they are terrible! The rollers are plastic. Some things like that are so bad they'll never be right.

HF tools are primarily Chinese. If they weren't bad quality they wouldn't have any quality at all. But they do well for the hobbyist. They won't stand up to professional use, but for most of us at home they get the job done.

They are cheap enough so you can have several things for the cost of just a few "quality" junk.

Welders and plasma cutters are junk too. You have to know what you are buying.

Floor jacks, porta powers, and the like last 2-3 years, then need rebuilding.
But they have the parts for them.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 01:34 PM
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The biggest problem I've seen with their grinders, chop saws, etc is the on-off switch. Gets hot and become unreliable or quits all together (no parts available when I checked) I've been able to "hay wire" a switch from other manufactures.
If the price is right ($9 for a grinder) I buy their stuff but nothing that I would describe as for heavy or long term use.

When the wife is shopping nearby, I always wander around in Harbor Frieght.

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