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post #1 of 72 Old 09-28-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

Got this email this morning about HF Icon tools. Looks like they are trying to take a bite out of the pro market. The cabinets are not cheap, but way less than Snap-on. I like my current consumer grade HF cabinets just fine, I wonder if you pros will go for their new stuff?

https://www.harborfreight.com/icon-t...id=566,018,125


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post #2 of 72 Old 09-28-2019, 11:14 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

I would think about it if in the states, but it’s hard to beat the tool truck coming right to the shop weekly with no questions asked warranty

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post #3 of 72 Old 09-28-2019, 11:24 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

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Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
I wonder if you pros will go for their new stuff?

https://www.harborfreight.com/icon-t...id=566,018,125
I don't think so ......I do not consider myself to be a professional, but I own a business and I have pros work for me, and they consider anything from HF to be a joke....personally I consider their stuff to be disposable...it is cheaply made and not professional grade....it is going to be a difficult image for them to overcome
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post #4 of 72 Old 09-28-2019, 11:44 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

I love my 54" HF tool box. I have no need for something that big.

If I worked in a garage again I would like the "warranty" guys to be there weekly as I have been there and done that. BUT I have bought stuff that they fixed 3 times and stopped the warranty on something I could have gotten 3 times cheaper and replaced if needed for 1/2 what I paid.

BUT the prices outweigh the benefits. I would love to buy American but it's hard to find, and even snap-on stuff is made in China. So where do you drawl the line?

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post #5 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 07:37 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

All the Sears stores and anything that sells craftsman are no longer available close to me, NAPA closed down, and only thing really left selling tools is WalMart, Advanced Auto, and O'Rileys, and Ace Hardware; but we now have a small Harbor Freight close by. I don't normally buy their hand tools but those look pretty good! I will have to check them out.

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post #6 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 08:13 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

Not sure that they will ever earn the trust of pro's.. but really.. while they do still sell some cheap junk.. some of the stuff is getting pretty good. The place has really been a big help to the hobbyist.

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post #7 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 09:17 AM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

I have a couple of the 22x26 US General cabinets. They're heavier steel than my old Craftsman cabinets from the 1980's and the drawer slides are much smoother. I like the shallower drawers for hand tools and the price is right.
Hopefully the introduction of the ICON brand doesn't mean they are discontinuing the US General cabinets as they are actually a good value for the money.

The Icon cabinets are well built and similar to the Tool Truck units but I'm not interested in either one. They cost enough that the depreciation is significant. Just like cars and trucks... they're not worth the price to buy new. I'd buy used tool truck cabinets if I was interested in units like that.

I don't buy HF hand tools. The Borg have Husky and Kobalt with lifetime warranties. I haven't tested whether those warranties are worth the paper they're printed on... If the articles about Lowes and Craftsman tools are anything to go on the answer is NO.


It seems that the Craftsman Lifetime Warranty is not honored by anyone other than Sears. The sale, by Sears, of the Craftsman tool line to Stanley means I will not be buying any more Craftsman tools.
According to news articles Lowes will not warranty older Craftsman screwdrivers, sockets, and wrenches now that Stanley owns the brand and rumor has it that ACE will not warranty the Craftsman hand tools they sell.
According to the same article Lowes will warranty tools if they stock the exact part number in question. This means they can avoid warranty coverage if they change the part numbers on a regular basis. I'd be willing to bet that they do exactly that.
https://www.wcpo.com/money/consumer/...ime-warranties
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post #8 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARK (LI) View Post
I have pros work for me, and they consider anything from HF to be a joke....personally I consider their stuff to be disposable...it is cheaply made and not professional grade....it is going to be a difficult image for them to overcome
You are always going to have the guys using what they buy as a "measuring tool" and sadly tools are just another way of doing that.

I was a class A trailer wreck rebuilder and used some of their stuff successfully. The air recip saw was awesome.

Loved the super speed 10,000 rpm air drill for zipping holes in thin alum panels and the 4" air angle grinder was awesome. I also used the heck out of the big air pop riveter pulling 1/4" alum mono-bolts and TLRs.

The electric grinders won't hold up in a commercial setting but neither would Dewalts. I'd put their air tools on par with the cheaper air tools many tool truck drivers would carry-Rodac is what my Cornwell guy had.

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post #9 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 02:28 PM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

Gotta love snap- on but...
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post #10 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 03:01 PM
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Gotta love snap- on but...
I worked with Bob. Stupid 23 y/o redneck with a giant empty Snap-on box. Traded up for a bigger empty box. He was always borrowing my Craftsman tools cuz he couldn't afford any Snap-on stuff and his box was empty.

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post #11 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 03:03 PM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

A good warranty IS important. I don't think any of would debate that.
What I've noticed to be the true measure of quality is when the tool removes the fastener without breaking. Cheap tools deflect and round off corners, or the fastener damages the cheap tool (like screws taking chunks out of the screwdriver's tip).

Ultimately, When a job needs doing, the tool must perform. Sometimes I don't have time or patience enough to get a tool replaced, so I'd rather it be able to complete the job. If a low cost or cheap harbor freight tool satisfies my requirement, so be it!


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post #12 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 03:09 PM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

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Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
I worked with Bob. Stupid 23 y/o redneck with a giant empty Snap-on box. Traded up for a bigger empty box. He was always borrowing my Craftsman tools cuz he couldn't afford any Snap-on stuff and his box was empty.
I was "smart Bob." When I was wrenching on travel trailers and fifth wheels, I bought a very large (i dunno... 40" wide x 5'10" tall x 24" or so deep 316 stainless box from Sam's club over 15 years ago.. It looks amazing. I always kept it cleaned, but not covered and sterile. I removed the Steel Glide badging from it and installed appropriate sized Snap-On badging. LOTS of compliments from customers!


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post #13 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
I worked with Bob. Stupid 23 y/o redneck with a giant empty Snap-on box. Traded up for a bigger empty box. He was always borrowing my Craftsman tools cuz he couldn't afford any Snap-on stuff and his box was empty.
I was "smart Bob." When I was wrenching on travel trailers and fifth wheels, I bought a very large (i dunno... 40" wide x 5'10" tall x 24" or so deep 316 stainless box from Sam's club over 15 years ago.. It looks amazing. I always kept it cleaned, but not covered and sterile. I removed the Steel Glide badging from it and installed appropriate sized Snap-On badging. LOTS of compliments from customers!
Ha, That's awesome. One of the guys in the shop bought one of those. It was a nice box. Some of the tool truck elite gave him crap about it calling it his "refrigerator"

My set was the big black Craftsman box with roller slides. I just kept adding to it as my tool set expanded. Ended up being 6.5ft long in a cart when I worked truck fleet.

I broke it down to its base size after working on trailers as I didn't need all the truck tools. Same size as your "Snap-off" box.

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post #14 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 03:53 PM
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Re: Is Harbor Freight stepping up it's game?

Tools are the life blood of any mechanic I have bought some tools from harbor freight but nothing that my life depended on, I have some tools that were my great grandfathers and i cherish them and use one or two sometimes just because, It is simply amazing what our fathers and grandfathers got by with with just a monkey wrench and pliars.
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post #15 of 72 Old 09-29-2019, 06:14 PM
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Tools are the life blood of any mechanic I have bought some tools from harbor freight but nothing that my life depended on, I have some tools that were my great grandfathers and i cherish them and use one or two sometimes just because, It is simply amazing what our fathers and grandfathers got by with with just a monkey wrench and pliars.
My most used tool is an old Plumb 1/4" ratchet. It just feels right in the hand.

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