Harbor Freight

chuckl

Well Known Member
#5
Fool's Tools--AKA Harbor Freight. Very few of Harbor Freight's tools can stand up to moderate-to-severe usage. Most of the electric-motor driven tools (grinders, sanders, saws, lathes, etc.) are for light/limited duty only. They are generally noisy, bearing and races overheat, armatures tend to drag or lock up magnetically and smoke/burn. Plastic gears strip without possible replacement. The philosophy is: "They are cheap enough, so I will just buy another one, if this one burns up or breaks." I understand a young mechanic/carpenter getting started with less expensive tools. I get it!

Every (I mean all) bench grinder stones/rocks, I have tested, are unbalanced and cannot be trued without significant weakening. I am the receiptor of 5 stitches from an exploding HF (brand new) cutting wheel. Having said that, their quality(?) bench grinder is well balanced and runs true--weak but no vibs.

Their cheap(?) MIG welder does a half-way decent job for it's capacity. However, if a diode in the chip board or a an air or gas valve fails; you are out of luck. Liners wears out quickly. MIG wire rust quickly if not used constantly. Getting replacement parts is damn near impossible.

Consumable goods, such as sand paper, tape, grit discs, wire brush wheels are inferior. The cutting ability of their sandpaper (wet or dry) is poor and wear out very quickly. Masking tape is ok for rough lines. Professional automobile painting requires much better tape, for smooth, distinct lines. Wire wheels shed wire much more than domestic-made.

I am not down on Harbor Freight, but I see a tremendous amount of poor-quality stuff coming out of China onto HF shelves. HF is not alone in this "buy cheap" attitude. Lowes, Home Depot, auto parts companies, Walmart are among an endless number going for "cheap." Front wheel hubs, axle bearings, air compressors, elastic straps, etc. just do not have the same quality. People will buy stuff, based on one or two cents difference and never consider quality; although, they will pay more in the long run. As these prices get lower (or remain low), the race is on to stock goods that are even cheaper, which means even lesser quality. More profit!

This demand for cheap goods from China has resulted in a $500,000,000,000.00 (billion) trade deficit with China alone, PER YEAR. Folks, that is half a trillion dollars leaving this country, every year! Our total trade deficit is now about $900,000,000,000.00. We are now paying the price our "cheapness." :doh:doh
 

rstreet

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 14
#8
My last set of Goodyear trailer tires were made in China and I blew all four of them going and returning from a Florida car show last year. Also wiped out the fender and four trailer panels when one of them exploded. That is why Chinese trailer tires are referred as China Bombs I guess?
Robert
 

409gang

Well Known Member
#9
I had trouble with GoodYear tires delaminating back in the 80's and since then I only have bought Michelin tires, although I did buy GoodYear Eagle slicks for my Nova. In 40 years I have never had any problems with Michelin tires and they take very little weight to balance.
 

rstreet

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 14
#10
I had trouble with GoodYear tires delaminating back in the 80's and since then I only have bought Michelin tires, although I did buy GoodYear Eagle slicks for my Nova. In 40 years I have never had any problems with Michelin tires and they take very little weight to balance.
I've had delamination issues with Michelin E rated tires on one of my one ton tow trucks but caught them before the big bang! Currently liking the Goodyear E rated Kevlar tires. Oh well time will tell.
Robert
 

Iowa 409 Guy

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 11
#13
The two tires I just replaced on my shooting trailer were 5 and 4 years old. The 5 year old one was starting to come apart. This trailer is inside for 6 months of the year and doesn't haul much weight.
 

64ss409

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 9
#15
Curious as to how long a tire's life is when stored in a garage shelf for years?
Our volunteer fire dept has a 1955 IH fire truck with the original tires. They do have some signs of age near the bead. The shed it is stored in is heated, concrete floor and has no windows which probably helps. We can pull a valve cap if you would like to smell some 1955 air.:laugh
 
Last edited:

1964SuperStocker

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#18
I bought a grinder about 15 years back from there and it literally had no bearings. They took the shaft for the motor and the grinding wheel shaft and cast the housing around them. Then took a dab of grease to make it work for a short time. Thought mine was a fluke until I took it back and picked up a new one. LOL! Funniest $10 I ever spent. I will say, if you are careful in your purchases you can get tools that work. They have been carrying more and more selection of different grades of tools. Remember how bad KIA cars were years ago. They have gotten better and better and are worlds apart from where they began. You can buy an AWD KIA Stinger with 365hp that will do 4.7 seconds 0-60. You may not like the brand but hard to beat the warranty, price and peformance. Harbor freight like Kia fills a void pricey tools create for the average user.
 

rstreet

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 14
#20
I thought Goodyear just started making trailer tires in the US again???
Yes Dave the Goodyear Endurance is made in USA and is constructed differently that the Goodyear Marathon trailer tires made in China. In talking with long time tire folks several of the Chinese made trailer tires are now being constructed as the Goodyear Endurance is so time will tell if they stay together and not turn into bombs. Speculation among them is that the new design Chinese tires are made at the same facility possible the one that Goodyear owns over there. My Goodyears that I exploded last year were Marathons and were 4 years old. They were at correct pressures and I have a tire monitoring system on the trailer tires reporting to the screen upfront. There was no Indication of pressure or temperature issues before each blew but.... of course imediatiately after the big bang 0 pressure.
I didn't know until I had talked to a couple of tire old timers that on the older trailer design of tires like the Marathon is based on there was a built speed limit of I think 65 MPH. Of course I greatly exceeded that. The new Endurance build tire has a 80 MPH or so limit as well as the new built ones previously referred above that are chinese build. Make sure when buying trailer tires your tire guy knows the difference if old vs new design. You can definitely see a difference.
The new design recommended change is every 6 years I believe vs 4 years for the old constructed ones.
Robert
Oh since I had so much damage with the bombs last year I am now a reformed trailer tower and 69 MPH is my new limit. I actually blew 5 tires on that Florida show trip as I used to carry 2 spares. Now I'm carrying 3 for good reasons
 
Top