Before you buy…

Harbor Freight is a great place to get inexpensive, hobby-grade tools, but it’s hit or miss.  If you’re ordering online it’s really tough to tell the quality of an item, and even in the store sometimes it’s not apparent how something will hold up.

Do yourself a favor and check out HFReviews before you buy.  If you’ve bought from HF before, do us a favor and write a review.

Oh and by the way…some people have given me that “look” when I say I shop at Harbor Freight.  It’s sort of a frustrated, disapproving sigh.  A reaction that seems to say, “You know better.  Why are you being a jerk?”  Well, there’s a mentality to buying from HF.  You have to be the type who wants to tear apart and rebuild everything as soon as you get it home.  Buying import tools is often like buying a “kit.”  It won’t work right out of the box, or even if it does you’ll want to make some adjustments.  I often like to fabricate extra pieces to enhance, reinforce, or modify my machines.  I wouldn’t do such a thing with an expensive industrial quality tool made in the USA, though in some cases modifications can make an import work even better than a domestic product.  It’s all about the effort you put in.  Here’s a good article that I came across.


A mathematician, hacker, fabricator, and all around do-it-yourselfer. I like building my own tools, learning new technologies, and breaking stuff.

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