Harbor Freight/Northern Tool welders???

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Josh

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The only things I buy from HF are things I wont use everyday, or 1 time uses. I bought alot of my offroad lights for my trucks at HF, and replaced the bulb with a good one. If the housing breaks (with I've broken some hitting rocks/trees.) I'm out 10 bucks to go replace it, Vs 100's had I bought the KC with with the same bulb. I'll never buy tools that use daily from HF again. A few years ago we where replacing a 3/4in water line into our building, and when tighening one of the fitting, my dad ( about 5'6" 120lbs), broke the JAW in half, Not the hinge, but the jaw, and ended up punching the wall has hard as he could. Every tool I use is Channel Lock brand, and have never had one fail. Worth the extra.

About welders, my neighbor bought a HF welder, it died on him after 20 minutes, they replaced it, and has since been working for the last 9 years. With HF its hit or miss, but unless its a throw away tool, or a low use item, I'd avoid it.
 

M725

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The only things I buy from HF are things I wont use everyday, or 1 time uses. I bought alot of my offroad lights for my trucks at HF, and replaced the bulb with a good one. If the housing breaks (with I've broken some hitting rocks/trees.) I'm out 10 bucks to go replace it, Vs 100's had I bought the KC with with the same bulb. I'll never buy tools that use daily from HF again. A few years ago we where replacing a 3/4in water line into our building, and when tighening one of the fitting, my dad ( about 5'6" 120lbs), broke the JAW in half, Not the hinge, but the jaw, and ended up punching the wall has hard as he could. Every tool I use is Channel Lock brand, and have never had one fail. Worth the extra.

About welders, my neighbor bought a HF welder, it died on him after 20 minutes, they replaced it, and has since been working for the last 9 years. With HF its hit or miss, but unless its a throw away tool, or a low use item, I'd avoid it.
Channel lock is made in China
 

hdexpert

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I've bought and used various items from HF, some lasted, some didn't, but i knew their quality issues when I purchased the items. I only buy items that rarely get used and that I can't afford to buy from a reputable manufacturer. I really hate buying anything that's made in China but boy is it getting hard to find items made in the USA!!! I'm going to open up my own store, call it made in the USA and only carry US made products. Wonder how tough it'd be to fill the store?
 

Milkman357

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Harbor Freigt welders (110v)

Short Duty Cycle like mentioned before.
When I'm welding and get in a good groove.... I dont want to stop till job is done.
If you do get one, get the warraty, so you can get another when yours dies. They have there place... but I bought a Hobart 140 Handler... best investment I've made outside my fishing boat and M-1009...

Stay away from battery powered HF tools.. they are tpys for the kids.

I've never been sorry buying a Craftsman tool. I've been sorry plenty buying HF. I still buy from HF... just not major tool purchases.

I try to wait fora Craftsman Sale....

off topic but every Christmas my gift to my 3 boys is a Craftsman tool... they all get the same thing. By the time their 18 they'll have a good set. I still have and use my Craftsman tools I got when I was 16. (i'm 41)

Has anybody noticed good tools hardly ever show up at Garage Sales?
 

glcaines

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I considered a MIG from Northern Tool, but bought a Hobart MIG welder from them instead, about two years ago. After heavy use, it has performed flawlessly. A friend of mine bought a really cheap Chinese 'buzz box' welder a few months ago, but I cannot remember from where. It quit working almost immediately. After opening the case, we found 100% of all screws that secured the wires to the transformer were loose. After tightening the screws, it then started working and worked for another week before the transformer fried. He then bought a Hobart.
 

m16ty

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I bought some HF hammers. No matter how bad they are I dont think they could screw those up.
While I do have some cheap HF hammers, they can screw them up also. I saw a head shatter on a chinese hammer my friend was using (was driving on a chisel). It sent one of the shards of metal into his hand and requried a few stiches.
 

Dodge man

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Stay away from battery powered HF tools.. they are tpys for the kids.

I've never been sorry buying a Craftsman tool. I've been sorry plenty buying HF. I still buy from HF... just not major tool purchases.
Are you kidding?? I have a $149 Sears rechargeable drill that doesn't. They want $80 for a new battery! I bought a $19 rechargeable drill and flashlight combo from HF on sale for $12 and it's lasted far longer than the Sears one did! I'm FED UP with over-priced rechargeable tools that have one of a kind and ridiculously over priced batteries! From now on I avoid battery powered tools for the most part and when I do buy them I buy the cheapest one around and expect to throw it away in a year!

Speaking of Sears, last year I bought one of their expensive drill presses with the laser pointer. What a piece of flimsy, trashy plastic, inaccurate junk! It was made in China and it's quality is worse than the stuff from HF! I finally found an OLD cast iron Rockwell DP with a 3 phase motor on E-bay that was located near me and bought it for a song. It was a B**** to move but I got it and replaced the STANDARD #56 frame motor with a single phase one and now I have a DP that will last me two lifetimes!
 

Varyag

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HF stuff is gettintg made in India now. I wonder if that will change anything at all.

HF has been sooooo hit or miss for me. Believe it or not, I have a pile of cheap crappy air tools from them that I have run the crap out of. Used a half inch impact that I bought there to disassemble most of my deuce when I repainted it, re assembled and use it more then weekly on my land cruiser and my wife's minivan.

A buddy of mine is using a big HF compressor and wire feed in his shop to do painting and body work. He has really used the **** out of them for years now. He said he is just careful not to over heat them and changes oil in the compressor more then he probably should.

On the other side I have bought ratchets that came out of the box broken from them. I keep a box where I can toss all of my broken HF hand tools 9mostly ratchets) so I can swap them out when I drive by again.

I have had no issues at all with anything I have bought from northern tool.
 
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colbanister

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I have an hf welder and it seems to work just fine for me....as well as an air compressor and several other tools.
 

Dodge man

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HF stuff is gettintg made in India now. I wonder if that will change anything at all.
In my experience the stuff made in India is far WORSE than The Chinese made stuff. I bought a Indian made mattock and the first time I used it the entire blade bent around backwards! And this is Florida, we have no rocks, only soft sand. I bought a pair of Indian made wire cutters and they wouldn't even soft copper wire. I'll chance the Chinese made stuff but I won't touch the Indian made tools!
 

andytk5

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Wow, so seems like HF is mostly out for the big ticket stuff Air Cmpressors, Welders etc.. no suprise there I guess. Northern tool has been a solid thing for me in the past and the prices are pretty good. Haven't bought any large stuff like that yet and prob going to get the big compressor from HD or Lowes ($400 60gal). The $150 Northern Ind mig welder from NT is interesting to me though,may look into that one if I can't find a used quality rig on craigslist or something.

Other question is for the majority of welding I would need to do on the M1008 or M1009 up to 3/16" should be more than plenty right? I mean like body panels, floor boards, small frame brackets, shock mounts etc... Can't imagine too much larger than that??
 

hdexpert

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I've thought about this quite often. Need a partner?

Sure thing!! We'll open one in Ohio and one in Colorado and spread throughout the country!! What will you do with your first million? I think a lot of people would shop at a store that only carried US made products.:grin:
 

Josh

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Sure thing!! We'll open one in Ohio and one in Colorado and spread throughout the country!! What will you do with your first million? I think a lot of people would shop at a store that only carried US made products.:grin:

Unless there is a Walmart around the average joe now adays wants lowest bid. After my dad watched the first spaceshuttle blow up, he will never go with the lowest bid. He instilled that belief in me, that the lowest bid, useally isnt the best bid. I'm proud to say I've only been inside a Walmart 3 times in my life, and every trip I bought a gun, 2 airsofts and a Marlin .22.
 
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tobyS

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Other question is for the majority of welding I would need to do on the M1008 or M1009 up to 3/16" should be more than plenty right? I mean like body panels, floor boards, small frame brackets, shock mounts etc... Can't imagine too much larger than that??
NO...if you are not a very experienced welder, anything heavier than sheet metal body panels should not be relied upon...NO frame brackets or shock mounts or anything that requires penetration. Especially if you are talking a mig.

If you can do stick, the small rods can be used and you have a chance of it working, penetrating and maybe even making a weld pool on horizontal welds. To do vertical, it better be a DC output, not AC.

While they are not as handy as one that plugs into 115 volt, the 230 volt will deliver a lot more power and the rods will burn through rust better. 3/32" rod is easy to come by but there is also some 1/16" available. But the downside is sheet metal. If you have ever chased a small hole that gets larger each time you weld it, you'll understand what I mean.

So if you are limiting yourself to welding sheet, like body panels, the cheap HF may be your tool, but don't expect to weld much in the way of frame brackets with it.

The electronics of newer high quality welders has made 115v a viable option, but that level of sophistication is not there in the HF.

I have a HF (stick) that I did some I beam on 240 v, but my main welders are Hobart. I can't say the AC/DC buzz box is any different from Lincoln or Miller but my portable and cybertig 300 have nearly twice the copper...and high frequency stabilizing.
 
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