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Mechanic Responds to Harbor Freight Tool Shaming

What brand of tools does one of the most respected mechanics on the internet rely on to make repairs on his customer’s cars? Find out now with this unique tool show and tell response to a Harbor Freight tool shaming comment.

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Where Do You Buy Your Tools?!

In past articles we’ve learned that there is no shame in buying tools from Harbor Freight and that in fact it makes sense in many cases to choose a tool from “Heart Break” ---one of the more strained monikers I’ve heard---over many other name brand tools that promise quality at a price.

Other nicknames for the HF brand include:

• Harbor Hate
• Harbor Fright
• Bottom of the Harbor Freight
• China Fright
• The Chinese Cheesecake Factory

But is this fair and accurate? Weeeeeeeeeell, nobody would deny that there is an element of risk and even perhaps danger with SOME HF products---and I have one near eye fatality photo to prove it---but like in all things you have to be smart when you buy anything by doing your research, apply a little common sense…and wear proper safety equipment whenever in the garage. DOH!

Case in point: online you will find some items that are no brainers when it comes to “Things to Never Buy from Harbor Freight” such as:

• Bullet proof vests
• Parachutes
• Elevators
• Birth control devices
• Fire Extinguishers
• Pacemakers
• Vaccines

But seriously, the general advice that the more components in a tool, the more likely it will fail on you is a good yardstick to measure by when making a shopping decision at Harbor Freight.

Enough with the Hate Already!

What prompted this article topic was a Rainman Ray’s Repairs YouTube channel episode today where Ray responds to a comment made by one viewer that is an example of misguided notions when it comes to mechanics and where they buy their tools.

In other words, a little online Harbor Freight tool shaming that if the source of the comment had taken the time to actually look inside the tool cabinets of most mechanics, he or she would very likely discover that only in advertisements will you see a single brand tool in a mechanic’s garage.

Here’s the video that makes the point quite aptly:

NO Repair Today! Snap-On vs Harbor Freight Mechanics

And finally…

We would like to hear from you: Do you have a favorite off-brand tool that is your favorite or one that you've kept for many years? Let us know about it and why in the comments section below.

For additional articles that are tool related, here are a few that seem appropriate right now:

Save Money with This Best “Made in USA” Tool Test Review

An Important Tool all Tesla Owners Should Carry to Revive a Dead Tesla

Save Money with This Small Anti-Scam Investment for Your Current or Next Car

COMING UP NEXT: Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery Replacement Warning

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pixabay

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Comments

Jerry (not verified)    August 21, 2022 - 5:10PM

Derrick at Vice Grip Garage on youtube uses their tools daily. Never hear him complain. I use them as well . No complaints . 1

John Gray (not verified)    August 21, 2022 - 5:19PM

Thats pretty much what i use on my job ..HVAC ,chiller mechanic..broke a ratchet one time,took it back and they told me to get one off the shelf...cant beat life time warranty...my tools are a combination of all sorts of tools and brands.

Shawn (not verified)    August 21, 2022 - 5:33PM

I have been a mechanic along time
Ill be 50 in less than a year. I have many harbor greight tools in my box. I have had some as long as 30 years. They still work great.
Look at a manor majority of there tools tbey are tough. Affordable and reliable

Jay tee (not verified)    August 21, 2022 - 6:47PM

I've been a technician at the same Harley Davidson dealership for the past 12 years and for me Harbor Freight is my first go to with Home Depot coming in second and Lowes comes in third with their small selection of Craftsman tools then fourth is the Matco truck because some tools you just can't get anywhere else. I just stay away from snap on they are just outrageous! but lately I've been buying tools online which may be the way to go from now on✌️

Robert J Zuidema (not verified)    August 21, 2022 - 9:36PM

I buy my tools at a store that is convenient to replace them at. Any tool will brake sooner or later (even snap-on) so it's the ability to get a new one as soon as possible. Is key to get the job done. Precision tools are the ones you spend your money one . If you are working on aircraft a good set of twelve point sockets, if it's a $30000 dollar sewing machines a good set of Allen wrenches (German made)

Daryl (not verified)    August 22, 2022 - 5:09AM

I call them Horrible Freight for laughs. Got lots of chuckles from that. On a serious note though, you can get decent tools there. It's just hit or miss. I bought a set of US General front end (suspension/steering) tools in a red case a few years back and they are good tools. Made in Taiwan. I swear it seems the Chinese are poorly crafting a lot of items going to HF, just to hurt their business. Look at the reviews on the 2 1/2" Swivel Table Vise they have on clearance right now for $20. (then select the 1-star reviews). Beautiful little vise.... for a paperweight.

Daryl (not verified)    August 22, 2022 - 7:13PM

I call them Horrible Freight for laughs. Got lots of chuckles from that. On a serious note though, you can get decent tools there. It's just hit or miss. I bought a set of US General front end (suspension/steering) tools in a red case a few years back and they are good tools. Made in Taiwan. I swear it seems the Chinese are poorly crafting a lot of items going to HF, just to hurt their business. Look at the reviews on the 2 1/2" Swivel Table Vise they have on clearance right now for $20. (then select the 1-star reviews). Beautiful little vise.... for a paperweight.

John F. (not verified)    August 29, 2022 - 11:57AM

Harbor Freight is what it is, no different than Wal-Mart/K-Mart, it's a discount store. Most of my tools are Craftsman, but I have been shopping at HF for over 35 years, will I buy sawzall blades? No, did it once and learned my leason. 4 1/2 in sanding disks/grinding wheels/cut off blades I will buy all day. Circular saw blade sharpener, bought over 8 years ago has paid for itself 4 times over. Electric chain saw sharpener has paid for itself more than 10 times over. 14" chop saw, I abused that for over 15 years before I finally burned it up, maybe if I would have changed the brushes it would have lasted long. Combination wrench set, over 25 years old. Impact SAE/Metric socket set and metric deepwell socket set, 25 years old for both. I have more HF but can't think of them at the moment. So either I have been really lucky over the last 35 years or too many people with one bad incident go b*tching to anyone and everyone they can. When you shop at HF, you know where they're made, if your expecting Craftsman/Mac/Snap-on quality then you are delusional and need to see a shrink. Look at it this way, how many recalls do Ford/Chrysler-Dodge/GM have and you still have your dedicated people who will buy nothing but a Ford, or nothing but a Chevy.

mark edwards (not verified)    August 29, 2022 - 3:22PM

Being afix it myself for all my 63yrs.my first tools were pliers, straight screwdriver, and a loose hammer and bailing wire. Then moved up and got a Philips and $5 socket set. The sockets worked on most easy stuff and always broke on the tough jobs. Today the foreign tools are way better then back then. HF has alot of pretty good tools but in a tight tough spot you want the best and if you make a living with tools you want the best. Worst part of harbor freight is Made in China and that's where the money goes.