Saturday, August 27, 2016

Harbor Freight Tools: As Usual, More a Waste of Time Than Money

I have a 6" bench grinder from Harbor Freight.  Clumsily made, bad assembly instructions, but it works.  I got in my head that it would be neat to buff the aluminum parts of ScopeRoller products to mirror finish.  Harbor Freight sells the bench grinder with buffing wheels at the ends also.  Can I replace one of the grinding wheels with a buffing wheel?  Sure.  But after an hour trying to get the grinding wheel off (HF instructions useless but I found a YouTube video that shows how to clusily do it) and then running it with the buffing wheel?  Waste of time; the difference in weight and therefor inertia makes it hop around and because the buffing wheel is only held in place by an arbor (the center hole is much larger than the shaft), it tends to move around and starting running into the interior of the casting that keeps stuff from flying.  Useless, but at least only wasted a couple hours and $4.49.

I may send these aluminum parts out for polishing.


  1. The fix is to make a spacer sleeve to keep the wheel centered. It has to be short enough to allow the nut to tighten up on the wheel.

    Sometimes just wrapping the shaft with duct tape to build it up is good enough to work. Wrap it as tight and smooth as you can. You don't want it to be soft enough to have any give in it.

  2. You buy cheap, you get cheap. I've been shopping around for another hard drive and I found a 2 TB for about $20. Didn't buy it because the trust factor was not there.

    I've read a lot of the reviews of Harbor Freight tools online. For the most part, online reviews tend to say that if the product failure can cause harm to life or limb then it is pretty good. Other than that...

    Do I own anything from Harbor Freight? Yes I do. But nothing too expensive. (That was a joke, because their prices are so low. Get it? Ha ha, ha ha... Yeah I know don't quit my day job.) What I do own from them I don't use all that much. (Most of my heavy labor at home deals with keeping the yard in check.)

  3. Sometimes you get what you pay for...

  4. Too bad you don't still live in the belly of the beast. I'd loan you my dad's Craftsman grinder. He kept a buffing wheel on one end of the shaft and a grinding wheel on the other.

  5. Gladorn: I have had a pretty decent experience with their 16 speed floor drill press. Everything electrical is trash.

  6. Windy: Not worth. I can buy any gun I want without background check or waiting period. Our worst, most gang-infested cities have violent crime rates that the nicest Bay Area cities would envy.