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"HARBOR FREIGHT" FRAMING GUN

BUSTER's picture

Has anybody ever purchased a framing gun from Harbor Freight ?  I see "their" brand of nailer advertised for 1/2 the cost of even a Porter Cable ($99.00). I've used a few other framing guns over the years, so I would like to know how they would compre to SENCO, PORTER CABLE, DUAL FAST, HITACHI. I don't do alot of framing and thought if the gun was okay for the occasional user (not everyday use..year'round), it might be worth checking into.


Thanks,  Tony

(post #122552, reply #1 of 35)

Let it be understood that I know zero about Harbor Freight nailers.


However I mailordered a bandsaw, portable, handheld, from them [$65 vs. $300 for Milwaukee] and it ran for about 5 seconds before it failed. However, after an exchange of e-mails, I wrapped it up and left in on my front porch and about a week later a new, paint splattered one was delovered. This one works. So I will say, their replacement policy works.


Harbor Freight does carry trusted brands such as ChannelLock and ViseGrip. A lot of their stuff is genuinely Chinese unless there is a small town named "China" located in eastern Pennsylvania. How hard is it to go wrong with simple things like a wrench? Their catalogues are a lot of fun. Sometimes they will offer the same item twice but at different prices. They offer a statue of a pile of frogs stacked upon one another.


For your situation, DIY, occasional use, it just might work out for you.


~Peter


Free Martha Stewart now!

(post #122552, reply #3 of 35)

I presently live in Southeastern Pa and like to read local maps.  As far as I know there is not a town named China around here, much less one that manufactures tools for Harbor Freight.

(post #122552, reply #8 of 35)

There is a China in Maine, and one of our infrequent posters is from there originally, but he and the other inhabitants would be ashamed to be compared to the producers of junk products and knock-offs.

I gave up ordering from them.

I also got a chuckle over there indiscreet pricing policy. I gopt two catalouges one day, one offering "Free" freight from anything ordered from this catalouge. The prices in the other sales catalouge reflected the diference, most noticable in heavier items containing cast iron parts

 

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(post #122552, reply #16 of 35)

Thanks to all of you guys for your information !!


I don't have a very-high (if any at all) tolerance threshold for something that will obviously break after a short period of time, so I am going to take your suggestions and stay clear of their nailers!!


I actually had a "feeling" they were that way (especially since I NEVER have seen even one of their nailers on any of the sites I go to).


Again, thanks.


Tony

(post #122552, reply #2 of 35)

JUNK!

 


Mr T


I can't afford to be affordable anymore

. .

(post #122552, reply #4 of 35)

I've got one awhile back just to see if they even worked. I like to have about 10 minimum of everything just so time aint spent looking for something for a 10 minute job.


The HF would not work on a production basis, but is nice to leave laying out so if anybody wants to steal something they can grab it.


Works OK on soft wood, OK for occasional use, often does not drive a 16D all the way in.

(post #122552, reply #5 of 35)

My Experience with ALL HF tools has been the same, consistent with other readers. They have a return policy that mirrors most electronic stores rebate policy- since the tools (not the name brand stuff) are junk they know people will return it, but they make money when someone decides not to return the broken tool.


Good luck- keep your reciept


Torey

(post #122552, reply #6 of 35)

Years ago I got the framing nailer that looked like the bostich . Wanted an exra one  . well the first one finnished out one filling of nails and quit . the replacement work a while longer just past warranty. and the trigger will not release the air .  I guess that is a safty thing . fire a nail ,unplug air hose ,releasing air and piston retracts ,plug air hose back on , ready for work. Nail ,repeat .

(post #122552, reply #7 of 35)

anything with moving parts and from china is bound to be junk... their factories really are 3rd world... almost naked people even young kids carry'n hot molten iron  pour'n it into molds on the floor...  I happen to know a major buyer of auto parts that makes many trips a year to china... and he tells the stories...  they get their stuff built to their specs  but it still isn't pretty... some stuff they buy at pennies over the scrap steel price


btw  was at my local harbor frt last week (needed a few wheel barrow wheels) they had pallet after pallet of returns wrapped up on the dock.... they didn't have my wheels but they had goldblat tape'n knives 8 & 12" for $3 ea so it wasn't a lost trip


p

(post #122552, reply #18 of 35)

Sorry man, but judging tools these days by the brand's country of origin is as inane as the notion that all Chevys are better than all Fords or all Dodges are better than all GMCs. Tools (and trucks) are made from components sourced from all over the world, and might be assembled in yet another country. We all recognize that there is a range of quality in American products from the mediocre to the excellent; would it be any surprise to find that this same range exists in other countries? Some Chinese made tools are garbage and some are superb. Take a look at the next Makita or Hitachi product you see on a store shelf. Both are made in China these days, and both are well regarded 'quality' brands. So enough of the blanket judgement.


And as for the so-called human rights issues in China, have a look at America from a foreigner's point of view: the richest nation in the world, with throngs of homeless in every city and millions unable to afford medical care. Inequity for all in a nation barely two hundred year old. I imagine the Chinese find it amusing to be told they're doing it all wrong in light of their 50-plus centuries of recorded history.


Wally


Lignum est bonum.

Buccaneer Contracting

Penticton, BC

(post #122552, reply #19 of 35)

But less than 70 years under commy controll

(post #122552, reply #29 of 35)

There is a HF 10 minutes walking time from me but have been inside their store maybe 6 times. The last time looking for a simple carbide 7 1/4 saw blade.Heavy sigh...they had nothing but $3 steel ones.But they do have Stanley 35ft tapes for $11 everyday,pretty good price. If HF could be 1/2 the tool store of a Tool crib,they would have a booming business here.

If it were easy....a caveman could do it.

(post #122552, reply #31 of 35)

Hey framerT...are those stanley 35' tapes the regular kind or fatmax kind. I don't like the fatmax kind..I lke the regular size and can't find them anymore. I'm down to my last three and getting scared.


blue


Warning! Be cautious when taking any framing advice from me. Although I have a lifetime of framing experience, all of it is considered bottom of the barrel by Gabe. I am not to be counted amongst the worst of the worst. If you want real framing information...don't listen to me..just ask Gabe!

"...

keep looking for customers who want to hire  YOU.. all the rest are looking for commodities.. are you  a commodity ?... if you get sucked into "free estimates" and  "soliciting bids"... then you are a commodity... if your operation is set up to compete as a commodity, then have at it..... but be prepared to keep your margins low and your overhead  high...."

From the best of TauntonU.

(post #122552, reply #32 of 35)

Blue, they are the regular plain-jane Stanleys. They don't carry fat-max.You have Harbor Freight nearby??

I DIDN'T DO IT...THE BUCK DOES NOT STOP HERE.

If it were easy....a caveman could do it.

(post #122552, reply #34 of 35)

I don't think I do Framer...but I'll send away for them. I love my 35 footers!


blue


Warning! Be cautious when taking any framing advice from me. Although I have a lifetime of framing experience, all of it is considered bottom of the barrel by Gabe. I am not to be counted amongst the worst of the worst. If you want real framing information...don't listen to me..just ask Gabe!

"...

keep looking for customers who want to hire  YOU.. all the rest are looking for commodities.. are you  a commodity ?... if you get sucked into "free estimates" and  "soliciting bids"... then you are a commodity... if your operation is set up to compete as a commodity, then have at it..... but be prepared to keep your margins low and your overhead  high...."

From the best of TauntonU.

(post #122552, reply #9 of 35)

Buster,


With HF you do take your chances, as it usually isn't worth the hassle of returning the random??? junk.  They in fact do offer some really good deals and decent made in china tools, ....and also some of the worst crap on the planet. 


As stated prior, their pricing policy is to have numerous prices for the same item at the same time. A way to get you to peruse their multiple catalogs.  Their return/replacement policy is first rate, and I've even been able to haggle them down to giving me stuff for almost free when it showed up damaged vs. sending it back for replacement.  (a $500 tool chest that looked like it took a tumble off a second story loading dock comes to mind)


If you're a pro, go with name brand tools like Bosch or Milwaukee, for the DIY you WILL save plenty with HF vs borrowing, or renting, or buying more tool than you need.


WSJ

(post #122552, reply #10 of 35)

I'd vote against it. Cheap guns are hell to work with- they just make you angry.

Really angry!!!!

-Mike

(post #122552, reply #11 of 35)

IMO they have their place--Just think of it --some one sees you nailing away with a PC or Paslode or whatever and says " Hey would you mind if I borrowed your nailer after work for a while."

Sure -I'll get it to you when I leave tonite> Into the trailer you go and Voila your loaner. J/K I wouldn't even lend that sucker out. The pressure might pop the top right off the gun.

Does " you get what you pay for " mean anything. Even for light use I would still get a used gun you can recognize.

Hope it all works out for ya. Mike

Mike "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" Mitremike c. 1990 " I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage---Mythbusters

(post #122552, reply #12 of 35)

Only one issue w/ your idea.


You mention PC and Paslode ine the same sentence, like they are of comparable quality.


PC guns are Taiwanese Knockoffs.


Paslode has been making nailers since before Taiwan was independent.


No comparison PC are closer to the HF tools than they are to Paslode!


 


 


Mr T


I can't afford to be affordable anymore

. .

(post #122552, reply #15 of 35)

Point taken but you misunderstood what I was saying (typing)

I was only using a name for the sake of a name that people will recoginize verses some off color, no name POS.

In no way was I saying Paslode or PC or any other name brand was better or worse-Just recogniziable.

In defense of HF-which has a store here-I did pick up a bench brush and it's performing flawlessly. Mike

Mike "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" Mitremike c. 1990 " I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage---Mythbusters

(post #122552, reply #13 of 35)

Buster:

I have (actually had) that same $99 gun. I don't have a lot different to add from the other posts. It ran ok for about a year. worked best in new/soft pine. didn't toenail very well at all - and it did have trouble sinking a 16d all the way.

It worked for about a year and then broke - the piston shaft (probably not the technical term) broke from the piston so it wouldn't fire. They did pick it up and gave me my money back - and it was nearly a year to the day when i emailled them.

I did replace it with a bostich - and the old gun made me appreciate the bostich even more. The main reason i bought the bostich was the fact that there is a guy at the builders supply place that services them every Tuesday and Thursday. I doubt that it will break anytime soon - but it is nice peace of mind. I was able to use the same 21degree, full head nails in the new bostich.

In general - i am a fan of HF for items that i dont use all the time or that i don't require pro quality from. You certainly do get what you pay for.

(post #122552, reply #14 of 35)

IMHO: Harbor freight can be very usful for things that meet these two criteria: 1.) The Item must not contain a motor. and 2.) The Item must not be hardened steel.

But things like clamps, they do pretty well for the price.

Also I forgot who said this earlier in the thread, but some factories are really awfull and we ought not to be supporting them (child labor, etc) Particularly india and pakistan made stuff (usually those REALLY cheap wrenches) I dont know if this is true but I've heard that many of the india and pakistan factories actually employ slave labor. Anyway no-one is missing out anyway; when you buy a $2.00 wrench set but cant use it for nuts/bolts tighter than finger tight before the wrench flats sheer off, you've simply donated money to the company as well as the scrap metal place

______________________________________________

--> measure once / scribble several lines / spend some time figuring out wich scribble / cut the wrong line / get mad

(post #122552, reply #17 of 35)

if you want to get a good deal on a good nailer, and you have some time... I got 1/2 price on my bostich at sears hardware when the manager discontinued it,I got the same deal on a craftsman brad gun...for 450 worth of nailers, I paid 150 for the framer and 75 for the brad gun...( you have to hang close to the sales tables in the front isle)Make your self known.

Scribe once, cut once!

Scribe once, cut once!

(post #122552, reply #20 of 35)

My one experience with Harbor Freight has been contrary to the other replies.  I bought and air compressor, which was actually a DeVilbiss unit.  It appeared that it had been returned from a prior sale due to a pinhole leak in the tank, which was repaired and painted over.  I've built a coupla houses with it now, and for $200, it was a hot deal.  Don't know if I'd buy anything else from them, though.

The High Desert Group LLC


 

The High Desert Group LLC

 

(post #122552, reply #21 of 35)

I was brought up in the era when 'Made in Japan' meant POS. Most of it was POS. But they were good at certain things, like optics and manufacturing quality things from steel.


So I bought one of their cameras which I used without failure or babying for 30 years. Drove two of their cars and got 19 years out of them. The cars handled better with 200,000km on them than most Big Three products then available. A helluva more handling and fun than my 'best seller' Mustang. I hear that within 2 years Toyota is expected to outsell GM in North America...


But when it comes to trade tools, my bias favours high-end made in North America. Which wrench would you rather adjust, an Indian Gedore or a Crescent? Would you rather pull a chinese pipe wrench or a Rigid?


Nonetheless, in several departments, they're making giant strides. China is licensed by Boeing to build passenger jets in China. For export. How many folk were laid off out of Everett WA in the past 10 years? Heads UP, the rest of the world is catching up.


 


Edited 11/2/2004 10:35 pm ET by Pierre1

 

(post #122552, reply #22 of 35)

I use harbor freight for tarps and those tools where it is about as cheap to buy one from HF as it is to rent from the local store, such as large pipe wrenches.

For a framing nailer, with all that energy, I think you'd really want a reliable tool. Do you have a porter cable store? I've seen refurbished nailers in ours for $125.

(post #122552, reply #23 of 35)

I just bought a tile saw. It's missing some parts and it's been used. Actually it's in pretty good shape however. I called them and told them that



  • it has no manual

  • it's missing parts

  • it's not new

  • i don't want to pay for shipping to return this thing

They said (a) let us send you a manual and tell us what parts are missing...we'll send 'em to you. If you want to return it, box it up and we'll send someone to pick it up.


question: Yes, i got a good deal but it was returned which makes me nervous. Someone mentioned that he got them to give me some kind of reconsilation (money back?) rather than return what he'd bought. I could go this route. I'm curious if they'll commonly do this and did you ask for money or a tool or what?

(post #122552, reply #24 of 35)

Wait -- you pay half price for a saw and then you get half a saw?  I don't see the problem???


Just kidding.  It may work fine for occasional work but if you do real tile work for a living, get a Felker.  Good luck.


Billy

(post #122552, reply #26 of 35)

yea, i know i know. Typically i try and buy really good quality tools but well the motor was big :) and the table seemed to slide really smoothly <-- the one in the store did anyway.


I looked at a Porter Cable (more money) and it seemed really cheaply made.


Hopefully it'll last me a little while -- it's definately just for home use.


 

(post #122552, reply #33 of 35)

Someone mentioned that he got them to give me some kind of reconsilation (money back?) rather than return what he'd bought. I could go this route. I'm curious if they'll commonly do this and did you ask for money...."


Bob,


I believe that was me, and yes you have to ask.  In my case the tool [chest] was usable but heavily dented, and heavy thus expensive to ship back, AND it failed to be picked up like they said it would, AND I luckily spoke to the same HF CS rep when I called to ask what was going on.


On the phone I simply said, "hey instead of shipping this back for replacement, would you be willing to knock something off the price, and remedy this right here right now."  ...two minutes later, price was cut in half (and it was already a super deal anyway) and the $ was credited on my card.


WSJ