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Chicago anyone?

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  • Chicago anyone?

    Has anyone used and or bought any of the chicago tools from harbour freight? I am looking at there 12 inch sliding compound miter saw for 179. and there 1 3/4 horse power plunge router for 39.99. Normally you get what you pay for, but a buddy of mine said he buys a lot of his tools there and they work just fine for him. Thanks for any feedback.

  • #2
    Re: Chicago anyone?

    If accuracy is a priority then in this case yes, you get what you pay for. IMO, the slider would be good for maybe rough carpentry work and the router would be good for nothing but that's just my opinion.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Chicago anyone?

      I looked at that saw and the adjustments are not very good. It is not made as sturdy as the Cheaper brand that Lowe's and Home Depot sells. I have to move mine around and it is always right on! The saw at Harbor Freight I would set it up in your shop and never move it. My advise is pay a little more and get a saw that you can get parts for. Harbor Freight has a replacement warranty that you have to purchase. Ridgid has 3 years and Lifetime. If you need parts you can get them in most cases in a week. I lost a part to my Ridgid saw and two days later I got it delivered to my house. Harbor Freight Good Luck!

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      • #4
        Re: Chicago anyone?

        Just so ya know (in case there was any doubt), the Chicago Electric brand that HF sells has no relation to the well respected name of Chicago Pneumatic who makes air powered tools. Hf does this for a number of their lines of tools, they come up with close-sounding copycat names hoping people will not remember the true name of the respectable brand, at least that's how I see their marketing ploys working.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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        • #5
          Re: Chicago anyone?

          Chinese cr_p. I wouldn't buy it unless you don't really care what angle you end up with or how long it lasts.

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          • #6
            Re: Chicago anyone?

            Yup, just about everything in those stores is made in China and in my opinion any power tool from there is just outright dangerous. I call it the "Tool Store of Death"
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
            ---------
            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Chicago anyone?

              Harbor Freight and their "Pittsburgh Forge" hand tools that don't have anything at all USA about or in them. Just more of their BS games. The state of Pennsylvania should ban the sales of them. There's good reason why top well respected brands of hand and power tools cost more.

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              • #8
                Re: Chicago anyone?

                harbor frieght is a bunch of junk

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                • #9
                  Yes and No

                  Yes, I would agree that they're junk.
                  BUT, I would argue that there may be a place for junk in one's arsenal. Obviously this theory doesn't apply to a staple such as a miter or router, but for infrequently used tools, here's the formula:

                  If the price of the crappy tool is less than the cost of renting that tool for a week, then it's worth it.

                  Example:
                  As a finish carpenter, I so rarely bust up concrete, that dropping a grand on a decent demolition hammer wasn't in the budget. I found a piece of junk tool at H.F. for $250 (props to BadgerDave!). The rental of that tool would have been $50 a day. I have already used it for five days. If the thing survives even one more day of use, it will have saved me money to buy instead of rent.

                  I would obviously prefer to have the DeWalt, but I only do this stuff a couple times a year as a favor to old clients. So I can't justify the extra cost for a "real" tool that will do a lot of sitting around, collecting dust.

                  So if you're Joe Homeowner doing a one time floating laminate floor install, and all your cuts will be under the shoe, then the Chicago miter will get you through the weekend and then some. But if you plan to make a habit out of this kind of work, don't waste your money on a disposable tool.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Chicago anyone?

                    I like Harbor Freight because when I purchase tools at HD or Lowe's and they cost 3 times more and then I see people purchase Harbor Freight tools and they don't last and don't operate well it makes me feel good. A guy at work purchases from them and what junk! He tells me I just bought that tool at HF and I paid less than half what you paid! Then later he asks me if he can use my stuff because it died. I have never seen a cordless drill that cheap and the 18V battery that looks real good. I wish the government would close them all down for ripping off people that do not know enough.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Chicago anyone?

                      Harbor Freight & its stock, has its place.

                      Picked up a pair of 3,000 lbs rated straps with doubled heavy duty welded J hooks & an engine lift shop crane to lift & move my 12" Jointer for far less than what it would've cost me to rent the same.

                      I've now used those straps / crane multiple times now for this & that & they're still kicking.

                      Bought a couple of wall / ceiling mounted retractable 50' rubber air hose reels a few years back. Working just fine with everyday use.

                      However, I'd normally be leery of buying my power tools from Harbor Freight.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Chicago anyone?

                        I agree with most. I have never bought power tools from HF, but do try to shop there for the basic cheap disposable things (i.e. latex gloves, some clamps, vises, cheap rope, cheap work gloves, brushes for cheap work, etc, etc). Now my closest HF is about 130 miles away so I am looking for alternatives in my area for those types of things which HF really sells at a very low price.
                        Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Chicago anyone?

                          I've had good and bad luck with Harbor Freight stuff. For light duty work, everything I've bought has excelled.

                          My compressor from HF is on its third year, running fine. The chop saw, works fine. Brad nailer, just fine.

                          Don't buy any of their sandpapers, etc. Just sucks.

                          I wouldn't say everything at HF is junk.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Chicago anyone?

                            It can be a neat experience at HF if you shop carefully and understand what you are buying is disposable: it was Dollar Days at Harbor Freight last week and as I shopped for dollar items: clamps, rope/twine, straps/bungee, brass/steel brushes, etc. I noticed that alot of the dollar items were the same or nearly the same product as sold by HD,Lowes,Sears (made-in-China) but much cheaper! I cannot shop for these same items at HD/Lowes/Sears anymore.

                            FYI: I saw a customer purchase a HF generator for $249 and decline the one-year HF extended warranty for $30. Another salesperson offered a 15% discount off the HF generator if the warranty was purchased. The customer accepted the deal because now the HF generator had a one year in-house warranty which allowed him a year of use/abuse for less than $249. The salesperson said the HF generator can be exchanged for any reason, i.e. dirty? Something to think about.... I do not think you cannot get the same type of warranty at HD/Lowes/Sears. I am still leery about their power tools but would like to know your thoughts....

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