Harbor Fright: retailer recalls jack stands that replaced the last jack stands it recalled

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/07/harbor-fright-retailer-recall.html


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You get what you pay for. Plus a headache from all the VOC fumes when you walk in.


You have to be careful of what you pick up there. Sure the big packs of batteries are fine for flashlights along with the cheapo flashlights they give away with coupons, tarps, twine, copies of Pocket Ref and the discount metal ammo boxes for light storage. But I can’t imagine people actually trusting the air tools and welding supplies they sell.


To his credit, the founder of Harbor Freight put together a decent statement with that letter. It can’t be easy to own up to back-to-back mistakes but he did what was necessary. I like Harbor Freight for basic necessities like sockets, screwdrivers and electric fly swatters that look like tennis racquets.


Speaking of Harbor Freight, anyone have experience with their cheap torque wrench? It would be for very occasional use.

yeah - I have one for a better than nothing reason. I only use it to check lug bolt torque in the rare instance I do work on my car that has me taking a wheel off. Its ok for that - nothing where I’d be really concerned about the calibration. Follow the instructions and remember to de-tension it when you put it away.


I’d never buy something at HF designed to keep me from not getting dead.

That said I’m using a 12” sliding compound miter saw Borrowed from a friend that’s a HF model. It’s at least 50% less than any competing model. It’s been working great! I did a pretty exhaustive test on its setup and it was good and has stayed good through the project.


Never trust your life to a Harbor Freight tool.


Cheap tools are a false value. They will end up costing you more in frustration, damage, injury, and replacement. Buy quality and buy it once.

The best option is to join a tool library. We have one here in Minneapolis. It is an excellent alternative to everyone buying the same tool and using it once every five years.


Depends on the tool and what you use it for, though.



From what I have pieced together, HB is actually pretty good at listing to customer feedback and editing the designs of their products to make them more durable.

There is also a big helpful community of people that share how to easily upgrade and repair the products to keep them going longer which is a big plus.

Has anyone else notice that practically nothing manufactured is worth shit anymore? With some exceptions, it seems companies have gone to the Walmart model of making things cheap without regard to utility or durability. We had a dehumidifier for about 15 years there, it failed, so I bought a Frigidaire brand. It failed after two summers (maybe 8 months’ use). Then I bought a Friedrich. It failed after one summer.


Only one thing to say, the obligatory Monty Python quote:

We apologise again for the fault in the
subtitles. Those responsible for sacking
the people who have just been sacked,
have been sacked.


There seem to be about three different grades of tools from HFT. A high end, like the Hercules line, then the mid-grade like the Bauer and then the cheap crap like the $20 cordless drills and $10 angle grinders, which seems to be where HFT tools gets it’s reputation from. Regardless, I’ve never been brave enough to climb under a car that is propped up with HFT jack stands.


Harbor freight is a decent place to get tools if you’re not sure that you’ll need them. If you use it enough to break it, then it’s probably worth buying something better. But most of their tools aren’t terrible and many “good” brands have some of the exact same tools (since nearly all brands contract out to different manufacturers and put their own labeling on the same manufacturers tools).


I have one of those. It’s my second one. The first one sawed 1 thing and then had a catastrophic short complete with sparks and burnt itself out! I took it back. They said grab another off the shelf. This was 4 years ago. The one I have now, exact same model, is working great and I think it’s an excellent tool for less than half of a Makita or any other name brand. It’s a fine saw. But I do think HF has quality issues, generally. A friend of mine with a full machine shop put it best, “Well, I like Harbor Freight. But every tool you buy from them is a project in itself.” This is a guy who owns $50,000 mills that are sitting next to a HF disk sander, and he personally maintains and repairs all tools in his shop.


Not from the company‘s perspective :smiley:


There was a guy who used to work with us and he would go off about specific topics during our weekly meeting. I made a mental bingo card and one of the invariably-checked boxes was Harbor Freight. “Why would you pay hundreds of dollars for a set of sockets when you can get one for $19 [or whatever] at Harbor Freight!?” Our boss noted that he had a relative who’d routinely gift him a cheap tool from Harbor Freight, and whatever it was invariably fell apart in his hands. Even when he went to HF for something he might only have to use once, like a digging bar, it bent in his hands like a pool noodle.

The other favorite bingo space was the guy complaining how much better things were, in the old days, when “John Doe” worked there. Even though he and “John Doe” could not stand each other.

“Prostate” was a free space.


Engineered failure is a surefire way to make another sale, so long as it fails after the warranty period expires.