Makita vs Fakita: $140 driver vs $30 counterfeit

Cheap power tools are great if you only use them occasionally. However, some cheap drills have alignment issues; you can test this immediately by chucking in a drill bit and running the drill while holding the bit alongside a straightedge. A drill with bad alignment is pretty much worthless.

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And if the neighbor you loan it to “can’t seem to find it” once you ask for its return, you wouldn’t want to ring his neck as much.

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Dude, you never lend tools, ever. Sorry the tool fairy didn’t hip yous up to that…

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Something something intellectual rights…

Something something abusive factory conditions in China… (not to mention modern day concentration camps)…

but they’re cheap!

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How does something that’s pretty much nothing but motor and rotor even survive if it has alignment issues? Are the tolerances on the bearings sloppy enough that they can just roll with it; or are the tolerances of the chuck(either where it engages with the rotor or somewhere in the graspy innards) sufficiently awful that it doesn’t keep the bit parallel to the rotor and introduces the wiggle?

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I think it is more with the linkage to the chuck (or maybe the chuck itself) than with the bearings, and it doesn’t take a very significant degree of misalignment to have a big impact on the drill accuracy. If these parts of the drill are wobbling it probably won’t put that much wear and tear on the motor itself (and if it does, in a cheap drill, any failure will probably be attributed to the cheapness of the drill rather than the wobble).

Here’s an example in a non-budget drill:

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AvE:

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My only real brush with precision tools was some lathe operation in shop class and I’m still deeply uncomfortable watching that; it’s right about the point where something stops being bad on a purely technical level and starts taking on moral aspects of badness.

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Psshawh! Just choose one size smaller bit and the hole will come out on size. More or less.

I loves me some Harbour Freight. Or the Canadian equivalent: Princess Auto. They both smell the same… packing grease.

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Heh!

I loves me some Harbour Freight. Or the Canadian equivalent: Princess Auto. They both smell the same… packing grease.

I bought a $20 HF drill that I keep at my in-laws’ for occasional repairs. First thing I checked was alignment, and was happy to see it was good. As it only gets used a few minutes/year on average (except for one trip where I used it to rebuild a fence and gate) it is perfect for the application. (Unfortunately, those few minutes have been enough to break several HF drill bits.)

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Asking the right question…not, “is it as good as the Makita it obviously copied?” but “Is it worth $30?” No one thinks they are getting a Makita equivalent for 1/4 the price…but is it good enough? Ideally we don’t buy crap — we buy for life or use a tool library — but we don’t live in ideal world.

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This is why I came here… to make sure the real deal was represented.

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I get the sense that Harbor Freight is not as good a value as they used to be. Maybe it is just that conventional hardware/tool stores had higher profit margins in the past. Now that the big box stores compete with internet, it seems like I can usually buy a name brand tool for just a bit more than the harbor freight disposable. And now that craigslist and ebay make a market for used tools, you can get that extra cost back when you sell.

There is still a narrow slice of the market that they perform; rent if you only need it once, and buy quality if you use often. If you have cheap space to store items of questionable value and utility and don’t care about resale, go Harbor Freight.

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Well I was just reading over on the Foing Foing blog and they said its not a good deal and don’t do it.

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hqdefault_phixr

Anyway, site is in English and about counterfeit products that won the Plagiarius anti-award.

*swoon*

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Swoon now, sweat before. But what else was I supposed to do with a pandemic lost year? I asks yous…

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I see that the Foing Foing is way cheaper than Boing Boing. Do you recommend it? :wink:

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“Counterfeiting” is a bit reductive, honestly. There’s been a lot written about this. It’s to do with Chinese business and manufacturing culture. They don’t have the awareness and focus on branding that other countries do, because their entire manufacturing history has been making things to be badged by others and resold to other people. They’re slowly building their own identities in some sectors now, but most of these companies don’t even have marketing departments. They never needed them before. Branding is a skill set that they’ve never been taught so they’re learning on the job. Many of these products that look like rip offs are the sincere efforts of factory owners to make a product at a good price point that they think will appeal to a non-Chinese audience.

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I think you are exactly right. People constantly say “thing X from HF was surprisingly good!” Well, it’s because they have gotten better. After making their name as the lowest possible price for everything, they’ve been slowly moving up-market and building brands like Chicago and Pittsburgh. Prices have been creeping up as well, but they have the bullet-proof reputation for being bargain-basement cheap so people don’t question it, really. It’s a great set up- people go in for the prices and fully expect garbage, pay more than they think they will, and are pleasantly surprised by the result.

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