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Old 01-03-07, 08:16PM   #1
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Thumbs down Harbor freight metal shears

Harbor freight # 92115 14 gauge capacity electric sheat metal shears. Fierst let me say I own and use some KE 440 14 gauge shears at home and other than dropping and fracturing one of the replaceable outer blades, I've never had a problem with them. Had a need for shears like these at work on an occasional basis an saw a sale at harbor freight for what appeared to be a kett knockoff. Key words here are appeared to be.

Out of the box they struggled with 18 gauge material. The Ketts will curl the waste off to the side and out of the way. The HF brand curled it right back into the cutter head and required I reach out and bend it out of the way every so often. The original blades lasted all of about 20 feet of cutting before seeming to die. I noticed a larger gap between the inner blade and one outer blade and even measured this with a feeler gauge. One side had a .010" gap, the other side was probably closer to .025". I cut and inserted a .010" shim on that side and the shears actually resumed a struggling cut for about another 20 feet. I took the shears home and compared the blade set with those from my Kett. Almost identical. I tried installing a set of Kett blades into the HF head and the went right in. Did notice that the cheaper HF fasteners were all bent when I removed them. Anyway, installed the blades and tried them out today. Waste now curls to the side as it should, but the shears still have larger blade to blade gaps and wouldn't cut if their life depended on it. Struggled my way through an 18" cut. My opinion. HF shears are useless junk. While the blades are close, the head is lots smaller and lighter duty looking. Not as much beef and obviously not as close a tolerance as the Kett brand. If your cutting alot of sheet metal for your restoration/ fabrication or a need arise to do some metal work, go for the Kett brand. I have used some HF brand tools with satisfactory results, but sure didn't get them from these. I have had them for awhile but may try returning them. I'll let you know the "customer satisfaction level" on this.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:29AM   #2
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Default Not just HF

I hear ya talkin'

It's all the same overseas junk anymore.
In the 50's and 60's it was Japan ,then they got good and priced themselves out of the cheap market.
Then after that it was Taiwan ,Thailand and Korea.
Now it's all China all the time.

Bought some (Allied) knckoffs off WISS aviation shears that did not last a week on the job.Okay for a person that wants to say they own a set and maybe occasionally use them .These fell apart before they could wear out. When they would cut they mangled up the work piece .Never again!

You usually cannot get replacement parts for the power tools and if you could the cost is so high it's cheaper to throw the tool away and go get a new one.
I've been carping about this subject for years but people just don't get it.
It used to be when you walked into a Harbor Freight tool store they would have some U.S.A. made brands on display , purposely over priced in a locked case.
They just had them there to use for target practice so the HF stuff looks like such a bargain to cheapskate tool purchasers.
Now they don't even bother.
Most people would not know a good quality set of tools if they were staring at one because they have never had to make their living with a good quality set of tools or power tools.
That is the tragic comedy of the low price/low quality deal they offer.
The only reason that stuff is marketed and sells is pure greed.
And this is my reasoning ;
Pure greed on the part of the manufacturers: Because they can use a labor force that works for pennies a day compared to what is reqiured here in the states.They blatantly copy/steal U.S designs and patterns and then cheapen them up.Cutting corners in critical areas on materials and tolerances.
You would expect it to be the other way around. Because the labor is so cheap they should be able to put more quality into the product not pull it out!

Pure greed on the part of the sellers:Because they can get the stuff here on this shore for a ridiculously low price by the container load and then mark it up 300% to 500% and still be cheaper than a domestic product of higher quality.All the while marketing them with domestic sounding names like , Pittsburgh Tools , Olympia Tools,Chicago Electric,Allied,Central Machinery,U.S. General ,Northern Equipment,Westward , Husky Tool ,etc, etc... .
Lots of once popular U.S. manufacturers were bought out lock stock and barrel for two things only. Their patterns and the company name.
The best one I have seen yet is "GENERICO" .They were marketing oxy acetylene torch sets and regulators using that one.

Most catalog / internet sales companies ( including ones marketing automotive parts for repair or performance) are guilty of it. They can get the stuff manufactured and boxed with their own brand name on it.
If the quality is there then hooray for the consumer.
If not, tough luck.

Pure greed on the part of the buyers / consumers : Because they all wanna get a sweet "two for one deal" they can brag about to their neighbor.
All that cheap stuff looks impressive hanging on a peg board in someone's home workshop where it will never get used brutally.

If someone is on a tight budget or know's the tools are gonna get ripped of by employees or neighbors I can understand Wanting to by the inexpensive stuff.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:54PM   #3
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It doesnt matter what brand you buy the quality is just not there anymore. example MAC Tools have teamed up with foose design and released a ltd edition sterter set of tools. I ordered one for home use and when i got it the black chrome plating was awefull. It was marked and on some of the tools the plating hasnt taken. Now where was this made? plain and simple china, the box still had the transit labels where it was airfreighted from china to the UK. Mac have agreed to supply a complete new set and if thats not up to scratch i think pictures and an email will be heading of to foose design.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:29PM   #4
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Default Greed

See! Even ol' Chip smells the celebrity money.
They paid him so much $$ to capitalize on his name to sell a product.
I guess if you can get it .......take it!

Hope they straighten it out for you.

One of these days those guys are gonna 'jack the wrong car on the wrong day and an irate owner is gonna come out blasting.
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Old 01-05-07, 03:05AM   #5
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Default Who Makes The Tools ?

I posted this up about a year ago in another section of the forum.
Who Makes The Tools ?

Most of the hand tools you will see for sale at discount autoparts stores ,home improvement centers,small hardware stores or "BIG BOX" stores are all ,with some exceptions of course, manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China,Taiwan (Free China) or other points East.The attraction is the low wholesale price and huge markup.Plus they will custom logo and box it for you with whatever brand name you want.

Many of the major name brand (DeWalt for example)power tools are now assembled in Mexico.

The Ridge Tool Co. line of home shop power tools ( table saws,chop saws,drill presses ,shop vacuums etc.) that bear the "RIGID" logo that you see for sale at places like home Depot are actually manufactured in China.The killer is they mark it up like it was made here.You could go down the street to HF and buy the same f'n thing for 200% less and still be paying too much.

Back to Who Makes 'Em

Danaher Corporation
Danaher is the current manufacturer of Craftsman hand tools.
Notice the similarity on the logos between Matco Tools and Sata Tools
Both those brands are made offshore in the far East

Stanley Tools
Stanley / Proto Professional Tools
Stanley Tools
Black Hawk
Stanley used to make Craftsman hand tools for Sears.
Stanley makes the revived “HUSKY” brand line of tools, for Home Depot, which are made mostly in Taiwan.
Stanley also manufactures “MAC” brand mechanics tools.

Cooper Industries
Manufacturers of:
H.K. Porter
Lots of it still made here but some of the latest Crescent "gadget wrench" offerings are produced in Taiwan or China.

Snap-On Tools USA
Partnered with J.H.Williams Tool Co. USA
Williams does not sell to the general public
Makes the some of the BAHCO (formerly Sandvik) tool line sold in Europe
Make spec tools used by industry
Makes the KOBALT line of tools sold exclusively at Lowes Home Improvement Centers
Manufactures Snap-On Tools in the same plant.
Other brands owned by or associated with the Snap-on Tool Co.
CDI Torque, Blue Point , Irimo , Alesa , Palmera , Sioux , Car Tec , Hoffman , Kansas Jack , Belzer, ATI , White Industries, John Bean & Black Hawk (Black Hawk hand tools are currently made by Stanley)

FACOM Industries
Is a huge French owned and based company
Major hand tool line in Europe
SK is their USA Subsidiary.
The emphasis on sales in the USA is on the SK brand but certain E stores can get you either.

Cornwell Quality Tools
American owned and operated in Ohio for over 85 years.
Cornwell is a stand alone business.

Channel Lock (originally Champion Bolt & Clipper Co.)
American owned and operated /family run since 1886

Starret Precision Instruments
Last of the USA based and manufactured quality presicsion measuring tools.

Lisle Corporation
Makers of automotive specialtyhttp://users.ntplx.net/~ullman/index.htm tools

Ullman Devices
Scribes , hook and pick sets, magnetic pick up , inspection mirrors etc.
Often copied.

General Tools
Makers of many specialty tools.

Williams- Low Buck Tools
All kinds of specialty tools.
Manufactured in USA
(No relation with JH Williams Tool Co.)

Now this next one is just patently sneaky

William Tools Co. Ltd.
Founded by William Chiang ( Very clever.Why not call it Chiang’s Tools?)
Makers of fine tools for longtime.
Will make tools with your special brand name on it

Mainland China
Companies / Brokers that represent Chinese industry and deal in out sourcing American industrial production .Look at their client lists.








and on and on it goes…………
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Old 01-11-07, 02:13PM   #6
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It's a heck of a note but some of these store brands are actually OK, Husky from Home Depot is actually pretty good. That said you are always better off spending the money for the good stuff. A lot of tools can be found at eatate sales auctions and even pawn shops, just check it well befor buying. By the way, how come we are not teaching industrial arts in high schools anymore? When I was in high school (late 50's early 60) they taught all of that. Now days we make nothing and everything is Chinese. I say don't buy that crap and tell retailers that sell it we don't want it.
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Old 01-11-07, 05:58PM   #7
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Default Why No More Industrial Arts Classes

Why are these departments missing from Jr. High / "Middle Schools" and High School Curriculums?

#1 There is an entrenched prevailing attitude in many of the people administering our"higher" educational system that doing / training for jobs other that white collar work is demeaning and should not be included or promoted as curriculum for higher learning."Whaddaya wanna be a ditch digger?" " Grease Monkey?" "Farmer?"
Sort of educational snobbery.Some highly educated as well as uneducated people tend to look down their nose on people that choose or have to take those types of careers .
"We should be turning out Doctors, Lawyers,Business Executives ,Engineers & Scientists." is also often heard.
All worthy pursuits in life to be sure.We just don't need a glut of them that can't find work at a wage they have been led to believe they are worth either.We cannot all be rock and roll stars or chairman of the board.
Someone has to be able to do the F'n work around here !
I'm always amazed at the amount of supposed highly educated people with a lack of basic skill sets that would allow them to take care of such minor things like how to light a water heater.(More money for me I guess )

There is flawed thinking based on the notion that the J.H. & H.S. systems are here for the sole purpose of feeding students to the colleges and universities.
Hence industrial arts classes and vocational courses are deemed as not being worthy as they are not college preparatory in nature and are considered a waste of resources and time.
I always thought the High schools were supposed to get kids ready to be in the outside world whether or not they "elected" to go on to college.

The whole sad joke here is that now most Jr. Colleges are for vocational training courses because many high schools do not teach them any more.
"BIG" colleges and universities are still turning out too many graduates with meaninless degrees and no good work skills.
Bunch of college graduates that are basicly unemployable.They have to go back to vocational schools to get some skills.
Colleges and Universities are big businesses/ institutions and they need to keep expanding their student bases to help support all their high paid certificated deans ,chancellors,professors,research departments and administrators.(can you say "tuition fees"?)
If enrollments drop off they are gonna have to lay off professors and some other high priced help.OOOOH , bad news at the plant!

More flawed thinking.
" Because of the move away from "Smoke Stack Industries" in the United States (heavy manufacturing, mining,foundries) and the proliferation of "Clean/Green /light industries" ( high tech, biotech, light manufacturing etc)
There is no longer any need in this country to promote those skillsets in secondary education. High tech is where it's at".
And then all the high paying high tech jobs & companies crept offshore in the night.
Leaving the high tech snobs rooting around for work in the service sector economy with all the rest of the poor schlepps that got displaced when our Heavy Industry ran off to the far East.
Lots of engineers looking for work as security gaurds or maintenance techs.
Ya want fries with that?

#5 You will always hear "there just isn't any money to fund those types of courses." Oh there's plenty of money alright just none for that because they cannot get state or federal matching funds to teach them.
See.... rotten all the way to the top!

As usual
Probably WTMI from me !
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Old 01-12-07, 12:52AM   #8
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You know, alot of what you said sprint is true, but, dontcha hate it when someone says but?, There is one more reason to add to your list. It may seem silly but I think it has merit. It wouldn't matter if you were the president of the United States, you want your child to be better off and do more with his or her life than you did. No hidden references to the Bush family and Saddam I work with my hands everyday. I am a pump mechanic. In my spare time I make little splinters out of wood and imbed them in my hand while pretending to make things out of oak, walnut and pine. I'm not a carpenter by trade so as a hobby, I enjoy it and hope one or more of my kids will pick up on the hobby. I do not want them to become pump repairmen. Doctors, lawyer, beggarman or theif. Anything but a pump guy. So do you think that parents like me have anything to do with the state of todays teachings. Don't get me wrong, if my kids came home and told me they wanted to be carpenters, electricians, machinists, or mechanics I would be real happy. Think of the money I'd save not having to hire one of those trades My point is, when you tell your kids over and over how they can be better than you, maybe they associate manual labor with your dissatisfaction with work. So computers, law, medicine, etc MUST be better. When enough kids quit taking the shop classes to study the better life, the classes were dropped. Easy decision for the schools to make when the government sets standards to meet to compete with the foreign students book smarts. Cutting wood doesn't look as impressive on the report card to the rest of the world as does math, biology and the like. Kids see mom and dad eeking along and hear dad talking about how much money the professionals make. So what do you think your kids are gonna do? Why would the school continue to offer a class that very few kids were taking?
Give the laziest man the hardest job and he'll find the easiest way to do it.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:49AM   #9
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Default Valid Points All

Don't bother me a bit.

Parents should always encourage their kids to excel.
That's pride and it's practical too.

I still enjoy being a plumber ( I even get to repair pumps in the field sometimes).I still look forward to going to work every day too .
If my son or daughter would have wanted to pick up the trade I would have supported their decision whole heartedly.
The daughter excelled in art , took college level vocational classes in graphic design and became a very well paid a graphic designer/artist (not a starving one thank God) for a major advertising firm. No 4 year degree required, and is now, along with her husband, raising two sons.

The son became an ASE certified mechanic,later joined the Army in '99 and became an airborne trained combat cameraman. He served in Kosovo ,Afghanistan , Iraq ,He eventually attained the rank of Sergeant.The deal he signed up for with the Army will put him through college when and if he decides to attend.
Now he is doing professional photography for a living and is also raising his son.

Raising kids at a young age my wife and I had to learn how make things work and last out of necessity.
Me being in the construction trades was a real help.
We could not afford the luxury of paying people to make car & house repairs for us.Hand me down clothes were ok.Thrift stores and yard sales were nothing to be ashamed of.Buying new was nice, but buying used was half the price.We were making good money at the time but we were saving to ,and eventually did, buy a house so we denied our selves luxuries . Stuff that everybody " really wants" but "don't really need " at the time.

When the kids were young I taught them photography(I had my own darkroom for awhile),wood working , mechanics and mechanical drawing.Both were excellent scale model builders. Both have a great apprecaition for music.
The mom taught them how to cook , sew , draw & how create craft items ,out of scrap materials, that would sell .
All that plus all the rest of life's lessons.
Both learned the value of a dollar early and were working before they graduated high school.They both had their own cars that they got second hand and had to get running before they could drive.Mom and dad were not gonna get them new cars & buy them gas.We could help with the repairs when needed.
We never discouraged them from attending college but always impressed this upon them: That if they did attend it would not be a "free ride" from mom and dad and that they would have to help pay their way.Plenty of good schools to attend right here in this corner of the world too.
The other thing we stressed to them is that if they attend they had better know what they want out of college before they start.Clear cut Goals.
Know what you want to be before you grow up and go to a four year school.Come away with and education that you can make a living with.That the four year degree would not guaranty that they would become fabulously wealthy either.
I've seen to many professional students /constant major changers that are going nowhere.
Still no shame in having to break a sweat/ get dirty if you have to in order to get by and survive.
Always good for your kids to do better than you.
That way they can put us in nice old folks homes maybe even visit us once in awhile.
Have a great day
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Old 01-12-07, 08:47AM   #10
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Yeah, they just don't make them like they used to.

Old tools rule!

For the last several months I have been using my late Father's pre-WWII Plomb hand tools instead of my newer Snap On, S-K, Craftsman, etc .... and you know what? There really is a difference! The Plomb ratchets have such a nice smooth action, I am getting spoiled!
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Old 01-12-07, 12:53PM   #11
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Sprint, I look back now and laugh AT myself. Hell, everyone else has been laughing at me for years, I might as well join them Anyway, as a young man I heard the stories about plumbers making or at least charging 28.00 an hour. Very good money in the mid seventies. At that time I decided that money wasn't everything and there was no way I was sticking my hands in pipe containing the bodily releases from other people. Fast forward to the mid eighties. Through a twist of fate I started working in a pipe supply warehouse and we branched into supplying pumps to the industrial markets like grain processing plants and Caterpillar. Forward in time a little more and I'm now working for a company that supplies pumps for both industrial and municipal use. Municipal as in waste treatment plants. I ended up in the sewer anyway . The good side of it is I have to say I have the worlds greatest boss, bar none, and I do enjoy my job. I too encourage my kids to do what they want in life unless of course it's living at home off of mom and dad. HA HA Mine (4) are all still in school with the oldest just a junior in high school. None have concrete plans as to what they want to do in life but then, I'm 45 and still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I've got lots of hands on over the years and not just describing my sex life some college, some military. I also tell my kids that mom and dad can't afford college and that they have to work hard in school and try for the scholarship money or prepare for college loans if they decide to go.

Update on the shears. HF decided that I had them too long to return, even though they were bought well in advance of need and had no use for most of the time, and therefore couldn't do anything for me. Lesson one, buy something, rip it from the package and use it even if you don't need it yet to make sure it works. By the way, this does not apply to condoms On a positive note. I did take them apart, substitute a different pair of Kett blades, and got them to work mo better. The first pair of Kett blades I tried had some use on them. I put in a new set and whoa nelly, the sheet metal peels off nicely. Price wise as a comparison, my Ketts cost me 175.00 a few years back. The HF cost 39.00 plus a set of Kett blades at 45.00. Figure in the hassles and head aches associated with the HF brand though and no, zero zip nada problems with the Kett shears. There something to be said for trouble free use even at more expensive pricing. If your still bent on "saving" money with the HF, save the return trips and hassles and buy a set of Kett blades too.
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Old 01-12-07, 03:43PM   #12
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Well you guys pretty well summed it up. Thank God I went to dear old Van Nuys High when industrial arts were hot. Great teachers, learned a lot. Except no told me how expensive the hot rod hobby was. Van Nuys, for those of you who don't know, or even care, is in the San Fernando Valley, Calif. home to hot rodding. I was lucky to grow up there in the 50's and 60's and fondly remember getting tickted for racing on Van Nuys Blvd. Really stupid but we were young and there wasn't any traffick. Viva San Fernando drag strip and long live those nights at Lions Lon Beach, sadly both long gone.
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Old 01-12-07, 06:19PM   #13
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Default Amen !

Can I get a witness ?
High Schools that could teach machine shop,metal shop, welding, foundry, wood shop ,electricity,radio & electronics,drafting & architecture, & of course the all important Home Economics.

Spent a few hours there myself.

There is now a Lions documentary available on DVD.
For details visit:

This next site is awesome

It's worth it just for the trip down memory lane.
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Old 01-13-07, 09:38AM   #14
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I think a lot of these blue collar education cuts vary from area to area. In my area, these classes are still widely available, and always full. I live in a farming/industrial community so these classes help to feed the local economy with a future workforce. Of course there are folks who think that higher goals in life are what the focus should be, but what's wrong with being a wealthy farmer, or a well paid diesel mechanic, or even a highly skilled, well paid carpenter? Just because the work is hard, doesn't mean you have to accept the low wages that are stereotyped to the careers. Farmers are not po' folks, unless they want to be. What I think it all comes down to is the Americanized ideology of money for nothing, and your chicks for free. lol! I expect to be paid what I'm worth, and will gladly pay someone what they are worth. If everyone thought that way, the great ole USA would be out of debt, and a true economical superpower.
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Old 01-13-07, 02:55PM   #15
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Thumbs up Education?

A.X. you guys are lucky, make sure the "educators" don't elimenate those classes. Sprint, did you ever go to San Fernando drag strip or am I the only one old enough to remember getting my doors blown off by Dick Landy when I had my 63 Plymouth max wedge. He had the bucks, I had a young guys gas station pay. LOL
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