There's a lot of debate in the woodworking world on whether or not to purchase tools from Harbor Freight. If you're not familiar with Harbor Freight, they are known for selling inexpensive tools. Sometimes these tools can be more than half the price of more well known brands. You may have heard stories of how Harbor Freight tools underperform or break under normal use. While this may be true there are a few gems that cannot be overlooked. I personally am a fan of Harbor Freight tools as the low cost was the main reason I was able to test the waters of woodworking and see if it was for me. Here are five Harbor Freight tools I've had for many years without any issues.
12 in. 1-1/4 HP Disc Sander
I've had this 12" sander for nearly 4 years and use it in just about every project. Compared to other 12" models from higher end brands you cannot beat this deal! My only dislike is the table is made of a very lightweight aluminum. A detail that can be easily dismissed.
14 In. Oscillating Spindle Sander
Like the disc sander, I've had this spindle sander for nearly 4 years. At this price (especially if you use the 20% off coupon) everyone should have one in their shop.
70 gal. 2 HP Industrial Dust Collector
Manufacturer: Central Machinery
Current price at the store: $209.99
Comparable Product: Shop Fox 2 HP Dust Collector - $432.52
View on Harbor Freight website
Also available on Amazon - $174.40 + $104.49 shipping
This dust collector is half the price as others in its class. I use mine as is and it works great but it's easily upgradeable to be used with a filter cartridge or dust separator.
3 gal. 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oilless Pancake Air Compressor
I've had this air compressor for about 3 years and runs great. I can't recall if it comes with a hose or not but I do remember replacing a leaky hose about two years ago.
6" Quick Release Bar Clamp
Grab as many of these as you can! And while you're at it, grab a bunch of the 12" bar clamps as well. You cannot have enough of these and will last you a lifetime as long as you keep the dried glue off.