If there's such a thing as a downside to accumulating a lot of friends, it's that sooner or later one of them is going to move. Which means, of course you have to help them. It's in the, you know, "friend" code. And, guess what? Moving season is upon us! Which means, right now one of your buds is either going through wanderlust, retirement or a sudden career opportunity, and that migratory song is a-callin'. This is where you can be a real friend and recommend they head over to Harbor Freight Tools for moving supplies. From hand trucks and dollies, to ramps and moving blankets, HFT's got beaucoup gear for the Big Adios. And if you've been enlisted in your buddy's relocating hellride, you'll want to make sure he's equipped for a speedy, seamless endeavor. Here are just a few examples of equipment to help them (and you) with the move:
For any move or reorganization, this 600 lb. Capacity Haul-Master Hand Truck #95061 is a great dolly to have on hand. It's the perfect work horse for moving heavy items quickly and easily. High-quality construction with a heavy-gauge beveled toe plate, the hand truck features smooth-rolling, 10" pneumatic rubber tires and a P-shaped safety handle, as well as long axle braces, making it easy for climbing stairs. At only $39.99, it's a great deal for hours of reliable service! Available in-store only.
In the event you find yourself treading over rougher terrain like lawns, dirt or landscape rock, Haul-Master's also got a rugged 700 lb. Capacity Bigfoot Hand Truck #97568 that'll make the ride smooth on all terrain. This tough sucker's got extra large tires made especially for travel over all surfaces. The"bigfoot" dolly has long axle braces for easy stair climbing, heavy gauge toe plate with rounded corners and a beveled front. Heavy duty ball bearing hubs make it suitable for lawn and garden applications as well as moving big items in the factory, shop or warehouse. You can spot this Big Foot for a reasonable $54.99. Also available in-store only.
If rough terrain isn't your concern, but flat tires are, Haul-Master's got a 700 lb. Capacity Hand Truck #95909 with solid rubber tires that will keep on rolling regardless of what it rolls over. So, if you're going over areas notorious for screws, nails or glass, you can transport items up to 700 lbs. safely and quickly, 'cause this heavy duty hand truck features solid rubber tires that can't go flat, high impact hubs with sealed ball bearings and a powder coat finish for added durability. This dolly is awesome for the big move or daily use in the shop! Just $34.99 at Harbor Freight (in-store only).
While picking up your heavy-duty hand truck, keep in mind that, besides boxes n' stuff, you'll probably be using it for more fragile stuff like wood furniture,and glass and metal pieces. Just in case, grab yourself one of the Haul-Master Hand Truck Covers #98346, a padded blanket-like cover that easily fits over the top of most round-top hand trucks. It'll prevent scratches and marring when moving the more delicate stuff, and protect the hand truck when hauling rougher cargo. The hand truck cover is filled with genuine recycled cotton and features hook and loop fasteners to ensure a snug fit on a variety of hand truck styles. For just $5.99, this accessory is a bonafide no-brainer!
Enough about hand trucks, let's talk ramps. If you guys are loading a truck that doesn't have one of those slide-out ramps, you sure as heck better get some. For everyone, man.
Harbor Freight's got a few you might want to look at:
Whether you're pushing a stack of boxes, an appliance or a quad, the Haul-Master 1000 Lb. Steel Loading Ramps #44649 will take it all, and then some. These 6-ft. long, 9-inch wide loading ramps let you roll your ATVs, armoires and lawn jockeys up into the vehicle with safety and ease! They can handle up to 1,000 lbs. to be loaded into your truck, van or trailer. No need to put your life on the line with some makeshift plank ramps, my brother. The $59.99 you spend here is a much better investment than anything they'll charge you at Urgent Care.
For a little more, Haul-Master's also got a super-duty 1200 Lb. Capacity Convertible Aluminum Loading Ramp #94057 that takes loading to the next level-- it's TWO ramps in one! Just the right balance of weight and strength, this loading ramp is made of durable yet lightweight aluminum with a ridged platform and 2-3/4" side railings for safety. Detach the center hinge and one 1200 lb. capacity ramp quickly becomes two 6 ft., 600 lb. capacity ramps. It can also fold in half for easier storage or transportation to the next destination, and comes with safety chains to tighten and secure the ramp when hauling something heavy and unwieldy It also serves as a great way to transport your log splitter of snow blower to other locations. A great deal at $137.99, this aluminum foldable loading ramp pays for itself in the first move!
Finally, when moving and loading, make sure you keep plenty of tie-down straps on hand. Harbor Freight's wildly popular Haul-Master 4-Pack of 1-inch x 15-ft Ratcheting Tie Down Straps #90984 are one of the best deals around. Each one of the tie down straps can adjust from 4 ft. to a max of 15 ft. The durable polyester ratchet straps can handle working loads of up to 400 lbs.! Features include automatic ratcheting lock action and a quick-release button to quickly secure and free your loads. A great tie down set for pick-up trucks and semis to clamp down on their hauls, too. At $12.99 per pack of 4, you're going to want to get a few.
Heck, if you want to be a REALLY good friend, go to Harbor Freight yourself, since everything's so affordable, and bring the moving supplies with you! 'Course, that means you get first dibs using it, right?
"Ever need a 10mm socket and opened your toolbox only to find a sea of random sockets rolling around in complete chaos?"
Uh, yeah, like every weekend! And in the May 2013 issue of Truckin' - The World's Leading Truck Publication - they tackle this very subject, pitting Harbor Freight Tools' Pittsburgh 3 Piece SAE (#68100) and 3 Piece Metric Socket Tray/Organizers (#68102) against the other guys.
The 3-piece socket organizer fits nicely in your tool chest, and will fit most socket designs, including both regular and deep wall sockets. Holders for 1/4", 3/8” and 1/2" drives are also included on both the SAE and metric trays. Each 3-piece set sells for an incredibly low $7.99 and will service your needs for a lifetime!
So, what did Truckin' magazine have to say about the Pittsburgh socket tray organizers? Good stuff, of course!
"Purchased locally from Harbor Freight, the Pittsburgh three-piece organizers were easy to read, easy to handle and accommodated a total of 168 sockets, placing it in a tie for third-highest capacity. Large impact sockets fit with no issues, the organizers feature a lifetime warranty, and both SAE and Metric sizes only put us out of pocket for $15.98-- an incredible value. Overall, for weekend warriors or lifetime mechanics, the Pittsburgh socket tray/organizer is certified Truckin Tough."
Harbor Freight customers who have already bought these trays, love them!
"I use these at home along with the metric set in my tool chest to organize my socket. The price of these is incredible when you compare it to any of the alternatives that allow you to stand up your sockets vertically. They're built well, marked well, and do the job perfectly. Great buy!" Big Al - Ottowa, ON
"Accomplishes the same thing as other socket trays at a much lower price. They work great in the top of a tool chest or in a deep drawer... I have several sets that I use for standard/impact, 6pt/12pt, etc. and I highly recommend them." Isaac - Pella, IA
"I am by no means a mechanic, but I love my tools and try to take care of them. My wife got a Habor Freight magazine and she found the above-shown socket organizers. She bought them for me and I have to say I'm very happy with the price and quality. These socket organizers are made with thicker plastic post for your sockets and the trays are more sturdy than the "high end" brands... trust me, for the price you can't go wrong." Scooter - Chowchilla, CA
To read the entire "Socket Organizer Shootout" article, pick up your copy of the May 2013 Truckin' magazine!
If there was a category for "Single-Most-Loved Product" at Harbor Freight Tools, the US General tool cabinets and carts would probably be in a tight group, a length ahead of all the others. Be it the insanely popular 44" 13-Drawer Tool Cabinet, the mammoth 56" 11-Drawer Industrial Rolling Cabinet or the economical, yet rugged, 4-Drawer Tool Cart, the US General tool chests have amassed a ton of rave reviews-- both for the quality and the value.
Which is why it's no surprise to see the way-thumbs-up review of the 700-lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart in the May 2013 issue of Hot Bike (this issue can be found in magazine stands but is not, as of this writing, online). Same beautiful fire-engine red as the other models, the rugged all-steel, 5-drawer tool cart is the ideal choice for the wrencher with just enough-- but not too many-- tools. As pointed out by Hot Bike writer, Jeff G. Holt, in the Used and Abused column:
"This all-steel 120-pound tool cart is a great place to store a myriad of tools for not a lot of money. This bright-red powder-coated rollaway is constructed (of) 14-gauge steel and can hold up to 700 pounds worth of stuff."
Jeff wasn't a pushover for just any pretty face, though. He put the baby to work immediately.
"Sure, that is all well and good, but for a cabinet such as this, with a rather low price tag, I was worried about things like the drawers opening smoothly and other quality-related issues. Once I freed it from its shipping box, I assembled it (it took less than a half hour) and loaded it full of my wayward tools and was able to put it to the test. The ball-bearing rails on each of the drawers worked smoothly and they even had a locking lever per drawer like only the carts costing three times the price usually possess. The key-controlled locking mechanism on the top of the cart also worked flawlessly, which is truly a feat for something of this price. When fully loaded, this cart rolled around freely due to the two fixed and two swiveling locking casters. It even did so on chunky asphalt."
Sounds like a winner. But, how about down the road? Did the tool cart stand the test of time?
"After throwing tools in and out of the cart for almost a year now, I have been pretty impressed with the quality construction and ease of use. The only problem I am currently having with it is that I am running out of room and I'll need to switch to a larger storage system. If you are looking for a rolling workstation such as this, don't let the low price keep you away, buy this and save a couple hundred dollars over the competition."
A larger storage system? Harbor Freight can do that. Or, how about just getting a second tried-and-true 5-drawer tool cart? You can find the 700-lb.Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart at your local Harbor Freight, or online, for a low $199.99-- or $169.99 with coupon! Girls on Hot Bike magazine cover not included.
When it comes to riding your motorcycle, it's not enough that it just runs good-- you gotta look good. So make sure you check out Super Streetbike's April 2013 issue (no, not the cover, lug nut-- I'm talking about YOU looking good).
On page 58 there's a nifty article on "Helmet Painting"-- a cool, inexpensive way to self-express on the road. But, as writer Brian Hatano points out, you need more than a creative idea to get your point across; it takes technique. So, he takes you through every step you probably don't think about when imagining that wicked skull with flames and roses... namely, preparation, detail, method and materials. To get the hang of the spray gun skills, though, Brian suggests we first get the feel of it with a practice helmet:
"For practice jobs, any helmet will work, but starting with a lid in good condition will require less initial prep and give you more time to think about designs and color combinations."
He then breaks down the process of executing a successful paint job-- from disassembling the helmet to applying the clear coat-- in crystal, concise detail. Great intel to have for when you're ready to go for it.
Interesting, however, is that even though Brian was working in a shop equipped with a large air compressor, he opted instead to go with the Central Pneumatic 1/5 HP, 58 PSI Airbrush Compressor.
"Although we had a full size compressor available, we tried out the Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic 1/5th HP Airbrush Compressor and it performed better than units costing twice as much. Zac noted the quiet motor with no pulsing in the air supply."
Constructed of sturdy anodized aluminum, the airbrush compressor is easy to clean and operate, and changing colors is a cinch. The airbrush kit works with lacquers, oils and latex-based paints to create pro-quality designs only limited by your imagination! It comes with a 22cc glass jar, 5cc metal cop and 5-ft. air hose-- and, at a low $88.99, it'll pay for itself over and over again!
While you're shopping, also be sure to pick up the Central Pneumatic Quick-Change Airbrush Kit for just $11.99. This enables you to switch out paints in a flash with next-to-no downtime.
This awesome setup would also be perfect for custom painting:
- Bike frames
- R/C and other models
- Auto body detail art
- Tool boxes or cabinets
- Metal sculpting
- Signs and murals
- Cosmetic and Halloween makeup
- Spray tanning
- ...and so much more!
Also, of course, if you want to support the team at the big game.
With warm weather comes reclaiming the garage. It's your Fortress of Solitude. Your "getting-things-done" place. But when you throw your body against the door and, on the third try, finally manage to pry it open, reality comes crashing down-- as well as a stack of boxes and a pair of old Pioneer speakers. Somehow,over the course of the winter the garage has morphed into a disaster zone. Lawn tools and bikes and power tools and half-finished projects and other stuff cluttering up the bench tops and floor space, to the point that you can't go out and fetch your Costco toilet paper without ripping your shirt and tripping over something. And then you swear, and your mother-in-law overhears it and she shoots your wife a look like, "you really screwed up hooking up with this fella"... even 20 years later.
You really need to clear out the garage! So, here are a few tools from Harbor Freight I'd like to suggest that'll make your feng shui the right way:
I think you'll agree, there's nothing in the garage with more "trip potential" than the family bicycles. It's like the damned things have minds of their own, fighting you every step of the way as you try to get passed them. No longer be that victim! Harbor Freight's got a cool Bicycle Lift #95803 with a unique pulley locking mechanism that quickly hoists your bike up, off the ground. Mounting hardware and a 46 ft. nylon rope are included and set-up couldn’t be easier. They're great for kids' bikes, mountain bikes, adult cruiser bikes, etc. And check out the customer reviews-- some even use their bike lifts for other things like kayaks andconvertible tops! Perfect for anyone who needs a little extra space in their garage. The bike lifts sell for $8.99 each, well worth the price for free space, unscratched bikes and unbruised ankles!
When you were clearing the garage, I'm sure you noticed every once in a while kicking little pieces of something or another across the floor; screws, bolts, washers, etc. The next step is to clear the decks with 30" Magnetic Sweeper #93245 from Central Machinery. Riding on 7" wheels and sporting an extra-wide 30" sweeper, this tool will quickly and easily pick up hardware, scrap, nails, wires, metal dust and other metal parts over garage and shop floors, carpet-- and even grass! The magnetic sweeper provides 50 lbs. of magnetic pull plus a one-pull release to quickly clean itself of the debris. Plus, the handle extends from 30" to 44-1/2". Only $39.99! And, if your areas are smaller, Harbor Freight also carries a 22" Magnetic Sweeper #98399 for $34.99 and a mini 17" Magnetic Sweeper #98398 selling for $9.99.
Besides clutter, an unattended garage can become a den of dust and grime. Hardware that uses oil and grease like auto parts, fasteners, hinges, padlocks, etc., quickly accumulate a greasy coat of scuz that can affect their performance. One of Harbor Freight customers' favorite shop accessories is the legendary Chicago Electric 20-Gallon Parts Washer #7340. It comes with a fully enclosed electric pump that circulates 5-1/4 gallons-per-minute to dissolve grease, dirt and grime-- from even the grungiest parts! Made of rugged steel, the parts washer includes a built-in drain and a latching cover to keep spills to a minimum.The 20-gallon tub sits atop a heavy-duty steel stand and includes a small parts basket, work shelf, storage shelf and flexible chrome spigot. This thing's a virtual work horse and will perform righteously for mechanics and machine shop workers, as well as homegrown DIYers. It's the perfect companion during engine, trans and carb rebuilds, not to mention any mechanical repair jobs. At $95.99, this parts washer will give you great service for years!
Don't even think about messing around the grime, oil and chemicals without wearing protective 5-Mil Nitrile Safety Gloves #68498. Seriously, this one's a no-brainer, guys. At just $5.99 for 100 gloves (50 pair), you get the peace of mind of being protected from harmful agents while maintaining the dexterity and comfort necessary to get the tasks done. These gloves provide better resistance to chemicals and such than lates, and also don't trigger the allergic reaction that latex can. 'Nuf said.
Finally, when the job's done, make sure you've got a jug of 5-star hand cleaner, Orange Goop, nearby. This heavy-duty, citrus-scented hand cleaner is gentle on your hands, but tough on the grime. clean and smelling fresh! It removes grease, mud, plaster, paint, dirt, grime and more. With a convenient hand pump, this 1-gallon Goop-- at just $9.99-- makes it FUN to wash your hands! OK, not really, but it's better than getting the stinkeye for blackening the bar soap and sink in the powder room.
Now that the weather's getting nicer, step outside and take inventory of your outdoor toys: lawn mower, ATVs, bikes, motorcycles, dirt bikes... not a pretty picture, is it? The tires are flat, they're dead as doornails and they've got a film of filth accumulated from four months of neglect (and maybe even some left over from last year's use).
Time to get in gear, son. Here are a few tools from Harbor Freight that'll jump start your spring and summer, and get your wheels back on track:
First of all, let's put some air back in those tires. For that-- as well as other light air tool jobs around the garage-- I recommend the Central Pneumatic 3-Gall Oilless Air Compressor #95275. Equipped in a compact 1/3-gallon tank, the compressor puts out a capable 100 PSI, plenty for brad nailing, stapling, inflating or air brushing. It includes a quick connect coupler, and features easy-to-read gauges and thermal overload protection. Easily stored in the trunk of any vehicle, this compressor is a portable and hassle-free light duty air supply. And at $59.99 ($49.99 with coupon 'til the end of March!), it will have paid for itself, saving you from all those trips to the gas station where they charge you a buck a pop!
Next, blast the dirt, dust and grime off your mower, ATVs and bicycles with the Pacific Hydrostar 1650 PSI Electric Pressure Washer #69488. This is a great pressure cleaner for any auto garage or shop. Capable of up to 1,650 PSI, it can be employed to power-clean your walls, yard equipment, RV, boat, and vehicles easily. We like using it on the exterior siding, molding and getting rid of wasp nests. Lightweight and portable, it features a 13' pressure hose that can reach the tougher areas, and 5" diameter wheels for smooth transport. The nozzle is also adjustable for wide spraying or tight, concentrated streams, which is great when you need lighter or harder pressure. Add Harbor Freight's powerful Degreaser Concentrate and use it to power wash your greasy, grimy, cobweb-covered BBQ grill as well. Normally priced at $99.99, but now 'til the end of March, you can pick up one of these babies for just $89.99 with coupon!
Chances are, after being dormant for several months, some of your engines will need defibrillation. This is where the Chicago Electric Battery Charger and Engine Starter #66783 comes in. Imagine the rush of godlike power as you connect the positive and negative clamps to your dead mower, and with a maniacal laugh, yell "Clear!" and hit the ignition, bringing your creature back to life. The 10-amp charger setting on this unit recharges vehicle batteries in just 3-5 hours. The 2-amp trickle function maintains the charge when the battery is not being used, while the 55-amp setting provides a boost of added cranking power for autos in emergency situations. The battery charger includes battery leads and clamps to help you get back on the lawn, water, dirt and road quickly. Priced at $49.99, the battery charger and engine starter will pay for itself over and over again!
Now that you've finished moving all your machines outside and ready for action, it's time to turn your attention to the garage itself. Tune in next time when we address getting the garage/shop cleaned, organized and ready for all your projects in 2013!
In their upcoming May, 2013 issue, Lowrider magazine will feature a Project HellDorado installment, covering the creation of a custom dashboard and console for a '68 Cadillac El Dorado (say that three times real fast). After the factory dash was removed, the top of the new dash was made in sections and then, using a Central Machinery English Wheel Kit With Stand from Harbor Freight Tools, the auto artisan sculpted the contours to precision.
Great choice! The 28" throat capacity on Harbor Freight's English wheel kit offers plenty of room to fabricate compound curves on large pieces with ease and efficiency. It's also great for shaping, fabrication, and smoothing dents and welding seams in fenders, hoods and trunk panels. The 4” all-steel frame is more than capable for handling sheet steel to 16 gauge as well as copper and aluminum to 14 gauge. It's easy to level and easy to use. And at $299.99-- $239.99 with a 20% Off Coupon!-- it'll do what the expensive units will do at half the price!
Whether your fashioning your ride to be a lowrider, a hot rod or just a customized thing of beauty, the Central Machinery English Wheel Kit is the perfect companion in your shop.
As we watch winter getting smaller in the rear-view mirror, it's time to start thinking about prepping all the warm weather toys for the coming months. I'm talking about the ATVs, the boat and water toys, the motorcycles, RV, lawn tractor, etc. -- the stuff that's been just sitting for the past five or so months. Unless you've been keeping them on life support with a battery float charger (which, by the way, would have been the forward-thinking thing to do, but if you're like me, thoughts like that usually come late), they be dead, Jim.
But l'd rather light a candle than curse your darkness. As it just so happens, Harbor Freight's 3-in-1 Jump Starter & Power Supply is the perfect tool for just such a challenge. This popular unit is a lifesaver when you're stuck. Fully charged, it will jump 12-volt batteries ordinary jumper cables will fail. It provides a whopping 400 amp boost rate and comes a 3.6 watt light so you can see what you're doing under the hood.
And as proud owners can attest, the Cen-Tech jump starter is a veritable bacon saver:
"I bought this Jump Box on Friday, charged it over night and set out for parades on Saturday morning. During the course of the day, I used it to jump 2 SUV's and a pickup (all big V-8's) that had dead batteries. It handled them all off of a single charge and according to the meter, it still had plenty of juice left. Very impressed. Also includes a cigarette lighter adapter that would let you charge/ recharge it from your boat/ car in an emergency." Jake S. - Slidell, IA
"Just emergency boosting two stranded cars made the unit pay for itself. Loaded with features that are sorely missing from more expensive "brand name" units; such as the excellent analog volt meter. Brand name units usually have lights instead of an actual volt meter. And the built-in A/C adapter, brand names usually have a wall brick adapter that is easily damaged or lost. The battery is a standard size AGM battery that can be easily accessed and replaced if needed. The flat back panel is great for modifications, I bolted a small DC to AC inverter to use as a mobile power supply for very light duty AC devices, I use mine to run a cd boombox on picnics, better than investing on pricey D cell batteries . The mods make my booster pack a little bit of a mutant, but they have come very handy when the power goes out, at a fraction of what an all in one unit would have cost. The molded plastic really takes the bumps well, and the battery charge lasts a long time, great tool." Jose Jiminez
The Cen-Tech 3-in-1 Jump Starter & Power Supply sells for a low $49.99-- just $39.99 with a 20% coupon!-- and is available on Harbor Freight's website or in the store.
As the resuscitative process often involves inflating tires as well, you might want to dole out just a few more bucks and get the Chicago Electric Jump Starter with Air Compressor.
This model has the same awesome power and features as the Cen-Tech, but also comes with an invaluable 260 psi air compressor. Think that's overkill? Think again!
"Pumped up 5 tires from a dead flat. Jump-started more than 20 cars 'n trucks. Still running strong. Even used in power outtage, hooked up a converter to the cig outlet and had light and TV to watch, lasted about 9 hours ." hueyhotdogg2000 - Bula, OH
"This unit has been a great addition to my travel gear. It has been able to jump start a diesel pickup truck in the winter and the compressor has kept everything from my kids' bicycle tires to a flat on a friend's SUV inflated. I also found that by using the 12-V outlet with my inverter, I can use items like my TV while camping and not run down my vehicle's battery nor keep the engine running." Jeff G.
For the garage, barn, car, boat and more-- the Chicago Electric jump starter/air compressor can be had for a mere $60.99 ($48.79 with 20% coupon)! For that, you can buy two!
Just remember where you heard about this. You're welcome.
It's not enough just to claim having the lowest prices around. A Scion is a lot cheaper than a Lexus, but, well... Now on the other hand, if you can claim lowest price AND the same quality (or better) than the high-priced brands, now we got ourselves a ball game.
In the April 2013 issue of Car Craft (not online yet... I guess it goes along with the whole "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" philosophy), in the Hands On section, I stumbled across an article entitled, "Testing Torque Wrenches", by Jeff Smith. The gist of it was to compare the performance of 1/2-inch drive click torque wrenches from Craftsman ($240), Snap-on ($323) and the Pittsburgh model (#239 - $19.99) from Harbor Freight.
"Then we discovered a digital torque adapter sold by Harbor Freight (#68283). This small unit fits in between a standard 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and the socket, and using a digital strain gauge, it converts the torque applied through the adapter into a digital readout. At a typical Harbor Freight price of $39.99, we decided to include it in our test. We frankly didn't expect this little unit to be very accurate. But the testing proved otherwise."
After running the torque adapter through five consecutive applications of 70-lb.-ft. of torque, the average came out to be an "amazing 70.1 lb.-ft. In fact, when they tested it against a Snap-On digital torque wrench "costing far more," the readings from the two tools were generally within 0.20 lb-ft.
As for the drive click torque wrench...
"... we also tested Harbor Freight's 1/2-inch clicker torque wrench, and it was also very close. It also has a range of 20 to 150 lb-ft and a lifetime warranty. Accuracy after five consecutive tests at 70 lb-ft ranged from 68.8 lb-ft (-1.2) to 70.3 (+0.3), with an average error of 0.30 ft-lb over five tests. It doesn't get much better than that for a mechanical torque wrench."
Bottom line: You don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get precision performance-- and with your 20% Off Coupon, you can have the drive click torque wrench for just $16! For so much less than the competition, Harbor Freight's 1/2-inch drive click torque wrench is the clear winner!
For a more detailed coverage of the tool test, get the April 2013 issue of Car Craft today.
Hot Rod magazine gave generous props to the Central Pneumatic Earthquake 1/2" Impact Wrench (#68424) in the Parts & Stuff section of their January 2013 issue:
"This is the Cadillac of ½-inch impact wrenches. From Harbor Freight, known for great tools and cheap prices, the Central Pneumatic Earthquake ½-inch Impact Wrench is rated at 700 lb-ft and has three forward speeds plus reverse. It has twin hammers inside that help to make more torque easier. It has less vibration than the competition and, according to Harbor Freight, is the most powerful wrench in its class. One other cool feature is that the exhaust port is pointed away from the user, so no more blowing air in your face when using the tool."
While I do love Hot Rod for being a renowned mag, full of informative articles, how-to's, showcases, etc., they'll have to go to the back of the line on this one. Harbor Freight's Earthquake 1/2" impact wrench is already a well-documented legend for, not only its power, durability and performance, but also the great price-- just $94.99 (around $76 with a 20% off coupon)!
"Do we really need any excuse to go buy new tools for the garage? Of course we don't, but the new Earthquake air tool from Harbor Freight gives you 700 reasons to pick one up when you need to get those stubborn, rusty fasteners off your Mustang!
"This professional class wrench (Item# 68424) delivers more power with better weight distribution, lighter materials and a more compact housing. Premium grade components with close tolerances give this tool a longer lifespan than conventional air wrenches."
"Harbor Freight returns with another price-conscious tool that should be in every garage: the Central Pneumatic Earthquake half-inch impact wrench. You may not need this tool for everyday wrenching on the bike, but when upgrading or replacing worn out sprockets requires the removal of a countershaft sprocket nut that will not loosen by hand, you’ll appreciate this tool’s power. The Earthquake Impact Wrench is an affordable way to get the job done with a torque range of 50-500 LBS.-FT., a working pressure of 90 PSI and three forward speeds. Make dropping a tooth or two with an aftermarket front sprocket easier with this tool."
And it's not just the magazines. Tool hounds at home also like the Earthquake impact wrench. For example, on this thread in GarageJournal.com's forum, several members admitted their fondness for the air tool:
"I've had one for a bit over a year and have used it quite a bit. I have yet to come across something that I was unable to get off with it..." strizzy
"I bought one a couple of years ago and couldn't be happier with it. Incredible power and comfortable grip.... It's been used and abused and just keeps on going. I'm sure keeping it lubed properly helps too. With an adapter and a Budd socket it even removed nuts from a truck that someone had swaged on with a cold chisel to make sure they NEVER came off. This thing had enough power to take them off right through the bunged up threads. I like it so much I'm thinking of buying their 3/8" Earthquake..." Curmudgeon
"I got the 1/2" one too. I use it every once in a while to remove some rusty hardware on my 20 year old sports car (read: bolts that have not been touched in a long time) and the Earthquake does it without any trouble. Its a great purchase even if it was double the price. But since its not...stop typing and go buy one!" sunshineFC3s
I couldn't have said it better myself. The Earthquake impact wrench comes with:
+Precision machined to master-mechanic standards
+Most powerful wrench in its class
+Variable speed reversible
+Less vibration and lighter than the competition
+Handle-vented to direct exhaust away from user
+Twin-hammer delivers more torque to the anvil
+Three forward speeds
I know... you're heading out the door. Don't forget your 20% OFF COUPON!!