Good ol' Harbor Freight - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Good ol' Harbor Freight

Checked on my ATV and Vstrom batteries, both with HF tenders running. ATV was fine, at 12.6v. Vstrom checked 18.1v.....say what???? Turned the key on, lights looked normal, then it showed less than 9v. Checked the tender output, 13v on the ATV tender, 0.00 on the Vstroms tender. By then, with key off, the Wee showed 11.6 volts. How did I show 18.1v? Easy, it's a HF multimeter! The 3rd one I've had that went goofy. So I trashed the tender, the multimeter is no longer trustworthy, and Harbor freight is on my shit list! So now my Wee just goes "clickety-clickety"! Time for the real charger.

>>>>>>>* So, this is just a warning for those using HF tenders (and multimeters!) KEEP AN EYE ON THEM!

And yes, I should know better than to buy such things from HF........I've finally learned my lesson.
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 04:26 PM
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Yep

Swore off the Harbor Freight tenders too. The indicator light lights up when you hook them to the battery, so you can't tell if they are charging or not. On mine the connection from the wall wart went bad going into the box with the indicator light, so no charging, but the light stayed lit. Cost me a battery.

Menard's have a variety of tenders for around $20.00. I have a couple of those, and so far they've been reliable. As I mentioned elsewhere, unless the vehicle has a known drain while shut off, I don't tend to keep my batteries on tenders. Just hook them up once a month (during the winter). And be sure they are fully charged before the first start in the spring.

I don't have any complaints about the cheap multimeters, though. Have 3 or 4 of them around the house and garage. I doubt they are perfectly accurate, but they are good enough. On the 20V DC scale, they're usually within a tenth or two of each other. Cheap enough that I have no fears loaning them to people, in fact usually I tell them not to bring them back. I just pick up a new one. I've had better luck with them than with the $25.00 Radio Shack meters they replaced.Can usually get the HF meters for $5 or less on sale.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I used to have a good quality tender, and the light was always green. I'd turn the key on occasionally just till the light went red, to make sure all was well. But yeah, the HF is just red all the time. I don't know if they ever truly shut down. When I sold my last bike, I gave him the good tender.....dammit!
And, my last 2 HF multimeters were free with any purchase, but I just can't trust 'em anymore. Time to buy a good one. The 18V scared me.....I knew it couldn't be, but was a little worried about turning the key on.....for fear I'd hear a big POOF! lol.... I checked it twice with same results, then used it on the ATV and got a normal reading, so was really freaked out for a moment.
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post #4 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 05:45 PM
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ADV has a terrific thread down in Jo Mama (have to be a member to read it) regarding Horrid Fright tools and experience related thereto. Surprisingly enough, HF has several great tools for darn cheap prices. Just gotta dig a little and find them.
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post #5 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 06:25 PM
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The only thing that would make this better if it was one of the free multimeters. Sometimes you get what you don't pay for as well as what you pay for!
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogfarth View Post
ADV has a terrific thread down in Jo Mama (have to be a member to read it) regarding Horrid Fright tools and experience related thereto. Surprisingly enough, HF has several great tools for darn cheap prices. Just gotta dig a little and find them.
Yes they do. Wrenches, hammers shovels, MC lifts, pelican type cases, casters, furniture dolly's, tarps, sanding belts the list goes on and on. I think its funny when someone won't spend $450 on a Snap-on tool but will spend $19.99 on the HF knockoff then complain because it didn't work or work as well/long as they thought it should.

If were a 20,000HP NHRA top fuel engine I probably would not opt for a $39.00 HF torque wrench and go for a little better. But putting the wheel on my zero turn motor that HF torque wrench would be more than adequate
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 08:04 PM
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I'm a long time HF tool buyer, though I've never bought one of their battery tenders or multimeters. As far as their hand tools go, I have multiple sets of their Pittsburgh wrenches/sockets, all three of my torque wrenches are Pittsburgh, and several of my power tools are Chicago Electric. I like their plunge router more than I liked my Craftsman one.

If I had to make my living with tools I'm sure I'd opt for better quality, but for a guy who needs tools for motorcycle maintenance or working around the house, I think they're great.

"No matter where you go, there you are."
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerazziMx14 View Post
Yes they do. Wrenches, hammers shovels, MC lifts, pelican type cases, casters, furniture dolly's, tarps, sanding belts the list goes on and on. I think its funny when someone won't spend $450 on a Snap-on tool but will spend $19.99 on the HF knockoff then complain because it didn't work or work as well/long as they thought it should.



If were a 20,000HP NHRA top fuel engine I probably would not opt for a $39.00 HF torque wrench and go for a little better. But putting the wheel on my zero turn motor that HF torque wrench would be more than adequate


They get free tools. Just saying.


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post #9 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 08:54 PM
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I have two Honda EU2000i generators I can run in parallel (to run the main AC) for my big fifth wheel that I got for $900 each. I just couldn't convince myself on the Predators from HF at half the price on sale. Some of their earlier generators like Champion had a low hour failure rate (about 250 average) on the engines. The Hondas were rated about 10x higher on hours. I notice a lot of folks using the Predators. I am a selective HF shopper. Have tons of Pittsburgh stuff. Motorcycle lift, TV mount, hardwood floor nailer, 4 ton jack, etc. Other stores sell the Daytona floor jacks. I am more suspicious of the electronics and engines they sell.

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Last edited by SECoda; 11-19-2018 at 09:08 PM.
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-19-2018, 09:02 PM
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Harbor Freight has their place. There are many good tools/materials, etc. to be had for bargain prices. To me, I think the biggest danger of Harbor Freight is for those persons that just don't know that much about tools or tool quality. The assumption or judgement that a tool can or will be suited to its stated purpose is a skill that has taken most people years to acquire. The flip-side is whether or not the high-quality tool would have made a difference for a non-proficient tool user. But you know what they say, experience is what you get right after you needed it.
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