Harbor Freight ads are very tempting. Cheap prices for tools that don't look too bad on the glossy paper of the circular. Get up close and reality is often a bit different than the marketing.
When I first started collecting tools for projects, Harbor Freight was a cheap and easy option. For the price of one decent screwdriver I could get a whole blister pack of various size screwdrivers. Unfortunately, this is definitely a case of you get what you pay for. There is a reason that a set of 12 screwdrivers or pliers can be bought that cheaply. Poor fit and finish, poorly ground tool ends and cheap plastic are the hallmark. None of these tools ever performed like they were supposed to and ended up causing more frustration than results.
While Harbor Freight can be a great source for a special purpose tool that you only need for one step of a project and don't need to last, it is not a good source for tools that you are going to use every day.
I still use Harbor Freight to find some tools that I need to use only once or twice. These picture are from a trip I took to get a 22 mm socket (only $3.99) that I need for a specific fill plug on my truck's transfer case. I am not expecting much out of the socket, just need to use it a few times in the life of my vehicle so I'm OK with the tradeoff of quality for price. For other tools that I will use regularly I have learned my lesson from previous purchases. It's much cheaper in the long run to buy quality once rather than cheaper tools multiple times.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.