Harbor Freight Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
Harbor Freight T Handle Ball End Hex Key
by "Mad Dog" Earle for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycle Tool Reviews
This one will be short and sweet, folks. Here's
recent review of the Sears Craftsman T-handle Allen
wrench set, several webBikeWorlders emailed us
suggesting an "equivalent" set from Harbor Freight for
$11.99, or less than half the cost of the Sears tools.
The Harbor Freight "Pittsburgh" hex key set includes
18 different SAE and Metric sized wrenches, made from
"strong heat-treated, chrome plated steel".
webBikeWorld visitors suggested that we got taken
when we spent 50 bucks on the Craftsman brand.
Well, I'm sorry to disappoint, but our feeling is that
this "Pittsburgh" set is nowhere near the equivalent.
Not even close.
The handles are made from a cheap-feeling plastic
with flashing oozing from the mold lines. The
handle molds must be so worn that the size markings that
are pressed into the handles are almost illegible on our
set. Also, the 3mm wrench was missing from our set
when we opened the box.
As I was inserting the wrenches into the holes in the
steel holder, I noticed that the shaft on the thinner
wrenches seemed to have quite a bit of flex. I
picked up a 3/32" and started to bend the metal to gauge
its flexibility and "SNAP!" -- it broke off in my hand
without much effort.
My guess is that the metal is molded into hex-key
because the ball ends seem worn, possibly from a
worn-out mold. The straight ends aren't cut
correctly so there's a bit of metal hanging off the
I tried the 5 mm wrench on the fuel tank bolt during
Ducati GT1000 fuel line recall fix and the ball end
never even gripped the bolt, it spins around as if it
was made from round stock, rather than hex.
We like precision, high-quality tools because we
think that in the long run, they'll more than pay for
themselves. And there's something quite satisfying
about holding and using a good tool.
Unfortunately, this Pittsburgh set doesn't come close to
our expectations or requirements for quality. It
makes no sense to me to buy something just because it's
cheap. I've seen, tried and broke enough Cheap Charlie tools in my
life and I'm not interesting in using any more.
You like your bike? My advice is to spend a few bucks and buy the
highest quality tools you can find. You won't
regret it. 'Nuff said.
Harbor Freight offers some interesting products and if you pick
and choose carefully, you may end up with a bargain.
For example, we found an incredible LED flashlight
that I'll be reporting on soon. But just because something's cheap doesn't
mean it's an equivalent to the higher priced version.
In this case, even if they were giving away the product
for free, I wouldn't pay for the shipping to get it
Review: Harbor Freight "Pittsburgh" Hex Key Allen
From: Harbor Freight
Retail Price: $11.99
|More: This set comes with
18 tools, SAE sizes: 1/16'' , 5/64'', 3/32'', 1/8'', 5/32'', 3/16'',
7/32'', 5/16'', and 3/8''; Metric sizes: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and
10 mm. Date of Review: April
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From "M.O.": "I got these (Black
Rhino T-handle hex wrench set) at Fleet Farm about $12 and love them.
Nice set to carry on bike."