With air tools, Bubbatime has the answer. Make sure your fittings and hoses can supply enough air.
I was having trouble getting a bolt loose on my car with a generic 500ftlb advertised impact wrench using 1/4" air hose. After a while i asked my friend to bring his CP 3/4" 1000+ ftlb wrench over. No go WTF? Switched out 1/4 hose and couplings for 1/2"hose and 3/8 couplers. Bolt came out like butter.
The real solution to the OP’s issue is a Milwaukee Fuel electric wrench.
Hannibal ad portas. Carthago delenda est.
I used to be a fan of "Made in USA" Craftsman, too. Many of their hand tools were made by Western Forge. Many of them are no better, and in some cases worse, than foreign made brands. Adjustable wrenches, for instance: I have an 8" and a 10" Craftsman (USA) and a 8" and 10" Snap On (USA). Neither brand will hold its adjustment from turn to turn and has to be readjusted every time I put it to the bolt-head or not. They rattle when you shake them. I thought that was just the way it is with adjustable wrenches until I bought 4 Channel Lock brand adjustable wrenches - an 8" and 10" wrench, and a 6" and 8" slim jaw "Wide Azz". They are made by Inega in Spain. They are so superior to the Craftsmans and Snap Ons that there is simply no comparison. They are tight, don't rattle, and hold their adjustment from turn to turn.
As far as Harbor Freight, I think a lot of people are anti-Harbor Freight by reflex. They did used to sell chinese junk. But they have stepped up their game in recent years. Now, if you can get past all the different "house brand names" they slap on their tools that they seem to pull out of their hats, their quality has increased immensely. Their "professional" Pittsburgh hand tools are made in Taiwan and Taiwan produces some of the best hand tools in the world. Even Snap On had some of their tools manufactured there, much to the chagrin of the Snap On cultists. YouTube has many videos comparing Pittsburgh professional to Snap On and other top brands and they measure up very well, and exceed in some case. In addition, their "Hercules" brand of power tools seem to be very well made. Their grinders, for instance, in teardown videos, are nearly indistinguishable from Dewalts, even down to the same brand of bearings. They even compare favorably to Metabo, which, for some reason, has a cult following.
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The SDS rotary hammer I bought from them 10 years ago for a particular project is still going strong for occasional use. It cost 1/5 what a Bosch would have been and about the same as renting a good one. It paid for itself on the first project and everything afterwards has been money in the bank. Makes drilling holes for tapcons easy, even the big ones I bolted the gun safe down with.
That being said, I have no illusions that it's a quality tool and wouldn't have bought it if my job depended on it. Sometimes, good enough works fine.
If bubba joe is working on his lawnmower in the shade of the tree, then pittsburgh tools and harbor freight in general *might* be acceptable in some parallel universe, but for any actual operation involving professional standards, showing up with a harbor freight pittsburgh tool might just get you barred from the building.
A long time ago I had a large set of combo wrenches that I'd purchased fairly inexpensively. They were heavy, and I didn't use them much. I had them with me on the road, however, when we had a need to replace a hydraulic pump, and one of the things that had to be done was to remove a fitting for which my wrenches would be perfect. I foolishly thought that with the size and heft of the wrenches, any small job would be trivial.
The fitting, it turned out, was tight. I ended up with the pump in a vise and leaned into the wrench, when the wrench snapped in two and I sailed over the workbench and landed on my head. I was displeased. The fitting didn't budge, and my cheap ass wrench failed. It was the equivalent of a harbor freight wrench. To this day, I don't buy cheap tools. It's false economy.
Cheap tools twist and fail, round nuts or bolts and have the potential to do harm or fail; the great deal one gets on a tree of socket adapters sounds great until that 3/8:1/4 adapter twists off the little tit, and now you're stuck.
I can't count the number of times I've had to get into a tight place with a socket, and only the snap-on thin wall would get in there, and hold up; the edge clearance on the bolt head was insufficient for almost any other brand. Yes, that socket set cost three hundred dollars, worth every penny because I could have bought every other socket set and still been unable to do the job.
It's not a matter of brand snobbery. There are good brands and good makes out there. Williams makes Snap-on, and sells the same tools under their own name. Good tools come off the Mac truck, as well as others, and I have a lot of craftsman tools that have held up for decades. Stahl and others have good tools, and there are some excellent European brands, to say nothing of SK and others that do put out good equipment. Much of what can be had at NAPA works well.
I have mac and snap-on pneumatic die grinders that have been in use for nearly 30 years and still function like they were new. I've seen harbor freight versions fail within a day, and pneumatic and electric drills that made nasty, three-lobe holes that orbited and walked because they were so inconsistent.
I have had good success with some of the harbor freight pneumatic hoses; they're disposable, consumable items and I dont mind much if they get damaged or run over or burned with a torch.
Harbor freight tools might be dressed up a little to look like they "stepped up their game," but lipstick on a pig still doesn't make a good date, not can it be taught to sing. Their hammers chip. Their locking pliers are junk. Precision is not really the name of the game for Harbor freight.
If it's a general tool that doesn't require a lot of accuracy or precision, go for it. Their current toolboxes, while not really quality, are heavy and hardy and for the back yard mechanic, are enough. (their rails and attachments are crap, but that's another thread). For the price, they'll do, so long as it's not hard or serious use. Weekend work in the garage, no problem.
I guarantee if one of their torque wrenches, even a lipstick-pig wrench like their "stepped-up game" newer lines were to show up in a shop where I'm working, they'd never see use, and the bearer would be gone toot-sweet. If the mechanic didn't know enough to pick good equipment, he wouldn't be allowed to go to work. It has nothing to do with fandom or brand loyalty; there are a lot of good options; nothing from Harbor Freight rises close to that level.
Little plastic bottles for chemicals; great. I buy a bunch of them at Harbor freight and they sit on my box for a handy squirt of MEK, acetone, alcohol, etc. Disposable stuff, sure. Disc sander for the bench, sure. I love their little five packs of jewlers eye loups, and they made a tweezer-magnifying glass for fetching splinters that was fantastic in the shop. I've used it a lot. Lots of little, handy gadgets. When my wife wanted a box of tools for around the house, basic harbor freight stuff works fine for little tasks...but for anything serious, or that requires accuracy or precision, no.
It's not a "cult" thing in the least. There are professional standards, and harbor freight, pittsburgh, etc, doesn't rise nearly high enough.
Strongly held beliefs on this subject. I can actually attest to the performance of the 'Pittsburgh' brand impact sockets. They are fine. We've used a set in a heavy industrial capacity for several years. In fact, these sockets removed lugs on an old Trackmobile that killed two expensive impact sockets. I'm not filling my box with their stuff, but the myth that they are junk is just not true.
Eric from the South Main Auto YouTube channel uses his daily. Here he is working on an F250 subject to New York salted roads.
I just bought a corded Harbor Freight 1/2" impact wrench. I've been using HF impact sockets for years. I used them on a corded Craftsman 1/2" impact wrench. I loaned that wrench to my brother-in-law to work on an old rototiller and a tractor and never got it back. So I bought a replacement. After reading reviews on different makes and models, I settled on this:
So far I am pleased with it. Exterior fit and finish is way ahead of a similar Milwaukee. Both the HF and the Milwaukee are made in China. Time will tell. But I've yet to see a bad review.
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