Tips, Tricks & Trends

Surprising Automotive Tools You Can Buy at Harbor Freight

Many people love to work on cars, but aren’t professional mechanics. When it comes to buying tools, you want professional quality without the professional investment. Depending on the vehicle, you could easily spend the same amount for tools that you paid for the car itself. Add this to the list of things your mechanic wishes you knew. This is where places like Harbor Freight come in.

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One of the great things about Harbor Freight is that they always have coupons. Even at their low list price, you can still get an additional discount of about 20% if you watch out for them and plan for purchases. 

Buy right or buy twice 

Have you heard the saying, “Buy right or buy twice”? Now, not all of their tools are worth the money. The following tools are the exception. Here are the top four Harbor Freight tools that can go head-to-head with the tool trucks like Snap-on. 

Surprising Automotive Tools You Can Buy at Harbor Freight

Daytona 3 Ton Low Profile Super Duty Rapid Pump Floor Jack

Top on the list is the Daytona 3 Ton Low Profile Super Duty Rapid Pump Floor Jack. This jack has been tested time and time again and has outperformed them all.  Hot Rod Magazine called these “the best value on the market.”

The Daytona DJ3000 is so close to the Snap-on FJ300 in style and quality that Snap-On even Harbor Freight for “copying” their design. However, the case settled outside of court. “It’s so good Snap-on sued us” could be the best advertisement they could have. For the difference in price, it’s a no-brainer plus the 3-year warranty on this makes it a given. 

BRAUN 390 Lumen Magnetic Slim Bar Folding LED Work Light 

Anyone who has worked on a car for any length of time knows that a good low profile light is a must. The BRAUN 390 Lumen Magnetic Slim Bar Folding LED Work Light is just that. It’s foldable, bright, stays where you put it with a powerful magnet, and it has a USB port lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

The head swivels 180° so that you can put in those hard to reach places, plus it has a beam option that can light up to 66 Ft. The closest light Snap-on offers is a 300-lumen rechargeable light. It does not have a 180° swivel plus at a 3 hour run time and a price point of $114.00 versus the 11 hour run time and $39.99 price point on the Braun. This is another clear winner for Harbor Freight. 

ICON ½ In. Drive Professional Click Type Torque Wrench

Snap-on sells their wrench for $397.00, and I hope you are sitting down. The ICON is $99.99, which is a difference of $297.01. In tests, the ICON outperformed the other by a significant margin.

Both wrenches tested across their entire usable range in 50 foot-pound increments. The results show the more affordable ICON wrench was more accurate across the range. Each wrench tested 10 times, and the ICON was more accurate 8 out of the 10 times.

½ Inch Breaker Bar 

One tool that no one should be without is the right breaker bar. A good breaker bar will help you break loose stubborn nuts and bolts. Chrome vanadium steel construction and a non-slip oil resistant cushioned grip give this breaker bar an edge on tough jobs and the drive end has a 180° swivel.

The Snap-on breaker bar breaks the bank at $161.00 compared to the Harbor Freight breaker bar at $19.99 and with the 20% coupon in most catalogs, you can get this one for under $17.00

These four tools from Harbor Freight can be yours for about $355 (maybe less if you have a good coupon), or you can buy the Snap-on torque wrench, but that’s all. To purchase all of the Snap-on tools here would set you back about $1413. That is nearly four times the cost of the Harbor Freight tools.