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Old 02-17-2020, 07:20 PM   #1
Benson
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Default Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

FYI



Last Friday the guys at Geezer Coffee were discussing Harbor Freight tape measures.


One guy found one TAPE that was not accurate.



The parts he measured did not fit after he cut them.


It seems that some of tapes come up short so it might be nice to check the tape measures for accuracy.

Last edited by Benson; 02-18-2020 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:39 PM   #2
gary678*
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Thumbs down Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

I've had a few that were given free with other purchases. All broke after a few uses. I don't like using this term, but they are "junk"!
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:39 PM   #3
39portlander
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Well this RULES out the old saying "measure twice, cut once"
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

But, "I cut it off 3 times and it is still too short"
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Would work if you measure then measure the cut with the same tape....
Maybe!! But maybe not!!
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Measure from both ends and what is left in the middle, halve it,
For those who are cheap...
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:55 PM   #7
39portlander
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Wait a minute, were these Geezers drinking coffee or just might there have been something in that coffee, something here does not ADD up
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:31 PM   #8
David R.
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

My Dad had that experience a few years ago building an out building. He had two rules. One a bargain store brand and a good name brand one. After cutting up a lot of lumber that didn’t fit and thinking he was losing it, he finally stretched the two rules out side by side. The bargain job might be on at three feet, a quarter inch off at six feet and so on.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:31 PM   #9
Bob C
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
Would work if you measure then measure the cut with the same tape....
Maybe!! But maybe not!!

That's what I have to do if I use a HF tape. I checked mine and it seems
to be off right at the end with the hook.


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Old 02-17-2020, 09:11 PM   #10
Bill G
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Starting at the end with the hook is ok if you’re measuring drywall or planks for a patio, but for more accurate measurements I always start at the one inch mark. Just don’t forget to add an inch on the other end!!
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:37 PM   #11
Phil Brown
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
Would work if you measure then measure the cut with the same tape...
Maybe!! But maybe not!!
Yep, that's right, measure and cut with the same tape and it does not matter how far it's off. It will be off the same amount both times.
And when you compare it to another tape, how do you know which one is the one that is off ?
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Easy. Just send in your tape for "Calibration".
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

I am a 4th generation master carpenter and wouldn't think of using a hf tape. I have used Stanley for 40 yrs now, through in the occasional craftsman. But this reminds of a couple of stories. Recently my son, whom works with me, and I were having trouble with installing some ceiling boards. It seemed that every other cut was off. I kept giving him the devil because it couldn't be me making the mistake! Come to find out my poor old tape was the problem, end had come just loose enough to make a difference, into the trash it went.
In another instance I remember a story Pop told me, back in his day they would use stick rules. He said there was a guy that he worked with that always bought the cheapest he could find, all of the others used Lufkins, said they were never in sync.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:37 AM   #14
woodiewagon46
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

The measuring tapes were perfect when they left China!
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

I agree that the HF tapes are of poor quality. However, with any tape measure occasionally check the hook end. It can get bent & will throw off your results when taking an inside or outside measurement.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

A new Harbor Freight store opened up near here on Saturday,and the first 1000 customers got a free tape measure.My friend got one,and was in my garage that night telling me that the tape was off.We held it up to a one foot machinest's rule,it was a little off.I had it in my hand and noticed the hook on the end was tight.I said that's not right,the hook is supposed to have a little play in it.He had assumed that because it was from China the hook was just loose because of poor quality.He had gone over to my brake rivet press and squashed the rivet down tight.He didn't know that the hook moved one way for a pull measurement,and moved the other way for an accurate inside measurement,and was OK to begin with.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

I think its safe to say with Harbor Freight - your mileage may vary.

I was at the new HF store in Portsmouth (the same one mentioned by Keith) and bought a "carport shelter" in the 10x20 dimensions.

The dimensions ARE 10x20 - it covers my chicken run nicely and now the girls won't have to walk on snow (which they abhor!)

The top is a little "loose" compared to the Shelter Logic version we use for camping. Also the HF top "spaces out" the bungie ties for economy - and misses the four corners entirely.

The HF tubes & tees seem equal in thickness (Shelter Logics are not that thick anyway,) but surprisingly, the top is a little "taller" than the Shelter Logic.

Overall, I would say the $99 HF Carport ($160 equivalent Shelter Logic) was money well spent albeit it is only a chicken run cover.

Mostly I've had good experience with HF. I would NOT buy batteries or battery powered tools from them, however. Air hoses OK if you buy the upper end hoses.

Two wheelers you can expect the pneumatic tires to be flat within a week - and even the HF replacement wheels. (And surprisingly replacement tubes in the 4x8 size from almost all other sources including Amazon and AdvanceAutoParts - Chinese Rubber STINKS and is prone to early aging.) The HF solid rubber tires to fit the two wheelers seem good - and not too expensive.

As I say, your mileage may vary.

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Last edited by Joe K; 02-18-2020 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:18 AM   #18
Bob/AZ
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

I haven't noticed a problem with their tapes but I do like the little blue magnetic flashlights they give away. I have three stuck to the fridge.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benson View Post
FYI



Last Friday the guys at Geezer Coffee were discussing Harbor Freight tape measures.


One guy found one TAPE that was not accurate.



The parts he measured did not fit after he cut them.


It seems that some of tapes come up short so it might be nice to check the tape measures for accuracy.
Once had an annoying boss, didn't trust the help, had to measure everything we built. Got ahold of his tape measure and cut off the first inch, replaced the clip. Thought we were going to have to call 911 when he freaked out next time he started measuring our work---the joys of working for the railroad.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #20
Ted Duke
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Default Re: Harbor Freight tape measures come up short

ALL tape measures are suspect. In 1968 we bought a new home in Virginia Beach. Needed shades on all of the windows (3 bdrm house). Picked up a CRAFTSMAN ruler at Sears and measured all of the windows, went back to Sears and ordered shades. Picked them up two days later they were all 1/4" short. Measured the windows again and went to Sear. They measured them and they were correct.



Salesman measured my Craftsman ruler, broke it it half threw it in the trash. Got a new one, measured it, handed it to me and said you blinds will be ready tomorrow by one pm.


No charge. All items you measure with may have an error; like GPS.
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