Illustration for article titled I somehow avoided the Harbor Freight jack stand recall?

When I first saw the recall I assumed I was doomed. I have two sets of HF jack stands and 1 set of Craftsman. (Yes, the Craftsman are far superior and after this I’ll probably go ahead and pick up another set.)

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Looks like my 2-ton set is Duralast branded and not covered under the recall. My 3-ton set is the “Heavy Duty” Pittsburg, but the PN is 62392 which is not covered under the recall. In fact the full text explicitly states that others marketed under the same name were tested and found to be fine.

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Hooray?

Reading the full text of the recall it sounds like the problem is the pawl doesn’t fully engage, which causes the post to drop... sort of defeating the purpose of a jack stand. This seems like an easy thing to check (now that we know to look for it) for added peace of mind.

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A lot of people are casting shade on HF and saying “OF COURSE you shouldn’t trust a jack stand made by them. Everything they make is crap!” And fair enough, it is, but we each apparently have different HF rules. My rules for Harbor Freight tools are not to buy if:

  1. Need to use more than once
  2. Has more than one moving part
  3. Is powered

So basically if it is a power drill but I only think I’ll need it once, then it is OK. Otherwise is it a pass. Stuff like ratchets, breaker bars, and combination wrenches are generally fine.

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Jack stands are not complicated devices and I’d generally trust that while I wouldn’t want to test one at its limit, if I’m using a 3-ton jack stand on a 2-ton car I’m probably within the limits of Chinesieum.

The nice thing about HF crap is it lets you buy weird, niche tools that you otherwise wouldn’t blow the money on. I was having trouble getting the supercharger tensioner out due to an inaccessible bolt, so I went to HF and bought everything that looked like it would help. It cost me $50 and one of the wrenches worked to get it out. That was $50 well spent, even if the wrench was one-time use.

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