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Old 09-26-2019, 05:52 PM
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Default Harbor Freight’s New Icon Brand Sockets

Today, after all of the hub-bub on the web about the new Icon brand hand tools, that are being introduced by Harbor Freight, I bought a set each of the standard (shallow) fractional and metric, 1/4” drive sockets, cost was about $25 (per tax). Here are a few first impressions;

First - they seemed to spare no expense on the packaging, a heavy plastic outer box, that has 2 Philips screws holding the lid down and a heavy blow molded socket tray, for those who use them in their tool box drawers. Personally, I’m not impressed by packaging, its the product that matters. They probable could have been $5 cheaper, without the extensive packaging. Then again, many will probably, think this is an asset.

Second - they seem well made and the chrome seems very heavy and is very well done. They have the rounded corners, think Snap-On flank drive, and the actual fit and finish is excellent. The detention for the locking ball on the ratchet and extensions is cut, not formed. The broaching is very similar to the majority of the import socket (these are made in Taiwan) having a rounded countersunk style bottom of the socket throat, Sockets are stamped very clearly with the size and the metric socket have the line pattern, similar to Snap-On, Craftsman and others.

Third - I thought the socket pricing for the sets, was very good, less than the pricing on the similar sets offered by Lowe’s on the Craftsman products. They also are not skipping sizes in the metric offerings.

Fourth - I also looked at the wrenches, they seem very nice, but the pricing seems on the high side. The set, while complete, are priced unrealistically compared to the sockets, the complete set of the metric ratcheting wrenches is about $150, seems high to me.

Fifth - as Harbor Freight is a California based company, with reportedly over 1000 current outlets, the Icon tool release has been real slow, here in the Northeast USA. Not all of the socket sets or wrench sets are even currently in stock and except for a few breaker bars and previously released Icon products, we have absolutely no ratchets of any size or type. While this maybe understandable, because of the size of the operation, all of the latest paperwork, that comes in the mail, all of the company emails and other web posting, show and tout their new offerings and the current availability.
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:59 PM
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They look nice. Direct Snap-On copy. I wish the 3/8” sets went to 7/8 or 1” though.

I might have to pick up their combination wrench set. It looks just like my Snap-On ones too.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:38 PM
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I wish someone would make a double Head 10 Degree Offset box end wrench set for that kind of money, they all make a 45 degree offset set and all they are good for is rounding off bolt heads.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:27 AM
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Thanks Platypus20, excellent write up and full of useful information. I will have to check them out when I get to a HF store.
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:26 PM
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I saw the Icon ratchets, in person this morning, they had just arrived (FedEx) about 15 minutes before I got there. I saw the whole line, they are a little less than I had anticipated, they seem to be nothing more than a slight upgrade to the Pittsburgh Pro line, with a few more models, at about twice the price.

I know the pawl operating design is different than the Pittsburgh, but they look very close to it. The chrome did look nice and they were smooth, but pricing seems on the high side. Maybe I just jaded by the Pittsburgh Pro pricing and performance.

So far the sockets seem to be the most realistically priced part of the products offered, with the wrench’s and ratchets, over priced about 20%.
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