When it comes to purchasing tools, inexpensive is tempting, but low price can sometimes also mean low quality, and a broken tool is a useless tool. Harbor Freight has long been a place to buy low-priced tools of all kinds, and the outlet recently began offering its own line of power tools under the Hercules brand.
Harbor Freight’s Hercules line is not limited to the familiar assortment of drills, angle grinders, circular saws, and standard cordless tools we see from other manufacturers. The Hercules line also includes several demolition hammers, a bench grinder, a planer, table saws, and a 66-lb jackhammer. Hercules tools come in 12 and 20-volt varieties with the appropriate batteries and chargers to power them, and many accessories are also readily available if needed.
So, how do the Hercules tools stack up against similar offerings from other manufacturers like Milwaukee, DeWalt, Ryobi, Black and Decker, and others?
The specs on Hercules tools match up well to competitors
The Hercules 20V 1/2 inch impact driver has performance specifications that meet or exceed similar tools from other popular brands, boasting 1,400 ft. lbs of bolt breakaway torque and up to 900 ft. lbs of fastening torque. The Torque Test Channel put it in a real-world test against similar models from Bauer, Milwaukee, and Kobalt and the Hercules beat them all, registering 179 ft. lbs in the channel’s 5-second tightening test.
When Toolhead147 tested the Hercules impact driver with a 1″ spade bit, the driver was powerful enough to break the bit at the shank, proving that the Hercules is indeed a formidable piece of gear capable of handling tough jobs. Shop Tool Reviews tested the 1/4″ hex drive version of the Hercules impact driver and found it capable of loosening fasteners to an astonishing 450 ft-lbs, well beyond the manufacturer’s specifications.
It will take years of real-world use to know for sure if Hercules tools can truly stand up to those from DeWalt, Milwaukee, and others, but for now, the Harbor Freight line seems like a solid competitor for those well known brands.