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Desperately seeking replacement bolt for Harbor Freight oscillating tool
April 26, 2014 8:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm at my wits' end trying to find a replacement accessory bolt for my Harbor Freight (er, Chicago Electric) oscillating tool. HF customer service (ha) says that this part isn't available to purchase on its own, HF Twitter is ignoring me, and my local HF store just says they don't have them.

After spending an hour in the bolt aisle at Lowe's and coming up with nothing, I bought another one just for the bolt. I'm not quite at the point where I'll return the replacement one without the bolt, as I'm afraid they'll put it back on the shelf and ruin some other hapless HF customer's Saturday. I want to have a few of these around.

The manual describes this as an "M8x12 screw." 6mm hex slot. Despite my best Google efforts, I can't find anything that looks just like this.

Pic1, Pic2, Pic3

Maddeningly, even HF's cap screw assortment doesn't seem to contain this item.
posted by ndg to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
For reasons I've never been able to determine, metric screws are almost impossible to buy in North America despite so many things actually using them now. I almost always end up hitting eBay and looking for "M8 12" and came up with something like this:

6Pcs-Allen-Hex-Socket-Head-Cap-Screw-M6-M8

But there are other vendors and domestic vendors that might have better prices.

Alternately look at Home Depot - I seem to remember having gone through this and determined that one of the two (HD and Lowes) had a, if not good at least tolerable assortment of the larger metric screws. They're in cabinets, not in the bulk bolt and screw section - usually in the same aisle as cabinet handles and such.
posted by Kyol at 8:30 AM on April 26


Have you tried McMaster and Carr it looks like they have what you're looking for.
posted by redindiaink at 8:33 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


The manual describes this as an "M8x12 screw." 6mm hex slot.

Fastenal or any bolt supplier will have these - it's a common metric thread size. McMaster Carr is perfect. Also any decent hardware store will have them. However, two things to be aware of - Metric cap head bolts (allen head style like this) are usually 10.9 spec (relating to material quality and strength) so that may be relevant. Make sure this is checked with the replacement bolt.

However, that looks to me like a non-standard head. It is smaller (lower profile) so a standard head would stick out of the hole it is bolted into. Would this cause a clearance issue on the part it is used on? Because if so you need to find a low profile head.

The length of cap head (and mushroom head) bolts is always measured from under the head, not on top as you have been. So the length of the threaded section is important. McMaster Carr may even have the low profile head style.
posted by Brockles at 8:55 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Came in to suggest mcmaster-carr or fastenal so, ya seconding those.
posted by chasles at 9:14 AM on April 26


As Brockles said, the head looks lower profile than standard, but Home Depot has them for 3 for $0.72, so it may be worth trying there before mail-ordering anything.
posted by bradf at 9:34 AM on April 26


If there is a Tractor Supply Co around you maybe give them a call?
posted by Twain Device at 10:36 AM on April 26


I'm not quite at the point where I'll return the replacement one without the bolt, as I'm afraid they'll put it back on the shelf and ruin some other hapless HF customer's Saturday.

Please don't do this. And if you do find a non-OEM replacement bolt for the first one, please return the second one with the original bolt.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:43 PM on April 26


Try an auto parts store. Metric has become a lot more common in automotive use lately.
posted by jferg at 5:25 PM on April 26


Lowes and HD are not hardware stores and their fastener selections are abysmal. Go to a real hardware store: Ace, TrueValue, your local no-name mom & pop, and you're much more likely to have success, especially for metric. (Lowes and HD stock fasteners for general construction and home repair, not tools, automotive, etc like a hardware store.)
posted by no1hatchling at 8:32 AM on April 27


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