Harbor Freight’s bold, boasting that they sell the same Floor Jack as Snap-On except they’re legally allowed to thanks to a settlement between the two parties.

Crack open a recent Harbor Freight mailer and you’ll see a several paragraphs long message (longer than most of my blog posts) from the founder Eric Smidt boasting how their Daytona Super Duty 3 Ton Steel Jack is 99 percent the same floor Jack as Snap-On’s FJ300 for, at $203, literally just a quarter of the price compared to Snap-On. Well, it’s true. Every word. It’s so true that when Snap-On initially found out about the price discrepancy and design, they straight out sued Harbor Freight, discovered some facts, and then settled. Everyone knows that Harbor Freight won that case.

Here’s why Snap-On hates this Harbor Freight’s Floor Jack.

According to BizTimes, back in 2016, Snap-On sued Harbor Freight for selling the Daytona FJ3000 alleging that Harbor Freight copied a patented design of their popular floor jack.

Snap-On sought an injunction from a California Court to stop the sales of the alleged copied design.

Harbor Freight filed a counter lawsuit that they were misleading consumers, heavily leaning on advertising from Snap-On that their jack is American assembled when, while true, the jacks ultimately assembled from parts sourced from China.

The presiding judge ruled that there was enough advertising and visual differences between the two designs that wouldn’t fool a regular purchaser into thinking both floor jacks were exactly the same.

In the linked article above, while the terms of the settlement aren’t disclosed…

While the settlement is confidential, what we can say is that we’re pleased with the outcome. We’re continuing to sell the Daytona jack and did not have to make any payment to Snap-On,” said Karen Denne, a Harbor Freight spokesman.

A Snap-on spokesman said the company had no comment on the settlement.

Presumably, “Continuing to sell…” means putting out a blanket statement from its Founder that “spills the beans” on what’s really going on, Both Harbor Freight and Daytona get their jacks from the same factory, the only difference is how they’re advertised and the country where they’re assembled. Other than that, the Harbor Freight FJ3000 and Snap-On FJ 300 are essentially the same jack but having enough differences to be sold at the same time.

The takeaway

Pre-internet, presented with a known to be “Made in China” floor jack and one made from Snap-On, the consumer would probably think there’s a good reason Snap-On’s jack cost four times more.

Thanks to the internet and how easy it is to comparte parts from two different manufactures, consumers know the truth.

It has to be difficult for the American manufacturer to compete against a juggernaut like Harbor Freight who can take advantage of inexpensive parts and labor from the source and doesn’t have to dance around that fact.

Then again, it’s only fair that the consumer gets the final say. If you want us to spend over $800 a floor jack, your engineering, and marketing department sure as heck have to do better than different colors, an American assembled sticker, and slightly different advertising to win me over.

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Paulo Acoba is the person who pays the hosting & writes the words.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry, guy. While you’ll sell out your neighbor for a couple of bucks in your pocket, I’ll continue to support the guys in Wisconsin who assemble floor jacks, raise their families here and help them feed their kids. Perhaps that’s why I’ve made millions in my business and you’re writing a blog waiting for $3 Google ad lead and $6 HF click-through checks. And I never had a car fall on me either. You should really state that you’re getting paid to advertise Harbor Fright. But that, too would be reputable.

    • Honestly, I didn’t know HF has an affiliate program. There are no affiliate links here. To be honest the only reason I wrote this blog is because I was reading their mailer on the porcelain throne and came across their in-catalog post about Snap-On.

      Have a good one, John, and Happy New Year =)

    • So John, buy the HF jack and mail a $500 check directly to the guys in Wisconsin. They’ll get a lot more $$$ to feed their kids that way.

  2. Great article! People go in debt and get in over their head all the time with snap on. The only thing that makes snap on worth the high prices is the hand tools with lifetime warranty if you are using the tools daily. Yes some of the tools are better than the competition but many are not. Milwaukee is still the king of cordless, all of snap ons made in china for 4 x the price. No thanks.

  3. Forgot to mention that snap on was sued by Milwaukee and lost! Also Harbor freight IS AN AMERICAN OWNED COMPANY! So buying from them is supporting an American company as well.

  4. Snap-On has continued to close down American plants as overseas manufacturing takes hold. Assembling a jack in the US is not worth double the jacks price. Why support a company dedicated to selling out the American worker. Thousands of jobs have been lost over the last 15 years and more will follow as layoffs continue and manufacturing is phased out.
    Snap-on has roughly 13k employees in the US and Harbor Freight has nearly double that at 23k. Guess which American company I’m going to support. The one who has never tried to pass off Chinese jacks as a American product.

  5. Been a technician for 28 years and buying snap on tools all this time. Yes snap on is expensive. You would die if you knew what they cost 30 years ago. They have come down in price considerably. And they outsource just like the rest of the planet. And you know what else, they also still have manufacturing specifications. As do all companies. I will put any tool of snap on against that of harbor freight and you will not keep it together. Harbor freight doesn’t come by your place of employment to deliver . Snap on does. If you made your life’s work with hand tools you would agree . So let’s bring manufacturing back to the USA and watch our goods be built same as in China . Everyone is cheap,cheap,cheap anymore

    • That 400% markup pays for those snapon trucks to come by your work to deliver them. And it pays the delivery guy. And his truck. You’re paying a lot more for convenience…when there’s nothing more convenient than walking into HF and walking out a few mins later with what you need.

      • “walking into HF and walking out a few mins later with what you need”

        Come on, we all know that you aren’t walking in and out of HF in a few minutes….it’s going to be at least an hour and you’re going to walk out buying way more than you intended! 😀

    • I had a Snap-on breaker bar bend once. No cheater bar. Just the tool. Grabbed my “cheap backup” Harbor freight breaker bar that didn’t bend at all as it tackled the rest of the bolts involved without faulter and it only took about $400 to learn that all that glitters isn’t gold.

    • I have been doing automotive work for 25+ years. Snapon is overated big time. Sunex impact sockets beats them hands down. Icon wrenches and sk wrenches are just as good as snapon . And Milwaukee fuel cordless tools beat snapon hands down. I don’t waste my money on overpriced snapon crap anymore.

  6. Some of you need to stay within the confines of the main topic. He’s simply pointing out the case where Snap-On got caught in a white lie in regards to the jacks actually coming from China/Taiwan and being assembled here in the US. Keyword… assembled.
    I’ll support an American company as much as I can (including HF whom employs Americand obviously) but when you’re having to pay 4-5 times the cost for the same item you could get elsewhere, it becomes more difficult because I have my own budget to maintain. And at the end of the day, it’s not my job to “put food” on the snap-on reps table. They chose that job and whatever profits or losses come with it.

  7. A big takeaway from this blog is being able to recognize keys words used by any company in America. The people are able to question and, if they discover the entity has knowing deceived the consumer, they may initiate whatever legal proceedings they and their representation finds relevant. But it is the responsibility of the consumer to know the actual meaning of phrases like, “made in America”, “assembled in America”, “forged in America”, “manufactured in America” etc. If American company’s didn’t at least partially outsource the production their products, and it was American products from beginning to end, it would be far too expensive for most to purchase.

  8. As one has already mentioned, most these comments came from emotional man boys who were not raised to think clearly like men, and are way off topic. If you are a decent human being and do not wish to support commies, then research before you buy and stop s***ing corporate d***. HF vs Snap-on don’t matter, the individual product does, and concerning floor Jack’s, they are both some commie supporters. US jacks at least made in Taiwan 🇹🇼

  9. I would love to buy snap-on tools. But, honestly, i just cant afford it. If it wasn’t for Harbor Freight,
    I would only have about 3 tools…..Im not a professional, don’t make money that way, but do ALOT of things myself. I’m not too proud to say I JUST CANT AFFORD IT.

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