In short, Harbor Freight quick couplers look like a cheap way to go. The problem is that they are really soft. I can’t even guess how many female fittings I have thrown away as they deformed and started to leak air.
The same goes for the soft male fittings. You will find they abrade easily and leak air plus they bend and break easily. The latest example is this male plug on my IR 117 air hammer where the smaller nipple is tearing away from the relatively thicker base:
My solution is simple – I only use Milton air fittings now and you can get them from Amazon at an affordable price. Every time one of my many Harbor Freight units fails, I replace it. By the way, I’m to the point that I don’t recommend any of the cheap import fittings regardless of maker. Milton isn’t much more and they will last.
By the way, when you look purely at the purchase cost that doesn’t tell the whole story. This fitting failed right at the start of the job and set me back about 10-15 minutes while I was rummaging around for my Milton spares, my teflon tape, the wrench, setting the tool in the vise to do the work, etc. All of a sudden the supposed purchase savings doesn’t seem like a big deal. By the way, I was swearing the whole time too 🙂
Here are the 1/4″ Milton M-type fittings that I use and recommend:
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