Harbor Freight Catalog

Harbor Freight Tools was started in Los Angeles in 1968 by Alan Smidt. The company originally bought damaged freight goods and sold them to contractors from the back of a truck. Soon a small army of telephone salesmen were hired and the company began to grow.

The Harbor Freight mail order catalog started as a single sheet of paper in a standard envelope, and after massive success with that, the company rolled out a full-blown catalog in the mid 1980’s.

Now based in Camarillo, California, the company offers a large variety of tools through its mail-order catalog, web site, and retail stores. The Harbor Freight website claims to have “one of the largest selections of brand-name tools, plus many items you just can’t find elsewhere.” Brands offered include Chicago Electric, Pittsburgh, Central Machinery, Central Hydraulic, and Central Forge.