Category Archives: Tools and Equipment

The Chicago 900 Watt Generator from Harbor Freight

A while back I purchased a little 900 watt generator from Harbor Freight. It was on sale for a hundred bucks. I thought I could use it camping. It had a two cycle engine so I thought it could double as a mosquito fogger as well as making power for the campsite.

Chicago 66619 Portable Generator
Chicago 66619 Portable Generator

 

So when we started building, I got it out of the box to use to power small electric power tools at the  job site.  It does pretty good. It will run a small cutoff saw, drills, skill-saws and the like. It WILL NOT run a small air compressor though.

It ran fine for a week and then the pull rope for the recoil starter started to not engage when starting. Not long afterward, while running, it came to an abrupt halt as in it stopped and the pull rope wouldn’t pull.

Back at the house I removed the recoil starter from the unit and found:

Chicago 66619 Broken Recoil Starter
Chicago 66619 Broken Recoil Starter
Chicago 66619 Broken Recoil Starter
Chicago 66619 Broken Recoil Starter

The starter clutch was made of plastic and broke. You would not think there is much of a price differential between molded plastic and a metal stamping but there must be. The same guy that designed this probably designed the Chevy Ignition Switch.

Well, I found a plethora  of replacements on eBay and I bought two. If I bought one, it would break. If I buy two, it will never break and I will always have a spare.