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Black-Cap Knee Pads

07/23/10 | by theprofessor [mail] | Categories: Hot Buys, Outdoor Living

Link: http://HarborFreightReviews.com

Black-Cap Knee Pads
Item: Black-Cap Knee Pads
Item number: 46698
Retail price: $5.99
Frequent sale price: $4.99
Target price: $3.99
Best price: $2.99

These knee pads have a hard polypropylene shell with a foam backing. They strap on using hook-and-loop closures with a strap length adequate for most larger legs. We've weight tested them to 260lbs, although a weight limit is not specified by Harbor Freight™, and we obviously can't guarantee that everyone will have performance comparable to our experience.

If you're not use to using hard-shell knee pads, these will take a bit of getting use to. At first you'll feel like you're pivoting on a merry-go-round as you spin with ease (and indeed uncontrollably at times) on your knees. Be patient, persist, you WILL eventually like them. You'll like them so much you'll wonder how you every worked without them on those knee-busting projects.

My initial impression of these hard-shell knee pads wasn't good. In fact, I tried them, put them away and didn't try them again for almost two years, punishing my knees laying insulation across attic joists, working on a concrete patio, and hand-weeding flower beds (yes, even the soil seems hard at times). Had I then the encouragement contained in this review now, perhaps I would have persisted and learned to love them a lot sooner.

The motivating task for me was trying to complete adding more attic insulation while balancing myself (mostly on my knees) on the ceiling joists. This was a knee-wrenching job, and I was unable to work more than a few minutes a day, once or twice a week. Finally out of desperation, I dug the hard-cap knee pads out of some dark corner of my garage and tried them while working across the joists. Although I don't recommend learning this way, they were an immediate hit even though I had to trade-off the lack of pain with the instability of pivoting wildly on my knees in an open-joist attic -- the pain turned out to be more of a motivating factor than the fear of 'stepping' through the ceiling.

Consider practicing first on a hard, level surface such as a concrete floor or driveway. (Practicing on grass is cheating because you will sink in the ground somewhat, thus minimizing your instability.) Once you get use to the pivoting you can venture onto more challenging environments. And be care when working on soft floors (e.g., finished wood) that can be indented or marred by the hard caps of these knee pads. You might consider buying a pair of soft-cap knee pads for working on more delicate surfaces.

This item is certainly good enough to buy at the regular sale price. The target price is still the "target price" -- the one you can wait for if you have no immediate projects for which you might find these knee pads helpful. (If you need them now, even the retail price is quite reasonable.) But do buy them and do try them out, patiently adapting to life on hard caps. You too will learn to love them and perhaps to do a pirouette or two to impress the spouse.

Bottom line: A great buy even at the regular sale price. Everyone (almost) needs a pair for work around the home and in the garden.

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This review and discussion forum was created for those of us who love Harbor Freight(tm). It's well known to those who frequent the store that the prices are always cycling up and down, and most of us usually accept it as a personal challenge to get the lowest price possible. It's also well appreciated that some products at Harbor Freight are good, even very good, but that many others are also substandard, yes, even junk. This review and discussion forum is dedicated to the savvy Harbor Freight shopper and is intended to provide some guidance to the best and the worse buys. Similar products from other retailers will also be reviewed from time-to-time. Please be advised that everyone's experience is unique, and what works well (or doesn't work at all) for the reviewers here may or may not suit your personal needs. With this caveat and with notification that Harbor Freight Reviews assumes no liability for the accuracy of information provided here for educational purposes, enjoy the forum and good 'sa(i)ling' at Harbor Freight!

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