The following are ToolGuyd's favorite places to buy tools, workshop supplies, and related products. Of course, there are a lot of places where you can buy new tools, and different retailers offer benefits over others. As a tool user, I'm usually looking for lower prices, better customer service, and an easy and satisfying overall customer experience. I haven't found the best retailer overall yet, have you? Acme Tools: large selection of power tools, hand tools, and tool storage, usually at competitive (or better) prices.
I review Acme offers and promotions regularly. Amazon: wide selection, great prices, great customer service, easy return policy, many items eligible for free shipping. One of my favorite places to buy tools and supplies. CPO tools: a wide selection of reconditioned tools, sometimes great promotions, a lower free shipping threshold than other independent sellers.
Ohio Power Tool: A Great Source for Power Tools, Plumbing Equipment, and Milwaukee Tool Products. Tool Nut: one of my favorite power tool retailers, with a good selection, fair prices and a lower free shipping threshold. Home Depot: large selection, decent prices, many items are eligible for free shipping and time-saving free in-store pickup. I've also had great customer service experiences.
Lowe's: good sales and different tool options than other home improvement retailers. I shop at the two big retail stores and usually choose one over the others depending on what I want to buy. If both offer the same tools or supplies at similar prices, I prefer Home Depot. McMaster Carr: wide selection, ambiguous brand (which I sometimes don't like), fast shipping.
MSC Supply Co: great selection, great prices if you shop in the monthly sales brochures, fast shipping. Lee Valley: Home of Veritas Tools, Excellent Customer Service. Woodpeckers: great design tools, their “one-time” tools are sometimes interesting (but expensive). Knives ship free: another highly appreciated source of EDC knives with fair prices and excellent customer service.
KC Tool: focusing on German hand tool brands, excellent customer service. TeEquipment: an excellent source for desktop test equipment products with friendly customer service. This includes Ebay, Craigslist, community forums, shows, garage sales and exchange meetings. I also usually visit the traveling carpentry show on a healthy budget, since I never know what treats I'll find and I feel compelled to buy on impulse.
How does a retailer fit into this list? Simple: conquering my business. Zoro promotions have become more strategic. I've been waiting for a few months to order expensive wheels. They're for a project that I'm not up to, so I was able to wait.
There were no offers applicable since October or so, when I started looking for an equivalent promotion. I bought some electrical supplies and then they attacked me with some electrical promotions. I just received a general 10% code a few days ago and used it to get my wheels. The days of 10%, 15% and 20% in the general categories are over.
This could also be related to COVID, where businesses can be so good that they can be stricter with promotions. Generally, Grainger offers 15% overall to “business customers”, the last thing I heard about. The registration process is a joke if you're not trying to establish a line of credit. Grizzly International is ideal for larger workshop tools, such as cabinet saws, planers and dust collection.
Greetings to Ace Hardware: sometimes they have very good sales, but the most important thing is that they are everywhere. The part about the three big stores confused me. It reminds me of the old television series “Lost in Space”. The robot always said: “Warning, warning”.
In addition, major electronic distributors (Digikey, Mouser, Newark) sell a surprising number of hand tools. The prices are generally around the list, but I have some outright thefts from Newark's liquidation offers (Wera and Wiha hand tools, along with network cables and so on) Manufactured by the company Schroeder Screwdriver, which makes all its tools in Germany, I have one that is very similar, Craftsman manufactured in Germany, except it doesn't have the red knurling. Tekton for many of my work tools: free shipping with an account, plus 10% cashback in reward points. Everything else varies depending on what I'm looking for: I move between Lowes and Home Depot, occasionally between Harbor Freight, depending on what I'm looking for and how quickly you need it.
If you want to replace the local warranty on site, port cargo transportation actually works well with hand tools. To work with wood, there is also Garret Wade, although it seems that they are becoming new Smith and Hawken, with lots of garden tools, desk accessories, etc. A bit like Rocklers, but with a deeper inventory in certain areas, such as coating, but without its own brand, IIRC. MLCS and its Eagle America Infinity Cutting Tools sub Taylor Tools for Working Wood Woodworkers Supply I believe that Wood River is Woodcraft's in-house brand.
Both Bench Dog (Rockler) and Wood River appear to be mid-quality and mid-priced brands. In my limited experience (some planes), Wood River is a little better and a little more expensive. As many others have said, KC Tool should be on the list of general hand tools. To work with wood, I would add Lie-Neilson to that list.
They have a smaller selection than other places, but there's nothing better than their quality. Besides, I hate to be that guy, but you can't have a list of where to shop without mentioning Harbor Freight. For me, they've filled the gap left by Sears for DIY automotive tools. What about Travers tools? I just found out about them when I saw someone post a photo that Lixie Hammers had.
I did some research and realized that Lixie is a modern brand, not a long-gone brand. Travers tools appear to be aimed at industrial and machine shops. One of the few aspects of living in Chicago that I miss is Berland's House of Tools. A great place to get down to business.
I just realized that the buyer's logo should be a fistful of dollars. I have received great offers from Crawford Tools. Items usually arrive the next day. I bought some fasteners that were closing.
They are oriented to industry (in their words, they serve the semiconductor, medical device, aerospace, telecommunications, alternative energy and robotics industries), not construction. Grainger's prices are heavily inflated, as they mainly serve business-to-business with contract discounts. Zoro sells most of what Grainger makes, but at lower prices and slightly slower shipments. We had a Grainger account for our manufacturing business.
It was always a bit frustrating trying to calculate in advance how much the items would cost. Back then, with us, they reimbursed part of our expenses based on the annual volume. On the other side of the coin, I was told that sometimes an order in the morning arrived at our dock that afternoon. I think the guy who ran our tool room would shake his head about both of them.
There were other MRO providers that also seemed to offer volume-based pricing. I'm going to add another vote for Crawford. Last year I spent too much on their Wiha closing deals. In the case of tools, it's buying 95% online to get the best tool at the cheapest price.
I usually buy cordless tools in the middle of summer, when the deals are the best, such as buying 1, getting a free tool, then returning the free tool for a refund, 2 extra batteries for free, etc. I like to plan ahead and not pay a “convenience cost”, plus the full price of anything. Obviously you can't plan everything. How do you get a refund for a free tool? Good question.
Like HD and I suppose others are also using a software company from a third-party vendor to authenticate all power tool returns. Also known as if they were ever part of a kit or other multi-item sales event before refunding cash or crediting your account. The Do It Best hardware store near me is great when I want advice that I doubt they will give me about high definition or when I need a specific closure that is not very common. Ace Hardware, True Value and auto parts stores, such as Advanced Auto, O-Reilly, etc., usually have a good selection of hand tools at various prices.
I have occasionally found good deals at discount stores such as Big Lots, Ollies, etc. Harbor Freight has some high-quality items (made in Taiwan) among disposable Chinese garbage, and even few products made in the USA. In the US, like penetrating oil. I don't like online sales, but if I can't find it locally, it's Amazon or Home Depot.
The location is HF, Menards, Home Depot, Napa or Oriley Auto Parts. I would add Woodcraft for carpentry tools and supplies and Murdoch's has good deals on Dewalt tools from time to time. The local ACE has a group of experienced people who will help you figure things out. Amazon warehouse: At half the price of tools that look very unused BigSky Tool has had very good sales on refurbished nail guns.
I bought tools this way, there may be good offers, but you have to inspect them when you receive them and be ready to return them. Another time I bought a kerosene heater that didn't want to turn on. It looked new and, in fact, it was “like new” according to Amazon. It was very cheap, but I bought it in summer and didn't check it right away, so I couldn't return it.
After spending an hour adjusting and disassembling it trying to diagnose the problem, I discovered that the rotor inside the motor was missing. Considering the visual condition of the heater, I can only assume that someone bought it, removed the rotor for parts, and then shipped it back to Amazon. I bought the spare parts myself, but it wasn't a big deal anymore. I echo what Jared said about Amazon Warehouse.
I place orders from time to time, when the schedule allows, and I have to return some items once for every few successful deliveries. Two questions, assuming you're in the United States. I've seen the prices like Mister Worker, and they're quite competitive. However, the topics I have questions about always gave me pause.
Going in is like going back in time, when tools were overbuilt to last forever. It's worth the trip if you're close to KC. Amazon BC Fasteners Atlas Tools and Machinery KMS Tools JC Cayer IHL Princess Auto Elite Tools Grainger McMaster Carr Gregg Retailers Tegs Tools Canuck Tools The Tools The Tools Wurth Vallen Lee Valley I'm probably getting more, but that's what I can remember right now. My favorites are Lee Valley, Wurth, Princess Auto, KMS tools and Grainger.
I would buy more at Vallen if there was one near me, or if its shipping were more reasonable (a good source for affordable Williams tools). Online* Amazon Lee Valley Canadian Tire Atlas Tools & Machinery Squares Hardware Outils Pierre Berger is also a great place. Living in BFE but working in mining, our only physical business is a Home Depot where I try to maintain my consumable business. The tools usually come from Acme and KC for me, with some cross purchases between Amazon, CPO, toolnut, Chad's toolbox, and I think I've used Zoro once or twice.
Online is pretty much the only reason I have the mountain of useful tools that I have. Local liquidators for me for all basic cordless tools. I've been browsing OfferUp lately and what I've seen is that there are small companies that buy return pallets in HD and then sell the tools at a discount. From what I've seen in the images, most of the tools are open-box items that, for whatever reason, were returned to Home Depot.
I think they also have a guarantee. In addition, there are some offers on new and original packaging tools. Lee Valley, great place and I like to give you my business. I've bought a lot of things at Direct Tools Outlet (Ryobi & Ridgid), I've always been happy even with the remodeling things I've got K, C.
Tool (mostly) and Chad's (sometimes) for Knipex and Stahlwille. True value for most things local. Palmac is another source that sometimes has good prices on European tools and KoKen, but the delivery time can be long. As a general warning, Amazon is not an official Milwaukee seller, so you only get the warranty at the time the tool is manufactured and not at the time of sale.
I learned this the hard way. I would definitely add Taylor Tools to the list, as well as Great Lakes Power Tools. It might be worth adding Tekton, as buying directly from them is usually the best deal. Penn Tool is also worth mentioning, though its approach may be a bit out of the realm of most readers here and its site is a bit archaic.
Stuart, it's a bit of a side game, but when looking at the product details, sending an email to customer service or calling them, I've never come across anything at McMaster that the manufacturer and model number wouldn't provide, from screws to industrial equipment to power tools. They respond to you quickly, but yes, you often have to ask. I've had a couple of surprises, but it's never a big deal. With things like fasteners, you could buy screws, nuts and washers for machines from different brands, although they've been consistent over the years.
The tools were Bahco, Proto, Armstrong, Stanley, Mayhew and Vaughan. I think I was only disappointed with a microphone stand. However, it must be seen with the prices of power tools. Sometimes they're fantastic, other times they're on the list or even better.
I'm still trying to figure out McMaster-Carr's shipping secret. They've never sent me items so quickly overland. Elmhurst, Illinois, with distribution centers in Robbinsville, New Jersey; Santa Fe Springs, California; Douglasville, Georgia and Aurora, Ohio, strategically located near shipping centers and across the country. Place your order today, put it in the truck tonight, at your local center in the morning, ready for delivery.
Menard's (for those in the territory covered by them) is ideal for the level of port cargo and often now exceeds them in price. However, the brands they wear leave much to be desired. Masterfarce is better than Harbor Freight, in my opinion, although I rarely get them. Lately it has taken away a lot of shine on Amazon.
It's been more of a market than a retailer for years and is awash with nameless Chinese products. I am not a person who demands that everything be done in the United States. But I am concerned about the lack of protection that Chinese manufacturers provide to consumers, their workers and the environment. Especially, the increasing emergence of counterfeit products (such as N95 masks) causes me to lose my trust in Amazon.
I usually avoid it for books, but sometimes I need a book right away and then I use Amazon. I also use it for things like metric stainless steel screws. They are cheaper than McMaster-Carr and the like, and the consequences of the product being second quality or counterfeit are not enormous. It has some unique tools and is a great company to buy.
There was a time when Garrett-Wade was once headquartered just north of Canal Street in Manhattan. Later, Tools for Working Wood was located a few floors higher, in the Flatiron district. We would come (my wife and I) to Manhattan to go shopping, eat and see a show. She was wandering through the stores on Fifth Avenue, while I looked at the news at GW or TFWW.
I rarely bought anything, but it was better than the alternative. We would meet for a pre-show dinner and then compare notes. GW introduced me to Lie Nielsen aircraft (they were one of the first distributors), while TFWW had more items from people like Ray Isles. Amazon, from (Amazon in German) will always exceed KC Tools prices, but I can't say enough about KC Tools customer service.
DRPD (drpd, cc) has recently become my national online supplier to PB Swiss, Nepros and Ko-Ken. Good prices, reasonable shipping, and excellent, expanding inventory. An option from the U.S. UU.
That doesn't look like a commitment. Why do you say that? If you don't feel comfortable saying it in a comment, you can always send me an email. I've never had any problem placing an order with them. They look something like an old hardware store that now sells online to me.
Much of what they sell appears to be scraps, odd lots, or NOS. That said, your item may not be shiny even in the latest shrinkable or shell-shaped packaging. Nor do they always represent the most economical purchase option, but that applies to almost every retailer. I bought them quite sporadically, so I don't have much data, but I'm satisfied.
My semi-local Ace (it's significantly further away than the nearest HD) has a better selection of Milwaukee tools than HD. They claim to be the largest Ace Hardware store in the West. They have some unique products (the last time I was there, I bought individual hexagonal wrenches and blueberry bushes, none of which were available in HD). JB Tools has a large selection of the best hand tools at discounted prices.
We have more than 15,000 hand tools for home improvement and for all types of jobs, tasks and repairs. Our inventory of hand tools includes general tools such as stapler guns, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, hexagonal wrenches, ratchets, wrenches and lever bars. The Home Depot is proud to present many top brands, including Husky, Bosch, Stanley Tools, DEWALT, Milwaukee Tools, Klein Tools, Estwing and GearWrench. Whether it's a minor repair or a home renovation project, hand tools are sure to be an essential part of your project.
The prices are generally around the list, but I have some outright thefts from Newark's liquidation offers (Wera and Wiha hand tools, along with network cables and so on). Whether you're looking for hand or power tools, Ace has what you need to keep your home in great shape. I saved a lot and met my expectations with the Chadstoolbox and Misterworker hand tool sites for Europe. Before the introduction of power powered tools, hand tools bridged the gap between raw wood and finished projects.
Screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, and many other hand tools are essential for all homeowners to fix and build quickly. That's why The Home Depot believes in providing you with a high-quality selection and a variety of hand tools to choose from. And because they don't require batteries or power cords, hand tools tend to weigh less, require less storage space, and can be transported from one workplace to another more easily than power tools. Even with the advent of power tools, hand tools remain invaluable items in every tool box.
For many, hand tools offer a level of precision, control and a literal hands-on carpentry experience. Discover hand tool sets, socket sets, impact socket sets, plug and ratchet sets, ratchet socket sets and sets. . .