Anyone thats ever worked on a project that required hand tools has a place that they count on to have the right tools for the job. But what are the best places to buy hand tools? Some do-it-yourselfers have a favorite place to buy their gear while others just look to get the best deal possible. But price and selection are just a couple of reasons a store might be a favorite place to buy.
Favorite Tool Stores
Good customer service goes a long way toward winning a customer because even handymen can use a hand every now and then. Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes have been favorites of do-it-yourselfers, and construction workers for years because of their huge selection of hand tools. Normally, you can find tools for just about all of your projects and budget at these stores and from their online versions.
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Lowes began in 1946 as the North Wilkesboro Hardware Company in North Carolina and has become the second-largest home improvement retailer worldwide. Hand tools are a staple at Lowes and as such, they can usually be found right in the front and middle of the store. You will find just about any tool you need for most projects in the huge selection of hand tools at Lowes. Lowes carries tools by major tool manufacturers like Dewalt, Kobalt, Hitachi, Porter Cable, Bostitch, Paslode, Bosch, Rockwell, Campbell Hausfield, Black & Decker, Dremel, and Irwin.
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Home Depot was founded in 1978 and has become the largest home improvement retailer worldwide. The Home Depot business model and store layout are very similar to Lowes business model and layout. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Home Depot operates stores all over the United States, all ten Provinces of Canada, and in Mexico, and China. The list of major hand tool manufacturers at Home Depot includes, Husky, Stanley, Erstwing, Irwin Tools, Klein Tools, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Empire and Leatherman.
Northern Tool + Equipment
Northern stores are smaller than Home Depots and Lowes but the stores have a large and faithful client list. A family owned business, Northern Tools + Equipment was founded in 1981 by Founder and Chief Executive Officer Donald L. Kotula. The companys Burnsville, Minnesota USA Headquarters serves customers in the United States and around the world. The stores carry hand tools made by well-known manufacturers of hand tools like Klutch, Titan, Wilton, Yost Vises, Northern Industrial Tools, Channel Lock, Bondhus, GearWrench, Irwin Quick-Grip, and Performance Tool. You can see and purchase these hand tools online at northerntool.com.
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In 1886 Richard W. Sears began the R.W. Sears Watch Company in Minneapolis. Sears was an agent of the Minneapolis and St. Louis railway station in North Redwood, Minnesota when he received a shipment of watches that a local merchant didn’t want. Sears purchased the watches and quickly sold them to other station agents. The rest is history. Now the company is headquartered in its Hoffman Estates Illinois complex. Sears is unique in that Craftsman Tools is the signature line of tools for the company. Craftsman may be the headliner of hand tools at Sears but Sears offers an extensive assortment of tools from manufacturers like The Original Pink Box, DeWalt, Gladiator, GearWrench, Harley Davidson, Eastwood, etoolscity, Factory Authorized Outlet, Grizzly, and Wayfair. Sears manages to set their hand tools apart with several unique tool programs.
Hand Tool Incentive Programs at Sears
1. The Craftsman Tool “Lifetime Satisfaction” limited guaranteed tool replacement policy allows you to trade in old or broken tools. Also qualifying members of the Craftsman Tool of the Month Club earn points from tool purchases that can be redeemed for a free tool.
2. The Sears Tech Student & Sears Delivery Partner Program - Huge discounts for vocational students and qualifying Sears team members.
3. Sears Outlet Stores – Offers deep discounts to the public on Sears tools.
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Ace Hardware Stores
Ace Hardware stores were founded in Chicago in 1924 and was one of the first home improvement stores to emphasize knowledgeable and friendly customer service. That attitude is coined in the companys motto The Helpful Place. Ace has grown from a few Chicago area hardware stores, to have more than 4,600 stores in 50 states and 70 countries. One of the unique things about Ace stores is that every store is part of a dealer owned cooperative. The hand tools that youll find in Ace Hardware stores and online at acehardware.com are made by an extensive list of big name manufacturers like, Ace Hardware, 3M, American Tool, Craftsman, DeWalt, Black & Decker, Chicago Die Casting, EKLIND, STANLEY, and many more.
Being founded in 1999, Overstock.com is a relative newcomer to the hand tool market. Overstock.com is an online discount retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that sells a broad range of products including hand tools. The company is a global business whose founder, Dr. Patrick M. Byrne, recognized the potential in liquidating excess inventory through the Internet. To that end, Overstock offers a wide variety of hand tools from industry leaders like Klein Tools, DeWalt, Rigid, Stanley, Makita, Anchor Brand, and many others.
Mom and Pop Hardware Stores
Sure, there are some other popular places to buy hand tools but this list is a good place to start. I have to acknowledge the many local mom and pop hardware stores that have supplied hand tools since before the major retailers became industry giants. They still serve small, towns all across America where there aren’t enough people to put the larger stores in. The next time you need a hand tool to do a home improvement project or a major building project, check out the stores on this list. One of them may end up being your favorite place to buy hand tools.
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