I just got back from Lowes, and I find myself surprised at the experience. In case you missed yesterday’s post, here’s the discussion of my Home Depot holiday tool deals haul.
I was half way through the displays at Lowes, snapping some photos on my phone and thinking to myself how their tool deals selection is rather lame compared to Home Depot’s.
But then something caught my eye – the Irwin 8-piece screwdriver set. It was a little cheaper than when I spotted it on the shelf a few weeks ago. I think so, at least.
Hold on. *zip zip zip.* That’s the sound of my thumb flicking through my smartphone’s image gallery. Nope, the screwdrivers were the same price a few weeks ago. ($20)
I did end up saving a few extra bucks on the set because they were mispriced in not 1 but 2 displays. Should I feel bad about that? I think maybe the Irwin screwdriver prices and displays were accidentally swapped around. But a polite “I think the price is wrong, but can you still honor the price?” goes a long way.
After I raided the tool displays I went and browsed through the regular aisles, tossing in a few utility knives I hadn’t seen before, as well as some more tape measures – mainly the Komeleons. You can get the same self-locking tapes on Amazon for the same price ($7, but an add-on item), but I didn’t even think to price shop at the time.
There were some other tools I almost bought, like a Lenox reciprocating saw blade handle that doubles as a drywall jab saw. But I bought a Milwaukee that I don’t really use often enough. I also can’t find it at the moment, so maybe I will head back and pick up the Lenox. I’ve got some branches to cut, and special tree-pruning reciprocating saw blades work well. It’d be nice to chuck ’em in a handle for quick and noiseless cuts.
Lowes’ power tool promos were a lot different from at Home Depot, focusing on a mix of cordless and corded power tools.
I got the feeling that Lowes’ power tool deals were a little more DIY-er friendly, while Home Depot’s power tool deals favored more serious tool users.
Things typically change as Black Friday and the peak of the holiday shopping season approaches.
There was definitely a stronger Irwin Tools presence than in past years. I wonder what next year’s displays will look like, given that Stanley Black & Decker now owns Irwin and Lenox tool brands.
I finally brought myself to buy the Kobalt utility knives that were… um… obviously… “inspired” by Milwaukee’s Fastback utility knives. I wrote about one of these knives before, but didn’t realize a second style had come out. I’m actually optimistic, as the larger one looks to have a good replacement blade storage compartment.
My total out of pocket cost? $266. But that also includes like $60 in alkaline batteries.
Rayovac seems to have rebranded their alkaline batteries as “Rayovac High Energy.” Instead of being made in the USA, they’re made in the USA with global materials. But, the dates were better – a year later.
Last year, there were some imported boxes of Rayovac batteries, and some USA-made ones. Wait, no, that was in 2014. The old and new style of batteries both had made in USA labeling, except the newer style had the global materials disclosure, and also a more prominent “made in the USA” stamp on the front.
Oh, crap. Home Depot has better pricing than what I paid. I think I spent $20 on the 60-cell AA and AAA packs at Lowes. Yea. It came down to $0.33 cents each cell.
Double crap. Home Depot has them at 24 for $4. That’s $0.167 per cell – HALF of what I paid!
Amazon has the AA 60-cell pack for slightly less than what I paid, and AAA 60-cell packs for about the same. But… buying them online is no guarantee that you’ll get fresh cells. And it’s possible that they’re imported, given that Rayovac had mixed sources for battery cells in the past.
It’s a 20-minute drive to Lowes, which isn’t a big deal, but it’s completely out of the way, so I probably won’t bother with a price adjustment request or return. But I WILL be buying some more batteries at Home Depot the next time I’m there.
I also bought some non-ratcheting Kobalt screwdrivers that also feature the QL3 chuck as on their new Double Drive screwdriver. The ratcheting version seemed clunky, so I left it on the shelf. I picked these screwdrivers, the multi-bit and precision sized drivers, off a small display wall in the regular tool section.
One of the tape measures I bought was a new Stanley that I had never seen before (bottom left of the photo). I wonder if I’ll see these again in-store after the holiday season.
P.S. It looks like Lowes kicked off their “Black Friday Deals Start Now” sale. There actually look to be some decent tool deals, and I’ll try to get some up before the weekend.
Shop Now(Lowes Pre-BF Tool Deals)
Someone mentioned wanting to see a Werner ladder deal. While not exactly what you asked for, there’s a 13-foot telescoping multi-position ladder for $89. It costs a lot more via Amazon, but the 3rd party sellers are likely baking shipping fees into the price. This ladder, MT-13, has a 300 pound rating. Maybe the 22-foot model you wanted will be on sale later in the season?
Remember where I said I won’t be heading to Lowes soon? Nevermind! I think I want that ladder.
There’s also a Bostitch 6-gallon pancake air compressor with nailer kit, which I think is kind of what someone else asked for. I’d bet Home Depot will have something similar, but with Porter Cable branding.
There’s a 16-foot version of the Stanley Auto-Lock tape measure, which I reconsidered and now consider to be the best tape measure. The image doesn’t show “made in USA with global materials” branding, so I have to wonder. But $17 for that tape? Argh, I might have to have one!
Bosch double-ended impact screwdriver bits?
Ack, I should leave some commentary for the Lowes online deal post, shouldn’t I? Sorry, it’s nearly 3am and I’ve been going through the Lowes pre-Black Friday tool deals listing while wrapping up this post.
I can say this – I found Lowes’ in-store 2016 holiday tool deals to be quite compelling, once I got past the first few displays, and the only deals are giving rise to an excitement I haven’t felt for Lowes’ holiday tool deals in quite a few years.
If you’re hesitant about making the trek out to your nearest Lowes, I have one thing to tell you. You’ve GOT to feel the handles on the new Irwin screwdrivers!
Here’s that online holiday tool deals link again:
Shop Now(Lowes Pre-BF Tool Deals)