When is the best time to buy cordless power tools? I am asked this question a lot, and it can be quick and easy to answer, or very difficult, depending on what you’re looking to buy.
Here’s the quick general answer: November thru January.
The winter holiday shopping is usually the best time to buy cordless power tools, due to how competitive tool brands get for everyone’s attention and business.
This is the time when aggressively discounted cordless power tool kits, combo kits, battery packs, and bare tool bundles stand the best chance at pulling users into cordless brands’ ecosystems.
Pro-grade 18V and 20V Max cordless drill and basic impact driver kits can be found for $99, and sometimes less.
Retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s offer “buy this and get free tools or batteries” promos, which give users some choices outside of the usual cordless drill, impact, and combo kit selections.
If you’re looking for core tools, Black Friday and holiday season “gift center” deals give you the best “bang for your buck.”
Value-focused combo kits from pro cordless brands might offer 6pc tool kits for as low as $299, and 8pc kits for $399.
There are usually also occasional discounts on more specialized and industry-focused tools, such as cordless nailers, air compressors, grinders, impact wrenches, and others. These deals tend to be more unpredictable.
The reason I bring this up is because we’re heading into September soon, which is when the “when’s a good time to buy…” question comes up more than most other months.
Many people know about Black Friday and winter holiday shopping season promotions, and so it never comes as a shock that this is generally the best time to save on cordless power tools.
May-June is also a great time to save on cordless power tools, as there are often heavy promotions ahead of Father’s Day.
Now, about September. What I have found is that a lot of people ask about good times to buy cordless tools, in a “when will I save the most money” sense, but they should also be asking whether now is a good time to buy.
Is it a good idea to buy cordless power tools NOW?
Ordinarily, it’s a good idea to buy tools when you need them, even if huge savings can be had if you just waits a few weeks. That’s up to individual users’ and shoppers’ needs and wants.
What I want to remind everyone about is that some stores have generous return policies, as well as price match policies. Policies vary, but I generally prefer shopping at stores with at least a 30-day low price guarantee.
Sometimes Black Friday and seasonal pricing can’t be matched, in which cases stores are usually willing to allow a “return and rebuy,” which just takes a bit longer to process.
Now, although there are a lot of deals and promos during the holiday shopping season, many aren’t on everyday tool SKUs, they’re on “special buy” SKUs that are designed around low pricing.
If you’re unsure as to whether a particular tool you’re looking to buy might go on sale or not, it’s a good idea to research past sales events. While past promotions and discounts might not be repeated, they sometimes are, and I’d say more often than not.
And if you’re unsure, that’s where retailers’ return and price matching policies can help. It’s a terrible feeling, when something you bought goes on sale almost immediately after you buy it. With how much cordless power tools can cost, even a 10% difference in price can lead to buyer’s remorse.
So, for my own purchases, at least for cordless power tools that aren’t guaranteed to go on sale for the holidays, I don’t necessarily worry about the best time to buy, but about when to buy to minimize the chance of buyer’s remorse.
If there’s a chance of a tool going on sale during the holiday season, I ask myself if I can wait to see. For tools that aren’t urgently needed, this is a safe bet, but there’s a risk of not being able to get what you want in a timely manner should supplies dwindle. Are you okay with having to pay full price and wait for through an extended backorder period?
If your needs are timely, a 30-day low-price security period is better than nothing.
The last I checked, major home improvement retailers, namely Home Depot and Lowe’s, but perhaps others, have 90-day return periods on most products returned in new/unopened condition. They will also adjust pricing within 30 days, at least in my experience – “your miles might vary.”
Because of this, if I need something in September, I buy it in September. I tend to only hold off on purchasing tools I can wait for a good deal on, or tools I know are very likely to be heavily discounted for the holidays.
Holiday season promotions also tend to be unpredictable, and so I inevitably get drawn into an impulse deal or two every year.
To elaborate further about the November thru January promotional period:
November: Here is when we always see the broadest selection of cordless power tool deals, especially for Black Friday, Thanksgiving weekend, and Cyber Monday. Many “special buys” kick off at the start of the month.
December: There are always many “oh, I can use that too!” types of cordless power tool bundle deals and special buys. December is when we see a lot more tool-only deals, as opposed to kits and combo kits.
January: Season-long deals tend to sell out fast in November or December, and while restocks should take place gradually, sometimes they arrive late, to bargain-hunters’ delight. Brands also launch strategic deals and bundle offerings that might better appeal to regular tool users, as opposed to holiday shoppers and gift-givers, but such promotions are impossible to predictable.
Once we get into mid-September, that can be an uncomfortable time to buy tools at full price – except for tools that are unlikely to be discounted for the holidays.
It can be safe to wait just a few weeks, but Labor Day sales can also provide great discounts.
“Wait for Black Friday” isn’t bad advice, but it doesn’t perfectly apply to all cordless power tools.
If you’re up for doing some research, below are some of ToolGuyd’s holiday season deal archives, which should give you a good idea as to what might be on sale in a couple of months, and what might not be.
Home improvement retailers’ Black Friday sales flyers can also give you a good sense of year-to-year deal trends. I have focused on tool deals, of course, and many websites maintain a history of unabridged Black Friday sales flyers.
Nobody knows what will and won’t be on sale this year, but if you can’t plan around unknown discounts, at least you should be able to minimize the chance of buyer’s remorse. There are never any guarantees, but research can help you avoid complete uncertainty.
- 2021 Black Friday Tool Deals
- 2021 Holiday Tool Deals
- 2020 Black Friday Tool Deals
- 2020 Holiday Tool Deals
- 2019 Black Friday Tool Deals
- 2019 Holiday Tool Deals
- 2018 Black Friday Tool Deals
- 2018 Holiday Tool Deals
- 2017 Black Friday Tool Deals
- 2017 Holiday Tool Deals
Do you have any advice for other tool shoppers? Any questions I could potentially help you with? What are you looking to buy this year?