A reader brought up that select Vaughan hammers were on clearance at their local Lowe’s store.
Tools sometimes go on clearance on a store by store basis, and other times changes are regional or nationwide and reflect major changes.
I visited my local Lowe’s store, and while I saw some hammers on clearance, I didn’t see anything conclusive.
JC wrote in:
I went to my local Lowes today and they had several of the Vaughan tools on clearance. The carpenter’s hatchet was marked down to 19.9x and some of the 12 inch nail pullers were marked down to 5.97.
The 16 oz claw hammer was marked down and I think one of the specialty hammers was as well. I don’t know if this is just my store or if they are clearing out Vaughan products little by little? The 23 oz california framer and the 19 oz were not on clearance. I didn’t notice on the pry bars.
I just thought I would mention it, in case you might want to do some investigating and see if something is going on between Vaughan and Lowes.
The Vaughan hatchet is on clearance at my store.
There are new Kobalt hammers, a new-looking 16oz hammer, and an unfamiliar-to-me Kobalt hatchet.
Maybe this Kobalt replaces the Vaughan? Or maybe Vaughan is changing their style, a different brand is being brought in, or something else is happening. I’m not too worried, there don’t look to be sweeping changes.
The mallet, dead blow, drilling, and engineer hammers look to be undergoing some changes. But this is a small subset of the hammers and striking tools section.
Retailers change up their tool selections on occasion. A couple of clearance items are usually no cause for concern.
Home Depot recently dropped Estwing entirely, replacing their hammers and pry bars with Crescent tools. That too started with a couple of seemingly isolated clearance stickers.
The concern that Lowe’s might be doing the same with Vaughan is valid, but I’m not seeing signs of this.
To sum it up, I spotted some clearance stickers, but no major changes, and nothing to suggest this is the start of something bigger.
I’ll keep an eye on things at my local Lowe’s store. If you find yourself at Lowe’s and have a moment, are there any noticeable changes happening with your store’s hammers section?
Estwing in my local Lowe’s is being replaced by toughbuilt hammers. They’ve been on clearance since early March. Seem some Kobalt tools that hsve been replaced Estwing as well.
That’s sad. Vaughn was the only tool brand I bought from Lowes, anymore. The only reason to go in the future will be if I ever decide to upgrade to one of those big Quincy air compressors.
I still see plenty of Vaughan hammers on the shelf.
The clearance stickers were applied across several brands.
One snapshot doesn’t tell the whole story, which is why I’m asking for readers’ observations.
It’s gonna be hard to keep up with Lowe’s changes. It’s actually a bit amazing that manage to stay the same/not improve with so much changes.
I love this comment.
I have a hard time figuring out who Lowe’s customer base is anymore; it doesn’t seem to be DIY as they’d head to Home Depot or Menards, and I’ve not seen indication that they’re terribly popular with contractors either.
Maybe it’s just people who “need a hammer” but you’d think Walmart would serve that group well.
They are the largest appliance dealer in the US. Other then that they pull a lot of DIY users. I think local stores can vary alot. near me the help isnt very good but the stores are much cleaner better stocked and better organized then the HD stores, but the HD stores pull alot more contractor business. As a DIY I tend to spend alot more at Lowes then HD despite both being the same distance from my house. In s lot of ways Lowes vs HD is like Target vs Walmart, Walmart is cheaper has more SKU numbers per store but Target is in general the more pleasant shopping experience.
Around me I go to both L and HD but for different things and I desperately wish I had a Menards. Menards stocks LOTS of stuff that neither L or HD do such as #1 grade SYP, finer grades of plywood, MDO and the higher grade of pressure treated.
For example, L’s plywood is garbage tier from who-knows-where. HD has US made plywood that is generally same price but much higher quality. So, I go to HD for my sheet goods (if they actually stock what I want).
On the other hand, L stocks Rockwool and cellulose fiber insulation where HD seems to be always out of stock and more expensive.
The local stores do vary a lot. In my town there’s one HD and two Lowe’s. The older of the two Lowes happens to be the one I am closest to. It seems relatively contractor-oriented and it stocks a lot of things the other two don’t. It has a better lumber selection, especially the big stuff, the plumbing section carries 6 inch PVC, etc. The other Lowe’s seems very much homeowner oriented with massive displays for home appliances, patio furniture, grills, and home decor items dominating the store. The lumber selection at that Lowes is terrible, so is the hardware isle (nuts, bolts, etc.), and the selection of concrete & cement products.
My local lowe’s pro desk is exponentially better than the local home Depot. Also the pricing isn’t better at home Depot and Lowes has a better/actually in stock lumber selection in my area. The home Depot here is a disaster mess and always looks like a tornado hit it. The flat or lumber carts at home Depot are always full of shit and not available for customers. Pretty much I go to home Depot if Lowe’s doesn’t Carry something (like the Milwaukee hammer that I like) but otherwise Lowe’s is the way to go. Funny because before I moved here Lowe’s was the soccer mom hardware store and I always went to home Depot but now It makes my day worse if I have to go to home Depot.
Swung through the tool section yesterday. Noticed that the hammers were fully stocked with Vaughn and Estwing. I don’t think this Lowe’s had much Vaughn in the past. Seemed newly organized, clean and, fully stocked.
Noticed a 5-piece set of Wiha soft finish screwdrivers on clearance for $11.
That’s an even lower clearance price than they were doing. Was $20 then $16.
My Lowes had the 5 piece soft finish Wiha screwdrivers on sale for $20, then they went to $16, and finally to $11 to clear them out. However, the Lowes has the same set online (and at the Lowes 20 miles from here) for the original $30 price. Seems like some clearances are store by store
And specific store customer demographics regards tool brand awareness and retail selling price.
Yeah, I looked online and they were listed as out of stock at my store. They had about half a dozen in a shopping cart in the tool section with some other clearance stuff. The nearest store with them in stock had them listed for $30 too.
Lowes does do clearance store to store they can vary widely. Sometimes it’s a product no longer carried in any store some times just that store. They do seem to adjust product mix store to store to meet the market. In particular even in the same region I have seen large difference in the lumber section of what is stocked.
Lowe’s seems to clear out certain brands of certain tools on occasion, sometimes replacing them with other brands and sometimes simply due to manufacturer changes. I haven’t been to Lowe’s recently, as I avoid going into the city when I can help it, but around 2014 I was getting great deals on Stanley and Fatmax levels. From what I recall, they kept Fatmax but switched from a yellow color format to a grey one. Similarly, I stocked up on Vaughan hammer when they cleared a bunch out in 2016 or so, and still have a few new ones lying around.
My days of combing through the home improvement stores looking for deals are behind me, for now at least, though I do still keep an eye out when I visit one. There’s a Home Depot in my town, and frankly, Lowe’s just seems a bit less…premium…when it comes to tools these days, so 80% of my stops are at Home Depot, maybe 15% at Stine Lumber and Home, and about 5% at Lowe’s.
I bet we’ll see a Kobalt black diamond hammer soon — in the style of the new screwdrivers
The work I do and have done never involved so much hammering that I’ve needed or even thought of searching for a best hammer for my needs. I am 61, and got into carpentry/woodworking in my late 40’s. Never worked as a framer and maybe it’s why I’ve used mainly screws and the hammers were mainly for some nailing, removing nails and for demolition. The hammers I have has always done the job. The only hammers I bought were a 2 pack of basic Husky claw during a Christmas sale. I bought it because it was 9.99 for the two and I could keep one in my bag, and the other with my backup tools. My girlfriend thinks I have too many tools and I can only use one hammer at a time. For my health and safety, I will never point out how many shoes she has and that she can only wear one pair at a time! My several other hammers were yard sale finds. I have a plumb brand hammer with a yellow fiberglass handle that I really enjoy, a couple of wood handled claws that I never use because the heads are loose, they don’t call out to me and I have other hammers so I don’t replace/repair the handles. I have a steel Eastwing, that I use occasionally. Don’t like it much. Mainly because I don’t like the shape of that particular hammer. But, everytime I pass the hammer section, I find myself looking longer at the Eastwings than the others. Because Craftsman themselves ruined their reputation, I don’t look at Craftsman tools at Lowes. And I am sorry for the loss of workers, good tools and the nostalgia older tools bring. I like the look and feel of other hammer brands but I will be buying at least one new Eastwing because I would be sad if they go out of business and want to support them. I like that they exist. And it will be nice to get a differently designed hammer than what I have. And to help my girlfriend understand, I’ll tell her that I need it to match my new Keen workshoes.
Happy Easter, Stuart, to you and your family. And Happy Holiday to all the Toolguyd extended family.
My Lowes had no Vaughn hammers, etc. at all. A lot of Kobolt and Estwing, about evenly split, some twenty different tools of each. The Wiha soft finish screwdriver set was $16 in the promotional area.
Not all cases but sometimes clearance items have to do with what that store got “stuck” with.
I have seen this many times where one store has an item on clearance but another of the same store does not. I have also seen the same item on clearance at more than 1 of a given store, but the price reduction is different, sometimes huge difference.
I have asked either sales people or the manager why, and have got a variety of responses, some BS to not disclose the true reasoning, but the one I have heard the most is that while item X sold well in other stores, in this store it sold little or none. So they clearance it.
This can sometimes go beyond an item and be brand related. Certain brands sell well but the odd store (maybe rural, maybe a given state, maybe age or cultural demographics) can’t sell a brand that does so well at the majority of the stores in the chain.
Of course, many times it can be HQ dictating an across the board change
Buy a stiletto and forget lowes.