Following are ToolGuyd’s favorite places to shop for tools, workshop supplies, and related products.
There are of course many places where you can buy new tools, with different retailers offering benefits over others.
As a tool user, I’m usually looking for lower prices, better customer service, and an overall easy and satisfactory customer experience. I still haven’t found the best-overall retailer – have you?
Here’s how I break down the different types of retailers:
- Online Distributors (e.g. Amazon.com)
- Big Box Retailers (e.g. Home Depot, Lowe’s)
- Industrial Suppliers (e.g. McMaster Carr)
- Woodworking Shops (e.g. Lee Valley, Rockler)
- Specialty Supply Shops (e.g. TEquipment)
- Marketplaces (e.g. Ebay)
The following tool store recommendations were last updated in August 2022.
Online Tool Retailers
Acme Tools – Great selection of power tools, hand tools, and tool storage, usually at competitive pricing (or better). I check Acme’s deals and promos regularly.
Use coupon code TOOLGUYD for $10 off $79+.
Amazon – Wide selection, great prices, excellent customer service, easy return policy, many items eligible for free shipping. One of my favorite place to shop for tools and supplies.
CPO Tools – Strong selection of reconditioned tools, great promos on occasion, 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 good selection, fair prices, lower free shipping threshold.
If you’re looking for information about where to buy cordless power tools, we have a separate post on that here:
Home Depot – Vast selection, decent prices, many items are eligible for free shipping and time-saving free in-store pickup. I have had great customer service experiences as well.
Lowe’s – Good sales, and different tool options than other home improvement retailers.
I shop at both major big-box retailers, and typically pick one over the others depending on what I’m looking to buy. If both offer the same tools or supplies at similar prices, I prefer Home Depot.
McMaster Carr – Vast selection, ambiguous branding (which I sometimes dislike), quick shipping.
MSC Supply Co – Great selection, great prices if you shop from the monthly sales flyers, quick shipping.
Zoro Tools – Occasionally frustrating navigation, but good prices and free shipping on $50+.
Lee Valley – Home of Veritas tools, great customer service.
Rockler – Good selection, strong attention to packing/packaging, reducing the changes of damage to specialty supplies (such as liquid wood finish), great customer service.
Woodpeckers – Great layout tools, their “One Time Tools” are occasionally interesting (but pricey).
Knives, Multi-Tools, EDC Tools
BladeHQ – One of my favorite places to shop for multi-tools and pocket knives.
Knives Ship Free – Another much-liked source for EDC knives with fair pricing and great customer service.
Specialty Tools and Supplies
Harry Epstein Co – A friendly mom & pop shop with focus on USA-made tools.
KC Tool – Focused on German hand tool brands, great customer service.
TEquipment – A great source for benchtop test equipment products with friendly customer service.
This includes Ebay, Craigslist, community forums, shows, yard sales, and swap meets.
I don’t shop for second-hand tools often, but have scored some nice deals and trades on enthusiast forums. There’s always a risk factor.
I also tend to visit the traveling Woodworking Show with a healthy budget, as I never know what goodies I’ll find and feel compelled to buy on impulse.
Which vendors would you add to this list? This isn’t an exhaustive list of where I purchase new tools from – the above list reflects where I shop and spend the most.
ToolGuyd has affiliate/referral relationships with many of these retailers, but I have also been buying our own tools and supplies from them for many years, and strongly recommend them without hesitation.
How does a retailer get on this list? Simple – by winning over my business.
Latest Post Updates
This post was last updated in August 2022 with minor updates.
KC Tool added.
Acme Tools and KC Tool coupon codes were added.
No-longer-recommended retailers were removed.