Are you looking for the best place to buy all types of tools online? In this post, we’re highlighting our favorite sites for both business buyers and DIY shoppers. Take a look at the perks of each site. You may find a new favorite place to order from.
In This Article
Acme Tools is a family-owned business, started in 1948, which means they have the proven track record and personalized oversight to run their company well.
You get free shipping when you order over $199, not hard to do when you’re buying high-quality tools. If you’re looking for less expensive tools, they have a section for reconditioned tools, all backed by a 1-year warranty.
They have lots of sales on the biggest brand names, like Milwaukee and DeWalt, and you can opt in to receive texts about sales. This might be a good idea if you’re looking to expand your toolbox on the cheap; otherwise, the texts would just get annoying.
This site also sells new and used heavy machinery, like tractors, forklifts, and scissor lifts. This is the place you want to visit for not just hand and power tools but everything you might need to run a landscaping or construction business. They also have physical stores you can visit to rent equipment.
If you need to know how to use certain tools or how to do a DIY project, take a look through their blog. It’s well-written and informative, full of ideas, buying guides, and tool reviews.
My Tool Store also offers free shipping on orders over $199, but each item has to be under 140 pounds. You can sign up for email discounts, but the site doesn’t advertise many sales to visitors.
I like the site because it’s simple to use. If you know the brand you like, you click on the brand, then select the product category you’re looking for. You’ll see only what MTS stocks in that category for that brand.
If you don’t know what brand to search by, you can use the Search tool at the top to see every item that fits your query across every brand. Unfortunately, you can’t filter these results in any way. It’d be nice to at least filter the results by price.
They do offer a lot of specialized equipment. Overall, I’d say this is a good site to order from if you know what you’re looking for and who makes it.
Toolbarn is more like Acme in that you can shop by brand or product category. They also have lots of sales and specials. In general, you save more based on how much you spend. Buy a lot, and they thank you with deeper discounts.
The site offers only normal power tools and outdoor equipment, no heavy machinery or highly specialized industry tools. I do like their Build a Kit section. You choose a brand name to start with, then scroll through and add whatever pieces look useful to you. It’s guaranteed to all run on the same battery type.
Like the other sites, you can sign up to receive emails about sales. If you’re in the military or are working as a first responder, they offer a 5% discount. They also feature Affirm, a payment system that lets you make payments through the site rather than charging a big order on your credit card.
This site does not offer free shipping.
Northern Tool and Equipment is a great place for shop owners and contractors to order from. You can shop by category, including:
- Material Fabrication
- Metal Fabrication
- And the more general categories you’d expect to find
They have light equipment, not the tractors and trucks you’ll find on Acme, but certainly most of what you’ll need to outfit your business, not to mention home use. Once you click on a product category, you can use multiple filters to narrow down what you’re looking for or enjoy browsing all the possibilities.
You can also search by brand or by the multiple deals they offer, including free shipping on select tools.
If you sign up with your email address, you’ll get a coupon for $5 off, not much when you’re shopping tools, but at least it’s something. If you pay $40 a year, you can become an Advantage member, which will you give you free shipping on everything and special promotions.
They also have live chat and a customer service number to call if you need help or have additional questions.
Harbor Freight capitalizes on the sales it offers, and it may not always offer the same products. The preferred way to shop the site is by Deals and New Items. You can also sign up to get news of sales in your email. Becoming an Inside Track Member for $30 a year gives you lower prices and exclusive offers. You can also apply for a Harbor Freight credit card. They really do want you to see the savings they offer and make it easy for you to purchase when you see something you want.
If you don’t want to shop by Deals, you can also shop by Department or use the Search tool to find what you’re looking for. If you shop by Department, you can then see what they offer in that category by Featured Brands, but brand name isn’t a big deal on HF. Unfortunately, you may find some products that are only offered in-store. This is the opposite of most other physical/online companies that offer more online than they stock in-store.
HF also focuses on donating funds to schools, veterans, and fire and police departments, so you may want to shop here just knowing that part of what you pay ultimately goes to a worthy cause.
I’d say that if you’re shopping for low prices and can wait to buy something until Harbor Freight gets it at a good price, this is the best site to watch. If you need something now, check HF to see if they happen to have it, but otherwise, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Mister Worker is an Italian company that sells internationally. You can shop by category or all the top brands. This site is another one for the professional technician or business owner. Because they are an international company, you may find some tools and brand names you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
You can sign up for news of sales, but they also offer deeper discounts depending on how much you buy. Because your order may not be coming from your home country, you’ll have to see what the shipping would be on your order once you have everything in your cart.
At The Tool Nut, you can shop by power tools, hand tools, and accessories. You can also browse the deals sections or shop by brand. Once you click on one of the pages for these broad categories, you can further refine your search by clicking on more specific categories. This site carries all the basics but isn’t the best place to shop for specialty items or heavy equipment.
If you sign up for email offers, you get a $10 off coupon and free shipping on orders of $100 or more. They also have a customer service number to call with any questions about pricing or shipping.
How to Get the Best Deal Buying Tools Online
We’ve given you some recommended places to shop, but how can you ensure you’re getting the best deal? Here are some tips to follow when shopping online.
If you know what you need, the best way to get a good price is to check the different sites for sales. I would look at Harbor Freight first, then search the other sites in order of which you like best.
The downside of searching all the different sites is that it takes time, and if you need more than one item, you might find a sale for the first item on site A and a sale on the second item on site B. That leaves with the question of whether to order from two different sites or figure out which one gives you the best deal overall and order all your items from there.
Still, if you’re running a business, you know that sometimes you have to do a cost analysis and order from different vendors to get the best prices.
Buy in Bulk
Many of the sites offer you free shipping if your order meets a certain dollar amount. If you can, wait to order until your items meet that threshold.
Of course, if you wait, you might miss out on some deals, so again, weigh the discount offered versus the cost of paying to ship.
Become a Member?
A few of the sites offer deeper discounts to members. Paying the fee would be advantageous to you if you plan on buying a lot of tools and don’t necessarily want to shop around. You’ve found the site you like and plan on ordering from them frequently.
Buying Refurbished Tools
Acme offers used tools that have been repaired or refurbished at a lower price than their brand-new counterparts. Is it a good idea to buy used?
The Pros and Cons of Buying Used Tools
The first advantage to buying used tools is they come at a lower price. You can get everything you need for half-price or less. If you’re a new business owner, that really gives you a head start outfitting your company.
The benefit of buying refurbished from an established company is the tool will come with a warranty. That gives you a lot more peace of mind than buying used from an individual seller.
A used tool that has been properly refurbished should last nearly as long as a new tool, though you may need to perform more frequent repairs. A refurbished tool hasn’t had all its parts replaced – only the most hardwearing.
Besides a shorter life span of the tool and more frequent repairs, the biggest downside to buying used is that you may not be able to find the exact model of tool you want. You may have to settle for an older model or an alternative model that doesn’t have the same features. In short, your selection is limited to what has been refurbished.
The Pros and Cons of Buying New Power Tools
All the opposites of buying used apply here. You can choose the tool you want and know it will be in stock somewhere. You can also reasonably expect it to last longer than a used tool, and the warranty offered should cover a longer period of time.
The downside is the price. Tools are expensive, and you may not be able to order everything you need right away if you buy all new ones.
Guarantees and Warranties
Unless you’re buying from a private seller, your tool will come with some sort of warranty. Usually, this comes from the manufacturer, but you may need to contact the store or site you bought the item from rather than going to the manufacturer directly.
Other times, the seller themselves will offer the warranty. If you’re buying a particularly costly item or buying a lot of tools from one store or brand, check their warranty policies. Realizing that, say, Milwaukee offers a longer, more comprehensive warranty on its power tools than DeWalt may persuade you to buy Milwaukee instead, even if DeWalt offers lower prices on some items (Note: this is just a hypothetical example).
Hand Tools vs. Power Tools
The final advice we’ll give when it comes to buying tools online concerns whether you should buy simpler hand tools or more complex power tools.
If you’re a business owner or pro craftsman, you definitely want power tools. Though more costly, they help your work go much faster. In some cases, you can get a more professional result from a specialized power tool.
If you’re doing DIY and handyman projects, the cost of power tools may not be worth it to you. You can accomplish basic tasks with inexpensive hand tools. Plus, hand tools are a lot smaller and easier to store.