Hand Tools Archive

Home Depot - And the Demise of Local

david weaver
We often hear about how we should purchase things locally to make sure that we can get them locally.

I have few wants that I can find locally, but one of them used to be 2 packs of lenox 18 tpi hacksaw blades. Anything that I make of metal that's 1/8th thick or more ends up being cut with those, whether it's self-made plane irons or infill parts.

I went to home depot today to find that they no longer carry them, they now carry "dewalt" bimetal blades that are made in mexico. The price of the dewalt blades is about the same, perhaps a few cents cheaper.

The lenox blades were made in the US. Some of what I cut is steel. Other bimetal blades that I could get locally ("buck brothers") have not held up even for a fraction of an inch of cut. The lenox blades gradually lose teeth, and perhaps after cutting every metal part for an infill plane (all of the dovetails, etc), I have to replace them. Translation - even though they get beat up, they last a long time and are worth every penny to me.

I could buy the dewalt blades and try them. But, if they don't last, they won't last right away, and I will need to go back to home depot to take them back, or remember to take them on another trip. It's just not worth it.

I also need 3 door knobs, cheap ones, for interior doors here. They are about $10 per set. They are the kind of thing that costs a fair amount to ship vs. the package size and their value because they're not that small and they're not expensive. Still, I go online to look, and the door knob sets are cheaper elsewhere despite having to pay shipping. Their markup must be over 100% on those for that to be the case. Why? That's exactly the type of item they should compete on.

The list of these things could go on and on (they used to have 3x paper, but they've replaced it with something as expensive and much less durable. They used to have 3x discs, albeit not competitively priced if you need to get a lot, they were at least good discs. Now they have "freud diablo". What the hell does freud have to do with abrasives? The ones I got in a pinch last week to sand something in the house looked good, but did not last very well. They lost their tooth almost right away).

I'd hoped for some 3/16th bits to waste (I don't have a mill, so I waste some of those bits opening infill mouths). The options at HD again? $3 a bit for chinese made bits. Are you kidding? No bulk packs of any common sizes.

Why bother shopping local for anything?

(I found boxes of 10 of my favorite hack saw blades for about $19 shipped on line. I am happy with that, but that's one less thing that will get me in the door at home depot - their fault. It's not uncommon that I would've gone in for hack saw blades and picked up several other things).

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