Tools for DIY projects can get expensive.Â Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate a pretty decent set of hand tools and power tools – most at discount prices, and some for free.Â Here’s how –
I shop the discounted / returned items section at “big box” stores.Â I purchased a gasoline-powered pressure washer for 50% off retail a few years ago.Â The original buyer couldn’t figure out how to connect the soap dispensing feature – so they returned it to the store.Â I bought it, fixed the soap dispenser, and it still works great!
I shop at pawn shops.Â We have several pawn shops in our area – and most have a big bin, loaded with very inexpensive hand tools, drill bits, etc.
I shop yard sales / garage sales / flea markets.Â These are great for finding power tools – often rarely used.Â A few years ago, I purchased a brand new, in the box, drill and driver, for five bucks.Â As with any item I buy post-retail, I check for recalls and defects.
I shop the Amazon Tools section. Last year, I found a great deal on a set of router bits. Since I only use my router a few times a year, I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money on expensive bits. Using Amazon, I found an entire set of inexpensive bits – and they work fine for what I need.
I shop eBay.Â I just checked, and I’ve been using eBay since 1999!Â Wow.Â I love eBay for hard-to-find parts and tools.Â A few months ago, I purchased a set of small screwdrivers, used for repairing electronics.Â (I have never had much success with Craig’s List.Â I think it might be because we live several miles from the nearest city on the list.Â If I lived in a bigger city, this might be a resource I used more often.)
I shop our local hardware stores and farm centers.Â These are great places for things like nuts, bolts, and fasteners.Â This past summer – I checked online and with five different major retailers, before finding a part for my lawn mower – at the local hardware store, 5 miles from my house!
I borrow from friends and family.Â Once in a while, I’ll need a use-it-once, never-need-it-again tool – and I’ll ask friends and family.Â For instance:Â I needed to jack-up our kids’ playhouse, but I didn’t have a set of bottle jacks.Â Rather than go buy a set, use them once, and then have them sit in storage – I asked my Dad.Â He had some, I borrowed them for a couple of days, and returned them.Â When I borrow tools, I’m extra-careful with them – and I’m always ready to pay for a replacement, should I break them.
I let folks know that I’m into DIY projects.Â On a couple of occasions, folks who know that I like to build stuff have just given me their old / unused / unwanted tools.Â I have a ladder, a chop saw, and a belt sander – and all were gifts from folks who know that I’ll use the tools.
I check the for-sale section at the scrap yard.Â One of our local scrap yards has a for-sale section, where they sell items that were “scrapped”, but are still in good condition.Â Last week, I purchased two big spotlights for three bucks.Â I used them to illuminate our back yard during a party – and there great for lighting a work area.
I shop the aisles at the “big box” store – and look for close-outs.Â Each year or so, manufacturers refresh their product lines.Â This is a great time to snag usually-expensive items for less.Â Last year, I purchased a table saw for 50% off, just because the manufacturer was ready to clear shelf space for a new model.
Over the past few years, I’ve managed to acquire a decent amount of tools.Â I’m still looking for a drill press – and I’d love a biscuit joiner – but I’m pretty happy with what I have.Â If you have an idea for saving money on tools and DIY projects – leave a comment in the section below – or connect with me via twitter.com/NCN.Â Have a blessed week!