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Check out these 4 Independent Hand Tool Shops

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I’ve had an extremely busy week, and wanted to take a few moments to decompress for a bit.

“Retail therapy” tends to help. Basically, I stop for a moment, search for a new tool or product I’d like to explore, and then whip out the business credit card and buy something new and unfamiliar to test out and potentially review.

I’m a bit too tired for that right now. But I had an idea. How about YOU guys do some shopping around, even if you’re just browsing, and point out interesting tools you never saw before.

Where should I send you? Ah – how about the first four independent hand tool retailers that came to mind! I figured that maybe some of my favorite tool shopping destinations could be a good place to start.

Lee Valley Online Storefront Fall 2023

First up, there’s Lee Valley.

Ooh, what do you need to know about Lee Valley. Let’s see… they specialize in woodworking hand tools, but they also have expansive selections in other product categories, such as hardware (think cabinet door and drawer handle pulls and knobs), kitchen gadgets, and gardening supplies.

Even if you’re thinking “nah, I’m not into woodworking,” check them out, they have some decent general purpose tools too.

Lee Valley also has exceptionally good customer service. Shopping there has always been an A+++++ experience.

Harry Epstein Co Online Storefront Fall 2023

Harry Epstein Co is a fantastic mom & pop type hardware store that specializes in USA-made tools, closeout tools, and more.

You NEED to see what they’re about.

Shipping can be a little high, which is understandable for smaller stores that don’t have Amazon and Home-Depot-sized contracts with shipping companies

So, when I find something I want to buy, I look for other tools that help to spread the shipping cost. However, by the time I’m done, my shopping cart is filled to the figurative brim. It’s like going to the supermarket on an empty stomach and buying way more than you expected. I love it!

While you’re at it, consider picking up a pair of Eagle Grip locking pliers while you still can.

KC Tool Online Storefront Fall 2023

KC Tool specializes in German hand tools, and carries brands such as Wera, Knipex, Hazet, Gedore, Stabila, Felo, Halder, NWS, and more.

It’s easy to get lost in KC Tool’s listings. KC Tool holds an excellent promo every holiday season for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. While a site-wide discount is never guaranteed any holiday season, start putting together your wishlist now. That’s my plan for sometime next week.

If you don’t have any immediate needs, at least check out their latest Wera Q4 tool deals. Oh – and if you’re on KC Tool’s site, make it a point to check the tool deal of the day.

DRPD Online Storefront Fall 2023

I’m not yet familiar with DRPD, but I have a feeling that I’m going to be. I’ve heard some good things, and a reader (thank you Fred!) has been keeping the store in my radar.

They carry brands such as PB Swiss, Koken, Nepros, and more. Basically, they carry some of the premium hand tool brands that tend to be very hard to find.

It’s on my to-do list to commission a secret shopper type story – sorry, I’ve got a reviewer in mind already.

If you’re into finer quality tools, check ’em out, I certainly will as soon as I can.

Some of the prices, such as on Nepros ratchets, are a little higher than I’ve seen when ordering from other mainly overseas sources, but i) I like seeing clear in-stock disclosures, and ii) dealing with overseas shipping can be a pain.

They carry enough tools and brands I’m not familiar with – Keiba?? – that my first purchase is definitely going to hurt my wallet. Whipping out my business credit is lots of fun, until the bill comes in.

I look forward to hearing about the tools you guys discover, and about anything you might buy!