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Inexpensive Tools and where to Find Them Answered

In the quest to make things we need tools. Some are expensive and some are not. I found a place to buy tools that is very reasonableNorthern Tool. This link, for example is for their brand of rotary tool. I've used this tool and it meets or exceeds a Dremel's capabilities, and no I don't work for them. I saw some designs for jewelry made from industrial junk and I needed a rotary tool. Since I'm a little short in the cash department right now I explored other avenues. Glad I did.


I looked at that Harbor freight store and I don't think I'd buy there. At those prices they would have to be too cheaply made to last any appreciable length of time to be useful.

I find that a good source of cheap tools are stalls that turn up in local markets - the stuff they sell is generally pretty poor quality, but dirt cheap - dollar-store prices. If you only need a tool for one job, or you will hardly ever use it (or it's a consumable, like hacksaw blades), then they're just what you need. A real goldmine of odd tools and parts are the stalls you get at steam fairs - they sell all sorts of odd stuff, ancient tools, parts of machines. I sometimes need to be dragged away from them to look at the actual steam engines.

Harbor Freight is a similar online store. They have cheap stuff but if you need tools that have to be extremely accurate or seriously tough than these mass-produced knockoffs are not for you. I've tried some of the power tools and they seem to have design defects such as set screws or adjustments not locking down tight enough since they are not machined as well or using flimsier metal or plastic parts. The hand tools and bits will not stay as sharp for long. You have to pick and choose what tool you would deem as "disposable" and go with that. I try to cut some costs by investing in factory reconditioned tools.

Harbor Freight isn't just online...Almost all of the equipment we have from them came from their retail store. It's much better (in my opinion) to go to the stores, as you can see the quality of the tools, and pick the ones with the least flaws.

Forgot to add: The set pictured costs ~ $60 and contains 2 tools (1 large variable speed and a smaller mini tool and all the accessories in a very nice storage box. They also have a smaller set (1 tool) at ~ $28.