Shopping for Power Tools: Online vs Stores

So you’ve decided to start shopping for different power tools. Traditionally you’ll head to the nearest hardware store, maybe look at a few in stock and then pick one off the shelf. But you may not be getting the best deal doing so. Whether you’re buying online or in stores the best thing you can do is to research your product first, you’ll need to do the legwork to figure out just where you’ll get the best deals. Both methods have their pros and cons, and with the right approach, you’ll know that you got the best deal no matter where you decided to shop.

Shopping for Power Tools Online


Shopping for power tools online allows you to look at multiple retailers at once. You’ll also have a greater selection of used and refurbished tools than you would shop at local pawn shops or garage sales. Your tools can come from anywhere in the world and you can also shop anytime which is great if you have a busy schedule or only a few minutes to spare to simply replace something that you need asap and can’t get locally.

This means you’ll also have access to a better selection of prices and you can figure out what the average price is as well as what is too much or a great deal for the specific tool you’re looking for once you find exactly what you want.

Another bonus is that your receipt is emailed to you which means you never have to find the receipt and you can’t lose it. When your product is recalled or breaks you’ll have easy access to this for warranty purposes.

It’s also much more efficient because you’re not spending gas hunting from store to store to look at different products. You’ll also find that many retailers produce online only bundles where you can get two or more tools and accessories for one price, stores can’t afford to do this because there just isn’t enough space.

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Many people like to physically feel a tool to know how it will work in their hand. This is especially important when it comes to tools you’ll be using a lot as a heavy tool will make it harder to use for long periods.

You’ll also have to wait at least one day before you receive your tool so if you are in the middle of a project and need it now you’re out of luck. This also means if you’re on a job someone needs to be there to receive delivery or your package may be left out in the elements or risk being stolen.

If no one is there you might not get it delivered at all. There’s also the fact that if you’re trying to return the product you’re likely going to have to pay return shipping costs which will mean you’ll lose money even if you return the tool and you’ll have to wait before you get your refund.

Some companies also charge a restocking fee so you won’t even get your entire purchase refunded. There’s also the fact that customer service isn’t always as prompt since you’re not dealing face to face with the company.

Shopping for Power Tools in Store


The biggest bonus about buying tools in the store is that it’s instantaneous. If you need that tool immediately it’s right there and you can take it away with you as soon as you leave. You’ll also be able to talk to a human being immediately about your needs and be given advice as to what the best options would be.

However, some online stores now offer instant chat so this isn’t an exclusive.

Customer service is also easier in person, especially if you decide to return the tool since you’ll be able to make the return instantly and get your entire purchase price back without worrying about return shipping.

It depends on where you shop, you’ll also have the chance to network with other professionals who can give you tips on usage or make suggestions of accessories based on their own experiences(since many stores simply make recommendations based on brand or because they’re overstocked on them).

Some stores will also deal with repairs if your tool over breaks down and you won’t have to spend time waiting for shipping on your repair so it can be handled quicker.


Shopping in the store is usually more expensive because you’re paying for the physical staff and the upkeep of the building as well as the actual cost of the tool itself.

Store markup can be as much as 300%! That being said, let’s repeat the fact that the store is often more expensive if cost is your bottom line the store usually isn’t the best choice.

Stores also only keep a limited amount of products. So you may not have the same variety available online. Not only that but you may end up having to go to their website and ship it anyway if they don’t have it in stock.

Getting to the store will also cost you gas and time, especially if the store is busy. For many simply having a social interaction is unnecessary and also having limited shopping hours can be very inconvenient


When shopping for power tools online try and find a company that offers free returns and free shipping. If it’s important to know how the tool physically feels consider going to a store first and feeling the tool physically before looking online for a better price if you can afford to wait.

Also, take advantage of loyalty programs and holiday sales in stores as these may save you the very difference you’re looking at by buying online.

Don’t forget to take advantage of stores that also have an online presence as you may be able to get a better selection of stock while still being able to pick it up in store and use their instant return policy if you don’t like it. Some stores will also price match if you can find the tool cheaper so consider printing out the online price and seeing if you can match it in store and get the advantages of both.

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