Big box store pro account - Home Depot vs Lowes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by mcg1990 posted 03-02-2015 04:09 PM 2316 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mcg1990's profile


159 posts in 1285 days

03-02-2015 04:09 PM

I know I know, real carpenters don’t use these amateur warehouses, but I’m not a real carpenter yet.

I’ve just started my business and acquired my EIN so I can open a separate bank account etc. I’ve recently been using Lowes for business purchases as I have a Lowes card, but just noticed that actually my local Home Depot seem to have more ‘pro’ like tools and accessories. I prefer their sandpaper (for an orbital) than what Lowes had, and they also have Freud Diablo blades, whereas Lowes only keep Irwin/deWalt.

Lowes have an auto 5% off with their credit cards, and I’m having a hard time finding out if Home Depot do the same – they have multiple types of account so I’m currently trying to call them to get a run-down of the options.

Does anyone else here have a preference, or has considered something that I have not?

15 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1796 posts in 2310 days

#1 posted 03-03-2015 12:21 AM

I’d pick Menards over those two. They have good sales frequently and tend to have more of the products I like to buy. Jorgensen clamps, toggle clamps, good stain selection and my favorite masking tape, glue and paper towels.

But I don’t bother with accounts at any of those stores. I’d rather get credit cards and financing from a good bank since I’ve heard Menards can be a hassle to deal with.

Almost everything else I purchase online.

-- See my work at and

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1215 days

#2 posted 03-03-2015 12:35 AM

No offense, I wouldn’t buy any tool from any big box store. There’s a reason the tools are as cheap as they are. They’re known as irregulars.

-- I meant to do that!

View Bobbal's profile


27 posts in 1180 days

#3 posted 03-03-2015 01:24 AM

I worked in a building supply for a few years. The big box stores have so much purchasing power, they can have specs changed to make items cheaper. Take two identical toilets and weight them and the box version will be lighter. Less porcelain. Take an identical pair of class three ladders and stand them side by side and you will see plastic step braces on the box version instead of aluminum like everyone else carries. I only use them in case of emergencies when you need it now. I like to buy from smaller local shops where you can speak to the owner or on line from reputable retailers that are not Amazon. Just my opinion. The service is usually better.

-- Why measure twice when you can cut twice?

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 2110 days

#4 posted 03-03-2015 02:03 AM

I have a Home Depot card and they give me 5% off when I use it, I just have to mention it when checking out.

View mcg1990's profile


159 posts in 1285 days

#5 posted 03-03-2015 02:06 AM

I get the majority of my supplies from my local hardware store, but they of course don’t have the space for much inventory and I can’t always wait for what I need. Also my local Menards is 104 miles away.

So where do most people buy their power tools, hand tools and hardware from? Online?

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2685 days

#6 posted 03-03-2015 02:14 AM

For the last 25 years or so I’ve used Texas Tool Traders. I can “dicker” with them over the price. They’ll usually knock off the cost of the taxes for me. Service has always been good and the inventory gives me some choices.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Rayne's profile


858 posts in 1532 days

#7 posted 03-03-2015 02:19 AM

There are pluses and minuses to both, so I shop at both when needed. Irwin’s Marple blades are nothing to sneeze at and are probably as good, if not better, than the Diablo blades. If HD carried the newer line of the Fusion blade, then that would be different. I do agree HD’s sandpaper is better than Lowes, but Lowes also carries Delta TS along with Steel City if you go online, along with Microjig products. HD has better Hardwood selection when ordering online; you can get ship-to-store on a small selection of them and I have in the past working out quite well (heck of a lot cheaper than anywhere else). Lowes also has a better selection of Kreg products and a more diverse selection of nuts, bolts, etc. My HD reduced their aisle to like 20% of what they used to have, so it’s pretty sad now. Anyways, I could go on and on, but it shows they both have stuff I need. It’s almost like they’re positioning themselves to avoid each other’s competition, which would maximize profits. My 2 cent’s worth. :)

View deereguy84's profile


5 posts in 1339 days

#8 posted 03-06-2015 05:33 AM

Home Depot seems to have better quality product than Lowes. They have a lot of American Made items on their shelves. Menard’s is pretty good too. They actually has sales occasionally on all “Made in USA” products in the store. Every time I walk into Lowe’s I see a new junk import item where there used to be an American one. They should just call themselves “Expensive Harbor Freight.” I always leave Lowe’s frustrated and disappointed.

View Rick's profile


9589 posts in 3026 days

#9 posted 03-08-2015 07:23 AM

No offense, I wouldn t buy any tool from any big box store. There s a reason the tools are as cheap as they are. They re known as irregulars.

- Ghidrah

So, where do you buy your tool from? I find it a little hard to believe that all the tools sold in big box stores are “irregulars”.

In fact, I think it would be just the opposite. Unless thy are labelled as “irregular” and I’ve yet to see any of those.

If they are brand new and still in the box would that not disqualify them as “irregular”?

All of my tools have been bought in Big Box Stores and I’ve yet to experience/buy an “irregular” one in any of them.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View dhazelton's profile


2766 posts in 2290 days

#10 posted 03-08-2015 11:37 AM

Yeah, I don’t get the ‘irregular’ comment. If the motor specs on drills and saws and everything else is the same from HD to Lowes to Menards (is that a Canadian thing?) to CPO to Tool Crib why would it matter where you buy it? I buy my tools where ever I can get the best deal (including online) or whichever place is closer.

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#11 posted 03-08-2015 11:57 AM

One of the biggest complaints that I have is that they are selling less and less quality tools. However, if you need something that they have at least they are there and you don’t have to drive somewhere out of town,

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View thechipcarver's profile


216 posts in 1571 days

#12 posted 03-08-2015 12:08 PM

If I had to pick, this is the order I would go.

Lowes: The Lowes by me has a good selection of tools and things.

Menards: Menard is the same with selection but I don’t like the way they sell their wood. It seems like they precut different sizes for conveince but mark it up because of it.

Home Depot: No comment, I don’t have one close.

Like the others said, it’s best to buy from the true woodworking store not box stores.

-- While teaching a class, a gentlemen once asked me: "When chip carving an intricate design, what do you do when you are almost finished and the wood breaks off?" I replied "Cover the kids ears."

View Redoak49's profile


3239 posts in 1982 days

#13 posted 03-08-2015 12:19 PM

I use Menards for a lot of things as they seem to have better prices but you need to know what you getting. The tools there are not very good. They do have more good sales than the other stores.

You should watch ads and be familiar with what is good at each store.

Another thing is to see how many contractors are there early in the morning and which ones are there.

View Rick's profile


9589 posts in 3026 days

#14 posted 03-09-2015 11:02 PM


“Another thing is to see how many contractors are there early in the morning and which ones are there.”

Good Point! Unfortunately, Early in the morning and I don’t get along well together …LOL.. Except when I’m going Fishing.

I live in Ontario, Canada and I’ve yet to se a “Menards” I’ll have to Google it and see if there are any outlets up here.


EDIT: Nope! Closest one is Port Huron Michigan.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3303 days

#15 posted 03-10-2015 02:26 AM

I have been watching this thread. No one has yet mentioned the professionalism [or the lack there of] by Big Box stores and the professional lumber yard.

I recently sent a list to BOBS [Big Orange Box Store] and my local lumber yard.
lowest price on NON APA rated ply3/4” and 2×4’s

Local old time lumber yard…...
APA rated ply at less that 9% greater cost than BOB’s ungraded Chinese product
2×4 Standard /Btr. DF lumber at 3% greater than BOBS ungraded and unknown origin lumber
16D nails at local lumber dlr, 14% lower than BOBS
1/2” Machine bolts/nuts package at 17% less than BOBS
Simpson Hardware package in stock. BOBS did not have many of the items.
Sonoborn caulk at 18% lower than the similar and unrated product a BOBS

Being a construction specialist, I cannot afford BOBS lack of inventory, quality, non professional staff, and high prices.

-- Rustfever, Central California

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics