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In case you missed the heads-up from a few weeks ago, now is the perfect time to take a stroll down your local power tool aisle. Fall cleaning, holiday stock preparation, and a lull in sales are prompting some decent deals at the big boxes. The key to getting a great deal around this time of year, though, is visiting the hardware stores in person since they don’t advertise most discounts — and the discounts are probably unique to each particular store location. 

While strolling the aisles at Home Depot a week ago, I found a stack of Ryobi angle grinder twin packs. Basically, you receive two angle grinders for the typical single unit price of $40. Other manufacturers may follow suit: all three of the Home Depots I visited today offered several different Makita tool bundles which included a free 4-1/2″ angle grinder.

Usually these deals are in front of the tool aisle, but sometimes you can find them at the endcaps.

After checking this week’s sales flyer, I saw mention of the Ryobi angle grinder twin pack that I scoped out, as well as one of the Makita bundles. The lesson: if while touring the tool aisle, a pricetag seems too good to be true, it’s either on clearance or soon to be on sale. In both cases, hesitation is your enemy as you might not be able to get the sale or clearance item once it’s advertised and availablity plummets.

Also at Home Depot, I’m starting to see many more WorkForce tool bargains, such as a complete screwdriver set for $20. This may be in preparation for the holidays, or perhaps a late answer to Lowes’ broad selection of entry-level Task Force branded tools.

And Home Depot isn’t the only retailer quietly offering some great deals. Several Sears stores in my area put most of their routers on clearance — some for less than $20, if you can find any in stock. For greater success, try to hit up your local K-Mart or Sears essentials stores where you’ll usually find less tool-grabbing competition and greater selection.

Last but not least, Lowe’s locations are offering some decent bench tools at closeout prices by the pallet-ful. At these and the other bix box retailers, you can still get seasonal products on closeout, but you’re stuck with bottom of the barrel products that didn’t sell for a reason.

Despite Black Friday being more than eight weeks away, the frenzy has already begun, with Ace Hardware being the first retailer to “leak” their sale details. A quick google reveals many Black Friday discussion blogs and forums, which the savvy shopper should check often.


7 Responses to Dealmonger: Tips For Scoping Out The Pre-Holiday Deals

  1. Tim says:

    In just a few short weeks, people are going to be starting to go nuts shopping for their loved ones. It’s capitalism at it’s finest. In case you want the heads up, tune to bfads.net for deals before they are “public.”

    BFads.net is the best BlackFriday web site out there. First with the leaked ads, the ads listed are usually 100% accurate and they also have a great message board. BFads.net #1 in 2007 for Black Friday Ads.

  2. Bugler says:

    FWIW, I’ve used that Ryobi angle grinder for several years. It’s a good tool for the money.

  3. Rick B says:

    Just checked our Home Depot during lunch. Nothing going on in hte way of good prices there…small town…

  4. KMR says:

    I would not recommend Ryobi angle grinders, or their tools in general. I have gone through two Ryobi angle grinders and two Ryobi reciprocating saws. Neither stood up to what I would consider routine use.

    The $5 Harbor Freight grinder that we use at the shop with a knotted wire brush for knocking crust off of Triumph frames, has lasted longer than the Ryobi angle grinder I had! On a similar note, the Hitachi reciprocating saw I bought (specifically because of their 5year warantee) has also been very reliable and without issue now for over two years… greatly outlasting the life of both Ryobi saws combined.

  5. As for Ryobi tools, I’ve had a few good experiences and a few not so good experiences. I have found that they’re above the “economic” store brands such as Companion, Work Force, and Task Force, and are somewhat comparable to Black & Decker tools.

    Also, a minor correction… I believe that grinders in the two pack sell for $30 individually and the $40 one (pictured above) comes with a case and has a longer handle design.

  6. l_bilyk says:

    I want the rotating handle grinder for cutting tiles

  7. Rick B says:

    Got my twin pack this morning. SInce I don’t do really heavy stuff these should last me a long time!

    Thanks for the tip that kept me on the look out!

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