Here are some of my favorite sources for inexpensive tools.
We all know about Harbor Freight. Their rotary tools are great bargains. They sell a cordless rotary tool that comes with a flex shaft attachment, collets, drill bits and a recharger. They sell a corded model I have been using for years.
When I first switched after my Dremel tools gave up the ghost, however, I found that my Dremel keyless chuck and some other accessories did fit the Harbor Freight models. Then I ordered a collet set made by Proxxon from the Amazon web site. I found that the collet holder fit my Harbor Freight rotary tools perfectly. I took a chance and ordered Proxxon’s keyless chuck. Guess what? A perfect fit! So now, I have an assortment of collets, collet holders and a keyless chuck that works with all of my bargain basement Harbor Freight rotary tools.
Harbor Freight also sells a small bolt cutter that works great for cutting heavy wire.
I discovered P and J Tool Supply at Interweave Bead Fest. They sell rubber blocks for use under steel bench blocks with prices starting at $2.00. They have hammers, hemostats and other gadgets. When you don’t need a top-of-the-line tool, check them out. They carry more expensive tools, but I have no recommendations either way on these. I don’t know anything about their hole punchers, for example. For tools like that, I tend to stay with something tried and true, or recommended to me.
Hye On Beads sells jewelry tools in addition to stringing supplies. I bought a pair of metal snips for $12.95 that are holding up well for my limited hobby use. Prices are reasonable and shipping is free.
Finally, we all think of Etsy as a place to buy finished goods, but you know you can buy supplies there too? And since you’re buying from crafters, they’re likely to be familiar with what they sell. I have gotten great customer service from every seller, and shipping is reasonable.
One of my favorite vendors for collage jewelry supplies is GlassSupplies. If you are interested in trying to make collage jewelry, take a look at this site. It has everything you’ll need, but you won’t be prodded into over buying, or spending a lot of money on a soldering iron that is more suited to doing a church window than a simple pendant.
If anyone has any other good sources for suppliers, please leave a comment.
Micro-Mark specializes in tools for the hobbyist working small. Cool Tools has everything you need for working with metal clay.
http://www.contenti.com you need a wholesale # usually or if you are a student.
I have heard good things about Contenti. I was not aware you needed a wholesale number to buy from them.