MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

McMaster-Carr Online Catalog

McMaster-Carr is a hardware supply outfit that sells a bewildering variety of tools, equipment, and raw materials — plastics, metal stock, cable and wire, and rope — primarily to industry, but they do sell to individuals. It's the kind of thing that a serious DIY person should know about.

Their physical catalog is a giant, unwieldy, multi-volumed thing, but they've managed to get it all on their website. The website selections map to catalog pages. There's something sobering and wonderful about clicking on (say) "masking tape" and seeing that they have five pages of the stuff, beginning on page 3,199.

I've ordered from them several times without a hitch. Anecdotally, I've heard stories about items arriving with blinding speed.