McMaster Again - Their unfair reputation on price

Recently in my search for Metric stainless rod stock McMaster Carr had
the best price. By a lot. The next best quote was almost double. It
was still 4 times more expensive than similar size standard inch stock,
but it was definitely the best price of those vendors who had a price on
line or were able to provide a quote.
Often I find they are best priced on other things as well. While I was
searching for rod stock I was also shopping for stainless TIG wire. I
use it for pull pins in some molds. Its stainless so its low reaction
with other metals, its on size, and unless its been abused in transit
its very straight. It tends to be marginally cheaper than stainless
sold as rod stock, and it doesn't need to be straightened like a coil.
I did a quick check online for 1/8" 308 TIG wire. In the past importers
on eBay have typically had the best price, but for a 5 pound bag
McMaster was $10 cheaper. Yes there is shipping on top of that with
McMaster, but the shipping on that one item was less than $10 and
McMaster-Carr seems to always sell a top quality product.
On items I buy routinely I always check McMaster and often they surprise
me. I also buy from them if they are only close to other vendors on
price, because they are 100% behind their product, and amazingly behind
me as a customer even if a problem is not their fault. I won't pay them
a huge difference, but I will pay a little more once in a while just to
order things from a minimum of vendors.
P.S. Maybe the local Linde store (formerly Praxair) would have given me
a marginally better price, but it would have taken an hour or more plus
fuel to go get it. Drive, wait, talk, pay, drive... its only a few
miles away, but that still takes a little time. I do like to chat with
Mike (the manager) though. He's the only welding store manager I've
ever dealt with who treated my small amount of business likes its
important, and we have some common interests. Maybe next time Mike.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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Recently in my search for Metric stainless rod stock McMaster Carr had the best price. By a lot. The next best quote was almost double. It was still 4 times more expensive than similar size standard inch stock, but it was definitely the best price of those vendors who had a price on line or were able to provide a quote.
Often I find they are best priced on other things as well. While I was searching for rod stock I was also shopping for stainless TIG wire. I use it for pull pins in some molds. Its stainless so its low reaction with other metals, its on size, and unless its been abused in transit its very straight. It tends to be marginally cheaper than stainless sold as rod stock, and it doesn't need to be straightened like a coil.
I did a quick check online for 1/8" 308 TIG wire. In the past importers on eBay have typically had the best price, but for a 5 pound bag McMaster was $10 cheaper. Yes there is shipping on top of that with McMaster, but the shipping on that one item was less than $10 and McMaster-Carr seems to always sell a top quality product.
On items I buy routinely I always check McMaster and often they surprise me. I also buy from them if they are only close to other vendors on price, because they are 100% behind their product, and amazingly behind me as a customer even if a problem is not their fault. I won't pay them a huge difference, but I will pay a little more once in a while just to order things from a minimum of vendors.
P.S. Maybe the local Linde store (formerly Praxair) would have given me a marginally better price, but it would have taken an hour or more plus fuel to go get it. Drive, wait, talk, pay, drive... its only a few miles away, but that still takes a little time. I do like to chat with Mike (the manager) though. He's the only welding store manager I've ever dealt with who treated my small amount of business likes its important, and we have some common interests. Maybe next time Mike.
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Stainless TIG wire makes adequate replacement coil springs for garden hose spray nozzles when the original rusts out. It's quicker to wind one on the lathe than to clean up and drive to the hardware store, and the better quality repairable nozzles aren't cheap.
A conical coiled stainless TIG wire handle I made for the door latch of my wood stove doesn't get hot although the iron close behind it reaches 300-400F.
Hinges with their original pins removed can be used to connect temporary panels, such as extended height trailer sides. Stainless TIG wire bent into L or safety pin shapes makes handy substitute hinge pins that are easy to find if dropped. jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Here in the UK I don't find any real difference whether it's inch or metric but then we went metric quite a bit earlier so now more metric used but still enough demand for inch. I don't know for sure but I would expect the situation in Europe to mirror yours with inch sizes being quite a bit more expensive due to lack of demand.
Reply to
David Billington
I think we pay more for metal in small quantities in general than in many other countries. Maybe its just observational bias on my part.
Its a tax on small businesses charged by the metal vendors and collected by the big businesses. LOL. "If you can survive on crumbs knock yourself out."
Reply to
Bob La Londe

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