A Once in a Lifetime Deal

Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.

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As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.

She told me she had to get rid of it somehow and asked if I wanted to buy it, so I said “sure”. She asked what I would give for them so I told her $20.00. She then told me she would have to call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my current batteries from my Porter Cable set would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they all functioned. I took the bag of tools and walked up to customer service to buy them. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up and used. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.

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When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.

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Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is only one battery for the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put the extra one back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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9 thoughts on “A Once in a Lifetime Deal

  1. Cole

    You bitch!!! I just got the same drill, with two batteries and a charger for around 90 bucks!

    You were in the right place at the right time my friend, rock on! (Thumbs up emoticon here!)

    1. A friend of mine told me how to rebuild batteries as he rebuilt a few of his. I never tried it though. It’s my understanding that there is one company in China that makes all the batteries for all the tool companies. The tool companies just design the outside of them differently to work with only their tools, but other than that, they’re all the same.

      Thanks for the link!

      1. Artisanal Facts

        Not to argue, but a friend of MINE is a battery expert who worked for a major battery company that does not have a pink bunny for a mascot. My wife also worked for said company when Ni-Cads were the dominant cell type in batteries.

        Even if the “one factory in China” assertion is true (same was said of CD and VCR’s), the cells are definitely made by a number of companies. The one factory would source from a number of cell makers to produce the packs. Harbor Freight may only want the cheapest product while someone like Festool or Milwaukee are particular in their specifications.

        From what I understand, the cells come out with a range of performances even though they are supposed to be the same. To get around this the cells are graded by capacity, which accounts for the difference between battery packs. Careful matching also mitigates strong cells in the pack trying to charge the weaker ones.

        I had considered rebuilding my NiCads but the savings didn’t seem to justify the effort for me. Li-Ion batteries have circuits in the pack to monitor charging and have a lot of fire risks, so I would consider $30 for a rebuild as a big bargain.

        I am not affiliated with MTO but I did find that letting them redo my batteries made the tools perform better than when they were new by a wide margin.

        And, that is still a heck of a deal.

      2. The guy who told me about the China battery claim was a DeWalt rep who was promoting his Flex Volt line, so you’re probably right.

        My buddy who was recharging his batteries were NiCad as it was many years ago. Lithium is a different animal altogether, so I would definitely use the company you mentioned.

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