Today in search of a family run hardware store I went to Aquarius True-Value at 601 Amsterdam NY, 10024. I usually frequent a local Ace Hardware on Long Island which is owned independently as well- but I decided to give my business to True Value when purchasing my tools for entertainment technology. I found that my usual trusted brands were unavailable to me in such a small store. Cobalt, Craftsman, Husky and many similar companies are of course contracted to corporate big box dealers exclusively. I chose to purchase Stanley branded tools as they come with a lifetime warranty and a manufacturer return/exchange policy. One would note that big box chain stores do have a more lenient return policy- if you can bring them a upc and most of the tool back they will usually give you your money back if you complain enough; this is anecdotal advice, use with caution. This creates problems when products end up back on the shelf but True-Value had very detailed purchasing guides that said to avoid tools with abrasions and scratches on tools and recommended going directly through the manufacturer for defects and repairs, again, this is why I chose Stanley.
For $44 I was able to purchase a box cutter, 8 inch crescent wrench, and a 25 foot tape measure, while this is not much of a deal it is a fine deal in Manhattan, especially if it means supporting small business and guarantees the tool be ‘extra virgin’ as a hand made purchasing guide taught me. The store was laid out very well, but unfortunately the important hardware for our major was all found behind the counter.
It was an extreme inconvenience to both me and the employees to try and pull down all of the options for tools. The only logical answer was of course for me to awkwardly hover behind people making their purchases for about 10 minutes to choose my tools; I can not stress enough that this made everyone uncomfortable but does protect the store from thieves. Overall I was able to find what I was looking for and could’ve gotten many specialty tools as they had a large selection of plumbing supplies, a large selection of household electrical equipment, and even a paint section with custom mixing on site (Benjamin Moore.)
They did lack a selection of ratchets and nutdrivers as well as Personal Safety Equipment which did hinder some of my loftier goals for my tool bag such as the standard nut drivers (9 and 7/16), a respirator, and new disposable safety glasses. I had a fine experience, but did struggle to find a sign to take a picture with as the facade of the building was under construction which led to me attempting a covert selfie, which worked fine until I walked head on into the store owner an experience unique to a local store.