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ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) HalfDork
8/24/20 4:13 p.m.


TLDR - Does McMaster sell the good stuff?

The dig on Amazon hardware/fasteners has for a long time been "cheap and Chinese."  Whenever I want "good" fasteners or materials my default is McMaster. Right now I'm shopping for a bunch of marine grade stainless for the boat, and the pricing on Amazon is *a lot* better.

Here's the thing: In addition to really precise dimensions, the McMaster website lists country of origin...which like 99% of the time is made in China.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/24/20 4:21 p.m.

China is a big country with a lot of different factories with a lot of different levels of quality. I'd still stick with McMaster because they're actually putting their own name on the package.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/24/20 4:25 p.m.

"Lou raised the price of Coke, he's been losing at the track". 

Here's your price increase.  
 

https://www.inddist.com/company-expansion-consolidation/news/21141166/mcmastercarr-planning-major-hq-expansion

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/24/20 4:33 p.m.

I like McMaster Carr a lot more for this kind of thing because their website isn't designed to fool you into buying the wrong product.  I also think their pricing is better for the same or better parts.  Amazon just isn't it in my limited experience for this kind of thing.

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/24/20 5:06 p.m.

Check Fastenal and MSCDirect for additional places. Both of these have a lot of domestic fasteners.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
8/24/20 5:18 p.m.

I've been on McMaster & Fastenal this afternoon comparing a hardware list of 10 items. Currently $250 on Fastenal and $200 on McMaster. Have a bud who's a high ranking Fastenal guy so I'm gonna mention it to him.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
8/24/20 5:23 p.m.

I buy a lot of my hardware from https://www.boltdepot.com/ 

They're located in Mass and I've picked up orders, so I know they're a real place. I've never had odd performance from the fasteners either. 

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UberDork
8/24/20 6:03 p.m.

I've bought more fasteners from McMaster Carr than Amazon.  I've always gotten what I've ordered at McMaster, but on Amazon, the image is often not representative of what you're buying.

I've got a bag of socket head 3mm machine screws that showed fully threaded in the picture on Amazon, but showed up partially threaded.  I needed fully threaded, Amazon did refund me, and told me to just keep the screws.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
8/24/20 6:05 p.m.
DaveEstey said:

I buy a lot of my hardware from https://www.boltdepot.com/ 

They're located in Mass and I've picked up orders, so I know they're a real place. I've never had odd performance from the fasteners either. 

Seconded.  I think they have a warehouse in Orlando?  Good parts.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/24/20 6:14 p.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

So.......you got screwed at first?

j_tso
j_tso Reader
8/24/20 6:21 p.m.

For fasteners the dimensioned drawings and downloadable CAD files alone swing it to McMaster for me.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/20 6:24 p.m.

You aren't going to find domestic stainless fasteners. They are out there but roughly 10x the cost of import. The quality of Chinese stainless can vary but i would definitely go with McMaster over Amazon as they are likely sourcing it from distributors with decent quality control over someone just bidding for the lowest price to sell on Amazon.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
8/24/20 6:26 p.m.

I hate to say it but one 5 second glance through the reviews at amazon and I have a pretty good idea what I am buying. Not available on McMaster, and being a Noob the reviews are really helpful. 

Also the returns process is stupid easy with Amazon. Otherwise, air hate amazon since it feels sooo much more yucky than MC.

ColoradoBob
ColoradoBob New Reader
8/24/20 6:32 p.m.

I've used McMaster Carr multiple times for fasteners and never had an issue.  Very easy to find exactly what you need.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
8/24/20 7:31 p.m.

McMaster Carr 100%  Full stop.

 

I've used them professionally and personally for over 20 years.  Never once have I been disappointed. 

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) HalfDork
8/24/20 7:45 p.m.

Thanks Everybody! Super helpful sanity check.

RichardNZ
RichardNZ New Reader
8/24/20 9:27 p.m.

No axe to grind for McMaster Carr since I doubt they have a shop within 5000 miles BUT I buy a lot of odds and ends for bikes and projects ...

Amazon, AliExpress, TradeMe (our Ebay) all have their place as do overseas web shops and suppliers but there is no substitute for looking before buying, instant gratification or just having a counter to thump on if the quality isn't there.  
Maybe I'm too rich (the chance would be a fine thing smiley) but I will usually tolerate up to 20% or so difference in price before going overseas.

Two of our bike importers are regularly at events I ride in and both carry decent stocks of "stuff" with them. I have seen both of them flash the Berkeley Off card to people who continually bypass them for better deals offshore laugh

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/20 10:16 p.m.

and the prize for the best named hardware company: Uneedabolt

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/25/20 7:21 a.m.

For fasteners that you care about, McMaster or Fastenal (fasten some). Done. Do not pass go. Do not pretend Bezosistan is anything but the wild wild west. You might get what you want, you might get cheese grade Chinesium. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/25/20 8:50 a.m.

I needed 4 bolts for a project.  I wanted a special type and a special grade.  I had to order 50 from McMaster to get what I wanted.. but it was the best decision.  Do it, have piece of mind.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 8:56 a.m.
tuna55 said:

For fasteners that you care about, McMaster or Fastenal (fasten some). Done. Do not pass go. Do not pretend Bezosistan is anything but the wild wild west. You might get what you want, you might get cheese grade Chinesium. 

That's my issue with "Fastenal"- I went into one of their stores which is really close to me here in town.  They had some US spec fasteners, but very few of anything else.  Our local hardware store has a MUCH better selection of fasteners.  I was able to direct replace some fasteners on my Alfa at the hardware store that Fastensome didn't have.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/25/20 9:09 a.m.

I think there's some confusion in this discussion about domestic (made in the US) vs domestic (uses thread sizes not found in the rest of the world).

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/25/20 9:10 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

For fasteners that you care about, McMaster or Fastenal (fasten some). Done. Do not pass go. Do not pretend Bezosistan is anything but the wild wild west. You might get what you want, you might get cheese grade Chinesium. 

That's my issue with "Fastenal"- I went into one of their stores which is really close to me here in town.  They had some US spec fasteners, but very few of anything else.  Our local hardware store has a MUCH better selection of fasteners.  I was able to direct replace some fasteners on my Alfa at the hardware store that Fastensome didn't have.

The issues are typically because of their relationship with businesses.

 

McMaster can have anything I want delivered tomorrow. The shipping cost? They won't even tell me. For work, I do not care.

 

Fastenal can order any fastener I can dream up (almost), but I'll have to wait a day for it or maybe even two. For work, I do not care.

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
8/25/20 9:16 a.m.

there really is no replacement for good hardware. I have been shopping McMaster for the racecar for the odds and ends I need for it. I will say that I use Speedway motors for swedged rods and rod ends though as they are a trustworth cost savings. 

 

 The amount of pleasure I have wrenching on something is directly proportional to the quality of the fasteners. I hate dealing with cadnium plated taffy. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/25/20 9:18 a.m.

Fastenal and macmaster Carr is my go to for bolts, no shady E36 M3 when you get your order is my #1 reason. 

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