This very morning, I was expecting to be driving in to the city of Bristol in order to collect a pack of 1¼in long coarse-thread pocket hole screws with washer heads, so that I could join some 18mm MDF later on today (I’m planning to make a short rip fence for my saw bench). A quick Google search yesterday afternoon to determine the store location revealed that they ceased trading at the beginning of February!
We’re talking about Pan Tools; a name that’s been synonymous with power tool purchases in this city for several years.
I can only assume it’s another ‘sign of the times’… With the pulling power of the internet again taking its toll on the independent retailer. I must admit that I’m as guilty as anyone else for avoiding shops like this. There are often good deals to be had online but also, I live a good twenty-five minute drive from Bedminster and even a simple trip to buy a box of screws that I cannot buy from anywhere in between does seem excessive.
Still, it would take me a good hour to drive there form where I am. So, for a measly box of 100 screws, I may as well as find an eBay seller, pay a small amount for postage and hope to crack on with this next weekend, as I’m not expecting to head out that way any time soon. They were my local Brimarc stockist; the best place for me to get my Kreg accessories and more.
I am sorry that I never actually made it to Pan Tools on even one occasion. There was a time where I was going to take a palm sander in to be repaired by them, only weeks after I bought it online. But, I kept putting it off and, before I knew it; that three-year warranty had expired.
As for the city of Bristol, I believe that only really leaves us with Bell Tools on Gloucester Road (a short drive from where I attended college for several years). I once came across another couple of names while searching for a stockist of Hitachi tools but I’ll also admit to using places like Toolstation for drill bits, saw blades and other pieces.
Is it time to change?