Best store for tools?


I had a quick search in the discussions for this and couldn’t find anything so I apologize if it has been answered already.

I am a carpenter in Canada and have recently moved to the Nantes area. I want to start aquiring tools here. I hate to say it but I am used to buying specific labels like stabila (levels), olfa knives, estwing hammers, I like Makita, Festool, Bosch, Hilti, for power tools etc. . . I visited a Brico depot today and believe there must be a better place for tools. In Canada, Toronto, there are good and bad tools all over and you come to learn the specific places to buy specific tools, although Home Depot is generally pretty good. There is a couple of specialty stores that carry only tools, no materials and carry a variety of top line brands.

Any suggestions?

I would also travel to a great store to buy tools if mentioned.

Thanks in advance!

If you’re still looking for a French source of tools try Descours et Cabaud. You’ll find them just about everywhere and all the professionals I’ve spoken to here swear by them. You’ll need to look on their website (a search for the company name brings it up) to find your nearest outlet which may not go by the name of Descours et Cabaud. Prolians Plastiques and Bernard Pages are two names that come up fairly often, for example. They are geared to the professional market although anyone can buy there. The difference is that a professional who opens an account will automatically get a discount and other deals. Worth a look anyway.

They do, & that gives an idea of what they carry.
I always phone to make sure & as I have a TVA number, I have the UK vat deducted.
Postage can be (a bit) pricey, but the service is very good & delivery is pretty rapid.
Just Google Brighton Tools

Hi Bob, do they have a website?

The Axminster Tools site is very comprehensive & they do mail order at reasonable cost.
Also one of my old suppliers in the UK will still send stuff to me here…you can contact Matt or Mike at Brighton Tools & Fixings on 0044 1273 620456. They sell all the big marques, & supply the complete Hafele catalogue for fittings/hardware etc.

Hello Michael,

A friend of mine just started a power tool shop and is trying to sell quality tools only. Most of it comes straight from the U.S.A. and quite possibly he’ll be willing to add tools/materials from your hard-to-get-in-France shopping list to his shipments from there.

His name is Bouke HAZEKAMP, contact him and tell him what you’re looking for, and if of help let him know I told you.

Check out his great prices and low cost of delivery:

By the way, the shop/store is multi-lingual (8 languages).

Best regards,

Hi Michael, I’ve not found a French firm yet that can match Axminster for their range of high quality tools at a fair price - and sometimes there’s the really good deal too, give 'em a try at:

Hi Michael,

I’m in agreement with Ashley,
you can also get some good deals, for France at certain regional suppliers.
Very occasionally I buy tools from Bricodepot, somethiing that I can afford to risk breaking.(they often have 2 year guarentees)but for regular use I go for brands & suppliers I can trust. Axminster can be good.
Generally the quality at Bricodepot is poor. Watch out for brands assembled in inferior assembly stations…
Good luck


A couple of sites I’ve used in the past 12 months;


Both had the best prices I could find at the time.

From Outy Store I bought a DC925KN PERCEUCE 18 Volts DEWALT for 163,51 € HT

Hi Michael
Take it from a tool fanatic; do your research because the prices can vary so much. I have bought both in France and the UK. The UK is generally cheaper for smaller stuff obviously due to transport. I bought my bandsaw, for example, from “outillage2000” simply because the transport from Axminster was out of the question. If anything I would have preferred the bandsaw (Jet) from the UK because it was without a doubt better quality. I only buy “nuts and bolts” or certain materials from the likes of Bricodepot and it certainly works out cheaper. I did my decking from bricodepot and am more than happy with the results. I even bought a Black and Decker Drill driver (Nimh) on impulse from them and it’s brilliant. The French trade people use Festool but my god is it expensive. There is no way I would buy that from HM diffusion, but then I am not a professional. It depends on what you expect from the tools. Are you using them daily? If so, I agree, go for quality. I could write a book on this, ask my wife!!

i have a chinese drill which I now only use for chiseling after it almost broke my wrist having no clutch fitted, use them at your peril! I have been using the same Bosch drill since the late eighties It has never broken down although it was serviced annually when I used it professionally. Is this a record? or has someone got an older drill?

Miles Tools or Axminster Tools in the UK by far the best price you’ll get on brands like Makita etc. even with postage (compare prices for the two with postage)and no problem with returns. We buy from them and then get spares here locally in France (or off the net too). Brico Depot OK for DIY - quality is awful, although they do replace without question when it breaks within guarantee but we’ve replaced all our Brico Depot and Leroy Merlin tools with branded stuff which stands the test of time because we can’t afford for our tools to break down.

Find a carpenter or builder working near where you are and ask him where he gets his tools. He’ll know the best places and the best deals available in your area. According to craftsmen who have worked on our house they always get a discount, for example.

have a look at axminster tools in Devon UK
They have a great reputation and stock of woodworking equipment I drool over and alas only dream about owning. They deliver to Europe

I know Tony, as soon as my bank balance gets back in shape I will order some, I am banned from spending at the moment.

Hi Michael,
HMDiffusion have 11 stores in France, none near Nantes but they have a good websitewith a big range of (mainly woodworking) tools, including Makita, Bahco, Fiskars, etc., available for on-line ordering.

I’ve been agreeably surprised with some of the cheap Chinese power tools - perhaps not good for a professional such as yourself, but quite adequate for occasional domestic use. I’ve got a Cogex marteau-perceuse-burineur that has given good service for nearly nine years - it has just started to play up so I’ve bought another, similar Chinese cheapo by Fartools.


Hi Andy

We stock decent hacksaw blades at ScrewPak.



I would travel to England!, you can’t even buy a decent hacksaw blade here.

Hi Michael,

My husband and I have had a problem acquiring tools here. It isn’t that you can’t find good ones, it’s that they are all very, very expensive. We came from the states and brought a lot with us and we are glad we did.

My first suggestion is that you by a transformer to convert the power and bring all your tools from Canada. You will be so thankful you did.

Send suggestion is to try LeRoy Merlin. They carry Makita, Bosch, and Hilti. They also have Metabo which makes a terrific UHE 2250 drill that we purchased. It comes with a hammer drill chuck and with a regular chuck. This was by far a great buy for us and we have used it for everything. We even were able to drill a 25mm hole with it. Pick that up if you can, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the others, you will be floored when you see the prices they charge. Some of the mark up is at 100%! We can’t believe it.

You can also try Castorama, but stay away from Point P. They have the largest mark up I have seen yet. We saw a Hitachi drill that we bought in the states for 150 American dollars and Point P is selling the same exact one for 450 Euros!!

Good luck and if you do find something, let us know, too. We are remodeling our house and still need a few things.

Hope that helps!


I have yet to find a specific store that specialises in tools, not to say there isnt one but not found it, luckily i brought pretty much all mine over with me from the uk but have on occassions ordered by email from the uk doing that i know at least what i am getting only draw back some stores do not honour the warranty if out of the uk so choose carefully