Bulk Order Tools

My team is looking for somewhere we’d be able to bulk order supplies for cheap. Specifically, duct tape. It’s really expensive at hardware stores around our area (New York City), but is also a huge necessity, so we’re looking for a cheaper option.
Any info is appreciated, for duct tape and supplies in general.

Try Amazon?

We buy our bulk tools from Harbor Freight, because it’s cheap and spending more money on high-quality tools would be foolish when we’re inevitably going to have freshmen beating the heck out of them.

Not sure if I have any advice on duct tape, in particular. Amazon, perhaps?

Yea. Checked that. Amazon is quite expensive.

Ok, thanks for the help!

I don’t have a good source to recommend, but I will add that you often get what you pay for when it comes to duct tape. If you’re finding a whole case for a few dollars, you’re likely getting tape that sticks very poorly and breaks very easily. If you want quality tape that will actually stay stuck wherever you put it, you will probably need to pay a bit extra for it.

*this aside from the fact that IMHO duct tape has few uses on a well-designed robot and often teams try to cover up design flaws by literally covering it with duct tape

Does it have to be SILVER?

Bulk Duck tape

I’ve had good luck in the past with findtape.com for tape specifically, though for other products you’re going to have to be a touch more specific. :slight_smile:

For bulk consumables (tape, zip ties, etc), go through ULine. You’ll have a very hard time beating their prices. Also, call them, their phone sales and support team is awesome.

I don’t know how much you need at one time but I found this on amazon.


One possible issue with that…

(Emphasis mine)

The “other brands” could be of questionable quality. However, if it’s only one or two rolls, it could still be worth it. Just be aware of that if you decide to go that route.

No advice on where to bulk order duct tape.

But why duct tape? Gaff tape is superior in every regard. I see literally no reason to own duct tape for FRC purposes.

<stepping away from the juke box, and preparing to duck (or perhaps duct) under the table>

Probably because duct tape is a lot cheaper. Strength/$ ratio is better I suppose? If you’re really using so much that buying in bulk needs to happen I don’t know if going to a more expensive tape will fix your problem.
That being said gaff tape is phenomenal for bumper fixes and practice carpet fixes. 115 used it to tape our two large practice carpets together.

If you’ve considered gaffers tape but you’re convinced that you still want duct tape, then you should buy it from Nashua– the best duct tape manufacturer.

You may want to do some root-cause analysis on why you are looking for bulk duck(t) tape.

I order single size drill bits, allen wrenches, sockets, wrenches from McMaster Carr. Following the 6S principles, standardize fasteners as much as possible and then you will only need to buy tools for those specific fasteners vs large kits that all the usable sizes are gone from in a year.

Our team has standardized to 1/4, 10, 8, 6, and 4 bolt size. This year I think I will do some analysis and see if we can just get down to 1/4 inch, and just stock the electronics team on any small tools they need.

I’ll second the recommendation for findtape.com - I’ve found it to have the best selection, best pricing, and easiest wobsite to navigate.

IMO, #10 is more useful for most FRC mechanisms than 1/4’’. You’ll save weight and space.

Yes but you can’t tap thunderhex to #10 so for retaining shafts you can tap for 1/4 and put a bolt and washer in.

One thing I did last year was change screw materials to help in identification.
#6 and #10 screws were black oxide
#8 screws were stainless

Sure there’s probably some cons with the differing materials/costs, but didn’t have any issues. Definitely made life a lot easier for students to identify 6,8,10 screws and organize them better as well. Plus I could easily look from afar and tell when a student was using the wrong size (an 8 when it definitely should be a 10, etc). I used boltdepot.com