Cool Tool’s “Enthusiast Sources Contest”

Cool Tool’s “Enthusiast Sources Contest”

Our pals over at Cool Tools are running a contest:

I am looking for the best sources for enthusiasts. These online sources would be the best website that offers a deep selection in a very narrow field, with fair prices and service. Often (but not always) these specialty stores are also valuable sources for information, community, advice, and tips. There are many online forums where enthusiasts hash out preferences and brag about their gear. On the other hand some Enthusiast Sources are simply extremely knowledgeable vendors who cater to enthusiasts.

I am seeking reviews by folks who patronize an Enthusiast Source. For the next week I will offer a prize for the best recommendation submitted to Cool Tools. An ideal recommendation of an Enthusiast Web Source will tell us why this source is superior to anything else out there and why we should believe you. Really, why is this source any better than 3 or 4 others?

Winners can select a prize from our Prize Pool.

In the announcement, Kevin also posted a round-up of some of the “enthusiast sources” reviews already published on Cool Tools. (Hey, I’m in there!):

Peaceful Valley – Serious small farm and large garden tools and supplies
Chinook Medical — Medical supplies for first aid and search and rescue
X-Treme Geek — Tools for techies
Eagle Optics — All scopes, and binoculars
Small Parts — Unusual materials in small quantities
Micro-Mark — Model-makers and miniatures
Plastruct – Materials for models
Elemental Scientific — Chemicals in small quantities
Ben Meadows — Heavy duty forestry supplies
Tire Rack — Automobile tires
Fire Mountain Gems — gems, beads and jewelry
Cabela’s — Outdoor recreational and outdoor living gear
Gempler’s — Outdoor work gear
Uline — Industrial, janitorial, and maintenance supplies
Harbor Freight — Cheap tools
Lehman’s — Old-fashion household appliances and tools
Gohn Bros. — Amish clothes and goods
Dick Blick — Art supplies
Japan Woodworker — Japanese woodworking tools

Sources Wanted Contest

4 thoughts on “Cool Tool’s “Enthusiast Sources Contest”

  1. Brick Moon says:

    and I know you run a busy shop, but the images on some of your otherwise excellent blog posts could use some optimization. For instance, this 409k photo, akihabara.jpg, could probably be compressed by a factor of 5 or more without any noticeable loss of quality. For those who don’t have “ludicrous speed” ISPs, this would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      Thanks for the comment, Brick Moon. You raise a good point. Two good points, actually. We ARE a busy shop, and we could do a better job at optimizing images for more efficiency. I just re-do the one in this post and reduced it to 100K. We’ll try to do more of this as time allows.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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