View Full Version : Canadian tooling source

10-23-2006, 12:28 PM
For the Canadians on the board I would like to suggest an alternative to KBC or whomever for tooling.

Last week my wife ordered a selection of milling cutters from KBC for her shop along with some for my shop. She faxed in the list I provided from the online KBC catalog. They faxed back the list with a number of price adjustments upwards. My wife had also specified "no back order, ship all together". She faxed them back for clarification with a bold note saying not to order until the pricing had been clarified.

As I had made up the list using the online pricing she gave it to me to sort out. I called KBC and spoke to the sales desk. As it turned out the person that had received the original fax had not calculated the price correctly. They had also already placed the order anyway with parts of it coming from back east and even from Michigan. The cutters for her shop are needed for Thursday.

I cancelled the order completely. This is typical of KBC here as they rarely actually have the inventory they claim all in one place.

Instead, I ordered from Thomas Skinner which is a company that supplies western Canada.


I spoke to a guy there who took the order and was obviously very familiar with tooling. This was on Friday of last week. I ordered a selection of Niagra M42 cobalt TIN coated 4 flute single ended cutters including all the sizes from 1/8" to 3/4" including 2 x 1/2". I also ordered two ball end cutters, 1/8 and 1/4 plus 4 solid carbide 2 flute 1/16 cutters.

The total came to $280 (inc 13% tax) cdn as opposed to about $330 at KBC. They had everything in stock and it all arrived this morning in good order, all correct.

10-23-2006, 12:56 PM
This pretty much reflects my experience with Thomas Skinner as well Evan.I've been dealing with them since the seventies and they have always given me a level of service that far exceeded the amount of money that I have spent there,given the fact that I am not a high volume customer.Their service has always reminded me more of a mom&pop operation rather than a large multi national that forgets that customer service is what keeps the lights on.
It's easy to get all wrapped up in a fancy color catalog, but in the end it sure is nice to talk to someone on the other end of the line that can understand where you're coming from.

10-23-2006, 01:17 PM
My wife just called to tell me that a part of the order from KBC just arrived. She called them and they are sending a courier to pick it up. Dummies.

BTW, it was one (1) milling cutter.

10-23-2006, 01:18 PM
I put an order in then upon delivery had two extra things I didnt even Order. Lucky for them they charged me anyhow and did my visa in for the xtra ****. Oh well. Fu,, me once shame on you fu,, me twice shame on me. Live and Learn.

cam m
10-23-2006, 02:06 PM
I've used Thomas Skinner for hand tools and occaisional tooling purchases over the last 20 years or so.
1.) the Vancouver (Richmond now, I think) location was excellent for drop in purchases.
I worked at a place literally around the block, and bought a couple of machines there.
2.) the Calgary store was excellent and NASTY by turns depending on who they had answering the phone and doing counter sales. I bought a mill drill and tooling there and shopped there for my lathe purchase. My last experience there was less than pleasant. Perhaps if I was prepared to drop $50K or so in CNC machines vs the $5K manual market I was in, the attitude may have been different. BTW, I mail order from KBC before I drive across town to go to Skinner.

IMHO, Skinner is no better and no worse than KBC.

10-23-2006, 02:13 PM
I have dealt with KBC, when I have to, but not much anymore. I got a bill for several hundred dollars charged to my credit card. I DIDN'T ORDER ANY OF IT!

I called and asked why I had been charged for this stuff, and was told it was a local sale picked up by me. I told them that would be dificult seeing as I live in Calgary and the store is in Vancouver.!!

Visa straightened them out for me. I have foung KBC to be sometimes 3 to 4 times the price of some stuff on Ebay, the x,y, and z axis powerfeeds for my bridgeport is a good example. I bought all 3 for and including shipping it was a little less than what I could have bought an x axis feed from KBC! Yes they are the same brand, ASONG 150 models.

Thomas skinner does work for me, as well as my local SOWA dealer, Mcdougal tool supply. Even the local Busy Bee gets some of my buisness, when they have stuff on sale. If they are out of stock on an item at the store, they will have it shipped from another store free.

10-23-2006, 02:44 PM
Anyone doing business with KBC in Vancouver...try to talk to a guy there named Tyler. He's a new guy in sales and is really great to deal with.
Some of the "gurls" who are there...don't speak Inglishh none too gud...and are horrible to deal with.
Tyler actually knows what the tools are and gets the orders correct.
Hope he stays...

10-23-2006, 02:47 PM
It still doesn't help if the stock is in Michigan. This wasn't exactly unusual stuff we were ordering.

10-23-2006, 02:58 PM
It still doesn't help if the stock is in Michigan. This wasn't exactly unusual stuff we were ordering.
Yes but the young guy gives an honest answer when asked if the items are actually in stock. The others always say "Oh yes"...most likely trained that way or too lazy to look.

10-25-2006, 06:50 PM
Just an update. Today my wife recieved a bill for the entire order from KBC. It shows tooling shipped from all over the country. She only has received the one piece that was subsequently returned.

I spoke to them twice when I cancelled the order and made it crystal clear that the entire order was cancelled. I was told "Oh no problem, the other branches haven't filled the order yet".

10-25-2006, 07:18 PM
I quit using them entiirely when the store prices exceeded the catalog pricing by 20%. A shame really. They really wanted to compete with J&L. They're not even close.

10-25-2006, 11:28 PM
We have been dealing with them at work for 16+ years,we get the super dealer discount,which is anywhere from 15%-35% below list because we buy $2-3k from them every month.

I can tell you absolute horror stories about the're billing/shipping.I have seen one order busted up into 15 seperate shipments.Busted boxes,lost items and the worst,double billing.We were once double billed for a $3500.00 order.

The latest gimmick is not sending out new catalogs,we haven't gotten one in over two years and we are a dealer.This has hidden the price hikes,recent billing shows 15-20% increases on many items.When McMaster Carr has US endmills for just a few pennies more than KBC's imports something is wrong.

I don't think we will be continuing with them.Grand tool has better prices on cutting tools which are our main stay anyway.

10-26-2006, 12:49 PM
I got a new catalog from KBC last month. I am a small customer, a few hundred a year at most and pay list prices, I have never had any sucsess when asking for less than list prices from them.

10-26-2006, 05:25 PM
I get the fastest and Zero backorders from Travers.Place the order on line and I get an email confirming it.
3 days from New York to Newfoundland.Prices are not the best, but I get what I need when I NEED IT.

I buy my inserts from Kennametal.Delivered over nite!
ie Order on Monday and have them on Tuesday afternoon.
Again pricy, but great service and there is not much you can get over nite to Newfoundland!

I get good service from KBC's Toronto branch.
Usually buy things that I need and I can wait.
It take 7 days to get things via ground from Toronto to NL
That is if the item is in stock.


10-28-2006, 06:16 PM
Evan,I almost forgot to mention another tool supplier in western Canada that you might try for tooling and good service is Technicut http://www.technicutinc.com/ in Vancouver.They carry a pretty comprehensive line of industrial supplies and have somebody on the phone that can understand and speak Engish.:D

10-28-2006, 06:22 PM
They carry a pretty comprehensive line of industrial supplies and have somebody on the phone that can understand and speak Engish.

That's always nice. Now they need to start work on their speling skils. :D

At Technicut you will find our staff knowledgable and courtious. Witha combined experience of over 100 years, our staff will help you solve whatever cutting tool or abbrasives problems you may have.

Todd Tolhurst
10-28-2006, 06:30 PM
Yeah... look how they spelled "center"! ;)

Welcome the the Technicut Industrial Supply Inc. Internet Information Centre!

10-28-2006, 06:32 PM
I said understand and speak English,nothing was mentioned or implied as to the written word.;)

10-28-2006, 08:15 PM
Todd...that's how they spell it in Quebec ;)