10 Items You Should Always Buy Generic

Home Equipment and Tools
Store-brand tools are generally just as tough as pricier versions.
Store-brand tools are generally just as tough as pricier versions.
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DIY and home-improvement stores like Sears, Lowe's and Home Depot have built their reputations by supplying the same products for all kinds of projects, whether you're building a deck on the weekends or have hired a contractor to renovate your kitchen. In either case, their brand is built on marketing the idea that you're using the same tools and materials as the professionals use.

For this reason, store brands -- Craftsman from Sears and Ace Hardware, Husky and Workforce from Home Depot -- are generally up to par, and because of the way distribution works for these stores, home-repair equipment in these lines can be offered at a much better price. Most high-ticket tools in this category have a reputation for being rugged and long lasting, and home-repair centers like these need to preserve their branding by making sure their tools meet your needs.

Of course, these kinds of tools are made for ease of use and to get the job done, not necessarily to withstand the kind of long-term use and abuse that a contractor might be putting them through. But if you're just looking for the most budget-efficient tools and equipment for around the house, store brands are a smart, safe bet. After all, the stores want you to come back when it's time for your next project or repair.

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