Build Your Next Robot With Amazon Supply

If you’re a home hardware hacker in the United States, chances are most of your electrical components come from Mouser or Digikey, your hardware and tools from Grainger, and your raw materials from McMaster-Carr. This setup is great – we’d hate to locally source parts for a robot – but organizing larger orders can be a bit of a pain. Enter Amazon Supply, the new place to buy business and industrial equipment.

Right now the selection is a little thin, but if you’re looking for a single place to buy a quality soldering iron, a 0.005″ endmill or a set of brass balls, now you’ve got a one stop shop with the insanely fast shipping Amazon has won our hearts with.

While Amazon Supply isn’t selling even the most basic electrical component, the service was just launched, and if there’s a market, [Bezos] will go after it. Time will tell if our beloved vendors have a serious competitor on their hands.

Thanks [Vasili] for sending this in.

42 thoughts on “Build Your Next Robot With Amazon Supply

  1. 0.005″ endmill ?? I now HaD is located in the states et al but using imperial units in the summary is just moronic.

    SI units are the facto standard for scientific units and measurement. Unless of course HaD wants to be some kind of newsportal for half assed science.

    Which raises the question: Do you fellow reader/hacker have any problems in understanding SI units?

    1. Well, being polish I’m not a fan of imperial units, but since it IS 0.005″ endmill, I would let it slide. And being a PCB designer (where imperial units still rule) 5 mil/thou is a bit more friendly than 0,127mm

    2. Do you think scientists have a problem working in imperial units?

      Anything mechanical I still end up working in imperial. And any time you work with American engineers, you tend to work in imperial units.

      It’s not a big deal. SI isn’t as “logical” as people make it out to be. It’s littered with bizarre units, too, and scientists have no problem. You just use the unit that makes things easy to remember.

      1. You got it wrong. SI units are specifically designed to reduce representation/rounding errors when doing scientific calculi. That is exactly the problem about imperial where you cannot easily represent exact values of a wide range of measurements. Having each unit being a random multiple of another is entirely stupid and really old fashioned.

        SI units are as logical as imperial units if you grew up with them. I know offhand how much a meter is just by picturing with my imagination, I also know how much a kilogram would more or less weight using my bare hands.
        A kilogram does not need to correspond to a bucket of apples to represent weight, nor does a meter need to correspond to the length of my dick.

      2. I used to feel bad about using imperial measurements (mostly for distance), but then I read a good article about how they’re better suited for some things, especially real-world on the fly calculations. 12 has more divisors than 10 including 3 which comes up a lot in nature.

        Not to mention that here in the US, standard fasteners and tooling is always cheaper and more ubiquitous than metric. So I do all my machining in standard units.

    3. They have a little ways to go before they are really competitive with McMaster. As other have mentioned, McMaster delivers much faster (sometimes, it’s same day delivery if you order in the morning and live in the same city as one of their distribution centers). Also, McMaster’s web site has CAD files for many of their products. It’d be nice to see Amazon Supply do that as well as carry datasheets. Lastly, McMaster usually has instructional content for major product categories so that you can learn the basics about topics such as pipe/pipe fitting sizing, bearings, etc.

      The only thing I can see Amazon Supply beating out McMaster on is that they seem more willing to list the manufacturer for the products they list.

    4. Respectfully relax, in the event Brain was merely repeating what nomenclature the retailer was using, you don’t have a complaint to make towards Hackaday. In the unlike event Brian converted DI units to Imperial you would have a complaint to make. All in my opinion of course.

  2. insanely fast shipping… i never know when im buying from amazon, or an amazon shop… which makes it as reliable as ebay. id rather use rs, next day deivery, or 2 hour collection.

      1. How easy is it to get an RS account? I’ve always discounted them as I only need odds & sods for hobby electronics, but they do seem to have a much better selection than almost everyone else.

    1. There is an icon indicator for who is actually selling your product on Amazon. Some of them say Amazon, some say Fulfilled by Amazon, and the rest have the individual reseller listed. Look for the icon.

      1. Also, many items are sold by multiple sellers. Maybe the cheapest one isn’t fulfilled by Amazon, but there’s a good chance another one of the same item is. It might cost a couple extra bucks, but it’s cheap peace of mind.

      1. I’ve purchased from SmallParts on various occasions in the past, and they sent out an email yesterday to that effect:
        “ is now”

  3. Oh wow. I wonder how this will stack up against my usual suppliers; Mouser, McMaster-Carr, Shars Tools…

    And, seeing as I just used some tax refund money to pay for a year of Amazon Prime, I gotta wonder if my Amazon Prime shipping works on this new site. :3

    1. No you don’t. Belgium is the worst. We order everything from Germany, where it is much cheaper (even when shipping abroad).

      Heck, I even drive to Germany once a month for grocery shopping because you only get bad quality stuff for exorbitant prices in Belgium.

      So stop complaining…


    2. I don’t know about Belgium, but when comparing to the States, Germany’s electronics/mechanical supplies suck. Well, pretty much everything is available for purchase, just not for the little guys like us. Misumi, Zitec etc. only sell to businesses, so shopping for normal parts (like belts, pulleys, aluminum extrusion, bearings… ) usually involves hours of googling and comparing.
      Many components, like the TI TPS40211 LED driver are not available at all.

      1. Germany? Belgium? The worst? Seriously??? Try Fiji, where you can’t even find a company that knows what you’re talking about, let alone carry stock. So we turn to eBay or other suppliers (many of whom won’t ship here at all) and pay more for the freight, customs, and import duty than the item itself is worth. If it arrives within 3 weeks we consider ourselves lucky. And it’s not just here – much of the world is in a similar situation. Not wanting to complain, but you guys in 1st world countries sometimes forget just how fortunate you are…

      2. Quite true, at least in my experience trying to obtain Bosch semiconductors. Good God, do these people just NOT want to make money? Or is this just the corporate bureaucracy trying to keep its death-grip on the component market? Sheesh, just sell your stuff to a third party, let THEM deal with the consumer BS, and everyone is happy!

        Thankfully there are Bosch offices here in the ‘states (one right up the road from me here in Grand Rapids, in fact), as well as Future Electronics (a Bosch vendor, also with an office here in GR :). So, if I need to bat some heads and get parts, it’s only a short drive away to either.

  4. Love Amazon. Free shipping, cloud player, instant video (selection could be better :-/), they cater to my desire for instant gratification, and if I can source my parts through them, I will.

  5. If you still want to re-argue the whole metric vs inch thing, you should at least acknowledge that engineers and machinists have always worked in decimal inches (not fractions, and not feet). You can buy decimal inch rulers, and even tape measures (I actually saw one for sale at Home Depot yesterday). Just because the building trades still use fractions, don’t assume everyone does. And converting between mm and inches is trivial (hint: it’s exactly 25.4000).

  6. Materials? Scrap yard wins every time, I go and load up on materials several times a year. Tools – from Harbour Freight, although their prices are on the rise lately. Shipping cost is usually no more than the cost of gas to the local big box store. Electronics, mostly built up stock from surplus house deals. Hardly ever use ebay unless its a super specialty item, that’s pretty much a seller’s market…

  7. A month ago I wanted an extra multimeter, and tried looking on Amazon.

    4,031 results! Time to sort by price, or maybe rating. But for some silly reason, they make you select a department to enable sorting. And when you do, then you’re only looking at a fraction of the results; because the multimeters are scattered between 20 different departments. Which somewhat defeats the whole purpose of sorting in the first place.

    After 15 minutes of trying to compare what’s available between different windows, each showing a different department; I decided it wasn’t worth the frustration, and took my business elsewhere.

    So now, if I want the best deal on a set of brass balls from Amazon, I have to not only search multiple departments on Amazon, but Amazon Supply too?

    Or is Amazon Supply just redundant? Some test searches show everything on Amazon Supply to be sold on Amazon, too. But one thing is missing on Amazon Supply – the existing reviews from Amazon. Better to use Amazon instead, and have the benefit of reviews to warn you if an item is a piece of junk.

    And though Amazon Supply may be trying to position itself to be better organized for people shopping for this kind of stuff, it’s already failed miserably – because it doesn’t let you sort by price, or anything else, AT ALL. Even for a “beta” website, that’s quite inexcusable.

    Seriously, Amazon should be working on improving their existing website, not spawning another one.

  8. Just a quick followup to my earlier comment. I normally buy materials from McMaster, but knowing I’m in for $10~30 in shipping (And won’t know what it is until they bill me!) I often have to wait until I have a comfortable surplus of cash before I order from them…

    Having just used some tax refund money to get an Amazon Prime membership a couple days before hearing about this, I jumped at the chance to see if that carried over to AmazonSupply. (It does! Gift card balances don’t, though.)

    First off, not many prices are better than McMaster. I only really saw better prices on some of the materials available.

    And they have nowhere near the selection of McMaster. HOWEVER, given that I have Amazon Prime, and get free 2-day on everything, and $3.99/item overnight, I can pick and choose the things that ARE cheaper at AmazonSupply. It’s also good when what I want doesn’t really warrant a whole McMaster order.

    In the week since I first heard about the site, I’ve made 4 orders. (All stock. Mostly small-diameter stainless steel round bar.) I’m totally happy with my experience thus far, and while I’m in no hurry to replace McMaster, it’s nice being able to impulse-buy materials with free shipping.

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