From HacDC Wiki

Purpose of this page

List of suppliers for various materials and items and user reviews.

Please add new suppliers and user comment lines (with attribution / date) Suppliers can be rated by in the user comment lines. Convention is [1] = worst, [5] = best

See also

Pumping Station: One's Sources page

Electronics, Robotics, CNC...

Local Distributors

  • Arcade Electronics LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR
    • [3] Local full-line distributor. Prices vary, but good experiences with them (alden w/hat tip to Mark Fearer - 10/16/09)
  • Baynesville Electronics LOCAL
    • "My favorite in MD" (Q via martin 3/11/10) [Must be good if you still like it after the really annoying Flash intro! - alden]
  • The Computer Place LOCAL
    • [5] Clone boutique on steroids. Good prices and wide selection of PC components. Wall of cables. Gaithersburg, MD and Fairfax, VA (martin 12/31/09)

Large Distributors

  • Mouser Electronics
    • [4] Very complete line of electronics parts. Good searchability, fast service, decent prices on parts. Tools and some other items are expensive (alden 10/02/09)
  • DigiKey
    • [3] Very complete line of electronics parts. I find it harder to navigate than Mouser, and more expensive. I generally don't use them unless I can't find something elsewhere (alden 10/02/09)
  • Avnet Electronics Marketing
    • [4] US electronics parts distributor, like Mouser or DigiKey. Good searchability. Avnet Inc. also offers consulting, design, and FAE services (will 10/02/09).
  • Jameco
    • [3] Well known supplier - reasonably complete line (not as complete as Mouser, Digi-key, Avnet), some prices are very good. (alden 10/04/09)

LEDs, Lighting

  • Hebei (China) LEDs only
    • [5] Best prices on LEDs I've found - but does have a $199 minimum (see Buy LEDs Online for smaller orders). Ship fast. Worked through a problem with them and they handled me fairly. (alden 10/02/09)
  • Buy LEDs Online LEDs only
    • [4] US distributor for Hebei. Same stuff. Prices are more expensive but no minimum. (alden 10/02/09)
  • Bulb Man
    • Large variety of mostly conventional light bulbs (martin 2/26/10)
  • 1000
    • [5] Good variety of CFLs and other household and commercial lamps. Used them for years with good results (alden 3/12/10)


  • Batteries Plus LOCAL
    • [3] Surprisingly large selection for a retail shop Rockville & Columbia MD, Alexandria, Fairfax & Woodbridge VA (martin 3/11/10)
  • Battery Junction
    • [4] Hard to find batteries, including Lithium Thionyl Chloride 3.6v batteries (alden 10/06/09)


  • Surplus Traders Surplus
    • [4] Great prices, particularly in the Extreme Specials section. Run by Ted Duskes, who's a square dealer, and willing to negotiate. Bad news: something like a $100 minimum, and the website is horrible. (alden 10/04/09)
  • Electronics Goldmine
    • Discounts on SMT components, and often has cool weird stuff like IC masks and wafers. Special robot section. (dan 05/03/09 via gareth's article via alden)
  • All Electronics Surplus
    • [4] Nice bargain bin to hunt around in. Not very complete line of parts, but some very good buys. (alden 10/04/09)
  • Alltronics
    • Nice broad selection of surplus stepper motors, other CNC and robotics parts, and electronics (alden 01/20/10)

Microcontroller, development boards, modules

  • Modern Device
    • These guys have pretty good arduino clones, the Bare-Bones-Board and the Really-Bare-Bones-Board, kits from about $10. Fast & cheap shipping, good customer service. (jackson 10/02/09 -- did a bulk order from them.)
  • Semiconductor Store
    • Esoteric electronics, like Nordic ANT radios, some robotics parts. Some parts can have high minimums (alden 10/04/09)
  • Sparkfun
    • Assortment of electronics, assemblies, mechanical components for robotics, motion control and other applications (alden 12/08/09)
  • Digilent
    • [5] Xilinx FPGA and Atmel/Microchip microcontroller development boards and accessories. Makers of the fine boards used in our FPGA class. (martin 12/31/09)
  • MDflystore
    • eBay seller with good prices for development boards, prototyping gear, SMT, etc. (alden from blabber post by AndrewQ 1/27/10)
  • Robo Kits World (India)
    • [5] Unbelievably low prices on 0.100" single inline headers - like $0.13 each for 40 pins in 100's. See Components / Headers. I have order history with them (alden 3/12/10)


  • Polulu
    • Assortment of electronics, assemblies, mechanical components for robotics, motion control and other applications (alden 12/08/09)
  • Hobby CNC
    • David Powell from Harford Hackerspace is trying to kick-ass on Riley's CNC with stepper motors from this site. Beware (alden 12/08/09)


  • Monoprice
    • [5] Wide variety of audio/visual/networking cables and accessories - low prices (martin 1/7/10)
    • also USB. Really cheap, with cheap shipping too (--NikolasCo 15:51, 23 April 2010 (UTC))


Automobile Electronics - rugged, DC powered & small format PCs and parts

  • Carplugs
    • OBD-II connectors (martin 2/26/10)
  • MPGino
    • Mileage computer - open source plans/kit for fuel injected Pre OBD-II cars (martin 2/26/10)


  • Circuit Specialists
    • Lots of good stuff for making PCBs, motion control, and other related stuff (alden 10/06/09)
  • Less EMF
    • [?] EMF control, conductive materials

G33k Out Shop Sites

  • Think Geek
    • Name says it all - weird and wonderful stuff of every variety! (martin 12/31/09)
  • DealExtreme
    • Incredibly random selection of electronics and other stuff. The Cubic Configurable Storage Toolboxes (sku 4580) are great for holding surface mount parts (alden 10/06/09)
    • From Fredrik Nyman: Bottom line: check your order status. (Back ordered items can delay your order if you don't check on it)
    • Amazingly low prices on solder paste in 50g tubs - like ~$3.00. Be sure you are getting solder PASTE and not flux. (alden 3/12/10)
    • What can you say about Woot? (alden 12/08/09 - thx Daniel Ternes)
  • Sci-supply
    • Accoutrement for the mad scientist (martin 12/29/09)
  • Archie McPhee
    • Lowbrow, hilarious junk. Check out the cocktail napkin notebook. (martin 1/21/10)

Mechanical Parts & Fabrication

Parts & Materials

  • McMaster-Carr
    • Very complete line of mechanical parts. Good service. Pricing can often be beat if you hunt around. (alden 10/4/09)
  • Maryland Metric LOCAL / BALTIMORE
    • Huge selection of metric parts (alden 3/12/10)
  • Small Parts
    • [4] Wild selection of esoteric parts. Stockouts common, but otherwise good services (alden 10/04/09]


  • McFeeleys
    • More wood screws and fasteners than you knew existed. Should be called Screw Depot but that would attract the wrong clientèle (martin 12/21/09)
  • Fastenal
    • [?] Large selection of fasneners (martin 2/26/10)

Machine Tools Sales

  • Enco
    • [3] Very complete source for machine tooling, can be expensive. Online specials (Hot Deals) can be good deals, however. (alden 10/02/09)
  • Harbor Freight LOCAL
    • [3] Some things are really cheap. Others are just "cheap". Not good for precision equipment such as lathes, rotary tables, etc. Still useful, however (alden 10/02/09)
    • There is a retail store in Laurel, MD, Gaithersburg, MD and another in Woodbridge, VA.
  • Grizzly Industrial
    • [4] Good source for machine tools themselves and some limited parts. See Enco for more complete parts and supplies (alden 10/04/09)
    • [4] I really like my 14" Grizzly bandsaw. The PA retail location claims to be the largest tool showroom in the world. (martin 12/21/09)
  • Little Machine Shop
    • Well known source for small CNC parts, machinging tools and parts (alden 10/04/09)
  • Micro-Mark
    • Mini tools and model building supplies (martin 2/26/10)
  • Skarie LOCAL
    • [4] Woodworking machinery, power tools & industrial supplies. Some used equipment sales martin (4/10/10)


  • eMachineshop
    • [4] Will machine parts from proprietary CAD drawing package. I had a very satisfactory experience with them on a 200-part run. Can be expensive for very short runs (alden 10/03/09)
  • Shapeways
    • Cool 3d printing service. I have not ordered from them (alden 10/06/09)
  • Ponoko
    • Laser cutting. Call Riley Porter first! (alden 12/08/09)
  • Fly Wheel Machine Tools LOCAL
    • [5] Machine tools, used/refurbished/antique equipment, machine shop services. Excellent reputation (martin 4/10/10)


  • eStreet Plastics
    • [4] Acrylics, etc. Very good prices and good for small quantities (e.g. 1 foot lengths of tuning, etc. (alden 10/02/09)
  • Delvies Plastics
    • [4] Acrylics, casting supplies. Good prices, shipping is OK, but not lightning fast. (alden 10/02/09)
  • TAP Plastics
    • [3] Acrylics, casting supplies. Good selection, services; somewhat more expensive than some other suppliers (alden 10/02/09)
  • Piedmont Plastics LOCAL
    • Sells a variety of plastics. Has a sales counter with knowledgeable & helpful sales person. Sells scrap at discount - call to see what they have. Can fabricate and special order stuff. Sells limited selection of plastic working supplies: glue, bottles, etc. Beltsville, MD (Was Reid Plastics in Rockville, MD) Another shop in Richmond, VA. (martin 12/29/09)
  • Laird Plastics LOCAL
    • Mentioned in a dorkbot blabber post 3/31/10 by John Tinsdale (alden 3/31/10)


  • Metals Depot
    • [5] This has been a great find. Small quantities of steel, aluminum, etc; cheap prices, reasonable shipping, good service. (alden 10/02/09)
  • Speedy Metals
    • [4] Good second choice to Metals Depot. Somewhat larger selection, somewhat higher prices. (alden 10/02/09)


Plywood and Sheet Goods

  • Allied Plywood LOCAL
    • [?] Alexandria and Springfield - Large selection of sheet goods. Only open on weekdays.
  • Hardwoods Inc. LOCAL
    • [4] Large selection of sheet goods - hardwood plywwod, exotic lumber, millwork. Fredrick, MD (martin 3/11/10)

Exotic Lumber

  • Vienna Hardwoods LOCAL
    • [4] There are many really great hardwood outlets in the area. This shop is closest to me and usually has what I need at a reasonable price so I don't have a reason to go further. Exotic lumber, veneer, flooring. (martin 12/29/09)

Construction Lumber

  • T W Perry LOCAL
    • [4] Building/construction supplies. Quality lumber, sheet goods, millwork, fasteners, tools... Helpful, knowledgeable staff - great alternative to big orange borg. Delivers. Baltimore, Chevy Chase, and Gaithersburg, MD, Leesburg and Springfield, VA (martin 12/29/09)

Woodworking Tools and Supplies

  • Woodcraft LOCAL
    • [3] Hand and power tools, exotic lumber, fasteners, blades, glue, dyes, finishes. Has a membership based woodworking shop and conducts classes on basic and advanced woodworkng topics. Rockville & Baltimore, MD, Springfield & Leesburg, VA (martin 3/11/10)

Printed Circuit Boards; Fab, Supplies, Assembly

  • Copper Clad PCB ebay Seller
    • [4] Reliable, quality fabrication within 1/16" - 1/8" variance. Very good prices on custom cut PCB sizes. By far the best place to get DIY PCB boards in bulk and custom cut to boot!. I've ordered one time. (Ril3y 18:46, 25 February 2010 (UTC))
  • Advanced Circuits
    • [4] Reliable, quality fabrication, prices vary. Very good prices on bare-bones prototypes. Other volumes may or may not be competitive. I've ordered many times (alden 10/03/09)
  • Custom PCB, aka Silvtronics
    • [3] Very cheap offshore (Malaysia). Not as good quality as others - hole alignment, plating finish..., but may be OK for simpler applications. (alden 10/03/09)
  • Express PCB
    • [3] Prototyping shop with good prices. Has an easy-to-use, proprietary drawing package. At some point you'll want Gerber files and outgrow these guys (alden 10/03/09)
  • Gold Phoenix
    • A lot of people use this company. I have no experience with them to comment (alden 10/03/09)
  • Sunstone
    • [2] I never used them as they always price out higher than the alternatives. (alden 10/03/09)
  • PCB Cart
    • Chinese maker. Have not personally tried but a reliable source uses them regularly. (Osman 10/24/09)
  • BatchPCB
    • Haven't tried. Recommended by R M Adams. (Osman 10/24/09)
  • Stencils Unlimited
    • Very good prices on solder paste and other circuit supplies. Boards can be had cheaper from other suppliers in this list (alden 12/08/09)
  • Mettrix
    • [4] Board fab and assembly in NY State. Prices are good but not rock bottom, They are very helpful, especially for less experienced customers - such as I was (alden 12/08/09)
  • Advanced Assembly
    • Short run assembly. Recommended by Sepideh Miller on list (Dec 2, 2009) (alden 12/08/09)
  • eP Board Design
    • adapters supplier and pcb manufacturer. based in cal. (Osman 12/11/09)


  • Uline Shipping Supplies
    • [4] Every kind of box, bag, tube, pallet, etc. imaginable. Highly reliable. Prices reasonable in quantity, somewhat more expensive in small Q's (alden 10/04/08)
  • Global Industrial Equipment
    • [4] Really rangy catalog of industrial equipment. They have some great shelves, benches, bins. Watch out, shipping adds up for heavier items (alden 10/04/09)
  • Gempler's
    • [4] Complete catalog of farm and outdoor equipment. See powdered Gatorade gallon bags. (alden 10/04/09)
  • Terrapin Trader LOCAL
    • [4] University of MD Surplus Property - From physics to food service they got it. Lots of furniture, good but not great deals. (martin 12/21/09)
  • Crazy Ray's LOCAL
    • [3] "It's a parts garden, not a junkyard." (martin 2/3/10)
  • Weisser Glass Studio LOCAL
    • [4] Small but well stocked shop with large selection of stained glass and tools - helpful staff (martin 2/26/10)
  • Community Forklift LOCAL
    • [4] Surplus, salvaged & green building materials (martin 4/10/10)
    • Recommended by people on the Hacdc list. Dremel accessories, wheels of all shapes and kinds (mainly for model planes and cars), servomotors, DC motors, microshears, small machineable sheets of ABS and styrene in various colors, small tubes and struts in various plastics and metals. - Thanks Erica Kane (alden 4/10/10)