No one likes to think about it, but the truth about moving into a new home is that something or other will break down at some point. So, heading down to the hardware store to stock up on a good set of tools should be high on your priorities list.
“But I don’t know how to do DIY home repairs! And I don’t want to get dirty!”
In truth, even the most gu niang of Singaporeans can do simple fix-it jobs at home, thanks to Google and YouTube. Think about simple things like tightening a faucet, unclogging a toilet, or putting up shelves – do you REALLY want to call up a handyman every time you need something like that done?
Let’s do the math. Every time you call a handyman, you pay for transport and services at the very least – that’s at least $40 a pop. If you invest $150 in your own tools instead, you would have covered the cost by doing 4 small repairs on your own. Every repair you do from that point onwards is pure savings.
Top 10 hardware stores in Singapore
Even if you’re not into DIY, you would have walked past hardware stores in Singapore like Home-Fix and Selffix, which are chain stores found pretty much everywhere. And of course, these days you can buy anything online from Lazada and Qoo10.
But to get you the best deal and range of tools – whether general hardware supplies or specific to a certain job e.g. plumbing – we’ve found 10 fantastic hardware stores that Singaporeans should know about:
|Hardware store||Location||Best for|
|SunHee Hardware Paint & Electrical||Clementi||General hardware|
|Handyman Centre||Orchard||General hardware|
|Zener DIY Store||Orchard, Woodlands, Serangoon||General hardware|
|David Hardware & Electrical||Marsiling||Industrial grade hardware|
|Masterpro||Ubi, Serangoon, Jurong East||High-end branded tools|
|Hoe Kee Hardware||Jalan Besar & 4 other locations||Bathroom & kitchen|
|Brandon Hardware Paints & Plumbing||Everton Park||Plumbing hardware|
|Johong Hardware & Paints||Hougang||Paint products|
|Horme Hardware||Online||General hardware|
SunHee Hardware Paint & Electrical
Probably the cheapest hardware store in Singapore, SunHee Hardware shop is worth a trip to the West purely for its rock bottom prices. Think hammers and crescent wrenches from about $3.50 (usually more like $10) and 9-piece screwdriver sets from $10 (typically at least $30 from chain stores!).
This hardware shop also has an amazingly comprehensive selection of tools. You can even get tools for simple construction work like electrical wiring, cabinetry and plumbing. Safety goggles and welding equipment, anyone?
Did we mention they also carry computer and electrical accessories, fans, chemical and cleaning products, lighting options, locks, paint and bathroom supplies? Oh, and they have an online hardware store, too.
Location: 354 Clementi Avenue 2, #01-239, Singapore 120354
Contact: 6777 1788
Handyman Centre is a hardware store located right in the middle of Orchard Road, in Lucky Plaza (but of course). It has everything you need for home improvements, whether you’re a novice or a veteran handyman.
The super friendly elderly couple who own this hardware shop have been doing this for a long time and the customer service is excellent. They will give you advice and walk you through your tooling needs. This more than makes up for the fact that they don’t have a website and you actually have to visit the store to find out what they have.
It’s definitely worth a visit. They don’t call themselves the “Most Unique & Interesting Hardware & D-I-Y Centre” in Singapore for nothing. Where else would you find household tools sitting side by side with… swords?
Location: 304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza #03-01, Singapore 238863
Contact: 6737 9592 or 6737 7815
Zener DIY Store
Another general hardware store with an outlet conveniently located in Orchard (plus two more in Woodlands and Serangoon Gardens), Zener DIY Store has everything from plumbing and electrical to home decor, pest control products and hobby supplies as well as garden tools.
Prices for the general products like pliers, wrenches and hex keys are slightly on the pricier side, but on the other hand they offer handyman services (call ahead), so if you can’t solve your problem on your own, you can bring in the professionals.
Orchard Towers, 1 Claymore Drive, #01-07/08/09
888 Plaza, 50 Woodlands Drive, #01-741
Serangoon Gardens, 14 Maju Avenue
Contact: See Zener DIY contact details page
David Hardware & Electrical
David Hardware and Electrical in the North is another general hardware store that has been around for decades. It includes tools of every grade, including industrial ones, as well as home electronics, and IT and car accessories.
It’s an old-school hardware store that’s filled to the gills and requires you to lose yourself among the shelves to appreciate it.
Location: Blk 18 Marsiling Lane, #01-261, Singapore 730018
Contact: 6363 8803
Probably the best hardware store in Singapore for branded tools, MasterPro is for the high-end handyman who loves his power tools and is obsessive about getting the best gear money can buy.
You’ll find tools from top brands like Bosch, Hitachi, Werner and Kimberly-Clark as well as MasterPro’s own line of products here.
The range is astounding, but the prices are steeper. Basics like a hammer start from $20 here, while screwdriver sets start at $35. It’s probably more worth it to get power tools than plain old hardware here.
29 Ubi Road 4, Wangi Industrial Building #04-01, Singapore 408619
8 Ubi Road 2 #01-01/02 Zervex, Singapore 408538
50 Serangoon North Ave 4 First Centre #01-10, Singapore 555856
48 Toh Guan Road East, #01-98 Enterprise Hub, Singapore 608586
Contact: See MasterPro store locator page
Hoe Kee Hardware
If you need to fix something in your bathroom or kitchen, Hoe Kee Hardware is possibly the most well-known bathroom and kitchen hardware store in Singapore. But they also have fans, lighting, cooking appliances, washers and fridges too.
The best store to visit has got to be the Hoe Kee Superstore at Jalan Besar – it’s huge! But there are also outlets at Jurong East, Paya Lebar, Kaki Bukit, and its main showroom is at Genting Road.
8 Genting Road, The Blue Building, Singapore 349472
1 Jalan Berseh #01-09 to #01-11, New World Centre, Singapore 209037
2 Jurong East St 21 #03-08, IMM Building, Singapore 609601
No. 845 Geylang Road #01-38/#01-02, Tanjong Katong Complex, Singapore 400845
1 Kaki Bukit Place, Singapore 416179
Contact: See Hoe Kee store locator page
Brandon Hardware Paints & Plumbing Services
If the bathroom is your problem area and you’d like to visit a plumbing hardware specialist, Brandon Hardware store in Everton Park (at Outram Park, opposite SGH) is an excellent choice.
On top of plumping and pipe fittings, sanitary ware, bathroom accessories and paints, they also offer superb plumbing services. All these in addition to general hardware tools, and electrical accessories and appliances.
Location: 3 Everton Park, Singapore 080003
Contact: 6227 0889
Johong Hardware & Paints
An exclusive partner of Nippon Paint since 2005, Johong Hardware & Paints specialises in Nippon Paint products and is a one-stop-shop for everything related to painting. From primers to paints to rollers to brushes, you name it, they’ve got it.
Location: Block 698 Hougang Street 61, #01-04, Singapore 530698
You can buy anything online these days, and that applies to hardware and tools, which are easily available from Lazada and Qoo10. However, these giants are not the only online options. There’s also Horme Hardware, said to be Singapore’s largest hardware supplier.
They have over 55,000 products in more than 22 categories. You can find very good deals here, such as crescent wrenches from $3.80, pliers from $7.35 and a full screwdriver set from just $15. It’s best to buy all your gear in one shot so you can hit the minimum of $100 for free delivery.
Online store: www.horme.com.sg
A competitor of Horme Hardware, HardwareOnline also offers a comprehensive range of hardware for every need, from DIY n00bs to serious house flippers to wannabe contractors.
Prices aren’t that cheap, with basic items like screwdriver sets costing from $35 onwards, but you might want to have a look as they specialise in safety gear like protective boots, leather gloves and aprons. mOrders above $100 also enjoy free delivery.
Online store: www.hardwareonline.com.sg
What hardware & tools should beginners buy?
Want to invest in a beginner toolbox? Here are 10 pieces of gear that you’ll need:
Screwdrivers: The most basic and necessary of home tools. You’ll need them to tighten hinges, install light switches, open the battery compartment of toys, and pop off the lids of paint cans. Invest in a good 10-piece screwdriver set with interchangeable tips (both the cross-shaped Phillips and flathead in a bunch of sizes), and maybe a set of tiny precision screwdrivers for spectacles and watches.
Hammer: For minor home fixes, you just need one lightweight hammer for pounding nails in place. Choose a 16-ounce one with a long handle for better leverage, and a curved claw for yanking nails out.
Measuring tape: Even before you move into your new home, you’ll need a measuring tape to figure out the sizes of the furniture and appliances you want to buy. Fail to do that and you might end up with a sofa that won’t fit through the front door. No need to go overboard with this – just a 5-metre measuring tape will do.
Plunger: No one really talks about it, but the plunger is an indispensable household buddy. Clogged sinks and choked toilets happen more often than you think. If you call a plumber in, he’ll most likely just use the plunger to clear it up anyway (if it’s a simple job). So do yourself a favour and keep a plunger around the loo.
Utility knife: You’ll need this to scrape off excess paint that seal things shut, open cardboard boxes, shave wood and strip wiring. A utility knife with a rubber handle will save you from blisters.
Pliers: You’ll need pliers to pull, pinch, straighten, bend and snip metal or to get a good grip on something. Get a set that includes tongue-and-groove, side-cutting, needle-nose, slip-joint and wiring-cutting pliers. Don’t know what they mean? Never mind. Just go to the store, give them these names and they’ll help you (and be slightly impressed).
Wrench: This one’s crucial for tightening and loosening all plumbing fixtures, especially leaky faucets. Get both the crescent wrench (an adjustable wrench with jaws that can widen and narrow) and the monkey wrench (with a long handle and jaws to grip objects).
Hex key tool (or Allen key): If you’ve assembled furniture from Ikea, you’d be familiar with these. They work like screwdrivers, but you use them to drive bolts and screws with hexagonal sockets. Many bicycles and self-assembled furniture have screws like these. Just like the bits of screwdrivers, you can get hex keys in various sizes, too. A multi-size set is inexpensive and will last forever.
Ladder or step stool: For fixing lightbulbs, putting up decorations, hanging pictures, painting or simply reaching high places, you’ll need a ladder or step stool.
Handsaw: For the amateur handyman, the handsaw is safer than a power saw. It’s for cutting things that are tougher than what the kitchen cleaver can manage.
Got a handy tip for your fellow DIY enthusiasts? Share your recommendations in the comments!