Best Old-School Hardware Store

Ingersoll Hardware

With old-time hardware stores dropping like accounting firms, crushed by the sheer size and selection of their big-box brethren, the competition in this category has become decidedly thin. Yet Ingersoll Hardware, proud seller of hammers and hoses since 1906, carries on this most noble of traditions. It's one of those small, dusty places, appropriately crowded and packed with everything from paint to lawn stuff to plumbing supplies to brooms. They still do full window repair -- not just cut glass -- and the prices are surprisingly competitive, compared to bigger rivals. You don't have to screw your wallet just to support the little guy. And unlike other small stores, Ingersoll is not an endangered species. "Business has picked up so much," says Bill Knittle, who has 23 years on the job. "All the hardware stores closed, and people hate going to Home Depot. If one of us doesn't know something, we'll get somebody else to help you."