Necessity, the mother of invention, was raised in a garage sale on a steady diet of USB cords and mismatched socks. Harness ingenuity with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of any items at Ax-Man Surplus Stores. This Groupon is valid at any of the store's four locations in the Twin Cities: St. Paul, Fridley, St. Louis Park, and Crystal.
Ax-Man offers thousands of unusual, practical, and creative surplus items for artists, crafters, and inventors. With many items available for less than $1, power supplies, computer parts, hardware, and art materials—including a collection of porcelain and plastic body parts—are on hand to offer a myriad of project ideas and solutions. Pick out motor parts to construct a souped-up bike, or take home a 60-watt, 120vac soldering iron ($6.95) to weld a motherboard, fabric, and sequins into a TRON-inspired burlesque outfit. With ever-changing stock, Ax-Man also offers vintage tchotchkes and a surplus of odd promotional materials, including beer glasses and JFK beach towels.
Around for more than 50 years, Ax-Man is known for its helpful staff, edifying hand-labeled signs, and store decorations. Additionally, any time you buy 12 of the same item, you'll receive another one of the item for free, ensuring a baker's dozen of your new treasure.
Yelpers give Ax-Man Surplus Stores' St. Paul location an average of five stars. Seven Citysearchers give it a 3.5-star average and four Insider Pagers give it an average of four. Four Insider Pagers give the Minneapolis location a four-star average:
- Ax-Man is a great place to find stuff that you didn't know you needed. Doll heads? Flasks with engraving errors? Calendars from a baptist church in North Carolina? You'll never know what you'll find in Ax-Man. – A L., Yelp
- If I could bring one store with me to a desert island it would be this store. – Phil J., Yelp
- Regardless of what you go there looking for, you'll find something to buy. Every visit is different because new stock arrives weekly. – Susan M., Insider Pages
Ax-Man Surplus Stores
Googly eyes. Gas masks. Mannequin arms. Blowguns. Ax-Man Surplus Stores dares crafters, DIY enthusiasts, and tinkerers of all stripes to dream bigger, better, and weirder with an enormous stock of new surplus items. Each shop's collection of oddities and odds-and-ends resides in open-air barrels and on easily browseable shelves. Bins entice shoppers to rummage through metal bits in search of the next piece to a welded sculpture, and other aisles hold several decades’ worth of electronic wiring, fans, speakers, and fuses, perfect for building a robot that every generation can relate to. Frequent shoppers are rewarded with a new truckload of treasures every week, along with an ever-changing collection of signs that artistically warn of the hazards of shoplifting and suggest off-label uses for the merchandise. World Famous Design Junkies praised Ax-Man for its signage and its selection alike in 2009, calling it “the greatest place to buy do-hickeys in the entire world.”