Fun niche catalogs in PDF for perusing on iPad
January 14, 2014 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Sort of riffing on my earlier question regarding Amazon's dark corners of industrial and scientific equipment--I'm hoping you can hook me up with fun niche catalogs in PDF format for browsing on my iPad.

I always loved to flip though the Grainger catalogs my school would receive (which seems to be available in a cumbersome PDF).

Are there other great catalogs available in PDF that are fun to flip through? I have no need for the printed volumes--I'm 97% certain I'll never order anything, and it's a waste of paper and space.

Anything is fair game--from industrial kitchen supplies, to avionics, to building materials, etc. E.g., wow, I had no idea hazmat suits came in different models, and, at $250 (or whatever), I should get one!

Not looking for basic consumer stuff like Hemmacher Schlemmer or whatever. The cool catalog your cool job has! And keeps in the break room!
posted by Admiral Haddock to Shopping (12 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Aircraft Spruce (60 MB PDF)
posted by exogenous at 8:44 AM on January 14, 2014

U.S. Plastic Corp. has a downloadable catalog (77 MB PDF).
posted by RichardP at 8:53 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

ThorLabs and Edmund Optics (warning, direct giant PDF link) are optics suppliers we use regularly in my lab.
posted by Maecenas at 8:53 AM on January 14, 2014

BioQuip, for all your entomological needs.
posted by gueneverey at 8:55 AM on January 14, 2014

Bachmann model trains (25.7 MB)
posted by mattbucher at 8:55 AM on January 14, 2014

If you're open to time tourism as well, here's the 1912 Sears Catalog. Over 1200 pages!
posted by theodolite at 9:07 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Global Industrial Supply for all your hazmat suits / mop buckets / shelving / factory construction needs. Actually, their maple workbenches are a great bargain and a secret I always recommend to people that need a worktable.

Newark Element 14 (2,487 pages) carries everything electronic you will ever need. Period.

Same with DigiKey (2,896 pages) in case Element14 doesn't have it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2014

Leviton has a big catalog of wiring devices

Graybar has PDF catalogs and brochures of industrial-type products for serveral different industries. (A mix of some short brochures and some several-hundred page product/solutions guides, you'll have to dig through them all)
posted by frontmn23 at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2014

Beekeeping and Candlemaking Catalogue
posted by tomboko at 11:22 AM on January 14, 2014

The best page-flippin' catalog in existence is McMaster. There is an iOS app, and apparently a torrent of the PDF. I have no clue as to the legality of the torrent.
posted by Dmenet at 12:04 PM on January 14, 2014

Came in to recommend the McMaster-Carr catalog and was beaten to the punch. (Link goes to the iOS app.) Might be a bit more consumer-y, but B&H always has a pretty huge catalog (~80MB) and they do a bunch of pro stuff too, so it's not just a bunch of crappy TVs.
posted by mrg at 9:08 PM on January 14, 2014

American Science and Surplus
posted by ltisz at 12:48 AM on January 15, 2014

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