When it comes to shopping in Minnesota, most people think of the Mall of America. But that would be a mistake – at least, it is if what you seek is something truly unique that you can’t just find at a big-box store. Luckily, Minnesota is home to many local businesses that offer items you can’t find anywhere else. One of those stores is Ax-Man Surplus. Just walking into this store is a one-of-a-kind experience, and it only gets crazier when you see what they have on their shelves.
Ax-Man Surplus has been around for decades. The first - and perhaps most popular - location is right on University Avenue in St. Paul.
There are two other locations as well. One is in Fridley, the other in St. Louis Park. Each location offers truly unique wares at a great price. You'll find the addresses and hours for each location
When you walk in, you'll be immediately greeted with a huge display of everything under the sun. The St. Paul store has a giant rotary phone in the entryway.
And the phone isn't even the strangest thing at Ax-Man. The St. Paul location also boasts a real iron lung. Neither it nor the phone is for sale - but the phone
is a Pokéstop on Pokémon Go.
As you walk through the aisles of Ax-Man, you'll notice many strange items. This is mostly unsold surplus merchandise that the store purchases from a variety of places.
Most of the merchandise is very cheaply priced, and there are discounts available as well. If you buy 12 items, you get a 13th for free. And if you buy 100 things, you get 10% off your purchase.
Many of the items are labeled with a handmade sign.
The signs range from funny to bizarre, and you could spend hours reading each of them. Who writes the signs? According to the
, "EVERYONE." Even if you don't find anything to buy, you'll like the signs.
Ax-Man gets new items often.
These are posted on the store's website, or on their
. But really, why wait for an announcement? Poking through the store on the hunt for new items is part of the fun.
Oftentimes, you'll find truly bizarre products.
It's no wonder why some items became surplus. But the great thing about shopping at Ax-Man is trying to find a new use for pretty weird items. Or, if all else fails, you
could just use this detachable cat head for its intended purpose.
Collectors will find something at Ax-Man, too.
For those who love to collect, everything from old license plates to tarot card decks have crossed the threshold of Ax-Man. The store even has a
huge collection of glass vials and jars for those looking for a new way to display their sands of the world collection.
Many people who love to tinker also love Ax-Man. The St. Paul location several aisles of electronics parts.
These parts can be used to start new projects or repair old ones. Or if you're feeling crafty, you could certainly use the old plugs and bulbs to create an outstanding art project.
Crafters will be right at home at Ax-Man as well. With some imagination, anything in the store could be used in your next project.
With such a diverse collection of items for sale, Ax-Man is a hub for people looking for that next perfect crafting item. The store is a great place for DIYers and artists to unleash their creativity. Plus, every once in a while, the store receives bona fide crafting materials, like these beautiful art papers. All the more reason to stop in soon.