Author Archives: Brad Nenstiel

Spring Maintenance Specials

With spring right around the corner it’s time to start thinking about that lawn equipment you’ve had sitting in the garage all winter. Don’t be caught off-guard with broken down equipment once that grass starts to grow. Let the experts at Charlie’s Hardware make sure you’re ready to take on that lawn this year with our 2017 Spring Maintenance Special!

This is the prime time to get everything in working order AND save money with our Spring Maintenance Specials starting March 9th and running through April 15th. Save up to $40 on Lawn Tractor & Zero Turn Mower Maintenance, and $10 on Push Mower, Chainsaw, Tiller & Trimmer Maintenance.

Those of you who have been with us over the years know that once it warms up the shop can become VERY busy.  Don’t wait in line, bring your gear in today and beat the rush. Pickup & Delivery is available also.  Stop by today!! Pre-Season pricing remains in effect until April 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Lawn Tractor & Zero Turn Mowers

$99.95– 12 HP & Lower / $139.95 – 13 HP & Higher (Reg. $139.95 and $1359.95)

  • Change Oil
  • Service Battery
  • Check Fuel Filter
  • Service Air Filter
  • New Spark Plugs
  • Check Transmission Fluid
  • Check All Cables & Controls
  • Clean Bottom of Mower
  • Grease All Zert Fittings
  • Check Bearings
  • Sharpen Blades
  • Inspect Belts
  • Level Deck
  • Air Tires

Push Mowers Chainsaws, Walk Trimmers Tillers

$69.95 (Reg.$79.95)

  • Change Oil
  • New Spark Plugs
  • Adjust Carburetor
  • Sharpen & Balance Blade
  • Adjust Engine Speed
  • Clean Complete Unit
  • Service Air Filter

Pre-Season pricing remains in effect until April 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Keep Your Basement Dry This Spring!

Open your windows and you can almost smell fresh spring air. Let’s just forget that we’re supposed to get 8” of snow this weekend and remember that there’s still quite a bit of standing water and melting snow currently. Now would be a great time to do a proactive check on your sump pump before coming home to a lake in your basement.

If you have a sump pump in your basement it’s obviously there for a reason, but being out of sight it’s also out of mind. So what are a few easy things you can do to prevent a watery disaster? I asked our Licensed Plumbers, Eric & Todd, and here’s a few simple suggestions that they had:

  • While it might sound obvious, check the pump before the spring thaw and make sure it works. Sometimes the pump will sit idle for months at a time, and the wet spring would not be the time to discover a problem. Either do a “wet test” and dump a bucket of water into the pit, or if you can safely reach the float, gently lift it and make sure the pump kicks on.
  • A good failsafe is to install a battery backup pump as well in case of a power outage or if the main pump fails. Not only will these systems (which are typically less than $200) save your basement in an emergency, they sound an alarm to alert you to the problem. Well worth the investment.
  • Another inexpensive solution to a common sump pump nuisance is to replace the standard check valve in the drain pipe with a Quietsewage check valve. This valve has a spring installed in it that quietly closes the flapper, eliminating the annoying slamming sound when they typically close. They are also built into a clear housing so you can monitor the valve in case of a problem.
  • Finally, do your best to keep water away from the perimeter of your home. Check your gutters frequently to make sure they are clean, and even consider installing a downspout extension; certain extensions can be removed when you’re not expecting heavy rain, and other can be made permanent and camouflaged under landscaping materials.

And of course when it comes right down to it, if you flat out need a new pump we’re here to help as well. We always have several sizes in stock and can help you with the fittings & supplies you’ll need to get the job done. And if you’re not comfortable with the job you can simply pick up the phone and we’ll have Eric & Todd on the way to get it done for you. Stay dry!

Tap Into The Flavor — It’s Maple Syrup Time!!


As winter ends and spring begins, Central Wisconsin enjoys its sweetest — and shortest — season: the maple syrup season. A bottle of this liquid gold is the best reward ever.  The temperatures will be getting warmer and the days longer which means it’s time to get to Charlie’s Hardware for all your Maple Sugaring Needs!  Supplies are in-stock now but don’t last long so hurry by!!

Not only does Charlie’s Hardware have the equipment to make your syrup excursion stick (yuck yuck) but we have the people to help you through the steps.

Here Cindy explains some of the reasons & methods folks use when they make Maple Syrup:

 There’s always been the argument of which type of spout to use, plastic or stainless steel. I’ve had people tell me that they have less leaking with the plastic spouts (they all leak a little initially) but the stainless steel holds up much longer than the plastic.  That said the plastic is actually easier to clean than the stainless steel because simply boiling them will not completely remove all the dried-up material on them.

 The traditional way of collecting maple sap to produce maple syrup is with buckets. The use of buckets has both pros and cons; the buckets are not only more attractive but they’re cheaper to set up if you’re trees are very dispersed, and hold up better against squirrels.  The downside to buckets is if you’re trees are fairly close together then they can get a bit expensive.  Not to mention now you have to carry heavy buckets through the snowy woods and clean out all the buckets when done. 

The more modern way of collecting sap now is with a tubing system, which comes with its own set of pros & cons as well.  When using tubing you don’t have to empty buckets & you can use way more taps, which is all cheaper than buckets.  On the other hand the darn squirrels can chew through the tubes (see Brad in our Sporting Goods Department for that remedy), and it’s not the prettiest setup ever if you have your trees in front of your house or along the road.

 Probably one of the most important tools you can invest in is a hydrometer which will help take a lot of the guesswork out of the boiling process at the end.  Not enough boil time will cause thin, easy to spoil syrup, and too much time will cause crystallization and no one likes sand in their syrup.

At the end of the day, nothing beats the sweet taste of Maple Syrup Success; stop by Charlie’s Hardware today and let us help YOUR season be a success!

SharkBite Plumbing Fittings

Whether you need to repair a broken pipe or plumb a whole house, SharkBite fittings are the push-to-connect solution for leak-free results. Take for example a recent customer that wanted to install a whole-house water filter in his basement.

He certainly wasn’t new to plumbing projects, but therefore he knew what he was getting himself into with traditional copper fittings that he already had. He would need to shut off the water supply, cut the existing copper line where he wanted to place the filter, and then break out the torch and solder everything together. It can be a messy & time-consuming project at best.  And even after the fact you could be left with a pin-hole leak if not done properly.

Enter SharkBite Fittings. These ingenious devices are tool-less push fittings that simply slide over the cut pipe and lock into place. That’s it! No torch, no flux, no solder, no problem!

Our customer was amazed by how simple his project was (we think his wife was more impressed, but that’s my opinion); he measured, made his cuts, connected his SharkBite Fittings to the filter, and simply slid the ends onto his existing pipes. Done. No leaks, no mess, and again, no problem!

SharkBite fittings can be used on copper, CPVC, Pex and much more. Elbows, couplers and tees; the options are endless. Before you begin your next plumbing project stop in at Charlie’s Hardware and let us show you how easy SharkBite Fittings will make that project.

Jiffy Ice Augers

Temperatures are falling which means that the ice will be forming soon. No better time than now to stop at Charlie’s Hardware & pick up a new Jiffy Ice Auger or have your auger serviced by the pros!

Jiffy offers a nice selection of ice augers from 2-stroke gas powered, 4-stroke gas powered,  and even their PRO4 Propane powered models. Drill holes quickly from 6-10″ in diameter and get that line in the water!

Here at Charlie’s we can help you with accessories and service as well; grab new blades or let us sharpen your existing ones. Shaft Extensions, Oil, Covers, Ice Chisels and more are available in sporting goods. Engine running a little rough or starting hard? Our mechanics will get you up & running and back on the ice in no time!

And don’t forget all the other goodies you’ll need for a successful fishing excursion; Ice fishing rods & reels, fishing line, lures, hooks, jigs, tip ups, and even Mr. Heaters and propane tanks!

Stop in at Charlie’s today to get the fishing gear you need!!

Avalanche Roof Removal Systems

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to deal with ice dams on your roof in the middle of winter, you know it’s not much fun. Not to mention the costly damage that can occur to your home.

So what do you do? Throw ice melt on the roof? Bad idea. Climb up a slippery ladder with a shovel? Equally bad idea. Now days most folks grab an aluminum “roof rake” and spend a couple hours struggling to move tons of compacted snow off their roof only to earn a sore back and shoulders.

What you need is an AVALANCHE!

Rather than fighting to pull all that snow down off the roof, the lightweight Avalanche effortlessly slides underneath the snow breaking pieces apart and sends them to the ground. The avalanche is also equipped with roller wheels to keep your roof materials safe from damage whether they’re asphalt shingles or steel.

Save time and stay safely off your roof this winter with an Avalanche Roof Removal System from Charlie’s Hardware!

Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear

Born out of necessity on sub-zero commercial jobsites, Milwaukee® M12 Heated Gear combines patented Carbon Fiber Heating Technology with the power and durability of M12 REDLITHIUM Batteries to battle extreme temperatures.

Reducing the need for bulky layers, Milwaukee® M12™ Heated Gear products utilize carbon fiber heating elements to generate and trap heat across core body areas. Adjustable heat technology allows users to adapt to changing conditions by increasing or decreasing the heat level with the touch of a button. Powered by M12™ REDLITHIUM™ Batteries for extended run-time.

Milwaukee Heated Gear is Washer & Dryer Safe, has three heat settings and up to 8 hours of run time with the 2.0 battery!

Whether you’re on the job, on the farm, in the woods, or just need to keep warm the Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear is the way to go!

Christmas Trees are back at Charlie’s!!

Nothing says Christmas time like the scent of that freshly-cut tree setup in the house. The memories made while the family spends time decorating it.  Dad completely losing his mind because the lights won’t blink. The cat launching into it like a tiny fur missile.  Ahh, memories…

Well, wait no further as Fresh Cut Christmas Trees are in stock once again here at Charlie’s Hardware & Rental! Brought in from a local family farm every year, making it more convenient than ever to grab a tree on your way home tonight.

And let’s not forget the extras to go on the tree; here at Charlie’s we have Christmas tree stands, lights, cords and much more to help get you going.  The holidays will be here before you know it, so stop by today!


GE Black Friday Deals at Charlie's Hardware

Black Friday Appliance Sale – Now through the end of November

October is over, but November is just beginning! This month means chilly weather, cozy homes, and lots and lots of food.  Charlie’s Hardware has the absolute BEST prices on GE appliances during our Black Friday sale, now until the end of November.

Take for example GE’s Energy Star 27.8 cuft French Door Refrigerator with beautiful LED interior lighting.  It’s normally $2799, but through November is only $1699!!

Image created by Kitestring.

Or how about a 1.7 cuft Over-the-Range Sensor Microwave Oven?  Normally $329, now only $199!!

This is literally the best time of year to invest in that appliance update you’ve been waiting for.  Delivery & Installation are available as well.  Let Charlie’s get you set for all that Holiday cooking this year!

Prices in effect until November 30th, 2016.

Kids Decorated Pumpkin Contest

It’s that time of year again!  Use your imagination and create a one-of-a-kind pumpkin using paint, fabric, glitter, tape, tacks, sequins, ribbon… 

Bring in your UNCARVED, decorated pumpkin to Charlie’s Hardware by October 24th for a chance to win one of these prizes valued at $50 each!

Two children age 8 and under and two children age 9 and up will have their choice of a Kindle Fire, Garmin Vivofit or $50 Charlie’s Gift Card.

Stop by Charlie’s Hardware to pick up your entry form, or download the entry form



chgc       kindle vivofit