You need a 4th choice labeled something like -- it depends
There are things either one of them does better than the other.
And sometimes they flip flop
to like Lowes for purely irrational and subjective reasons --
1- They originated in NC -- and I have roots there.
2- they at least started
as a basic small town hardware/farm supply type store (pre-dating HD by about 30 years)
and then a chain of such before they evolved into what they are today
(where HD was a big-box out to rule the world concept from day 1)
I lived in NC in the late 70's and had the pleasure of shopping in one of their stores before the --- exploded.
In this part of the country at least -- they have a habit of building within a few miles -- and often within sight of eachother -- so it doesnt cost me anything to comparison shop. I then buy from whichever one has what I want at the price I want to pay.
Sadly -- I don't go to EITHER of them expecting decent customer service any more. If I run across a retired tradesman who actually knows an answer to my question -- I count myself lucky.
Whenever I can still find a good one -- I try to support small independent hardware stores or an Ace Hardware franchise.