Tool Renting vs. Buying
What is it with the DIY crowd? Why do we get so excited at the thought of a tool sale? Is it normal to search out projects that will, conveniently, require the purchase of a new grinder, hammer drill or power saw?
Why can’t we save our money and rent the tools that are needed for that one-shot job? Most major cities have tool rental shops or tool libraries. Will someone please enlighten me?
Is it actually smarter to rent or buy?
There are definitely situations where renting makes the most sense. You wouldn’t buy a cement mixer to pour that concrete walkway in your backyard. And when the basement floods your wallet likely can’t handle a trip to the hardware store to buy five dehumidifiers.
Come on, you have to admit that only fencing contractors have a good reason to buy a post hole digger.
But if we’re talking about smaller, more useful tools does it make better sense to buy?
For some of the more common tools, the rental cost is a big chunk of the purchase price. When’s the last time you shopped at the local tool rental store and spent less than $50?
Often the big box home improvement stores will have excellent sales on those common tools, pushing them pretty close to the one-time rental cost.
It’s also darn convenient to have your own tool close by. When you need it again (or your neighbor does), it’s just a few steps away and doesn’t cost a penny. Or if you don’t finish that project on time due to unforeseen circumstances or a minor incident with the ladder, the tool you bought is there next weekend when you can get at the project again.
But what if you need a really heavy duty tool? Something more industrial than the one on sale at Home Depot? Renting may be the best option and may actually help you to complete the project faster and with better results.
It’s your call and one that may differ on a project by project basis. When money is burning a hole in your pocket and that table saw is 60% off, take a deep breath. And then imagine all of the great woodworking plans you could tackle if you only had one.
photo courtesy of sxc/forwardcom