DIY Tools: Is it Better to Rent or Buy?

3 June 2014
 Categories: Business, Articles


When it comes to home improvement, you can only do so much with the items you have in your toolbox. Many interior home improvement projects require small, specialized tools that you can either rent from a local tool library, borrow from a neighbor, or rent or buy at the nearest Chicago home improvement store or rental center. As you plan your next interior or exterior home improvement project, determine whether it's in your long-term interest to rent or buy that next piece of equipment.

Interior projects

These five tools have a demonstrated place in the DIY toolkit and are worth the investment because you'll use them over and over again:

  • Cordless drill: A cordless drill can help you hang anything with confidence, so you can mount that garden hose, hang your art, or install new shelves and cabinets. Choose cordless so that you do not need to use extension cords or outlets to get the work done.
  • Table saw: If you need to cut wood at home, a table saw makes it easy and safe to do so. This comes in handy for everything from deck board replacement to DIY woodworking projects.
  • Circular saw: Portable circular saws can cut through wood, metal, ceramic, and stone if you have the right blade.
  • Nail gun: A nail gun makes any finish project easier and much faster, which makes it a very useful investment.
  • Orbital sander: This can help you remove paint to refinish that bookcase or prepare the deck for painting, saving you time and manual labor. Once you have one, you'll regularly put it to use.

When it comes to interior home improvement, these four tools are indeed handy -- but better rented than purchased.

  • Reciprocating saw: A must for demolition jobs, a reciprocating saw has little use after the demolition's done. Rent if you need one.
  • Flooring nailer: Likewise, a flooring nailer can only help with laying flooring.
  • Floor sander: These are bulky, expensive and serve a limited (though invaluable) purpose.
  • Concrete mixer: Rent a drum-style concrete mixer to pour interior cement, since you won't want to store this limited-use tool.

Exterior projects

These three tools have a dedicated place in the garage:

  • String trimmer: Whether you need to whack tall grass weeds or edge a garden bed, a string trimmer helps you get the work done quickly and easily. Buy once, use regularly to keep your yard and garden looking their best.
  • Pressure washer: Once you spring for a pressure washer, you'll love its many uses. Try it for hosing down the driveway during leaf season, removing exterior paint before a refinish, or washing your home exterior.
  • Wood chipper - If you have a large yard, a wood chipper can be a good investment. By turning excess wood into mulch, you'll be conserving resources and saving on garden mulch.

Since these four tools have a limited use, find equipment rentals in Chicago IL should you need them.

  • Roofing nailer: A roofing nailer is only good for nailing singles. Rent this when you need to instead of investing in something you're not likely to use for another 10 years.
  • Compactor: Since it compacts the surface to give you an even grade, a compactor is a must for creating sidewalks, concrete patios or paths, masonry paths, or driveways. Compactors are pricey and bulky, so you'll save by renting these.
  • Garden tiller: Most homeowners can get away with renting a rear-line walk-behind tiller at the beginning and end of garden season.
  • Excavator: Most homeowners only need this if doing a major remodel, such as digging out for a basement addition. Rent this equipment, plus a skilled operator.
So now that you know what different equipment rentals are out there, what new project will you take on next?