Tools: To Buy or To Rent – That Is The Question
It’s home improvement time, do you have the tools you need to do the job? Unless you are a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, you may not have the tools on hand to do specific jobs. Before you rush out to the hardware store, however, think about whether or not you need to buy those tools, or is it a better idea to rent them? Check out some of the specialist sites such as TheDrillGuy.com that can help you decide on the types and brand of tools you need, and which features to look out for.
To Buy or To Rent?
While it may feel good to stand back and look at your well-equipped workshop and brimming-over tool boxes, those tools may not be your best investment if they have done one job and now sit dormant and dusty. Home improvement does require tools, but which ones do you actually need to own? Consider how often you do a project like the one you are about to tackle. If you are going to reshingle the roof on your house only once, or twice at the most, in your lifetime, do you really need to own that roofing nailer? If your house is a fixer-upper, or if you like to build sheds and garages for everyone you know, go ahead and buy that reciprocating saw. Otherwise, it may be a better use of your money to spend less and rent the tool for the one skylight you plan to install.
Some tools do tend to get lots of use, and they will earn a permanent place in your workshop:
Tools to Buy
Cordless Drill – which is made even more versatile when it is a drill/hammerdrill combo. This tool will earn its keep attaching things to walls, electrical or plumbing projects, setting cabinets, windows, hanging drywall, and the list goes on. The hammer function allows you to drill into concrete, for those outdoor projects, like hanging a hose reel or attaching a mailbox. Lightweight and easy to use, this tool is a keeper.
Circular Saw – a 71/4” circular saw goes with you wherever your project may be. You can pick it up and take it with you to cut the wood you need to build pretty much anything. If you need a few shelves installed, or a new gate in the backyard, or a treehouse for the kids, if you are a do-it-yourself home improver, your circular saw will get plenty of use.
Portable Table Saw – a table saw is one of the most useful tools for home improvement. It is versatile, allowing you to tackle big and small jobs with accuracy. Serious builders may have a big, heavy table saw for heavy duty use, but for the average homeowner who likes to putter at home improvement, a smaller portable saw may be more appropriate. You can take it where you need it, to the workshop to cut flooring, to the backyard to build a fence, to your friend’s house to help frame his garden shed. This is definitely a tool to buy if you do this type of project on a regular basis.
Mitre Saw – if you do a lot of framing, installing windows, building cabinets, or creating furniture, a mitre saw is a tool you should own. This is the tool you need for precision cutting, and is indispensable for the home improver with lots of projects to do. It will get plenty of work, especially if you do any trim or decorative work.
Compressor – a good compressor is useful for many projects. Of course, if you have air tools, like a finish nailer, you need a compressor. You can use it for painting, and for pressurized washing. It also makes it easier to inflate tires, and to blow debris out of small spaces that you can’t reach into. A compressor is a very versatile tool!
Tools to Rent
Again, depending upon the amount of work you do around your home, you need to consider how often these tools would be used. If you would only use them once a year, or even once in a lifetime, it is probably more cost-effective and space-efficient to rent:
Rototiller – Most homeowners only need to make use of a rototiller once a year, in the spring when it is time to turn the soil in the garden, or to break sod for a new garden. Tillers are expensive and a heavy-duty one takes up a lot of space, so if you don’t need one any other time of the year, it may make more sense to rent one for $100.00.
Tile Saw – Once you finish tiling the floor in your kitchen or bathroom, will you be cutting tile ever again? Unless you have a list of tile projects waiting to be done, this tool is probably best as a rental. Tile saws can be fairly inexpensive, so it may seem just as easy to buy one, but the inexpensive saws may not have good quality construction or blades, and may not cut accurately. For about the same amount of money, you can rent a saw of higher quality to complete your job and do it well.
Reciprocating Saw – Unless you are gutting rooms, installing kitchens and bathrooms, or adding skylights on a regular basis, you probably do not need to own a reciprocating saw. For basic home repairs, building a shed, replacing trim or flooring, a circular saw and/or a table saw should do the trick. If you have a more heavy duty project once in a while, rent a reciprocating saw then.
Flooring Nailer – This is a very job-specific tool. Once you are finished installing your floors, you are finished with this tool. Unless you routinely do a lot of flooring, this is a tool that you can live without owning. A good quality flooring nailer can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can rent one for about $50.00 a day.
Of course, there are many more tools to ponder in the “to buy or to rent” debate when home improvement time is upon you. Just remember to think about how much you will use the tool, and if the answer is “only once”, it is probably best to rent. Think about which tools you will reach for again and again; those are the ones to buy.