Do More DIY: The Best Tools to Rent

You can save time, work and money by renting the best variety of tools.

| June/July 2007

Tool-rental services offer thousands of great tools and machines. You can rent just about any power tool that exists, take on big projects and avoid the burden of maintaining and storing a tool you may need only once or twice a year.

Rental rates vary widely, but you can rent many tools for $20 to $50 a day, although large equipment may cost considerably more. For example, an electric concrete mixer might cost $50 a day to rent, while a skid-steer loader will cost closer to $200 a day. Whether to buy or rent a particular tool usually hinges on two factors: cost and frequency of use. If your rental fees would pay for the purchase of the tool or machine in a year or two, then it probably makes sense to buy the item upfront. If not, rent it!

Renting tools gives you access to an entire universe of expensive equipment usually owned only by professionals. Here are just a few of the handiest tools you can rent.

Home Improvement

Reciprocating saw. This tool is ideal for any kind of demolition work. A reciprocating (recip) saw slices through plastic, pipes and nail-embedded wood. Nowadays you’ll find powerful 28- and 36-volt cordless recip saws that are convenient to use when you’re working far from an electric outlet or in wet locations where a corded tool might be hazardous.

If your cutting area is unobstructed, then a one-piece recip saw will work fine. But if you’re working in close quarters, then look for a professional-grade articulated recip saw. These saws’ swiveling bodies allow them to bend at different angles, so you can configure the saw to cut around obstructions. Recip saw blades are expendable, so plan to buy several replacements when you rent the tool.

Concrete mixer/mortar mixer. Both kinds of mixers perform similar tasks, but to choose the appropriate one you need to know the difference between concrete and mortar. Concrete is a mixture of sand, cement, water and crushed stone. It’s often used as a stand-alone building material that’s poured into forms made of wood, metal or foam. Mortar is just sand, cement and water. It’s used to bond brick, blocks or stone.

4/21/2015 5:21:14 PM

My dad has a reciprocating saw that we used a lot while I was growing up. Now that I'm on my own, I realize how useful of a tool it is. I've rented one a few times, but I feel that it's on the list of things that I want to buy to add to my tool collection.

3/30/2015 4:26:32 PM

This is a great list. Most people won't ever use a concrete mixer more than once. If you don't have a friend that owns one, that's a perfect piece of equipment to rent. It's big, bulky, but extremely important for certain jobs. Thanks for this list, it's very helpful.

2/13/2015 3:56:28 PM

I chose to rent our companies heavy equipment for a few different reasons. the biggest of all was the cost to own the equipment. This article was a big help in the decision, so thank you.

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