10 Tools You Should Rent Instead of Buying

hands using spray paint with plastic gloves to paint window shutters

It’s easy to fill a garage or basement with a slew of tools to help you get all of your DIY jobs done, but not all tools need to be purchased. Consider the amount of space that storing things takes up, not to mention the time that proper maintenance and cleaning takes, even when the item isn’t in use. It may be more economic in the long run, as well. Here are ten tools that you should consider renting instead of buying.

1. Hammer Drill

drilling brick

This kind of drill isn’t needed for your regular, everyday DIY jobs. A standard drill and/ or impact driver combo set is perfect for most renovation needs. What differentiates the hammer drill from the others is its strength and ability–it’s specifically made for high-impact drilling through various forms of masonry, like bricks and concrete. It rotates like a regular drill, but has an extra “hammering” motion to really drive screws or drill bits into hard surfaces. Most projects don’t require this kind of power, so renting it out at $40 a day may be easier on the wallet than buying one, depending on how often you do this kind of work.

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2. Demolition Hammer/Jackhammer

worker breaking interior wall with demolition hammer

If you need to break up concrete, or demo tiles, bricks, and other masonry, you need the power of a jackhammer or demolition hammer. Renting one of these bad-boys for $60/ day is a lot more cost-effective than buying one for $400. A hammer drill with a demolition bit won’t be able to handle “demolition” jobs, and will end up wearing out the tool. For breaking up large areas, spend the extra money on renting the proper tool—and remember to wear the proper safety gear!

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3. Orbital or Drum Sander

drum sander sanding curved wood

Refinishing old floors in your home is a lot cheaper if you DIY, and it’s a no-brainer to rent an orbital or drum sander to get you started. This large sander takes the top layer off of wood floors so that you can re-stain and polish them to their former beauty. These machines are expensive to buy; even used ones could cost anywhere from $800-$2000 (orbital sanders are slightly cheaper than drum sanders) whereas a daily rental is $65, or $250 for the week.

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4. Floor Stripper

carpet stripping machine

A floor stripper is different from a drum sander, and used to remove that incredibly frustrating vinyl, laminate, carpet, or any flooring that’s been glued down. The electric floor scraper will save you a lot of time and effort, and possibly even save you from having a project meltdown. The powerful vibrating steel can be rented for $45 for four hours or around $80 for the full day. Well worth it, especially considering purchasing one can be a major investment.

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5. Flooring Nailer

person hammering flooring in with nail machine

Flooring nailers and staplers are another essential flooring tool if you are laying new hardwood floors yourself. A one-day rental at $45 is usually enough to get the job done, and even two-day use will be cheaper than buying a new one at $200-$400. Flooring equipment in general is usually a one time use for the DIYer, so best to rent what you need during the entire process. No one needs a slew of flooring equipment taking up space in their garage.

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6. Power Auger

power auger digging and drilling hole

A power auger can replace a manual post-hole digger and make easy work of digging holes – especially ones with rocks and roots throughout the soil. Great for building fences with more than a few posts to install, this giant corkscrew is more about saving time, which can turn into money if you are paying for labor. It’s not expensive to rent, either, at around $70 a day.

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7. Tile Cutter/Saw

gloved hands sawing tile with cutting machine

For most homeowners, there’s no need to own their own tile cutting equipment. Small wet saws and manual tile cutters are fairly cheap to purchase, but it’s not worth it for one or two jobs around the house. A manual cutter at $30 a day is all you need for a backsplash or even a small floor job. For intricate or bigger jobs like a kitchen floor or bathroom surround, you may want a large wet saw which rents for $70/ day or $280 for the week. Bought new, a good manual cutter is around $150-$300 and the cheapest heavy-duty wet saw starts at $350.

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8. Lawn Tiller

tilling machine in yard

A lawn tiller is great when you need to dig up your lawn or garden to improve soil quality or start a new growing surface. Most homeowners won’t be doing this on a regular basis, so if you do find yourself needing this equipment, renting is the way to go. The machine can cost thousands of dollars up front, or $100 a day. Ask landscaping companies if they have any to rent out, and compare with hardware store rental prices.

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9. Paint Sprayer

man spray painting fence

There are certain jobs that a sprayer makes a lot of sense to use, especially painting or staining outdoor fences, decks, and siding, or new doors and trim before installation. If it isn’t something you are doing regularly, a good quality paint sprayer rented at $60 a day will cut down your paint time by at least half, if not more. Inquire with professional paint companies if they rent out their equipment, and get them to show you how to use it properly.

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10. Pressure Washer

man power washing wooden deck

Owning a pressure washer is fairly common for a lot of home-owners, since they are handy for cleaning virtually any outdoor surface. You can use them on fences, decks, siding, and even automobiles and campers. Decent electric models start around $200, and gas ones are a little bit more expensive, starting around $300. You get what you pay for, of course, and renting one on a yearly basis for $35/ day may be more your style, especially if you don’t have the space to store and maintain this medium-sized machine.

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The vast array of tools out there to make your life easier is endless. Before tackling your next big DIY job, do a little research to see if there’s a tool to help get the job done easier and faster—perhaps there are some you don’t even know about. Call the pros to see what they use. A quick call or search on any hardware website will let you know what the cost of a rental is. This little bit of reconnaissance work may save you time, money, and labor in the end, and keep your shed free of tools you hardly used.

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