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Power Tools – What to Rent and What to Buy


Photo credit: ArturoYee / Flickr


DIY season is upon you. When you consider the best tools you need for your home improvement jobs, cost should always play a factor in your decision.

The good news is that you do not need a huge selection of tools or a lot of space to store them to complete a variety of jobs. You just need to discern what power tools you should buy, and which ones are best taken as a rental.

The Basics You Need

No matter how much space you have, your budget and what you want to do, you have to buy a few basic tools. Mark Clement of MyFixItUpLife told DIYlife that a cordless drill is at the top of the list. Cordless drills are endlessly versatile, allowing you to put in drywall screws or drill holes of varying widths.

An 18-volt cordless drill will cover most of your needs. And, some brands such as Ryobi have interchangeable batteries for a number of different tools.

The Best Saw For the Job

There are so many saws to choose from. Clement, in his interview with DIYlife, said that the best saws to own are small or portable. For example, he thinks that your wisest purchases include a 7.25” circular saw, a portable table saw and a miter saw.

The circular saw can cut in tight areas, just as the miter saw allows you the ability to do really intricate work. Then, you have the table saw for bigger jobs. But, getting a table saw that moves allows you to take it wherever you need it. Other saws and saw tools, from the reciprocating saw to diamond saw blades, are better to rent. Clement notes that reciprocating saws are for the really big jobs that most homeowners do rarely.

And, Popular Mechanics reports that diamond saw blades present such a crap-shoot in quality that renting a better blade is usually the better choice.

Tools For Quick Jobs

These days, many power tools are readily accessible for the average homeowner. But, that does not mean you need to buy them. Whenever you are considering buying a tool, ask yourself how often you need to use it. For example, Paul Phelon, owner of a tool rental center, told Popular Mechanics that tile saws are fairly inexpensive, at around $50 for the cheapest models.

That is why a lot of people think it is best to buy them. But, if you buy a cheap tile saw, it may not cut your tile very accurately. Instead, you should be able to rent a high-quality model for a day for about the same price. And, if you only need the saw for a few days, you will get a better return on your investment that way.

Getting Your Garden Going

If you have a lawn that you maintain, you obviously need to purchase a lawnmower. But, beyond that, you do not need a farm’s worth of yard tools to have a nice outdoor landscape. Phelon said that most people have a hard time recouping their investment in expensive yard equipment other than a lawnmower.

For example, Phelon rents out a $5,000 tiller for $90-$100 a day, which he notes should be more than enough for the average person.

You want to have the right power tools for the job, but you do not need to buy them all. If you buy what you will use all the time and reserve renting for the big, short-term jobs, you will get better output from your equipment and save money in the long run.