When Should Weekend Warriors Buy Tools and Equipment Vs. Renting?

Even if you’re not watching your budget (unlikely these days), there are still times when renting makes more sense.

As you plan your next home DIY project, make a list of the tools and equipment you’ll need and when you’ll need them. After all, you don’t want to spend most of a weekend tracking down these things when you should be working on the project.

If you already own everything, great. If you don’t, you’ll have to decide whether to rent or buy.

When making that decision, ask yourself how often you’ll be using the tool or piece or equipment after the current project is over. Does your answer justify the purchase? “Today’s Homeowner” suggests that you consider renting if you won’t be using it again in the next six months.

Also consider the quality of the tool or equipment you’re planning to use. There’s often a big difference between the professional-grade items available to rent and what’s available for the DIYer to buy, and sometimes that difference really matters.

Then there’s storage space to consider. Remember, anything you buy must be stored. It also needs to be maintained. Are you willing to do the work?

If you’ll be using the tool or equipment often, it probably makes sense to buy it if you can afford to. But specialty tools and equipment — especially big, expensive kind — may not belong in your workshop or garage. “Popular Mechanics” lists eight types of tools DIYers should probably rent instead of buy: rotary hammer, tiller, paint sprayer, diamond saw blade, motorized drain auger and hardwood flooring tools.

Whether you rent or buy, having the right tools and equipment for the job can make your project easier, safer, faster, and a whole lot more fun.