Some useful tips when hiring tools

Published 04/04/2012 | 11:44

WHY HIRE?

If you're into Do It Yourself (DIY), then you're more than likely to already own a basic toolkit, or even have a shed in the back garden. Most of us have at least a set of screwdrivers, pliers or wire strippers in a kitchen drawer, along with pair of old scissors and the instructions for the microwave oven.

But what if you happen to need a Rotovator or a Floor Belt Sander? Specialised tools such as these are not usually found in the average home toolbox.

On the other hand, the right tool for the right job makes all the difference in DIY.

Unfortunately, most of these tools are quite pricey, and you're only likely to need them once or twice, so buying them is not usually an option. It makes more sense to call a Tool Hire Company.

EXPERT ADVICE AND VERSATILITY

Not only is it far cheaper to hire specialised tools than to buy them, a good Tool Hire company will provide advice on how to use the machine and can offer valuable suggestions on the best tool for the job (Honestly, how many of us even know what a Rotovator is, let alone how to use it? But, it might just be your best option).

Tool Hire companies offer much more than hires, they can also train you on the use of the equipment and will provide safety precautions and protective gear. Tool Hire Centres are also much more versatile than you would think: For example, you could hire anything from folding chairs to barbecue grills to patio heaters for your next family gathering. Some larger companies will even lend you a Portaloo, should you need one!

RATES

Prices vary greatly depending on the type of tool you wish to hire. However, all tools are usually hired out on a daily, weekend or weekly basis, plus an additional refundable deposit.

Make sure your Hire Centre lists all these possible schemes, so you can choose which one is more convenient for you.

Most of the time, it makes more sense to hire on a weekend rather than a daily basis, but only if you're sure you can finish the job in this time. Here's a case study with actual prices:

The case of the Wallpaper Stripper

So you've decided to change the wallpaper. You know it saves time and heartache to have everything you might need before you start, and all that's left to do now is to decide whether to hire or to buy a Wallpaper Stripper, the right tool for this particular job.

Sensibly, you decide you would rather hire one, since a Wallpaper Stripper is not a tool you're likely to use very often and would only take up storage space.

Your local Tool Centre offers to rent you a good one for €14.30 over the weekend, or €19.10 over one whole week. You choose the weekend scheme, thinking it should be enough time to finish the job.

However, complications arise and you end up keeping the tool until the following Wednesday, thus adding three 24-hour periods to your account (at €11.45 each). Total cost: €37.20, almost double what you would have paid if you had rented it over a weeklong period!

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY

Hiring is a good idea if you do not wish to keep a tool after you have used it. However, it helps if you are sure how long you will take to finish the job. If in doubt, hiring for a week will usually be much cheaper than adding on extra days!

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