There were four questions that I always asked myself:
- Can I find a place to rent it?
- What’s the fully loaded rental cost vs purchasing?
- How long do I need the tool?
- Can I resell the tool?
Can I find a place to rent it? This was the most important.
Not all rental places are created equal – some allow reservations and some, like big box stores, are first-come first-serve (which can make scheduling hellish). I used R&R Rentals in my area for everything (even for our parties).
What’s the fully loaded rental cost vs. purchasing?
Do you best to get the full cost upon return when renting. Ask if equipment protection is required, is there a restocking fee, do they deliver (how much) or can you pickup/return the item, do they charge for wear and tear, do you have to supply your own bits/blades, etc, do they charge for Sunday’s even though they may be closed, etc.?
Also ask yourself, what quality of tool is needed for the job? Rental places may have a tool that’s bigger and badder than what you need to get the job done – you should be cost comparing the tool you need vs. what the rental place has.
How long do you need the tool?
Projects take longer than you think. We often looked at weekends and thought we had a good 16 hours of work time and where lucky if we got 8 hours (we have two kids and life still goes on outside of the project). This could add additional rental cost time that should be factored into the cost. Also keep in mind that you might love it so much that you want to find something else to use it on.
Can you resell it?
Many tools you purchase can be resold – it can also be a good place to start looking for toys… um, tools, that are new to you.