September 21, 2007, Newsletter Issue #42: Rent Before You Buy

Tip of the Week

When you start building a tool kit, it's easy to accumulate the simple things: hammers, power saws, power drills, sanders, and other basic items. When it comes time for more advanced projects, you may be unsure whether the investment is right for you. You might need a ceramic tile saw for this particular project, but will you need it again soon? If you have a temporary need for a specialized tool, consider renting instead of buying. You will get the advantage of taking a test drive with the power tool, without the financial commitment. Whenever possible, it's good to get an experienced friend to help you get up to speed with the rental power tool you are working with, your "training time" will go much faster than learning on your own.

When renting power tools, be sure to give yourself enough time in the rental agreement to get familiar with the new power tool before trying to use it in your project. Trying to do the task at hand with a piece of hardware you aren't familiar with is a recipe for disaster, especially with a rental time limit hanging over your head. The best strategy is to rent for at least two days more than you think you need to complete the project, which gives you extra time to develop your expertise with the power tool before launching into the actual work.

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