Most people will have a screwdriver in the top drawer or a hammer or two. You may even be lucky enough to have a full toolkit with electric drills and a circular saw. But the chances are that you don't have a belt sander handy just when you need one. Unless you are in that particular trade, large and bulky tools are usually best hired for the duration you need them. The average person simply will not get their money's worth.
Of course getting the best tools for the job can make the difference between a a job well done and a poor DIY attempt. You will save yourself time and money by making sure you have the best tools for the the job you are doing.
Tool hire companies have a huge range of tools available for you to hire, for anything from one day to several weeks. They can also offer you great advice on how to use the tools and the best way to achieve the results you want.
When to hire and when to buy
This is purely an issue of price divided by the number of uses. If you think you will get more than a few uses from your tool or is quite a cheap item then by all means buy it. If the right tool is quite expensive, difficult to store and will only be used once then you should always hire. If you find that diamond drilling (for example) is your thing, then you have the experience and can buy after you have tried.
Getting the right advice
One of the advantages of hiring tools from a tool hire company is that their staff are usually fairly knowledgeable about their equipment. They should be able to give you a run down of how it is used and will provide full instructions with your item. If protective equipment is required for using the tool you have hired then that should be included as part of the hire package. Take all of the expert advice you can because if you make a mistake and hurt yourself, the hire company cannot take responsibility.
Keeping the equipment safe
It is essential that you have the right insurance in place for the hiring of any tools. Check your home insurance to see if the tool will be covered. If not, most hire companies will offer insurance cover for loss or damage to their equipment. Sometimes insurance may be compulsory, particularly for large pieces of equipment. However it is worth noting that many of these insurance agreements do not cover the equipment for loss by theft. So keep all hired tools under lock and key unless you want a really big bill.
How much will it cost?
This will depend obviously on how long you take the equipment for. You will usually be expected to put down a deposit which will be returned when the tool is returned in good working order and without damage. Of course, all hire companies will charge different amounts but a general rule seems to be that small tools such as woodworking items will cost around £40-£50 for one week. Larger items such as a garden shredder may cost as much as £70 for a weekend. Don't forget that you may need to add VAT and will need to pay the deposit and any required insurances.