Asked and Answered: These Are the Most Popular Tools and Equipment That Consumers Rent vs. Buy

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Renting equipment for home improvement projects can be a smart move. It’s both cost-effective and more practical than buying new, especially for tools you'll rarely use. Plus, a short-term rental means you'll get modern equipment that has been well-maintained, along with extra accessories and features that are most appealing.

We're often surprised by how many different tools and pieces of rental equipment are available, and yes, (raises hand) we have been guilty of forgetting to check the rental pricing before buying a new, specialty tool for a project. That's why we asked The Home Depot for insights into their most popular rentals. We were surprised to learn that it's not about earthmoving equipment, scissor lift rentals, or lawn equipment; most consumers get the best value from the equipment rental industry when looking to use an assortment of tools used for everyday cleaning, demo, and digging.

Benefits of Renting Equipment vs. Buying

"Rental rates are a fraction of the tool’s actual cost, especially for some of our popular tools like pressure washers and carpet cleaners," shares Tony English, Senior Director of Merchandising for The Home Depot Rental. "If you look at the ROI, you must use the tool you bought many times to recoup the purchase price. And sometimes you may only be using that tool once for a specific project. With a rental tool, you are only paying for that single use."

He adds, "Not only is renting less expensive, but the tools we have available for rent at The Home Depot are high-quality equipment. We buy the most reliable tools from the best brands in each category. That means that renters can access a wide range of equipment options that are high-performing and with more features. In many cases, they can rent a higher-performing tool than they can afford, creating ease of use and project efficiencies."

The Home Depot Rental’s Top Tool Rentals

1. Carpet Cleaner

Deep carpet cleaning effectively eliminates dirt, stains, and odors embedded in your carpet. This process usually involves water, detergent, and powerful brush heads that penetrate deep into carpet fibers, removing grime and ground-in dirt missed by standard vacuuming.

Why Rent: Regular cleaning can prolong your carpet's life and improve indoor air quality by removing allergens, bacteria, and mold.

2. Pressure Washer

Pressure washers use a gas engine or electric motor to drive a pump that expels water at high pressure through a focused nozzle. This power tool rental delivers powerful stream that effectively removes built-up grime from surfaces like decks, driveways, and patios, leaving them clean and refreshed.

Why Rent: "It’s like a supercharged water hose that can erase months or even years of stains with a brief blast," describes English. "It's perfect for cleaning your concrete, decking, walkways, and more."

Related: 10 Lawn Care Chores You Can Do Now That it’s Spring

3. Breaker

A breaker is used to break down hard materials like concrete, masonry, rock, or paving. It combines a chisel with a hammering action, delivering intense force to a small area at the chisel's tip, effectively shattering sturdy surfaces.

Why Rent: Ideal for projects that require demolishing concrete walls or breaking up sidewalks. A demolition breaker provides high-impact performance to get the planned project done efficiently.

4. One-Man Auger

A one-man auger is a versatile tool crafted for excavating holes in soil or clay. With the capacity to dig holes up to 3 feet deep, it's perfect for residential and smaller-scale landscaping projects that wouldn't require a backhoe rental.

Why Rent: This auger outperforms manual post-hole diggers or shovels, making tasks like installing fence posts, planting trees, or creating holes for decks faster and simpler.

5. Drum Floor Sander

A drum floor sander is a substantial, vertical device that revolves a broad sandpaper sleeve around a cylindrical drum, akin to a belt sander. It's unmatched in power for sanding hardwood floors and can efficiently sand a wide range of hardwood types, from softwoods like pine to hardwoods like mahogany.

Why Rent: "It’s highly efficient and versatile for hardwood maintenance, making refinishing your decks or living room floors an easy process," notes English. "You’ll be able to remove paint, varnish, or discoloration. And can even level uneven floors."

6. Drain Cleaner

A drain cleaner is your go-to solution for clearing clogs in sinks, toilets, and showers. It can break through grease, hair, and other debris, preventing backups and the risk of pipes freezing or bursting.

Why Rent: Plumbers are busy people. Sometimes they can’t get to your house quickly to unblock a clog. It’s easy enough to do it yourself with a simple tool rental.

Related: How Does Your Landscaping Influence Home Security?

7. Vibratory Plate Compactor

A vibratory plate compactor is essential for compacting granular materials like sand and gravel. Its rapid up-and-down vibration consolidates these substances, creating a solid foundation for construction, infrastructure, and landscaping ventures.

Why Rent: Perfect for expediting smaller projects such as interlocking paving stones, trenchers, landscaping, and maintenance, its use enhances soil stability, fortifies structures, and mitigates settling issues. For smaller projects, getting it for a one-day period goes a long way.

8. Paint Sprayer

A paint sprayer coats surfaces by dispersing paint in a fine mist, supplanting the traditional brush or roller technique. This method ensures swift and uniform coverage on walls, fences, decks, and more.

Why Rent: Ideal for small-scale projects requiring up to one gallon of paint, it offers a professional finish efficiently and effectively.

9. Mini Skid Steer

A mini skid steer is a compact and adaptable machine crafted for navigating tight spaces and streamlining material handling tasks. With its ability to accommodate various attachments, it's perfect for landscaping, tree care, and more.

Why Rent: "It makes landscaping your yard a one-man job and much more efficient You’ll be able to move soil, sand, trees, or even rocks in large quantities," notes English.

10. Dump Trailer

A dump trailer is a hauling solution equipped with a hydraulic system that enables swift and efficient unloading. Its tilting trailer bed facilitates the easy discharge of materials, making it a convenient option for transporting various loads. Whether it's gravel, debris, or other materials, the dump trailer ensures quick and efficient unloading, saving time and effort.

Why Rent: A dump trailer simplifies any DIY project, making it a one-man job. You can use it for demolition removal, yard maintenance, carrying landscaping materials, and hauling aggregate.

11. Trenchers

A trencher is a piece of specialty equipment designed for excavating trenches in the ground, available in walk-behind or ride-on models. It's frequently employed for digging trenches for electrical wiring and irrigation systems.

Why Rent: Whether installing an electric fence or a sprinkler system, renting a trencher ensures faster completion of the task without relying on manual labor. Plus, it's less expensive than most mini excavator alternatives.

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