Rental Tools

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I’ve had a fair amount of experience renting tools in my life.  Not huge, but enough to realize the in-and-outs of the business.

And here’s the deal, don’t rent anything from a place that isn’t a tool rental business.  That means, skip Home Depot, and such, if at all possible.   Their tools usually cause more anxiety than the accomplishment of your task.

It’s not like the Home Depots of the world don’t have good tools to rent.  It is that they have no ability to keep the tools working properly.  Every tool I’ve ever rented from them, I repair before I can use it.  Plus, if it has a blade of any kind, the blade is always duller than shit.  Case in point.

I had to rent a sewer auger a couple of nights ago, later in the evening.  All the “real rental” places were closed, so Kris and I drove out to Home Depot to rent a one.  It was around $60 bucks for 4 hours.  We loaded the auger into the car and were back home and were at it pretty quickly.

But, that is when the fun started.  The tool was a POS.  The belt was so loose that the auger wouldn’t spin.  There was a way to move the motor up and down, to adjust the belt, but someone had screwed with the bolt and it wasn’t there, just some threads and a nut on them.

We finally got the thing sort of working, but when it was out around 80 feet in the sewer, the resistance was too much and it bogged down.  Eventually, we were having to spin the thing with our hands, propelling it manually.

The ordeal kept going.  It took forever to get the thing out of the clean out.  It was spinning so slowly, I was pretty much just yanking it out of the drain.  I was wasted.

I’ve used sewer augers lots of times with no problems.  This was a tool issue.

When I returned the thing I told the lady at the rental counter the issue.  She told me that it wasn’t an automatic auger and “of course” you have to use it manually.  I asked her what the motor was for then.  She looked at me quizzically, not understanding what I was saying.  I told her someone should look the tool over before she rented it again.   She put it back into its slot, waiting for the next idiot.


I rented the 1 inch model on the left.  Just wait until a real tool rental store is open if you can.



6 thoughts on “Rental Tools

  1. Noel

    Is this a stock photo or did you actually take his picture before ragging on his business? You are right about their rentals. You at least had your tools handy. I had to piece back together a one of their roto-tillers at a community garden site with a pair of pliers from a multi-tool and my McGyver knife.

  2. peter k

    when I need heavy equipment tools that I don’t own I go to Sunbelt Rentals. They are a national company and maintain their equipment. I rented a bulldozer from them once. They delivered it, gave me the basics of operation and I was on my way. 200 hundred stumps removed in 6 hours. It was a blast to operate.

  3. James B

    I had that exact experience from Home Depot. I rented a sewer auger (because the “professional” rental store was closed) that was in such a poor state of repair it failed to even feed or turn the snake. I spent more time doing repairs and maintenance to this auger than actually cleaning my drain.
    On a positive note, Hope Depot did not charge me for the rental and they gave me a free credit towards a future rental.
    Good luck with those pipes.

  4. Jackie Gammon

    Although many folks will disagree with me here, I never rent/buy from a chain like Home Depot etc… It isn’t as though some of their employees could not maintain their equipment… it simply it not important to the company. I think many big chains assume that folks don’t know how to either use equipment, install materials or whatever it is someone is trying to do. The reality is this: they do not care about service… and I may be a bit ‘old school’ but that is one of my priorities whether I’m renting or purchasing.

  5. Bill Stevenson

    Why rent from Home Depot??? Just buy a new tool, use it and then return it for a full refund with some lame excuse. I have seen that more than a few times. Not that I would do it.

    I was at Home Depot once returning some small thing that I did not need. There was a guy returning a wet saw. When the associate asked the customer the reason for the return some guy in line piped out with “He already did the job, he doesn’t need it anymore.”

  6. WC

    Every homeowner should have their own drain cleaner. Use it three times and it has paid for itself. Look over the equipment before you leave with it, regardless of where you rented it. You would have found the loose belt and they could have given you another one. Life isn’t difficult but some of us choose to make it so.


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