The Bottom Line: Is it Better To Rent Or Buy?

The next time you need equipment for a job, ask yourself the following five questions to find out if buying or renting is the better decision

September 29, 2016
Makita chainsaw

As a contractor, you and your team need to have the right equipment for whatever the job entails. While growing your tool box is the best case scenario, it doesn’t always make financial sense to purchase every possible piece of equipment. Buying naturally seems like the better investment, but there are a variety of factors to consider to see if renting tools and machinery makes the most sense for your business.

The next time you need equipment for a job, ask yourself the following five questions to find out if buying or renting is the better decision.

How often will the equipment be used?

Utilization is a primary factor to find out if it purchasing a product is worth the cost. Consider how often you and your team will be using a piece of equipment. If you need a piece of equipment like a Makita Rotary Hammer but are only going to use it a handful of times, renting might be the best option.

How many of the same tool do you need at one time?

More than one tool may be needed at different jobsites on the same day. If you own one tool but need a second, consider renting the other one, especially if it’s not a common item for your team. Also think through whether duplicate tools will speed up project completion and whether the rental cost is worth it.

Will it be easy to maintain?

Maintenance costs should be considered when thinking about purchasing a new piece of equipment. For some tools, the cost of maintenance alone on an item like a powerful chainsaw could be more than what you are paying for a week of rental use. In addition, think through the costs of lost time dealing with products that need to be repaired. Don’t lose time or money by having a member of your staff or a professional repair equipment. Renting from programs like The Home Depot’s Tool Rental Center gives you access to tools that are regularly maintained by experts. 

Where will the equipment be stored?

The availability of storage space is an important factor to consider when deciding to rent versus buy. Look at the tool size and think about how this will fit in your current storage. If the job requires a large piece of equipment, you should consider where you will keep it after that particular job is done. Renting might make the most sense for the big stuff, so you don’t need to make an extra investment in storage options.

How challenging will it be to transport?

Think through how much effort will need to be placed into the transportation of the equipment to, from and on the jobsite. If a specific tool or machine is difficult to move, such as a Makita 70 Pound Breaker Hammer, consider renting the tool and a truck to provide smooth and safe transportation. This will also avoid putting a major toll on your current vehicles.

Consider price, maintenance, storage and transportation when deciding if buying or renting it best for you. Whether it is more cost effective to buy or rent, make sure you think through all the factors to find the right fit for your business needs.

Senior Tool Rental Merchant

Tony has worked in the capital equipment manufacturing and equipment rental industries for nearly 20 years, with extensive experienced gained at Ingersoll-Rand, Sunbelt Rentals, and The Home Depot.


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