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Tool Libraries Are the Smartest Way to Save Money on DIY Projects
If you’re diving into DIY home repairs or building projects, the cost of tools can be prohibitive. That’s when a tool library can come in handy, especially if you’re looking to use a tool once for a specific project or if you’d like to test drive a type of tool before investing in your own. Rather than buying or renting, you can borrow tools, sometimes with a fee, and save yourself a lot more money than buying them all outright.
Where to find a tool library or toolshare
Tool libraries can be community organizations, neighborhood groups, or actual local libraries that have tools to lend out. Some of these toolshares charge a flat rate for membership, some charge a fee per tool, and some are totally free. A quick Google search should offer you the options in your area, just make sure to check rates and compare with the going price for the tools you need to make sure it’s worth it.
Sometimes social media sites will also have toolshare groups for neighborhoods, so you can check those as well. If you don’t already have a local source for toolsharing, you can start your own if you have a few neighbors who are into DIY projects. It’s simple to set up a social media group for sharing tools and equipment and it will save you all some money.
How much does toolsharing usually cost?
The fees charged by tool libraries are low compared to the cost of buying new tools. Memberships can range from completely free to about $200/year, though if you have long term, repeated need for a particular tool, it’s probably time to invest in your own.
While the tools are generally cheap or free to use, there are some costs associated with tools that use expendables like nail guns or powered sanders. Usually a lending service will only lend you the tool, so you’ll need to provide your own sandpaper and nails. In spite of some fees and materials costs, libraries will save you lots of money, especially on power tools and equipment.
Tool libraries are more sustainable
Rather than buying cheaper versions of tools that you only intend to use once and then discarding them, a tool library allows you to access higher-quality tools that will be used many times before they are thrown away. If you’re looking for ways to make your DIY projects more sustainable, consider using tool libraries as a way to keep more garbage out of the landfill. If you have some tools you aren’t using, or if you’re cleaning out the garage, you can consider donating to a tool library as well to help others gain access to the equipment they need and keep tools from ending up in a landfill.
Tool borrowing etiquette
The general rule in borrowing a tool is to return it in as good or better condition than you received it. Since others will also need to use the tool, make sure that you properly care for and properly store anything you use. Make sure that you follow any instructions about oiling, cleaning, and maintaining a tool so you don’t inadvertently cause any damage. And if the tool doesn’t come with a manual, just find one online. Still, most tool libraries won’t charge you for normal wear and tear.
Just do your community a favor my making sure to return the tools on time. Some tool libraries have a policy of not allowing you to borrow from them again if you’re always late; plus, it’s just rude.
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