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If your next DIY project calls for power tools, heavy lifting equipment, or anything in between — and you don’t want to pay full price for it — then you need to be thinking about tool rental from The Home Depot and Lowe’s, among others.
I saved $120 when I rented a carpet cleaner from Menards instead of paying for a professional carpet cleaning service — and stores such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and AutoZone offer similar savings for whatever kind of job you’re taking on.
Depending on the project, what kind of tools you’ll need, and how long you’ll need your rentals, the best place to shop could be any one of those stores. Let’s get into the details about the pros and cons of each!
1. Reserve tool rentals in advance online at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and AutoZone.
Out of the five stores we’ve mentioned so far, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and AutoZone are the only ones that give customers the ability to reserve rental tools online.
If you can wait, AutoZone will ship tool rentals straight to your door for free if they’re not already in stock at your local store. Otherwise, they have same-day pickup just like the other two stores.
The caveat with all of these places, though, is that you’ll be dependent on what each store has in terms of availability. If you can, try to plan ahead. I’ve had the best luck finding what I want by making reservations a few weeks before I need them.
Related: Find out what other things you can rent to save money.
2. Find the widest selection of tool rentals at The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
If your job is going to require large equipment, chances are good that you’ll need to stop by The Home Depot or Lowe’s for your tool rental. They’re the only stores with a reliable inventory of equipment like trenchers ($219 for one day at The Home Depot, $180 at Lowe’s), tractors ($319 for one day at The Home Depot, $299 at Lowe’s), and excavators ($309 for one day at The Home Depot, $289 at Lowe’s).
The only rental tools I haven’t found at The Home Depot and Lowe’s are auto repair tools.
TIP: Ace Hardware may have this equipment for rent, too, but because each store is independently owned, it’s difficult to draw any conclusions without contacting your store manager.
As always, stay on top of the best tool deals and sales by downloading The Krazy Coupon Lady app and favoriting your go-to home improvement stores.
3. Get a tool rental from Menards to save cash.
Menards is the first place worth checking out if you want to save money on your tool rental. Granted, they have a smaller collection of tool rentals, and you can’t find Menards in as many places as Lowe’s or The Home Depot. But if you have one and they’ve got what you need, their tool rentals tend to be cheaper.
Menards doesn’t allow you to place a reservation online, though. Instead, you’ll want to look at their equipment and rates info sheet and call your local store to check their availability. You’ll need an ID and a credit card.
Here’s how to rent tools at Menard’s once you’re in the store:
- Choose your tool from the Rental Center.
- Head to the Service Desk for checkout.
- Once you’ve checked out your rental, an employee will help you load it into your car (if necessary).
- Return rentals to the Service Desk.
4. Lowe’s tool rentals tend to be cheaper than The Home Depot’s.
Between The Home Depot and Lowe’s, it’s definitely a mixed bag when it comes to the most affordable rates. In general, Lowe’s is cheaper, but the price difference might be negligible for shorter rentals — depending on the item.
The price differences start getting dramatic if you’re renting for four weeks, though. If I’m renting for that long, Lowe’s is the only option I’ll consider — it’s oftentimes $100+ cheaper for 4-week rentals than it is at The Home Depot.
Check out the price comparison:
|Tool||Store||4-Hour Rental||Per Day Rental||Per Week Rental||Per 4-week rental|
|Rear Bag Self-Propelled Mower||Lowe’s
The Home Depot
|16″ Gas Chainsaw||Lowe’s
The Home Depot
|Electric Cement Mixer 6.0 cubic feet||Lowe’s
The Home Depot
|20-Volt Paint Sprayer||Lowe’s
The Home Depot
Now, that’s not to say you should be renting anything for as long as four weeks. Some rentals might be worth it to keep them that long, but some tools are just going to be cheaper to buy and own rather than renting them for an entire month.
5. Get your auto tool rentals for free from AutoZone.
AutoZone’s Loan-A-Tool program is, in the long run, free. Yes, you do have to pay full price for your rental up front, but upon return, you’ll receive a full refund.
Plus, AutoZone’s rental period is 90 days, which makes it the longest rental period offered from any store that I included in this breakdown.
And if you miss your 90-day window, don’t stress. You can still return the tool for store credit, or you can just go ahead and keep it. Your choice.
6. Ace Hardware is hit or miss for tool rentals.
Ace Hardware locations are independently owned, so inventory and pricing are varied. They might have what you need at a great price. Or a terrible price. Or not have it at all.
You’re going to have to ask your local store to find out.
7. Rental trucks are cheapest at Lowe’s and most expensive at Menards.
Between Lowe’s, Menards, and The Home Depot truck rentals, one is definitely the clear winner. Let me break it down for you:
- Menards gives you the first 75 minutes for $18.95, but every 15 minutes after that is $5, adding up to $473.95 for a full 24 hours.
- The Home Depot Load N’ Go truck gives you 75 minutes for $19 or $129 for the full day.
- Lowe’s pickup truck gives you 90 minutes for $19 and $119 for the full day.
If you have an all-day moving job, definitely don’t rent from Menards. The cheapest option is Lowe’s, though it’s only $10 cheaper than The Home Depot.
Have you had either a great — or nightmarish — experience renting tools? Leave your story in the comments!