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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 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 Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and AutoZone offer similar savings for whichever kind of job you’re taking on.

But 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. Below I’ve answered all of those questions, so read on before you start your next DIY endeavor.

As always, stay on top of the best tool deals and sales by downloading the Krazy Coupon Lady app and favoriting your go-to big-box home improvement store.

 

1. Reserve tool rentals in advance online at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and AutoZone.

A tool rental pamphlet help up in front of the tool rental area in Home Depot.

Home Depot, Lowe’s, and AutoZone are the only retailers that give customers the ability to reserve rental tools online. Lowe’s allows you to place an order and pick it up on the same day, but the earliest pickup at Home Depot is the following day. If you can wait, AutoZone will ship tool rentals straight to your door for free.

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 reserving what I want by reserving tools a few weeks before I need them.

 

2. Find the widest selection of tool rentals at Home Depot.

graphic showing the inventory of tool rentals from Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, AutoZone, and Menards

If your job is going to require large equipment, the chances are good that you’ll need to stop by Home Depot for your tool rental. They’re the only store with an entire section dedicated to “Earthmoving equipment,” which includes trenchers ($199 for one day), tractors ($289 for one day), and excavators ($289 for one day).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have a full-on boom lift ($299 for one day) stashed away in the garage.

The only rental tools I haven’t found at Home Depot are auto repair tools.

 

3. Get tool rentals from Menards if your project will take less than one week.

menards store

Menards is the first place worth checking out if your project should only take a few days or less (and you have a Menards near you). They charge a much lower deposit than Home Depot and Lowe’s (both of whom charge $25 – $50 on all of their equipment), but Menards’ hourly rental fees start being more costly on the seventh day of renting.

Unfortunately, Menards doesn’t allow you to place a reservation online. Instead, you’ll want to look at their equipment and rates here, and call your local store to check their availability. You’ll need an ID and a credit card. Here’s what you do once you’re in the store:

  1. Choose your tool from the Rental Center.
  2. Head to the Service Desk for checkout.
  3. Once you’ve checked out your rental, an employee will help you load it into your car (if necessary).
  4. Return rentals to the Service Desk.

 

4. But if you need tool rentals for one week or more, Lowe’s & Home Depot are your best bets.

tool rental storage at home store

Like I mentioned above, Lowe’s and Home Depot charge a higher deposit for their rental tools, but if you’ll need your rentals for one week or more, both stores will be cheaper than Menards.

Between Home Depot and Lowe’s, it’s definitely a mixed bag when it comes to the most affordable rates on weeklong rentals, but you can count on them being within $30 of each other.

But that changes if you’re renting for four weeks. If I’m renting for that long, Lowe’s is the only option I’ll consider — Lowe’s is oftentimes $100 cheaper for 4-week rentals than Home Depot.

Check this out:

chart showing tool rental prices from Lowe's and Home Depot

 

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 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. Skip Ace Hardware for tool rentals — they have the smallest selection.

Outside of an Ace hardware store 2020

Ace Hardware has the least amount of rentals. The ones closest to me only had carpet cleaning rentals (some also have power tool rentals), and the rates were about $10 more expensive per day than what I found at Menards.

Ace Hardware stores are also independently owned in a lot of cases, so inventory and pricing is varied.

 

7. Go with Lowe’s truck rental as it beats out Home Depot by $40.

Lowe's rental truck parked infront of Lowe's store

Between Lowe’s and Home Depot truck rentals, one is the clear winner. Let me break it down for you:

If you have an all-day moving job and want to save $40, definitely go with the Lowe’s truck. That is, unless you have a strong preference between driving a Ford F-250 (go with Home Depot) and driving a Chevrolet Silverado (choose Lowe’s).

Do you have any other questions about tool rentals? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

How to Take Full Advantage of Lowe's & Home Depot Tool Rental