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Tools: Hire or Buy?

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If you need new tools, it may appear sensible to purchase the equipment outright but it’s certainly worth considering the total cost of any investment. Beyond the initial purchase price, many construction tools carry hidden costs that may impact your decision of whether to hire or buy.

Tool Hire Express - to hire or to buy tools?

Cost and specification

The key factor in the decision to hire or buy is cost. It’s also essential to consider the specification of the equipment you need to carry out a task properly. If your finances won’t stretch to the tool you really need, is it really worth downgrading to a budget model that’s likely to have a limited lifespan? Hiring tools gives you instant access to the very latest and highest quality equipment from leading manufacturers such as Hilti and Makita, without making a big investment up front. Taking depreciation into account, every year you own your tools, their value lessens.


Even the most basic hand tools need regular cleaning, but more specialist equipment requires more maintenance. For example, leak checks may need to be carried out, the oil may need changing and tools may need to be cleaned of moisture that could otherwise lead to rust. Ignoring these simple tasks can severely limit the lifespan of equipment, leading to more frequent replacement. Leading tool hire companies repair and maintain equipment every time it is off-hired, so you have the assurance that quality checks have been carried out on a regular basis.

Repair and Replacement

If a tool breaks down and the warranty has expired or doesn’t cover the damage, you will be responsible for the cost to repair or replace it. Similarly, if a tool is stolen from site, you may need to pay to replace it unless it is covered on your insurance policy. Even if your insurance covers stolen tools, you will need to consider the cost of the excess and increased insurance costs following a claim.


Some equipment can be very bulky to store away and transport to site. The more tools you have, the more storage you will need. If storage space is an issue, hiring equipment allows you to have the equipment you need precisely when you need it.


Safety is a major consideration and it is important that tool operators have the skills and competence to use tools correctly and safely. Reputable tool hire companies will talk through the safety procedures required for the equipment on hire.

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