Which power tools should you rent and which ones should you buy?
- Tile saw
- Rotary sander
- Circular saw
- Paint sprayer
These past few months have been a great time of the year to work on your home in the Philippines. Power tools, while essential for doing any DIY work, does not always need to be bought brand new. If you only need a power tool to do a job that needs to be done once, or even once a year, you might want to consider renting them instead.
Ask yourself the following questions: “Will you use this tool again?” “Are you going to use it more than once?” “Will you have to use this tool again within six months?” If the answer to any of these questions is no, renting might be the best option for you.
Of course, there are still a few important power tools which are worth owning; tools that you might find yourself using every day or close to it. In this article, we are going to discuss a few common power tools that are usually needed in a DIY project and whether you should rent or buy them.
Tile saws are designed for porcelain or ceramic tiles. The cheap saws, however, have limited capabilities so they are not a good choice for cutting thick tiles or marble. The ones you can now buy for as little as $50 at hardware stores typically have small decks so even with an adjustable arm, you are still going to have trouble accommodating large tiles. Using a smaller, cheap tile saw might not be practical when cutting 16- or 22-inch tiles at a diagonal.
On the other end of the price spectrum, some companies usually rent commercial tile saws that often retail for about $1200. These saws come with a stand and are high quality which means they can virtually handle almost any kind or size of tile without chipping the edges. The sliding decks can let you set the tile in place. All you have to do then is to push the deck and tile through the saw blade as one unit rather than pushing just the tile which gives you more precision for controlled cuts.
The Verdict: Rent
High-quality commercial tile saws like the one described above usually rent for about $50 per day. While this seems more expensive than just buying a cheap tile saw, consider the fact that you are going to be severely limited by the cheap ones, potentially causing more trouble and more expenses down the line.
A rotary sander should be one of the few power tools every DIYer should have in their arsenal. Like most power tools in the Philippines, the quality of rotary sanders very much depends on their price. There are sanders available for about $35 and while they can certainly get the job done, don’t expect them to last for a long time.
You probably haven’t noticed it before, but there can be a large difference in quality among power tools, rotary sanders included. High-quality sanders usually can be bought for about $100 and can sand beautifully. They also often come with a variable speed and are not too heavy or hard to use.
The Verdict: Buy
A 5-inch rotary sander is one of those tools that you might find yourself using more than you would have expected. Plus, getting one of the best models available does not break the bank too much, making it a good power tool investment which you can expect to last for a long time.
A circular saw is a great alternative for those that do not want to spend their money on a table saw or for those that simply do not have the room for it. If you are a long-time DIYer who has been working on projects without the use of a table saw or even a circular saw, you can be sure that using either of these power tools is faster and more convenient.
If you are cutting pieces of MDF or plywood for your project, the circular saw is the tool that you will use to make straight, long cuts.
The Verdict: Buy
The circular saw is one of those power tools that you can expect even a basic model to do its job well. Good circular saws can be had for only $50 to $60 so there is no need to spend a lot of money on this tool.
This tool also does not need any fancy bells or whistles; as long as the blade spins when you push the button, it will be just fine. However, the factor that will determine how well your circular saw cuts is the type of blade you use with it.
The good thing about paint sprayers is that you can quickly apply an even coat of stain or paint without leaving behind ugly roller-overlap or brush marks. While cheaper versions can usually be purchased for only $50, they often have drawbacks. Paint-sprayers at this price point often have small paint reservoirs so you constantly have to refill it with paint. It can also get heavy because you are holding the whole unit along with an entire container of paint.
Commercial HVLP sprayers, while requiring a little practice to use properly, can get you a professional-looking finish once you have the technique down. These units are what professionals often use and because it can give you a much finer spray, it is going to look different once the paint dries.
The Verdict: Rent
While paint sprayers can be had for as low as $50, the drawbacks far outweigh the “savings” you might get. Aside from performance issues, owning your own paint sprayer means that all the maintaining the equipment is all up to you. Paint sprayers are notoriously hard to clean, and if you don’t do a good job, the old paint can clog up the mechanism.
Meanwhile, commercial paint sprayers that are worth at least $1500 can be rented for only $60 per day. Again, this might not seem economical, but consider that with a high-quality paint sprayer, painting a whole room is only going to take you an hour at most.
Owning your power tools is a blessing during emergencies and other times where you might need a particular tool at a moments notice. It does not make sense, however, to pay a lot of money for a tool you might only use once or twice a year.
Carefully consider your needs; invest in the right power tool when a project or projects call for it, but also avoid buying anything that is only going to end up sitting in your garage.