The Best Tool Rental Services of 2022

Don’t have the tool you need for your next project? The best tool rental services offer a wide selection of tools to get your next job done without breaking the bank.

By José R. Mendoza | Updated May 10, 2022 5:43 PM

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The Best Tool Rental Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Whether a customer is a professional contractor or a homeowner getting ready to kick off their next project but don’t have the tools they need, they can consider renting from one of the best tool rental services around. Tool rental services have a large inventory of tools and equipment rentals, including power tools, generators, aerial lift rentals, and more. When customers rent a tool, they can do so for as little as a few hours or up to a few weeks. Generally, the minimum rental time starts at 4 hours.

Although owning a tool has certain advantages, it may not always be the best financial decision, especially if someone is just planning to use the machine for a specific project or one to two times a year. However, if after a customer rents a machine they realize they want to keep it, most rental centers offer the option to buy the tool.

The best tool rental services offer high-quality tools and equipment, have a large inventory, make online and in-person booking easy, and have experts on staff who can help customers determine what tool they need for their project. Some even offer online or on-site training programs. Opting for one of the best tool rental services on this list is a great way to find a top-notch provider, instead of searching online for “tool rental near me” to find one.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sunbelt Rentals
  2. RUNNER-UP: United Rentals
  3. BEST EQUIPMENT SELECTION: Herc Rentals
  4. BEST FOR PROS: EquipmentShare
  5. MOST FLEXIBILITY: Menards
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: Lowe’s
The Best Tool Rental Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Tool Rental Services

Before selecting a rental tool provider, there are a few key factors to consider, such as the variety of tools offered, service area, and more.

Equipment Selection and Availability

Each tool rental service has a wide variety of tools for outdoor and indoor projects, including power tools and gardening tools, and some even have heavy-duty equipment for rent like forklifts and skid steer rentals, cranes, and more. Customers should check with a local equipment rental to see if it has the tool they need and its availability. Since some popular tools may not be available as a last-minute booking request, planning is essential.

Service Area

One of the benefits of major tool rental centers is that they are located throughout the country, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a location near all customers. Prospective customers are encouraged to check for nearby locations before committing to a service.

Booking

Generally, most tool rental services have a very straightforward booking process. Customers can book a tool in person or online with credit card information, ID, and the desired rental time frame. Some services will require customers to book a tool 48 hours in advance when doing so online.

Pickup, Delivery, and Length of Rental

Pickup and delivery options vary depending on the size of the tools and equipment. For hand tools or tools that are easy to carry, customers may pick them up themselves. For large equipment like generators, excavators, and bulldozers, the rentals center may offer delivery services for an additional fee that can be arranged for the time and date the tool is needed for the project. A customer can typically rent a piece of equipment for as little as 4 hours or up to a few weeks.

Customer Service

Should any issue arise with the machine at the time of use, reaching customer service is of the utmost importance. The last thing a customer wants is to lose a day of work or rental if the equipment is not working and no one is there to help you.

Most companies specializing in rental tool services have dedicated customer service teams that work around the clock to provide 24/7 customer service. However, others may only have specific times that they offer customer service based on their store’s hours.

Equipment Certification and Maintenance

Typically, each tool rental location has established protocols for having their equipment and tools checked before and after a customer rents them. There is usually a label on the tool with all the details on when the machine was last serviced, the operational status, and who performed the service. If this isn’t on the tool, a customer can ask the attendant at the tool rental pickup or delivery site. No one wants to get a tool home to have it malfunction in the middle of their project.

Training

Although a customer may already have experience working with some tools, and some may be straightforward to use, there are companies that offer or require training for specific pieces of rental equipment. The extent of the training will depend on the tools, project, and a customer’s previous experience using the tool.

If a customer plans on renting technical equipment that they’re not familiar with, they’ll want to make sure that the chosen rental company offers in-person or online training. Some tool rental companies have dedicated training programs that customers can participate in before taking the tool home with them.

Even if the company doesn’t offer complete training, customers are encouraged to ask for a quick demo of the tool if possible and get the equipment’s operating manual in case any issues should arise.

Discounts

Nowadays, most rental companies may offer a discount for tools with more extended rental periods. Other companies may offer memberships or customer discounts for professional contractors. A customer can check with individual companies to learn the discount policies.

Cost of Renting vs. Owning

The cost of renting a tool or piece of equipment will vary depending on the type and length of the rental. Of course, sometimes it might be tempting to buy a low-cost tool, but if it’s only going to be used once or twice a year, it’s not worth it. Customers should expect to pay around $20 to $50 to rent a power tool or even a floor sander. For larger equipment like a forklift or excavator, customers should plan on paying around $100 to $500 daily—a much better rate compared to the actual price of the equipment, which can cost several thousands of dollars.

Our Top Picks

To choose the best tool rental services, we extensively researched and considered many relevant factors such as the company’s equipment and tool inventory, coverage area, booking process, the rental process, customer service, equipment maintenance programs, and training and discounts offered.

Best Overall

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: Sunbelt Rentals
Photo: sunbeltrentals.com

Why It Made the Cut: Sunbelt’s ToolFlex program allows customers to build a package and get a discounted rate. Plus, the company offers 24/7 customer service.

As one of the most established tool rental companies in the country, Sunbelt Rentals has set itself apart, offering flexible rental options to pros and homeowners alike throughout the nation from the East Coast to the West Coast, the Midwest, and the Southeast part of the country.

While Sunbelt Rentals’ indoor tool availability is somewhat limited, the company goes above and beyond with its commitment to providing the best experience to its customers. It has an easy 100 percent online booking process, and 24/7 customer service is available via phone, email, and live chat. Plus, the company offers tool and equipment training available on-site and online.

In addition, the company’s ToolFlex program helps its customers save when renting more than one tool. If customers are eco-conscious or prefer using tools that emit fewer emissions, Sunbelt Rentals offers low/no emissions equipment options.

Specs

  • Service area: East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Southeast
  • Booking: Online
  • Delivery: Yes
  • Customer service: 24/7 by phone; email and live chat
  • Training: Online and in-person

Pros

  • ToolFlex program allows customers to rent multiple tools for a lower package price
  • Mobile app for convenient booking and order management
  • Wide selection of low/no emissions equipment
  • 24/7 customer service by phone

Cons

  • Somewhat limited availability of indoor tools

Runner-Up

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: United Rentals
Photo: unitedrentals.com

Why It Made the Cut: United Rentals has 24/7 customer service and offers a wide selection of in-person and e-learning training and certification courses to help customers make the most of their tool rental.

With a nationwide reach and providing top-of-the-line training in-person and online, United Rentals offers a great selection of outdoor and indoor tools to choose from for projects of any size. It also provides a comprehensive online and in-person course catalog for safety training and certification so customers can ensure they’re using tools appropriately.

The company provides 24/7 customer service via phone, live chat, and email. Although some tools cannot be reserved online (and must be reserved in person), most can be booked and managed online or on the go with United Rentals’ mobile app. Plus, the company offers equipment delivery.

And when looking to buy a reliable tool without breaking the bank, United Rentals sells used tools or even the ones available for rent.

Specs

  • Service area: Nationwide
  • Booking: Online
  • Delivery: Yes
  • Customer service: 24/7 by phone; email and live chat
  • Training: Online and in-person

Pros

  • Comprehensive online and in-person course catalog for safety training and certification
  • Mobile app for convenient booking and order management
  • The site also sells used equipment
  • 24/7 customer service by phone

Cons

  • Some tools are not available for online reservation and must be reserved in person

Best Equipment Selection

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: Herc Rentals
Photo: hercrentals.com

Why It Made the Cut: Herc Rentals offers all kinds of tools and equipment, including specialized equipment like work-site sound dampening and equipment for TV, movies, and live events.

Herc Rentals offers one of the largest tool and equipment selections and is a one-stop shop for any tool needs, including specialty items. Its selection goes beyond typical power tools and includes work-site sound dampening and equipment for film and TV production and live events. The company has locations around the country and provides online and in-person booking. Online equipment reservations need to be booked at least 48 hours in advance. For same-day rentals and availability, a customer can call or visit their local branch. Customers who are members of the Herc Plus program earn an extra advantage and can access a streamlined ordering process.

Herc Rentals offers training and certifications for special equipment like forklifts and booms, as well as equipment used for dust control, which can be done at a local store or project site. And for everyone’s peace of mind, the customer service team is available 24/7 in case an emergency should arise.

Specs

  • Service area: Nationwide
  • Booking: Online
  • Delivery: Yes
  • Customer Service: Phone, email, live chat
  • Training: In-person

Pros

  • Herc Plus customers can access customized, streamlined ordering and support
  • Site also sells used equipment
  • Wide variety of specialized equipment

Cons

  • Equipment must be booked 48 hours in advance

Best for Pros

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: EquipmentShare
Photo: equipmentshare.com

Why It Made the Cut: EquipmentShare has high-tech solutions and large-scale equipment that make it ideal for professionals of all industries.

Using the latest technology for equipment tracking and performance, EquipmentShare is becoming the number one option for contractors across the country. Its technology allows the company to monitor equipment performance so it receives the appropriate maintenance. Customers can receive alerts on their rentals’ utilization and status to ensure equipment isn’t being misused, and Bluetooth tags ensure that a piece of equipment never goes missing. EquipmentShare does cater more toward professionals, and the rental options may not be suitable for DIYers.

The company has locations nationwide and a great selection of tools and equipment, so pros will find what they are looking for. In addition, if training is needed for a specific piece of equipment, it’s advised to reach out to the company to see if the service is offered. Training availability varies from branch to branch. The customer service team can be contacted online using the live chat option or by phone to see if the nearest location offers training.

In addition, EquipmentShare sells brand-new and used tools. Each used tool comes with a complete digital history so that customers can get a snapshot of the item’s performance and working status.

Specs

  • Service area: Nationwide
  • Booking: Online
  • Delivery: Yes
  • Customer service: Phone, email, live chat
  • Training: At select locations

Pros

  • Service team monitors equipment performance in real time
  • Customers receive alerts on equipment utilization and rental status
  • Bluetooth tags ensure equipment never goes missing

Cons

  • Fewer rentals available for DIYers

Most Flexibility

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: Menards
Photo: menards.com

Why It Made the Cut: Menards has the most flexible rental hours and lets customers rent hourly after the fourth hour.

Menards is a favorite home improvement store among homeowners in the Midwest. It not only offers all the materials one may need for a project, but it also offers all the heavy-duty tools needed to help users get the job done like a pro. Menards’ tool and equipment rentals are available to anyone 18 years and older for a minimum of 4 hours; after that, tools and equipment can be rented on an hourly basis without having to rent any item for a full day. Menards offers a full price list online so customers can budget for their rentals before arriving at the store.

Although the company does not offer equipment training, its highly trained staff is happy to answer customers’ questions and has tool manuals on hand if necessary. Customers will also have to rent equipment in stores instead of online.

As an added convenience, Menards offers Pickup & Go truck rentals for customers 21 years or older across all the company’s local stores to make transporting tools and materials a breeze. For any questions or customer support, customers can call their local store.

Specs

  • Service area: Midwest
  • Booking: In-person
  • Delivery: No
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Training: No

Pros

  • Rentals available hourly or daily
  • Transparent rental rates
  • Pickup & Go vehicles available for rent if customers need to transport equipment

Cons

  • Rental must be completed in stores, not online
  • No online training or safety resources

Also Consider

The Best Tool Rental Service Option: Lowe’s
Photo: lowes.com

Why It Made the Cut: Lowe’s is a great choice for DIYers; purchasing materials and renting tools can be done from the same location. Its booking and reservation system is conveniently entirely online.

As a store with a national presence, Lowe’s has thousands of locations throughout the country, offering building materials and tool rentals for all home improvement projects, indoors and outdoors.

Its online booking process is easy and smooth—homeowners and pros can see all of the available tools and make reservations on the spot once an account is created. Tools can be rented in person, too. While Lowe’s does not offer tool training, it does provide operating manuals for all of its tools. Knowledgeable staff is on hand for any questions that may come up. Lowe’s ensures that all tools are sanitized between rentals for customers concerned with health and safety.

Best of all, the tool rental periods with Lowe’s start with as little as 4 hours and can go for as long as 4 weeks.

Specs

  • Service area: Nationwide
  • Booking: Online
  • Delivery: No
  • Customer service: By phone during store hours
  • Training: No

Pros

  • Customers can purchase home improvement materials from same location
  • Wide availability with thousands of locations nationwide
  • Tools are sanitized thoroughly between rentals

Cons

  • No online training or safety resources
  • Account is required to complete rental

Our Verdict

Sunbelt Rentals is our top pick for tool rental services, providing the best overall experience in terms of pricing, flexibility, and customer service. And offering the best tool rental technology and metrics for contractors, EquipmentShare is the way to go if you are a professional.

How We Chose the Best Tool Rental Services

To develop this list of the best tool rental services, we researched dozens of tool rental services throughout the country. We narrowed our selection down based on the company’s number of locations, pricing, booking process, tool selection, and training resources. We also considered companies with national outreach, convenient rental times, and customer service to ensure all homeowners and pros have options to choose from, regardless of their location.

Before You Use One of the Best Tool Rental Services

Renting a tool from a local rental service is a great way to save money without investing in an expensive tool if it will only be used for a specific project. However, customers should keep in mind that some tools and equipment need special skills and training to be operated safely. So when choosing a rental service, customers are encouraged to think about their level of familiarity with a tool or piece of equipment and whether the company offers training in using the rented machinery.

Regardless of the kind of tool or equipment a customer gets, they should make sure they read the operation manual and keep it handy even if they know how to use the machine. And last but not least, customers should keep the tool rental center contact info available in case the device is not working or they have any questions.

Cost of Using One of the Best Tool Rental Services

The cost of renting a tool from one of the best tool rental services does vary based on your physical location, the type of tool or equipment you need, and the rental period. Generally, a customer can rent a tool for 4 hours, 24 hours, 1 week, or even 4 weeks. The cost will usually start around $20 for small power tools, and for equipment like a floor sander, the price jumps to around $50; for large equipment, the cost can range between $100 to $500 or more.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Tool Rental Services

Using one of the best tool rental services offers many advantages. The staff is knowledgeable and can assist with any tool or equipment rental needs. Staff can also answer any questions and help customers pick the right tools and equipment for a project. Plus, tool rental services have a rigorous process to maintain and keep tools and equipment in good working condition 24/7. In addition, some of the best tool rental services offer the following benefits:

  • On-site and online tool and equipment training
  • New and used tools for sale
  • Flexible rental periods
  • Top tool brands available

Tool rental services help get the work done and can help contractors expand their services without having to buy costly machinery or tools.

FAQs

Renting a tool from a rental center is a straightforward process, and most of the time, a customer will only need to be at least 18 years old to rent tools and over 21 to rent motorized equipment. They’ll also need to bring a valid photo identification card and a credit card.

Q. How far in advance should I book with a tool rental service?

The sooner you do it, the better, given that the tool availability may be limited at some periods. You can book tools as soon as the same day. However, some providers require you to do so 48 hours in advance if you book online.

Q. Do tool rental services offer same-day tool delivery?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the location’s inventory availability. Call ahead of time to make sure the rental center offers same-day delivery.

Q. Do tool rental services charge ahead of the rental period?

Generally, when you rent a tool, a company will only put a hold on your credit card for the deposit of the tool, and upon return of the tool, you’ll be charged the total amount of the rental fee. Check with your local tool rental provider to see what its policy is.

Q. Do I get a discount on tool rental services if I become a regular customer?

Some tool rental services offer special discounts when you join their loyalty program or when you are a professional contractor. Ask your tool rental center for any available discounts.

Q. Will tool rental services charge me the full fee if I don’t receive tools on time?

Usually, you will only be charged the complete tool rental fee upon receiving your tools. If that is not the case, make sure to ask your rental service about its policy, or contact the company if your delivery is running late.

Q. What happens if a tool rental service doesn’t have a tool that I need?

If your local tool rental service doesn’t have a tool you are looking for, you can contact other rental services near you or ask your local provider if another branch has it.

Q. Are tool rental services available in all states?

Yes, tool rental services are available in all states. However, not all companies have locations in every state.

Sources: The Home Depot, CAT Rental Store