Rent, buy or improvise

The recent thread about drilling holes in concrete resulted in a number of recommendations to rent equipment to do it. I as a rule do not rent tools except as a last resort. It seems like when I am forced to rent the same things always happen. 1. I have to stand around waiting to pick up what ever I am renting. Even though I arrived when the store opens. Then I wait again for the clerk to fill out the rental agreement on his terminal with one finger typing. 2. I hope that what I am renting is something I know how to use because I am not going to get any help from the one clerk who is now working on the next rental agreement. Or I get a "read the manual" or "I don't know how it works". 3 Hopefully I did get a chance to check if the machine works before I left the store. You can't start a gas engine in the store or test a jack hammer. Odds are that it will work when I get home but... 4 How long will it work? Will it even work under load? Going back to the jack hammer. Number 1 didn't work at all when we got it home and number 2 would only work for about 15 minutes then have to cool off. The rental center didn't have a third so it was 15 on and about 20 - 30 minutes off. 5 Why is it so hard to get my deposit back? It always seems to take at least 2 people to figure out that is I gave you cash, I get cash back and if I used a credit card, you either didn't process the charge or you issue a credit to my card. It shouldn't take 3 days.
Bob
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You make several good points. I always just bought what I needed except big things like ditch witches etc.
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Bob -
It's a shame that rental centers have left you with this bleak outlook on tool rentals. I have had really good customer service from the tool rental centers at Home Depot (not a fan of their other departments). Besides having a few long waits at busy times (late Saturday mornings), I have had none of the other issues that you have, literally renting dozen of tools over the last several years. All gas powered items were taken outside and topped off with fuel and started.
I have also rented several larger items from a "bigger" rental place that rents concrete equipment, bobcats, etc. Never had issues there either.
Again, sorry to hear about your issues.
JK
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