HSS Floor Sander Hire – Review

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HSS Tool Hire is a UK based tool hire chain that hires out all types of power tools and machinery, they are one of the biggest tool hire chains in the UK. I want to go over some of my experiences and findings with HSS, so this post is mostly focused on UK readers. I am however going on to be taking a look at large chains elsewhere in the world soon!

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The majority of people in the UK that sand their own floors do so with tools hired from HSS. Many of those same people give up and end up calling up professionals like me. There are several reasons why. If you are considering hiring from them, please read to the end.

One of those reasons is that they are sanding old pine floorboards that are covered in pitch (or bitumin or whatever you want to call it).

Sanding through this can be gruelling if you don’t have the right information about how to tackle this.

Usually these pine floorboards are very uneven, which is also a struggle. Both of these can mean hours of work with little to no progress.

It doesn’t help that the tools from HSS are not very powerful, nor heavy enough for dealing with these tasks.

A third and most common problem is that as soon as people start moving with the HSS floor sander, the sand paper “explodes”. This is because the sand paper is just that, ‘paper’.

Most professional floor sander hire shops have polyester backed sand paper. This makes it almost impossible to tear by hand and much more durable when being spun at several thousand rpm and applied to the floor.

This really is a con. They hire out machines that are weak and ineffective and then sell sand paper that disintegrates on application. So you either hire the machine out for longer and buy more papers or return the machine, defeated and hire a professional.

On the HSS website they recommend you rent their orbital sander which does the edges and the main floor at the same time! Hoorah!

What they don’t tell you is that this machine has too large a surface area and is completely ineffective at sanding floors (like all orbital sanders).

The quality of the sanding machines that HSS hire out is bottom of the line. The Hiretech HT7 and HT8 are both awful machines for producing a quality finish. They are the cheapest machines available which brings me to my next point:

HSS Hire prices are unconscionably high. This is what really inspired me to write this post. I wanted to check to see if HSS hire out detail sanders for the corners of the room (which they don’t).

I was totally shocked to find that HSS Hire prices are almost double that of a professional floor sander hire shop. Which is even more infuriating when you know that the small local professional floor sander hire shop’s machine literally cost double to buy.

I always knew that HSS were bad, I just never knew they were total con artists.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, especially if you have already had a bad experience and have only now found this article.

Rant over, avoid these guys like the plague!


Comments

  1. Hi Ben. Thanks for this warning. Do you have any thoughts about this sander rental company? http://floorsanderhireuk.com

    We have purchased a home that has carpets over hardwood on the ground floor and want to restore/refinish them all. We won’t know until we complete and get the carpets up exactly what we are dealing with but then only have 2 weeks in which to get the work done before we move our furniture in. So it’s a trade-off of cost, time and quality of result. If I thought we could do it as quick as a professional with a good result, then I’d love to do it ourselves.

    Many thanks !
    Jennifer

  2. I have just finished sanding and varnishing my third floor this year and wish I had come across your helpful website long before now. Oh well. I was interested to read what you said about HSS where I rented a floor sander and edging sander, especially as the paper kept exploding which I was told was due to nails which weren’t properly punched in, only they were! I never knew there were professional floor sanding machine hire companies, and in time will have some more floors to do. I do agree with you on HSS prices, ridiculous. You live and learn.

    1. Thank you for coming here and confirming this stuff. Im not just being a meany to HSS, just trying to save people time, money and hopefully improve their quality

  3. Hello Ben

    Fantastic website and a giver of great advise

    I have a parquet floor that needs attention, I’m from Oxfordshire. Where would be the best place to hire the correct tools that can do the job?

    The parquet flooring is squres with 4 small pieces, just wondering if there is anything I need to know before undertaking

    Kind regards

    Josh

    1. go to the bona website, find their nearest supplier to you, ring them and ask them if they have good tools to rent. You can always google floor sander hire, or floor sanding supplies near you, but my supplier for example, has tools to rent but you would never find them on google.

  4. Hi Ben, thank you for your info and videos – really helpful. You don’t rate the sanders available from HSS or Home Depot so to save me wasting money on sub-standard equipment hire, can you please advise which machines you would recommend so I can try and source locally to me (West Midlands)?
    Thank you.

  5. Hi , thanks for your info and advice.Could you tell me if you have any opinion on hiring a sand glider from Selco.Thankyou.
    Rhona

  6. Hi Ben

    We have had an awful experience with HSS. It cost us over £250 for 5 days not including all the disposable bags and paper and we worked ten hours a day to sort the floors out. Also had a few exploding sheets. Changing the sandpaper is a nightmare because it involves using a huge screwdriver on two screws. At one point the rubber belt flew off because the screws holding that in was loose, and then at one point the handle fell off and the machine flew off, leaving ruts in the floor. Then the on and off switch sparked and exploded leaving blue smoke in the room. When it sands it only takes off a bit on the edges, it doesn’t sand a nice straight line, so it takes about 45 minutes just to sort of do one board. Also the machines are insanely heavy. Sadly they are the only place near us that hire floor sanders. Everywhere else is in London. Really disheartening, I wish I had found your website before hiring from them. 🙁 we have made two rooms look beautiful but after a lot of elbow grease and tears!

    1. Oh and the disposable bags fill up really quickly and the machines have this stupid huge metal hook on the side (for wrapping the cable around) and by huge I mean 15cm wide) and the paper bag swings into it and explodes the bag and then sawdust goes everywhere, and then bam, that’s a new bag. And sometimes the top collar of the bag slips off and then sawdust spews out of the tko. Avoid, avoid, avoid. The whole experience has been quite distressing.

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