Home Depot Floor Sander Hire – Review

I recently posted in my blog about a UK tool hire chain called HSS tool hire. That post wasn’t the most flattering to HSS and unfortunately this brief post isn’t going to be too dissimilar.

home depot floor sander rental review


I have no experience with Home Depot, but as I was writing my blog post about HSS, I suspected that Home Depot was largely the same. For that reason I went to their website and checked out their rental services.

They have very similar machines to HSS but with an american brand Clarke. Clarke coincidentally, do manufacture some good machines, but Home Depot doesn’t hire out the good ones.

Unlike HSS, Home Depot don’t publish their prices on their website, which was my major gripe with HSS. I am sure however that their rental rates are way overpriced. (anyone with experience, feel free to chime in, in the comments section)

In fairness to these companies, it probably has something to do with their size that prohibits them from purchasing better machines. They have to spend as little as possible and charge as much as possible so the can tick the box of being a floor sander rental company.

Again, just like HSS, Home Depot don’t appear to have a corner sander, which again speaks to the lack of concern for the task at hand, producing a beautiful floor.

For obvious reasons, in the US, you may not be so near a professional floor sander hire shop, but definitely search online and try to find one. You will produce a much better finish and it may cost you even less than going to somewhere like Home Depot.


Ben Osborne is the owner of HowToSandAFloor.com. He is a professional wood floor refinishing specialist with 15 years of experience. Ben is responsible for almost all the content on this website. He also owns a floor sanding and restoration company.


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  1. Hi Ben, my husband and I need to fill in the wood floor in our apartment. It’s already a finished floor and the building is very old. We plan on going to home Depot to buy the filler. I’m thinking we should use a water based filler. Our question is: do we need to stain the floor afterwards or can we just polish it once done?
    Thank you!

  2. Hi Ben,

    Amazing website!!

    Unfortunately I discovered it too late and have hired the HSS “floor sanding pack”. I am attempting to restore some parquet flooring that has been underneath underlay and carpet for some time. It was quite grimey but structurally in good condition.

    They advised me to use the following 24, 40, 80 and 120 grit, which they supplied.

    I have now started on a 24 grit, which may have been to harsh after reading/ watching your tutorials.

    Will it be ok to continue moving on to the 40, 80 then 120 as that is all I have?

    Do you have any other suggestions to make the best out of a bad situation?

    Many thanks,


    1. Luckily the HSS tools aren’t very powerful, so you can’t do too much damage with the 24. Curious that they recommend skipping from 40 to 80 :S should be a 50 or 60 in between there

  3. The Home Depot sander is horrible. Went over every square inch no less than 8 times with 24 grit diablo paper. Still could not get down to where I needed on the wood and the paper has little to no wear. I’ve had to extend my rental twice as it taking so long. I was using to rectangular vibrating upright model.

      1. Rented the drum sander from HD, started off on a 36 grit paper but it wasn’t taking much off. Dropped down to a 24 grit and still didn’t have much luck. Had to take a few passes and go over any “bad” spots (bad in quotes because the floor was in great condition but anything now perfect wasn’t being hit with the sander). Is there a way to adjust the weight/pressure on the drum or are all their sanders like this?

        1. unfortunately no, they are set to be just right, sometimes floors can be tough and they just need a lot of going over

    1. That’s simply a buffer. Sander for between coats. You need drum sander. But not one from home depot… Complete garbage. Even new. They just aren’t heavy or powerful enough. The machine has to be heavy to out pressure on floor so it can sand fast and straight. These machines veer from right to left and just complete junk. Not like the professional ones. Especially ones that run on 220v

  4. Home depot drum sanders are renting for $46/day. Not sure if that includes the sand paper.

    Any tips on where to find polyester backed sand paper and better sanders in the US?

    Also, would your process be any different if finishing newly laid unfinished solid hardwood floors?

    1. Search for floor refinishing supplies on google, or maybe go to the bona website and search for stockists, often those stockists have good machines to rent.

      with new floors you just start on a higher grit, depending on how even and flat the floor is, often unfinished floors still need a fairly comprehensive sand, maybe start with 60 diagonal then 80 and 100 straight

  5. Hey Ben, I am looking to refinish my own floors to both save money and get the experience. I am not sure what to look for when renting equipment. Any tips on brands and what to look out for? How long should I rent for around 500 sq ft? Is doing it on my own going to really save any money?

    I appreciate any input.

    1. Hey Jake, with bigger jobs, it can take a lot longer if you don’t know what you are doing. For that reason I suggest you get the book. I would have it done in 2 days, so maybe rent for 3? People often take a week+

  6. Hi, Ben, I wish I had found your video sooner, such a great tip to follow.
    Well, I had just spent $3K on hiring a contractor who supposedly understood what I wanted – hi-gloss basketball court shine. The result was disappointing, it looks silk finished not glossed. I had requested with specific instruction of three coats of polyurethane, he claimed he used it, but it was nowhere near gym floor look. Did I ask to used wrong type of product for what I wanted? Or perhaps he just didn’t use the product I requested? how or where to go from here to achieve the glossy look I want?
    thanks for any info you can share…

  7. Yep, Ben is right. I’ve been in the Wood Floor Crafter trade since 1978, and in order to do it right, and not waste a week of your time and money, a 240 volt drum sander is required. Due to safety concerns here in Ontario, Canada, you’re not going to be able to rent a professional 240 volt machine, only tiny 110 volt machines (sandpaper not included), best suited to sand a small 9′ x 12′ room, or as a boat anchor! LOL. Just some humour.

    Also, you’ll need to rent an edger (sandpaper not included) for perimeter sanding, closets, hallways, stair landings, etc., where the drum sander can’t reach. On top of that, you’ll need to rent a buffer machine, proper plate attachment, and sanding screens to fit (sanding screens not included).

    Also, you need to consider a professional dust containment system. Can you rent that? No.

    Then there’s safety equipment you need to buy. Dust masks, carbon filter masks, eye protection, hearing protection, and proper knee pads.

    Also, you need to buy wood filler, stain and finish.

    Quite the shopping list, right?

    Important note:

    If the wood flooring is 3/4″ thick tongue and groove, you only have between 1/8″ to 3/16″ of thickness above the tongue and groove. What this means is that there’s very little room for error, like drum marks and gouges that may occur if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is even less if you’re sanding a floor that’s only 3/8″ total thickness. Definatly not worth an experiment.

    No disrespect to anyone that wants to attempt this by DIY to save some money, but “A cheap job ends up costing a lot more down the road.” Food for thought. Kindest Regards.

  8. Hi

    Great content. I agree with you. The hire centres are only interested in making a fast dollar (normal). A good part of my business comes from people that have used hired floor sanding equipment and they have managed to destroy their floors. In many cases the issue wasn`t the person but the machine. Those machines need to be calibrated regular and some machines are way too big for apartment sanding. Few months ago we went to an old lady home to find out that she was sanding a hall with a 55 kilo Clarke machine. That machine is suitable for sanding sport rooms not tiny halls but the fee per day was 100 euro so hiring her a big machine made financial sense.

    With the explosion of internet content and advice websites, people think they can do anything. Until someone gets hurt, this madness won`t stop.

    1. whoa fella! people thought they could do anything before the internet. If anything the internet is showing people that its not as easy as they think. I had a friend tell me once that he could easily do what i do. “its not hard” he said. lol

      Thanks for taking the time to actually read and reply, most people trying to get a blog comment link just post spam!

      By the way, are clarkes popular in ireland? They are great machines but not very popular in england. I have only ever used one once.

  9. i would like to know what the solvent base filler you use is called. years ago there was one i was able to get my hands on in the USA but haven`t bin able to get it for years.It was very strong smelling and it would mess with head if you did not have a respirator on.I can not remember what it was called but it was a great product when it was needed.willing to bet i will not be able to get what you used but still would like the name of it. thanks

  10. HI Ben,
    Ive just laid some reclaimed solid oak parquet in double herringbone. Im moving onto sanding and finnishing it. I have looked about at the regular places to hire sanding machines but after reading your blog ive been put off. ive sourced this sander would this do the trick? https://www.akromultihire.co.uk/product.php?prodID=2593&catID=158 . My other question is if thats not acceptable where do you hire a good machine in scotland!!
    Thanks again

    1. Sorry I didnt get to this sooner Jake. Thanks for tagging me in your pictures on instagram, you did a job to rival some pro’s!

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