HSS Floor Sander Hire – Review

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!


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!


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  1. Hi there, good information here. I have to sand back a gypsum screed floor so that it is ready to tile on and live in Cornwall near Truro; can you give me any local places to rent a decent machine?
    I cannot see any.
    Best wishes,

    1. Did you ever find one Michael? I’m also near Truro, and every hire place I can find uses the same Hiretech machines.

  2. I have had the same experience as Keely. I also hired HT8 drum sand and edging sander package from Brandon hire (hirestation) from the Brighton branch.
    The actual sander appears to be plenty capable. However the sandpaper just exploded as soon as you put it to the floor. Having spent a day on it I would say 1/3 of the sheets have remained on the barrel for more than a few metres. The rest just exploded.
    This is an absolute con and I’m furious. The other puzzle is that when the sandpaper remains on the drum it remains abrasive for quite a long time.
    However the disc sandpaper for the edge sander becomes smooth after after a single wall.

    Honestly baffled. Really don’t whether to persevere or surrender at this point. Very frustrated and certainly not fit for purpose.

  3. I would use aBona floor sander and Bona edger -very good I hired mine from the Floor Sander company in Catford SELondon – ver helpful – deliver machines to you and show you how to use them

  4. Hi Ben,
    Just came across this post as I was searching for a reason as to why I am having so much trouble with a HTC8 floor sander and HTC7 edging sander I hired from Brandons. First machine came with a nail stuck in the drum so wasted an hour while waiting for a replacement. Now I have a situation where after doing about a foot of sanding at most the paper explodes. I managed to do one room but no matter what condition the other floors are in the paper explodes. At points it happens as soon as the sander is put to the floor. I have thought am I doing something wrong or is there a fault with the machine. Now after reading about the sand paper I am wondering if that is the problem. If it is the paper, where can I buy decent paper that will work ? I am now desperate. Thanks Keely

    1. Im not sure where you are, but if you go to HSS they do have a higher quality paper that does seem to last. My video course shows how to put the paper on the drum and hopefully avoid paper explosions!

  5. Hi Ben, what do you think of Clarke machines? Looking at B2 edgers. Also Deva, can’t find any reviews or background info. Definitely gonna buy your tutorial by the way. Been watching all your online videos and they are gold dust. Thanks dude:)

  6. So glad I came to your site. Before reading the comments on this site. I did go to HSS to enquire/look at the equipment. I was immediately intimated by the weight/size and fear of damaging my floorboards using the equipment. I was given a quick 10min demonstration and advised to look on YouTube that will explain it all (Do they even care that you could potentially be putting yourself at danger with lack of knowledge to the basics on understanding the machine). I asked him to switch the handheld one and Alone was exceedingly noisy and can potentially cause long term damage to your ears, if ears are left unprotected.

    I’m still not put off wanting to sand the boards myself as there are good quality belt sanders that do fit the purpose for the job. They are much much easier to handle, and less noisy. At this moment in time I’m still studying which belt sander would be suited to me. Plse check the specs carefully such as speed/weight and watts of machines and know your basics on sand paper types. Buying a belt sander or hiring professionals are the only real 2 options in my opinion.

    Buying a belt sander – read the reviews, contact retailers, pull over your thoughts, make sure you use the belts from the same brand as the machine. If Makita is your chosen machine stick to Makita belts.

    Choose a machine that is not from the ‘toy’ range but build to last and function as they should. Hiring a machine and buying one has already paid you back because you have a machine to keep. Once you have puzzled solved and completed sanding one room you will confidently want to do all the others.

    Keep yourself safe, it could work out your safety gear costs more than your chosen belt sander. Is there a price on health ?? Buy the RCD for added safety, buy good quality face protection that actually do the job.


  7. Oh no! Just seen this blog… I have literally just emailed you about huge issues with had with the sander we hired from HSS. The sanding was very uneven, in narrow strips, and also the rubber part of the drum disintegrated and exploded everywhere on the second day!

    Now thinking that the machine was faulty?!

    1. its difficult to say. It baffles me that they manage to continue renting these machines out because all I hear is endless problems with them! I would recommend checking out my video course as I sand the floor in the course with the rental machines from HSS.

  8. Hi Ben,, I work as a decorating contractor in the Dublin area and would like to set up a floor sanding business as we are asked many times to include sanding and varnishing a floor as part of a contract. I am sick of hiring machines that are not for purpose. What machines/system would you recommend I buy ? I would like to invest in something that will last the test of time and be as dust free s possible. Regards, Fionan.

  9. 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.

      1. I wish I had found this sooner! I have just purchased this Friday- mon which cost me 250. This was the package ht8 with the edge sander .

        Well where do I start. Heavy. Not practical. Again like said above, the sand paper exploding on many occasion but there were no protruding nails! The design is terrible . What holds the paper in is nothing but two bolts- which does not tighten effectively . The left screw head on mine was destroyed making this even more difficult . And let me tell you- for a novice- I got the shock of my bleeding life! The dust bags and how they assemble by a large U bend pipe (which gets in the way) takes a masters in Astro physics to assemble . This takes the most time so you just pray to the baby Jesus that you do not have to change often – but oh those things fill up quicker than a canoe that’s been fired at multiple times . I had to sand over and over again for hours before I saw a good effective . Finally! Thrilled that the use of the big boy is over and to get to the edge sander you realise that the thing is heavier than 10 buses. One has to be able to hold a squat position for at least two hours whilst using the thing which only runs in a anti-clockwise fashion. This requires both hands . But simultaneously you have to hold down the button to active it on the right side with your thumb- it’s great for de quaverins or if you want to develop trigger thumb . It is too large and does not even get into the corners. It was completely ineffective which Resulted in me hand sanding the edges for 6 hours – which still has not got the desired effect.they also forgot the dust bags for the edge sander which are different to the large sander so I ended up having to ride it bare back. I can now back dust angels all over the house. My Imprint of a frustrated 5ft 2 female tearing her hair out in now imprinted on my freshly painted walk. And as this was the weekend they are closed. Not even a helpline open to assist me.
        When I changed back to the light abrasive via the large sander , this began to crack and damage a lot of floorboards . It has took my since Saturday to Monday afternoon to finish a small room. I am still vibrating and I now have carpal tunnel. The company was due to collect it today and have not. So the floor sander along with its ferocious little friend is parked at my front door- awaiting its next victim . The company said they will refund for for the two missing dust bags. Six pounds. I will never sand again.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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


    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.

  13. 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

      1. Where do you find these professional hire shops and can anyone use them? I’m having a bloody nightmare at the moment with the Hss edger paper disc is lasting 2 mins if I’m lucky, they get so hot and nearly catch on fire, and like you said I now need to hire out the machine longer and travel 40 miles to get new discs 🤬

  14. 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 !

    1. Floor Sander Hire Uk are pretty good! And if you want to do it as good as a pro, better get the book!

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