This library lets you borrow a sledge hammer



I recently got our library to start lending out Raspberry Pis, but I would love to see something like this. Time to start having some more conversations upstairs…

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This is just such an insanely good idea. I’ve sent the link for this article to two of my sweeties who are librarians. I know I tend to collect tools, some of which are very rarely used, even if they’re great when I need them.

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I have to say I’m shocked that this is news. My local public library has had a set of tools (power and hand) for lending since at least the late 1960s. I had always assumed any other well-run library system would as well.

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Tool libraries are a great idea, but if you can afford one tool for your very own, make it a sledgehammer.

Very few problems around the house, or indeed in life in general, cannot be solved by the judicious and thoughtful application of a sledgehammer.


Quoted for truth and insight. Just one caveat, though: in some contexts, such as electronics repair, it is considered good form to refer to the sledgehammer as ‘the fine adjuster’ or ‘all due care’.


Every library should offer sledge hammers, but only to children. You grown ups can buy your own. Also, other educational items such as handguns, dildos and brown liquor.

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[Napoleon Dynamite]Luckyyyyyyyyyyyyy[/Napoleon Dynamite]

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Ah - percussive maintenance!

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Every tool is a hammer.   Except a screwdriver; that’s a chisel.


Berkeley and Oakland, CA both have tool libraries, open to residents and home-owners in the town. They’re part of the respective town library systems, and a great resource. No charge, unless you’re late returning the tool (at least for Berkeley). I’d never heard of the concept before moving to Berkeley, but it’s fabulous.

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We have a tool library in Philadelphia
$400 for a lifetime membership!

Here in Portland, we have Kitchen Share - which is a library for cooking equipment. Stuff like food dehydrators, vacuum sealers, ice cream makers, juicers, etc…

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“There are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without any loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice on a dark night or a sledgehammer

It is an invaluable adjunct in the pursuit of philosophy.

a lending library for tools is excellent! but they’re not the only game in town. Many probably stock tools not otherwise available and likely a lot less expensive than the alternative(s). However I was surprised there is no mention in the article of tool rental yards, including those offered by home improvement stores. The chop saw mentioned in the article, for example is easily available for rent.

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Our downtown public library has artwork and sculpture to check out.

I’ve also used their color copier to copy artwork from their collection of reference artbooks. Some nice stuff in there if you’re decorating. Maps, Audubon stuff, Late 1800’s etchings, maps…etc.

I’ve been a member of NeighborGoods for a while. It’s a tool-sharing website for your neighborhood, with a proper “sharing-economy” ethos — no payments for lending tools.

I am very happy lending out my rotary saw or drill or dremel to any of my neighbors who need them. There’s no need for everyone to own these tools in their basements.

Unfortunately (in Cambridge and Somerville where I live at least) it’s not widely used (perhaps because of the existance of Tool Library and Artisan’s Asylum, though I doubt it).

Perhaps @frauenfelder should write about NeighborGoods and give them a boost?

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There is one here in Vancouver, but I think there can be maintenance issues. My wife borrowed a pressure washer and (after trying to get it several times -it was out) and it just didn’t work. Honestly it would have been easier to get one from the local home depot for a little bit more and you know it will work. (I usually just borrow one from a friend). So for this particular item it was not worth it- and membership is around $65 per year. Overall I like the idea.

Portland, OR has 4 tool libraries. The one in NE Portland is free and only has a $2/week late fee. Sooo many common and uncommon tools in great shape. Every town should have this. Really builds community. Right next the Kitchen Share kitchen tools library.