Why own when you can share? At Edinburgh Tool Library you can borrow from thousands of tools. Don’t know how to use them? No problem! We bring members together to build and learn by sharing skills and knowledge.
We are gradually bringing back our services in a phased approach as it is safe to do so. We are now in Phase 3 of our reopening schedule.
Phase 1 – Tool borrowing in Leith is open for non-essential tool use
Our Spey Street Lane depot is still operating on a Click & Collect service, but not restricted to essential tools use anymore. Cargo bike delivery is also still available, but not required anymore.
Phase 2 – Tool borrowing is in Porty too
Our Portobello space reopen for tool borrowing too, as well as our Tool Sharpening & Renovation service. Both workshop spaces remain closed.
Phase 3 – Workshop open for limited groups, but not regular membership
ETL workshop spaces open for limited groups, but not regular membership. Classes may begin again at reduced capacity.
Phase 4 – Workshop open for all members!
ETL workshop open sessions open again to all members. Limited capacity, public health guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and face covering followed.
We continue to share tools and knowledge, but we know hard economic times are ahead for the voluntary sector and the rest of the country. Please consider adopting a tool to help secure our long-term future.
How does the tool library work?
As well as borrowing to use at home, members can access our workshops several times a week, usually evenings and weekends. We have two wood workshops in Leith and Portobello, two storage units, a pop up location and an electric van.
It’s easy. You’ll need proof of address, an email address, and photo ID.
Pick a tool and choose when you want it.
Our friendly volunteers will have it ready for you at the depot.
Take it back clean and on time, ready for the next borrower.
Join in classes, open sessions or events. Volunteers are always welcome.
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Why buy when you can share?
The average cordless electric drill is used for just 13 minutes during its lifetime, yet most households own one and spend an average of £110 per year on DIY tools (Office of National Statistics). That’s a waste of money and waste of a tool.
We share tools in order to maximise the number of times each tool is used, reduce waste, and make access to tools affordable for everyone.
If we all share what we have to offer, we all become richer.
- Save money – Tools are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Whether you’ve got a shelf to put up, renovations to complete, or a space to transform, you will save money by borrowing tools from a tool library rather than buying tools yourself. In our first 5 years, we saved our members £875,000 compared to what they would have spent on the tools they borrowed.
- Save space – Using the tool library means you don’t need to buy tools and have the worry of where to store them.
- Be kind to the planet – If a drill is used for just 13 minutes of its lifetime and spends the rest of its time collecting dust somewhere, why not share it with your neighbours? By using less and sharing more, the Tool Library helps us all save on the packaging, water, fuel and rare earth minerals that go into producing each tool.
- Better communities – When you become a member, you become part of a wider community. We run many workshops and programs to help people empower themselves with the knowledge they need to use tools themselves.