Tool Donations

Edinburgh Tool Library
Tool Donations 1
See saws?

Want to give your tools a second life?

Whether you are passing on tools that you no longer need, downsizing, or just need some space, the Edinburgh Tool Library is happy to give your tools a new home, allowing them to continue to give great service, this time to our members.

First things first – we can’t take all tools.  Before rocking up at one of our sites with the contents of your garage, please bear in mind that we only accept donations of good quality tools in working order. We can’t pick up tools from you.

Our wishlist

These are things that we definitely need:

Sanders – our members use all types of sanders A LOT, and they are something that we are constantly having to repair and renew.  If you have a working sander to give (belt, orbital, mouse, detail etc.) we will happily accept your donation.  Thanks!

Wallpaper steamers – again, we have lots of these, but the element also burns out quickly on them, so we always need a good supply of spares.

Cordless drills – our most popular tool to lend out (one has been out over 140 weeks!) so it’s always good to keep getting them donated

Pressure washers – these are incredibly useful, really popular, and very fallible.  If you have one going spare, we would love you to donate it

Battery powered gardening tools – we are trying to move away from petrol driven tools for environmental reasons, so if you have battery powered alternatives, we would love to take them

Workshop equipment – we have two full wood shops in Leith and Portobello, and run a lot of machinery.  If you have something you think might be useful to us (table saw, lathe, chop saw), or professional grade hand tools that are potentially an upgrade for us, please get in touch with details

Large pieces of solid timber – we use a lot of wood in our workshops for various charity projects and to teach people on our programmes.  Solid wood is welcome, but drop us an email first so we can work out where we have space

Gardening tools – if we have too many, we can either pass them on to the Tool Shed project at Saughton Prison (if they need some TLC, the metalwork class at the prison take them in, repair them, and then pass them on to local groups), or twice yearly we offer free tools to allotment associations, community gardens and charities that work in green spaces.  In 2020 we have given tools to 20+ local groups

Tool Donations 2
Ladies from the Mortonhall Community Garden in Little France, collecting donations from ETL

What we don’t need

Hand tools – we have so many spares, we don’t currently need any more.  We do give them away to other projects though so this may change in the future

Tool Donations 3
Hammer time we have a lot of hammers already!

Antique tools – we know they have value, but that is only if we can sell them, and we don’t have capacity to do that ourselves

Broken tools – our repair team do an amazing job repairing our current inventory, but they don’t have time to fix extra things unfortunately

Consumables (jars of screws, nails etc) – we have shelves full of consumables that take a long time to use up.  Currently we don’t need any more!

Large petrol garden tools (rotovators, mowers) – these are big, heavy, and not nice for the planet, so we would rather you don’t donate them

Composite timber – things like MDF, chipboard, OSB are not super safe to work with in terms of the glue that holds them together, and how they age over time.  

What I want to donate isn’t mentioned above?

If you have a donation for us, or something not mentioned above that you think we might like, then drop us an email to with:

  • An image of the tool(s)
  • An assessment of their condition

We will get back to you as soon as we can with a yes please or a no thanks, along with a time and a place for dropping off.  Please be aware that in donating tools to ETL, they may not necessarily be used by us – we often pass on tools to other tool libraries setting up, community groups and charities, but please be reassured that they will be doing good somewhere in the world.

What if the tools I wanted to donate are not needed?

If that is the case, please don’t just chuck them! Lot’s of your local groups will be in need of equipment – look up your local workshop or community garden, or check out this great resource on the Changeworks website with a list of projects around the city that will also take tool donations, many of whom have received ETL tools before. Donations of garden tools can come through ETL, or if you wish to donate directly to the Conservation Foundation’s Tool Shed Project, check their website for the nearest collection point – there may be one closer to you than ETL.

Thank you so much for your continued support.