Want to donate tools?

Thank you for thinking of us

Firstly, thank you for thinking of us when choosing to reuse your tools rather than throw them away!

Unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity to accept all donations. We have limited storage with over 4000+ tools in our inventory already. But more importantly, our ethos is to make sure tools are working for the community. We want to accept donations that will be of definite use to our charity and our community.

If you have tools you think we might need, please email hello@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk with:

  • details of the tool(s) (make, model)
  • photos of the tool(s) and and extra parts it comes with
  • relevant answers to the questions below

We will take into account the following factors:

  • Is the tool working?
  • Is the tool complete? E.g. if it’s a cordless tool, it’s not missing the battery or the charger (these sometimes cost much more than the actual tool!) 
  • Is the tool something rare that we don’t have in our inventory yet?
  • Is the tool far better that the equivalent tools we currently have in our inventory? Would it be worth it for our community to actually take it to replace an already registered tool?
  • Is the tool a valuable antique that can be used to fundraise to support our charitable programmes working with people from disadvantaged backgrounds?
  • Is the tool listed in our tools wish lists below?

So if we say no to your kind donation of equipment, please don’t think we are ungrateful, we are merely trying to ensure that any kind donation can help us achieve our goals*.

If that is the case, we will arrange a drop-off time and place. Please be aware that in donating tools to ETL, they may not necessarily be used by us forever – we might give them to other tool libraries set up in Scotland, to other community groups, or sometimes we sell them to raise funds for our charitable programmes.

We won’t accept donations without prior agreement.

Please do not turn up during our opening times to donate tools. Volunteers on shifts will not accept donations without prior agreement. Please don’t put them in the uncomfortable position of having to turn you away. Thank you!

*PS: We’ve listed at the bottom of this page other organisations that might make great use of your donations!

Want to donate tools? 1

💔 What we definitely don’t need

Click here to see other organisations that might appreciate the tools we can’t accept.

  • Hammers – we have a lot of hammers already!
  • Individual screwdrivers – see above! Although if you have a full boxed set, that can be very handy.
  • Many other small hand tools – most people will have the very basics and so things like small hack saws, pliers, scissors don’t get borrowed so we don’t need to have many sets available..
  • Broken tools – our repair team does an amazing job repairing our current inventory, but they don’t have time to fix extra things unfortunately.  Broken garden tools can be donated to the Tools Shed project of The Conservation Foundation.
  • Large petrol garden tools (rotavators, mowers) – these are big, heavy, and not nice for air quality, so we would rather you didn’t donate them to us.
  • 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.
😃 Current wish list!
  • Large imperial socket set – we have one already for one of our workshop (to set up the big drill press) but we need a second one for the other workshop!
  • 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.
  • Carpet cleaners with upholstery attachments – we have one in Meadowbank and it’s very popular. We would love to have one in Porty too!
  • 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.
🌲What about wood donation?

Same rules apply. Please contact us with the list of wood you want to donate and corresponding photos.

  • What we might need: large pieces of solid timber as 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.
  • What we definitely don’t need: composite timber like MDF, chipboard, OSB. These are not safe to work with in terms of the glue that holds them together, and how they age over time.
🔩 What about plaster powder, paint, nails, screws and other consumables?

Same rules apply. Please contact us with the list of consumables you want to donate and corresponding photos.

  • What we might need: T-shank jigsaw blades, sandpaper, grinding discs.
  • What we definitely don’t need: jars of screws, nails, etc.

Other organisations that might appreciate the tools we can’t accept:

– your local community garden?
Garvald Edinburgh & Tools for Self Reliance, their partner organisation.
The Cycling Gardeners, reuse heroes keeping good quality 2nd hand tools in use
Tool Shed (for gardening tools)
The Forge
Isabelle Moore (for specific hand tools). Isabelle is a fine brilliant local furniture designer that we love collaborating with. She is particularly looking for these types of hand tools: paring chisels, hand planes (jack, smoothing, block planes), cross head and flat screw drivers, marking gauges, mortice gauges, rules (any length – metric) and combination squares, hand saws, Japanese saws, bench vices (Record 52 1/2 E), files and rasps, drill indexes, clamps – as you can never have enough!