Tool Sharing Made Easy

Ever wanted to fix a dripping faucet but didn’t have the proper wrench? Would an electric sander help to finally refinish that aging dining table or wood floor? Yet, you don’t want to buy a tool you will only end up using once. The HNL Tool Library may be the place for you. It is the first tool library in Hawaiʻi and has dozens of tools to help finish that do-it-yourself job.

“A tool library works just like a book library but it allows you to borrow tools instead of books,” said Elia Bruno, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa student, who started and runs the HNL Tool Library with other volunteers. “I really hope for people to understand that sharing a lot of the time just makes a lot of sense, and if we can be sharing tools we can also be sharing anything else.”

For a nominal membership fee, the HNL Tool Library, located inside Re-use Hawaiʻi, offers access to dozens of hand and powered tools.

Elia Bruno greeting tool library patron

Elia Bruno started and runs the HNL Tool Library with other volunteers.

“I would say projects are much easier to tackle now with the tool library,” said Jack Beuttell as he was borrowing a paint sprayer for a home improvement project. “Before, I wasn’t sure what tools I needed, I wasn’t sure if I could afford them.”

Made possible by the support of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, University of Hawaiʻi Office of Sustainability and Re-use Hawaiʻi, the HNL Tool Library plans to expand. The plan is for the library to include kitchen appliances, camping and gardening equipment, space for projects using stationary woodshop machinery and classes for every ability level and budget. The mission is to help people save money and to facilitate more efficient use of resources.

“Sustainability is really about innovation and unlocking the creativity in our youth to go forth and help us solve the challenges of climate change that we all face today,” said Matthew Kamakani Lynch of the UH Office of Sustainability. “The HNL Tool Library is great example of that.”

For information on membership fees, volunteer and donation opportunities and the latest offerings, visit the HNL Tool Library website.