Minimalist Tool Kit – How to Live Without Tools

Recently, as I decided to get rid of a lot of the things I don’t use, I only kept a small minimalist tool kit for the most essential tools. What’s in my minimalist tool kit? A screwdriver.

Yep, that’s it. Now, I know I’m not a very manly man – and by that I mean I don’t get my hands dirty and fix cars and other things very often. However, as I’ve discussed with people what I was doing by getting rid of things that I never use, or only use very infrequently, the question of what tools would I keep in my minimalist tool kit was often posed to me. To be honest, I was really sure what I was going to do when I actually needed something that I didn’t have. I figured I could just borrow from a friend or “manly man” that has a million tools.

Well, just the other day I dropped into Auto Zone and saw this sign as I walked in –

Minimalist Tool Kit

That caught my eye, and I inquired about this free loan-a-tool service. Apparently, if you want to “borrow” a tool from them, they just make you pay for the cost of the tool and then refund you when you return it. When looking into their loan-a-tool service a bit closer, I found that they only rent out tools that you would seldom use. So, they aren’t going to lend out a hammer or a screwdriver to people.

However, I just thought that was a pretty sweet service to learn about, and a great resource for people. Even if somebody doesn’t want to get rid of all their tools, I think a service like this is great to encourage us not to buy tools for that one time use. Which is why it’s so cool that a company that sells tools is offering the service.

Another alternative, to those who truly want to develop a minimalist tool kit, is to find a tool-lending┬álibrary in your city. Essentially, as the name implies, it’s a service to the community that allows people to borrow or rent tools. Wikipedia has a nice list of tool-lending libraries so you can check it out if you want to see if there is one close to where you live.

Although I haven’t lived without tools very long, I was just excited to find some of the services available to those of us who want to get rid of tools we never use. I guess only time will tell if my screwdriver is sufficient for my minimalist tool kit.

Categories: Minimalism


  • Dustin says:

    Sucks that there isn’t one available in Nevada (unless you have access to Nellis AFB, that is). Makes me wonder how I could start one. Thoughts?

  • Aaron Anderson says:

    Yeah, here’s a great resource you can check out if you’d like to start a tool library:

    Let me know if you decide to start a tool-lending library, because that would be pretty sweet!

  • Russell Anderson says:

    I would at least add some pliers and a pocket knife.

  • Matt Anderson says:

    I have used the auto zone tool rental service before and it is really nice. They actually didn’t even charge me for the tools they just let me borrow them. I did buy a car part from them and they let me borrow the tools to install it. I guess I’ve kind of formed a personal tool library before, there is always that guy kind of into construction but not fully that has a bunch of tools.

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