Are Tools A Good Thing To Pawn?

NOTICE: This article was recently revised with the most current information. It is different than the original article from 2013.

Tools are probably the third most common item found in pawn shops just behind jewelry and electronics. This has only become more relevant as time has gone on and if the trend continues, the popularity of tools in pawn shops will only continue to grow.

How 'Pawnable' Is This Item

What Value Does This Item Have

The pawnability of tools is considered to be very good as most major pawn shops accept them.

In terms of value, tools are only ranked as good because their condition and completeness can cause the amount that you are offered for them to vary greatly.

What To Bring With You:

When it comes to tools, there’s a variety of things that you will want to do before you leave your home.

  • Make sure you fully charge the batteries before you leave. (if a cordless power tool)
  • Make sure that you bring the charger with you. (if a cordless power tool)
  • Make sure you bring any accessories with you, such as the T-Grip handle for example.
  • Make sure you bring the original carrying and storage case or bag with you if you still have it.
  • Be sure you bring a cord that’s in good condition and free of defect. Cords with exposed wiring may cause the tool to be denied.

If you are bring a cordless power tool to a pawn shop, you absolutely have to make sure that the batteries are charged. It’s common for power tool batteries to go bad and pawn shops know this.

Therefore they will want to see that you have batteries (so they know the tool works) and that the batteries hold a charge so that they know the batteries themselves are good. Failing to do this will negatively impact your ability to get on loan on or sell your tools at a pawn shop.


Percentage Of Pawn Shops That Accept This Item 80%
Percentage Of Pawn Shops That Consider This Item Desirable 60%
Average Redemption Rate For This Type Of Item 70%
Percentage of Households That Have This Type Of Item 70%
Percentage Of Times This Type Of Item Is Pawned vs Being Sold 50%

Most major pawn shops take tools, particularly brand name tools. They aren’t overly desirable due to the number of tools that come into a pawn shop every day.

Frequently tools are redeemed as they are depended on by laborers to do their jobs and are a source of income for many people.

Most households have tools, but only 70% will have tools that are an acceptable brand for most pawn shops. Tools are just as frequently sold as they are pawned on a national basis.

What Are Some Advantages To Pawning This Type Of Item

  • If it’s off-season, you may not need the tools, so they made a great source of extra-income.
  • Pawn shops are generally considered safe storage, so you have peace of mind that your items are safe versus being in your work truck or garage where they are more likely to be stolen.
  • Larger brand-name power tools (like demo hammers, large generators, etc.) can bring a good amount of money at your average pawn shop.

What Are Some Drawbacks To Pawning This Type Of Item

  • If your tools are in poor condition from working with them, some pawn shops may not accept them.
  • If the tools for your batteries aren’t charged, or your forget something critical like the charger, some pawn shops may not accept them.
  • Pawnshops don’t typically loan huge amounts of most tools because of how common they are. This can change with really high-end or professional grade tools however.

When it comes to things that you can pawn most people suggest jewelry. Right off the bat – it’s the first response.

But what’s second? I would say tools are the second most popular thing to pawn in a pawn shop.

I’m serious, I see a lot of tools. In fact the number and quantity of tools that come through our doors might shock you.

If they are something you have and can spend a few weeks without – such as during the winter months when construction slows down – then yes,  tools are an excellent thing to consider pawning for some quick cash.

However, there are some things that you might want to think about and consider before heading down to your local pawnbroker with a truck full of tools.

It’s All About What Condition Your Tools Are In

Tools are tools… they get used. That normally means they get a little marked up in the process, if they are lucky.

Some tools that get used outdoors and collect mud and dirt that seems virtually impossible to remove. You really have to scrub it to get anywhere with the deep, tiny ridges and you never seem to be able to get it all out.

Unfortunately, when you pawn your tools at a pawn shop they really take condition into consideration.

Not only is a dirty marked up tool hard for them to sell, but it indicates how much work you actually did with it. That work is wear-and-tear on the tool and that’s important!

A Tool’s Reliability Is Something To Consider In A Pawn

You see, pawn shops don’t want to turn around and resell something only to have it break on the new, now disappointed customer.

So when something comes into the pawn shop for a loan or a sale – reliability is something to really consider.

Because of that, judging a tools condition is sort of like judging that amount of wear-and-tear has already been done to the tool.

But more than just use, a pawn shop needs to take a tool’s brand into consideration as well – and they do!

That’s Why Only Certain Brands Are Taken

dewaltdrillMost pawn shops don’t take off-brand or ‘certain brand’ tools for a reason. They don’t trust them to be reliable, and they possibly have a low value.

In the case of reliability, it’s a big concern. As you learned above – and pawn shop always strives to be a good salesman and warranty his product. He will do anything he can to make buying customers very happy so that they can build repeat business.

If your tool arises reliability concerns – such as being an ‘off-brand’ or being in poor condition – that’s not what they want to sell their buying customer at a later date, so they will deny the sale or not make the loan.

What The Means For You

It means that your tools have to be in good condition and a respectable brand.

That means name brands such as DeWalt, Snap On, Bosch… You know – the better brand name tools. No-name tools really don’t any significant value and arise reliability concerns.

If you do have some of these better brand name tools to pawn – make sure you clean it up.

You want to make it look as new as possible. Remember the pawn broker is going to look at the tool to determine how ‘used’ it is.

armorall_300That means clean up dark marks, clean all of the grease off wrenches, consider removing marker lines. I even have seen people put ‘Armor All’ on their tools to make them glossy.

But the better they look, the better it is for you really. You will put yourself in the best position possible by cleaning up your tools before you take them into your local pawn shop.

Keep the ‘House Brand’ or ‘No Name’ tools at home. If you’re not sure, call the pawn shop up first and just ask them if they take that brand.

Well… that’s about it.

Thanks for everything 🙂

The Head Nerd