The tools we need

We send tools to Africa in response to requests from our partners. So we only need certain types of tools. As the tools will be used to help people earn a living they need to be good quality and in good working order.

The tools we need are:

  • 240V angle grinders
  • plumbing tools
  • arc welders (240V, stick type) plus accessories
  • carpentry tools – especially large carpenters vices, metric tape measures and tri-planes
  • building tools, especially large metric tape measures and corner trowels
  • engineering and metalworking tools – especially HSS twist drills, metric taps & dies and hand-operated bench grinders
  • bicycle repair tools – especially spoke spanners
  • shoe repair tools – especially skiving knives
  • auto-mechanics tools – especially heavy duty foot-pumps, tyre pressure gauges and spark plug wrenches
  • electrical repair tools – especially multi-meters, desoldering equipment and wire strippers
  • industrial/professional quality power tools – especially drills and bench grinders
  • blacksmiths tools – especially anvils
  • good quality Singer round-bobbin hand machines – because spare parts are easily available in the UK and all over Africa for these old but solidly-built machines
  • electric sewing machines. These need to be in good working order and be capable of zig-zag stitching and embroidery. A foot controller and instruction manual, though preferable, are not essential
  • overlockers

We also need items of haberdashery and dressmaking fabric.

The tools we don’t need

Sorry, we don’t need any of the following:

  • imperial spanners
  • hydraulic car jacks
  • broken, poor quality or disposable tools
  • typewriters, computers, books, lawnmowers, cooking pots, knitting machines, domestic quality power tools
  • gardening tools – see below
  • bicycles – see below.

Gardening tools

The only gardening tools we send are heavy duty spades and shovels which are part of our construction kits. We are unable to accept any other gardening tools. If you have gardening tools to donate you might try the Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project which repairs garden hand tools in association with a number of prisons around the country. The revamped tools are then given to school and community gardens in the UK.


We don’t send bicycles, although the charity Re-Cycle does. Unwanted bicycles are shipped to locations all over Africa where they provide a simple, reliable means of transport. Please contact Re-Cycle directly via its website, phone 01206 863111 or email.

What happens to the tools we’re given that we can’t send

We are sometimes donated tools, sewing machines and other items which haven’t been requested, or which are in some way unsuitable or surplus to requirements. We may then:

  • pass them on to other charities who operate differently from us
  • use them in our own workshops and warehouse
  • sell them – at car boot sales, auctions, on ebay or to specialist dealers, or if all else fails
  • recycle them (the metal is melted down for re-use, and wooden items are used to fuel woodburning stoves).

Further information

What each toolkit contains

If you have any tools you’re not sure about please contact the team at Netley Marsh.

Contact us to find your nearest tool collector.

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