A repair cafe in Hawker is home to some of Canberra's most skilled repair service men and women, and as the cost of basic household appliances continues to rise, their services are becoming essential for people who require urgent repairs. The repair cafe movement made its way to Canberra from Amsterdam. European homes have an "average of 74 electricals", according to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum. Even just one item malfunctioning can be costly. Instead of replacing these items when they break, the Dutch thought: why not repair them for free? There are six community toolbox cafes across Canberra with volunteers committed to repairing your lawnmower and the new kettle that suddenly stopped working. From Tuggeranong to Hawker, pop into your local repair cafe ahead of the holiday season to watch skilled handymen and women fix your most precious tools. Jack of all trades, master of few, Rob Gill is an expert in everything from restoring old garden tools to musical instruments. He's repaired tools left over from previous generations with years of sentimental value. Spades with broken handles, secateurs that need new springs; sometimes these items hold personal value for people and Mr Gill takes pride in repairing them. These days he's busy repairing musical instruments; a concertina is his latest project. It was just a few broken springs but it was the most rewarding repair he's ever completed. The most common item they're repairing is electrical appliances. "Electrical is one of our busiest areas at the moment. People are trying to make use of what they've got as best as they can which is one of the biggest driving factors and appliances seem to be breaking down a lot more now," Mr Gill said. A team of electricians, ex-software technicians and an Apple support worker volunteer their time to fix anything from toasters to phones. The repairs are generally free and all the Hawker repair team ask for is a dollar coin donation. Hawker Men's Shed president Jon Wells said since the cafe opened three years ago, it had repaired 500 items with an 89 per cent success rate. "We're a throwaway society and the foremost motivation of the volunteers is to promote sustainability. We repair everyday items to save them from landfill," Mr Wells said. As for the cafe, while you're getting your lawnmower repaired, a canteen next to the shed offers barista coffee and muffins. The repair cafe operates from a shipping container. Mr Wells said they are going to need more room for the growing demand for repairs and woodwork projects they're undertaking. "We want to extend our shed by about 80 metres and we need funding for that," Mr Wells said. Their next repair cafe will be held on December 10 and the volunteers are preparing for a busy day. "The only stipulation we have is that it has to be something that can be carried, nothing that's too heavy that you would carry in a trailer," Mr Wells said.