Way back when I used to be a pretty avid DIY freak, I had mountains of tools. I had a rule. If I didn’t have the tool right for the job, I’d go and buy what I needed. That reduced to pretty much zero any likelihood of me bodging something, and bodging is anathema to me.
However, I had another rule. Nobody got to borrow my tools. Nope.
‘Hey Dunk. Do you have a screwdriver I can borrow?’
‘The quick answer is No.’
‘But you’ve got loads of them!’
‘Yep, I do. I have an entire toolbox full of screwdrivers. Flathead. Philips. Posi1. Posi2. Stardrivers. Hexhead. Socket head.’
‘So can I borrow one?’
‘Nope, sorry. My tools are my tools. If you need a screwdriver, go and buy one. My screwdrivers are mine, and they fit my hands. I don’t even let Steph use them, because she will insist on using them to open tins of paint. I hate that.’
‘Oh come on. A screwdriver?’
‘Yes a screwdriver, and no, you may not borrow one. Out of the question. And before you ask, no you may not borrow any chisels, nor my socket sets, either of them, nor my Allen key sets. My jigsaw is off limits too. As is my Scorpion reciprocating saw, which is great for working through partition walls.
‘Don’t even think about asking to borrow my sliding chopsaw. I’ll come and do the job for you rather than lend out tools. Ditto my handheld circular saw, and you can keep your mitts off my anglegrinder too. Double ditto any of my three powerdrills.’
‘You have three powerdrills?’
‘They all fulfil different functions. And no, you cannot borrow my Dremel. And lay off my plasterer’s floats, cos nobody ever cleans them up properly. Same for my brickie’s trowel and my jointing tool for when I’m bricklaying.’
This may all sound a bit petty and draconian, but it’s not, as my mate Kev will attest. He has an absolute ‘Don’t touch my tools’ rule. You get to know what each individual screwdriver, for example, feels like in your hand, and it feels right. Lending tools is like somebody borrowing your underwear.
And here’s a hint. Do NOT, EVER, ask to borrow a tradesman’s tools. They don’t even lend them to their own workmates, not even the stiff brush they use for cleaning newly laid joints between bricks. Actually, cleaning brickwork joints is curiously satisfying. It’s very Zen, though not as easy as it might appear. But get your own brush, OK?
I might lend you a bucket, I suppose. You’d better clean it properly, though, or there will be trouble.