The Most Dreaded Phrase In The English Language, “Hey, Can I Borrow Your…” – IOTW Report

The Most Dreaded Phrase In The English Language, “Hey, Can I Borrow Your…”

Charlie Berens and company demonstrate what most of us have experienced at one time or another, the tool lending dilemma. Watch

45 Comments on The Most Dreaded Phrase In The English Language, “Hey, Can I Borrow Your…”


    It always turns out badly.

    I would rather come to your house and do your work for free. Then take my tools home.


  2. relatives are the worst …. they don’t feel the need to be obligated

    … frosts my cookies!

  3. The alternate version of this is the asshole who goes to Homo Depot, buys a tool, uses it for his project, then takes it back for a refund. The Depot has to sell the used product at a loss, and we all get to pay a little bit more for the stuff we buy.

  4. A lady on my cul de sac invariably tells every new resident that I have ‘every tool known to man’. I’ve had to pull the plug on helping anyone, including her, because of it.

    Another pet peave…never loan out a book; you’ll never see it again.

  5. I keep an old set of power tools just for this purpose.

  6. He will have to try harder with his bribe than tempting me with coors light. That’s almost as bad as messing with my tools.

  7. No sweat. I borrow my sister’s husband. He brings his own tools and then fixes what needs to be done.

    We have them over for dinner at least once a month to “pay” for his help and my sister letting us borrow her husband!

  8. PHenry – – Call me. I’ve got a few jobs for you.

  9. “….tells every new resident that I have ‘every tool known to man’. I’ve had to pull the plug on helping anyone,….” THIS! I moved to a different State.

  10. @billy fuster. I’ll be right over. What’s for dinner?

  11. It’s almost as bad if you have a pickup truck and everyone and their dog wants you to help them move. Rent a damn U Haul and do it yourself.

  12. Hey. Can I borrow your AR-15? And do you have any spare ammo?

  13. If you don’t want to see it again loan it to a co-worker. Over the past couple of decades I’ve lost several books, cds, dvds, a guitar pedal, a fishing reel, etc. Never again.

  14. WTF?

    Is there nobody left with the BALLS to say NO?

    Personally I respond with an insane laugh that goes on a little too long and then I pull a very straight face and say FUCK NO….now GET OUT!!!

    People stopped asking to borrow my tools a long time ago…. in fact people stopped coming to my house a long time ago too…. I wonder if there is a link?

  15. I’ll repeat what I put in the comments on the video, never lend out a snowmobile, chainsaw or waders. I’ve had bad experience lending out all three.

  16. Neighbor: Can I borrow your table saw.

    Me: Yea, but I’ll need to keep your wife for collateral.

    Neighbor: Maybe we can trade,

    Me: You’re not borrowing my table saw.

  17. Say. Can you lend me your wife? I promise she’ll arrive in good condition in the morning but it’s up to you to wipe that smile off her face.

  18. Alrighty then…

    Had an OLD Homelight chain saw that had a longer bar and weighed a ton. Loved that saw cause if you kept new or sharpened chain on it the weight alone would cut through bigger stuff with no effort on a downstroke. New guy from Shitcago moved out to the suburbs and had a tree come down and borrowed the saw. Called me on Saturday afternoon and said the thing quit running. Asked him exactly what took place… He said, “Ran great and when it ran out of gas I filled it up and it started right up and ran like a house on fire and then quit and won’t start again.” Or words to that effect without the profanity. Asked him what oil mix he used in the gas. “What do you mean oil in the gas?”

    Now I was using the profanities. Was my fault for not telling about two cycle engines and he didn’t offer to replace the saw because it was very old and I didn’t explain things.

    The short version and not the SNS version.

  19. My brand new Dewalt drill. At least I got to use it once. 🙁

  20. I have a white board on the door, I let them see me write it down. I just explain I’m I’m forgetful and it saves me time looking for it.
    Anything 2-cycle – “No”.
    Can I rent your skid loader? Sure but it come with the operator!
    My neighbor wanted to borrow my skid loader, I told him I didn’t know enough about the repairs, to let him use it.

  21. When I was a kid my best friend asked if he couple use my Daisy model 1894 BB gun for a couple days. Never saw it again. I learned that lesson early.

  22. I really only loan out small hand tools now wire strippers cresent wrenches ect and then I call the next day or so, “hey you done with them yet” and then go pick them up.
    I lent my younger brother my 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic station wagon that I bought to haul 4 or 5 of us guys and all of our gear to go up skiing in, we all had trucks and did not need to take 3 trucks up to Mt. Hood, well he call “I need to go cut some Christmas trees, how about letting use you car so I can take some of my wifes family with us” OK, but I want it back on Monday “Sure. oh how bout you throw in your new 24” Stihl chain saw too.
    Well a few weeks went by and no car or chain saw, went over to his place where is my car “don,t no” chain saw “Sold it for Christmas presents” The cops found my car about 2 weeks later stripped.
    Later I found out he traded the car for drugs. Lost about 4 grand on that can you loan me your car deal.
    I did not know he was using drugs. Never paid me back.

  23. You might as well ask, can I borrow your toothbrush?

  24. I used to have a snow machine I used to have a chain saw, I used to have a spare sump pump. See the theme here ?

  25. Tools are like money: don’t lend them out unless you’re ok with not getting them back.

  26. Bought an El Cheapo brad nailer from Harbor Freight for a one-time baseboard job. Brother borrowed it and it broke on him. I was going to tell him not to worry about it. But he bought a nice Hitachi, worth at least five times what I paid, as a replacement. I just said “thanks” while trying my best not to smile. I asked if he needed to borrow anything else…

  27. Jim took his drills apart and etched his name inside. More than once a guy would say, no that’s mine, I didn’t borrow it from you and he would take it apart and say you bought it with my name inside? He got to the point he would just go over and fix something,but he wouldn’t loan out his tools. He never borrowed anyone’s either.

  28. At work, I dread any request that starts out with, “Can you help us…” because it’s not a request that I help. It’s a request that I do the job while they claim they did it later.

  29. GEOFF,

    “Never paid me back.”

    NO SHIT???!!

  30. I live by my parents admonition: neither a borrower nor a lender be.

  31. A neighbor of mine is building an AR-15 Ghost Gun. He drilled it out but found that the trigger mechanism won’t function properly when it’s installed. He knows I have AR’s and blurted out, “Hey, I’ll be down later to borrow one of yours so I can break it down and try to see where I went wrong.” What the hell was he thinking? THAT AIN’T HAPPENING!

  32. @ Joe6pack

    Hey, I’ve still got my Daisy Model 1894 BB gun. I never loaned it to anyone!

  33. Geeze….I feel bad. I’m not the guy who borrows tools….but I am the guy where they all end up. Currently giving away a Ryobi airstrike nail gun. It ended up here a few years ago and no ones claimed it so out it goes.

    The only thing that ever goes missing is 9/16th anything.

    No ones ever borrows anything metric.

  34. I gots me Snapon, Milwaukee, Mikita, Blue Point, Diamond Horseshoe, Klein, etc hand tools Yamaha Generators, Honda & Echo lawn eq, I buy things like push brooms from Granger and my neighbor has the code to my garage and a key my shop and can borrow anything any time, even if I am not home. If one us has a piece of equipment down for repair we help each other out. We just came down off the roof of my shop. I gave him and his brother a brand new 180 Amp Lincoln MiG welder, 75 feet of extension cord, drier plug pigtail, helmet, gloves, chipping hammer, just because they are great guys to live next door to. They had a welder that belonged to one of the brother’s employer, but he changed jobs and returned it. He used to bring the welding work home and do it there. With the long cord and dryer pigtail we can weld pretty much anywhere we want.

    If anyone else asks to borrow so much as an Allen key they can go straight to hell. ESPECIALLY FAMILY.

  35. I live by Stevenson’s admonition, through Macfarlane, “…borrow, don’t lend.”

    Also fitting from, “The Body Snatcher”,

    “Fettes was thus left alone with his regrets. He saw the miserable peril in which he stood involved. He saw, with inexpressible dismay, that there was no limit to his weakness, and that, from concession to concession, he had fallen from the arbiter of Macfarlane’s destiny to his paid and helpless accomplice. He would have given the world to have been a little braver at the time, but it did not occur to him that he might still be brave.”

  36. Hambone, that might be a collectors item by now. I thought I was pretty cool with the one I had.

  37. I have relatives who, when I was in college, came to my mother’s home while I was at school and “borrowed” MY Stihl Farmboss and an Echo limbing saw I was particularly fond of. Had their flea bag handyman using my saws to work in their yard. The irresponsible shit left the saws in the front yard and was sitting smoking a cigarette in the back yard and when he returned they were gone. They were already on notice that they were not welcome to even ask after borrowing my saws and not returning them without the chains they had used on roots sharpened or replaced with new chains.

    The cheap assholes went to Home Depot or Walmart and put a couple piece of shit Homelite or some shit like that where my saws were. My mother ratted them out.

  38. Geoff C. The Saltine OCTOBER 8, 2020 AT 8:22 PM


  39. I figure if they have the audacity to ask, I have the balls to say no.

    I don’t mind helping those that need help but I very much dislike non-appreciative, lazy ‘takers’.

    OTOH, if loan someone $20.00 and you never see them again….It was probably worth it.

  40. Just wondering if anybody has seen my appliance dolly? Or my 20′ chains? Or my metric tap and die set? I can go on.
    I’m the only one on the job that cable locks my tools together to something sturdy when I go to lunch or break. I’m working downtown Portland on the Willamette and tools are disappearing all the time around there. I’m not going to feed the crack heads.
    Yeah I know they can cut the cable, as noted by all the cut cables and locks at the bike racks. But with all the other tools laying around there, why bother?

  41. “Can I borrow your chop saw?”
    “Can I borrow your wife? usually ends that line of conversation…

  42. My ex, ass-wipe, brother-in-law borrowed my 24′ tow chains once to pull his tractor out of a hole. I kept asking for them back and after a year went by, I broke into his barn while he was at work and got them back.

  43. I’m a millwright/industrial mechanic,have been for over 45 years.
    You want to hear tool stories just ask.
    I am semi retired now but still show up when they have a problem.
    When i am at work not a week will go by before an employee will come to me asking to borrow something to help them with their latest DIY project.
    I have no problem lending tools out and they are usually returned promptly and in working order.
    The odd one has gone missing over the years but that is why they have tool stores and company accounts.


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