Lending tools to neighbor

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Axtman, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Prepare for a long rant.

    My neighbor borrows a lot of tools from me. I don't mind lending tools since I have a lot of tools. The problem is he keeps them for a long time. It never fails that the day after I lend him a tool, I need it. Meanwhile he is at work and my tools are locked up in his garage. This happened just yesterday.

    I do have a lot of tools and some that are very specialized. I don't mind letting others use them because they are usually just sitting unused in my workshop. But I would rather they sit unused in my workshop than in his garage.

    What bugs me is that he has money. He should just buy some of the tools. That's what I do. I start a project that needs a tool so I buy it. Sometimes I never use that tool again, but you never know.

    I do mark my name on the tools and sometimes spray paint them. I think I have lost a few unmarked tools to him in the past.

    I think my strategy will be to limit the time he has them. Maybe a day or two. Maybe I will have him return the tools at night so that he has to keep borrowing them. Maybe that will encourage him to buy a new his own.

    What do you guys recommend?
  2. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    You're clearly a more kind and patient soul than I, but I say abuse of privilege results in loss of privilege. o_O

    Or, start charging rental fees. :greedy: :D
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I hate that. I don’t lend out tools anymore - unless it’s a project I’m working on or benefit from.
    kohanmike, bobba66 and Winslow like this.
  4. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I agree with @Winslow completely.

    I'd also suggest that you borrow some tools from him, and 'forget' to return them. See how long it takes until he comes looking for them back.
    kohanmike, S-Bigbottom and Winslow like this.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Suspended

    I used to do that with things like CDs and books. No more!
    kohanmike and Winslow like this.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    "Hey you know how you're always borrowing my tools? You keep them for too long. You gotta start giving them back right away or I can't lend to you any more."
    kohanmike, fhm555, DWBass and 10 others like this.
  7. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah I never lend books or CDs. I will give them to someone but never lend them.

    I confess that I have been roped into doing projects for him. I like working on other people's houses more than my own. That said, my own house is in dire need of repair so I am consciously stopping working on other people's stuff.
    JRA and Winslow like this.
  8. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, sometimes I feel like a free tool lending library.

    I think another approach is that he can borrow a tool but not the disposables (blades, bits, etc.)
    Winslow likes this.
  9. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    When he asks for a tool, say "Sure!" and counter-ask when will he be returning it. Than, kindly remind him every day he is late.
    Beside this, I can only advise everyone to be kind to your neighbor. To many people don't talk to your closest fellow, and you never know when you need a hand.
    We had neighbore suffer a stroke and fall unable to call for help. When she was finaly able to call with her last strenght in the mid of the night, she called my wife, and we were able to help her and save her. You never know when you need your neighbore!
    motornap, S-Bigbottom, Ronzo and 3 others like this.
  10. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Yes. I agree that their is no advantage in pissing off your neighbors. As I said before, I don't mind helping and being a good neighbor but I do mind being taken advantage of. The question is where is that fine line?
    motornap, Ronzo, MJ5150 and 2 others like this.
  11. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I had to borrow an auto mechanic tool from a different neighbor. I returned it the same day or maybe the next day if he was not home.

    I also borrow a tool from another different neighbor and kept it too long. He came over and got it. I was really embarrassed and said to myself that I would never do that again.
    S-Bigbottom, JRA and Winslow like this.
  12. I pretty much do not loan anything anymore with the exception of a few very close trustworthy friends. I learned my lesson the hard way. I loaned a Epiphone bass to a drummer friend which in turned loaned it to a meth-head friend of his to supposedly do a one night gig. That was nine years ago and I am still waiting for its return.
    pappabass and Winslow like this.
  13. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    That stinks. Sounds like he's taking advantage of you. I have a great neighbor who has a bunch of really great tools, many of them I don't have. I have a lot of tools too but he's always willing to lend me whatever I don't have. I return them to him ASAP, same day if possible.
    Winslow likes this.
  14. If he is familiar enough with you to borrow tools, be familiar enough with him to explain the situation. Explain it simply - just like you did here. Tell him you seem to always need them when he keeps them too long. Tell him you like being able to share your tools with him, but that it is causing you difficulties. If he gets angry, it is nothing you did wrong.
    Winslow, Axtman and marko138 like this.
  15. Fifty years in the construction industry has taught me to NEVER lend tools. My answer to "Can I borrow that?" is simply "I don't lend tools." No apology , no explanation , just a simple refusal. If they get whiney or crappy about after that , I tell "em to F*** off in no uncertain terms. Haven't had a tool lost or not returned in years.:thumbsup:
    jchrisk1, TN WOODMAN and Winslow like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :) your own ('neighborly') version of this 0000.jpg

    honestly, axtman, i don't think there's a "fine line" involved, here. it's just a matter of setting limits and boundaries for yourself and others that also can accommodate those with whom you transact these issues.

    that said: there's no way of getting around the lending of anything and then needing it yourself the very next moment. it's a universal law. also: i'd rather hear that you too suffer this circumstance than to experience it myself...so there's that. :D

    good luck being kind and firm(er) with your neighbor! :thumbsup:
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I suggest that when he borrows something, you tell him when you want it back. And that should be a tight deadline. You can ask him to call you or let you know if he needs it longer.

    Then when you hit the deadline, knock on his door and ask for it back. He already agreed to return it at that time.
    MJ5150 likes this.
  18. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I used to be the guy in the neighborhood with all the tools that people would borrow. I experienced some of the same frustrations you are.
    I'd sit there in my garage getting mad about a tool I loaned that someone didn't return. Then it dawned on me I never set an expectation of when I'd like it back. I created my own angst.
    Your idea @Axtman to agree on a return time at the time you lend it is your answer.
    If you loan out enough tools like I did, keep a clipboard or something similar handy in the garage/shop with who has what and when it's expected back. A friendly reminder via text/call, email, or in person if something goes beyond the expected return date will keep the peace.

    jchrisk1, Ronzo and Pilgrim like this.
  19. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    The last time I lent out a tool, it got completely destroyed. That was like, 20 years ago.
    Winslow likes this.
  20. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    Learned that the hard way but with a synth. Old band mate had a cheap Korg and I allowed him to use my (moderate) Akai to give him some different sounds. The band eventually breaks up and I ask for it back but got the run around and never saw it again. I’m not that upset. He still uses it and gets far more use from it than I ever would, but it would have been nice to at least get some compensation for it.

    These days I don’t loan things out unless I’m fine with never seeing them again.
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