Using Power Equipment Alone

My husband has asked me not to mow the lawn if he’s not home. He’s worried that if something happens he’ll find my bloodless, lifeless corpse sprawled across the lawn in the “crawling-to-the-house-to-call-for-help” position.

Do you think this is reasonable? Overkill? Do any of you ask your spouses to lay off the power equipment unless the Buddy System is firmly in place?

Just curious. I’d particularly like to hear from the manly men and women who have lots of tool-y stuff.

Well, my wife is pretty dead set against me using power tools (or regular tools, for that matter) without her around. She seems to think that I lack the necessary mental capacity, without her presence, to use equipment that could in theory gobble my fingers like corn chips.

I’ve pointed out that I’ve been using power tools since I was a wee lad of 5 or so, and never once hurt myself. She counters by saying, “I don’t care, I’ve seen how you work with <a friend>, and you two are nuts!”

One of my friends, who is much more into the Home Improvement gig than I am, tends to use circular saws for just about everything. Need to cut a plank? Balance it across the knee and bzzz! Need to trim some overhangs? Lean over the edge of the roof and bzzz!

He’s a nutcase, but, he’s never hurt himself either.

I think my wife is a worrywart. :slight_smile:

–besides, it would only be a flesh wound!

I’ve cut the lawn alone a number of times over the years, but he always gets pissed off about it. I just don’t know who’s being unreasonable; him or me.

I feel misled by your thread title. I thought this would be about something else entirely. :wink:

He’s probably being a wee bit overprotective, but that’s a good thing, isn’t it? It’s better than knowing he doesn’t care if you destroy yourself with a lawnmower.

That said, I don’t like it when I know CubHubby is going to use a chainsaw with no one around to help in an emergency. It would just seem an awful way to die.

Shit. I hadn’t looked at it that way until just now. Heh-heh! :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree with you on the chainsaw. But they’re so damn scary! I don’t get the same sinister vibe from a riding lawn mower. In fact, I knew a guy who cut into his thigh with a chain saw. He lived (and didn’t lose his leg) but it was touch-and-go for a while there.

My wife usually prefers to be miles away from the house when I am using power tools. :wink:

However, once my father was mowing the lawn while my mother was away. He was mowing at an uphill angle when he slipped and the mower rolled back over his foot. He hobbled into the house and called my mother, who came tearing back home (she was getting her hair done) to get him to the ER.

The doctor said my father’s wearing leather shoes at the time probably kept him from losing his big toe.

Depends on both the tool and the job, I’d say. I wouldn’t use a chainsaw to trim or fell trees with nobody else around (and I’ve used the things for years), but I probably wouldn’t wait for somebody before I cut up a tree that was already down. I’d almost always go ahead with the table saw by myself, but I’d hesitate before cutting awkward pieces or making long ripping cuts. I don’t think it would even occur to me not to mow the lawn by myself.

Does he not own a sawzall? It’s far better suited to “anything” applications than a circular saw.

I think the lawnmower thing is a bit much. Is there something unusually hazardous about your equipment and property? It is pretty hard to hurt yourself with a lawnmower if you use just a little sense.

I use my chainsaw a lot and do stop to think when no one is home but I do it anyway. This is from a person who chopped himself in the knee with an axe when I was younger and had to drag myself out out the woods leaving a tree of blood. Things worked out even though I still don’t have any feeling in that knee.

It’s a riding lawnmower, which I think is safer than a push mower. I can’t just easily put my hand in the wrong place. You’d have to work really hard to put a hand or foot near the blade. And our property is heavily wooded, but pretty level for the most part. I think he’s being silly.

As I get a bit older (45 now) I realize that I’ve been lucky a number of times.

My Wife and I live quite far away from any help. But I will run loaders, chain saws and such while my Wife is away. But I’m damn, damn careful. Never get in a hurry. If it gets dodgy in any way, I don’t do it by myself anymore.

We get cell phone coverage, barely, so I keep my cell phone with me whenever my Wife is not home. You could break your leg on the stairs. Accidents can get you, and the ones that do are the ones that you least expect.

I just re-leveled out our shed the other day, including a side ‘carport’ for our little tractor. When doing it, I left the tractor under the ‘carport’ roof and raised the bucket. I stayed low. If it fell, it would hit the tractor and not me. The tractor was in the way a bit and took me twice as long, but I felt safe.

Lawnmowing is fine, but a backup should be present when using chainsaws, reciprocal saws, or high-ladder/roof repairs. Or burning stuff. Them’s my rules, anyhow…

Well, I generally prefer to be in another state when Mr2U is using his tools, but that’s not the question, now is it?

Kalhoun, I don’t think he’s being unreasonable. Granted, it’s a little overprotective, but I wouldn’t qualify it as unreasonable. You could always tell him to mow the lawn him damn self if he doesn’t want you to do it when it’s convenient for you… :smiley:

A married pair of coworkers at a former job owned a farm. One day the wife was pretty distracted, and eventually told us she’d gone home the previous evening to find her spouse trapped under a disk harrow (a great big rack of circular blades towed behind a tractor).

Despite her having asked him not to work on the tractor alone, he’d put the harrow up on cinderblocks and been doing something underneath it when it slipped off. One of the disk blades cut into his ear, but didn’t cut it off. He had to lie under the thing for the rest of the day until she found him.

Just a data point for you.


I would be pretty dead set against Mr. Neville using a lot of power tools, even if I were around. It has nothing to do with my opinion of his mental capacity- he has a Ph.D. in astrophysics, I’m pretty sure he’s smarter than me, and I don’t think I’m too dumb. It has more to do with his lack of experience with power tools and general non-mechanical inclination (he’s about as handy as you’d expect a stereotypical astrophysicist to be). As Jared Diamond said about New Guineans:

Neither of us has much experience with power tools, and we’re both about equally non-mechanically-inclined (I have a Far Side T-shirt with the “School for the Mechanically Declined” cartoon on it. I used to wear it to the first day of every physics lab I took, just so the professor and TA’s knew what they were getting into.), so if either or both of us were going to use dangerous power tools like saws, I’d want someone around who knew what they were doing.

I wouldn’t worry about lawn mowers, though, or things like electric screwdrivers that it’s probably fairly difficult to injure yourself with. The issue of lawn mowers doesn’t come up with us, because we live in an apartment. If we did have a lawn, though, I’d let him mow it by himself (I wouldn’t do it because I’m fairly badly allergic to lawn grass). I’d certainly trust him not to do something stupid like pick up or reach under a running lawn mower.

You could do like a nice but rather strange neighbor of ours does and attempt to cut you lawn with a pair of scissors… just don’t run with them between the front yard and back.

Have a cell phone on you when you mow. The chances it wouldn’t suffice for the presence of another are pretty small. I mean what would you have to do… cut off your mouth?

Or you could just strap a large caliber rifle across your back and fire it into the air three times if you’re injured. Your choice. :slight_smile:

Oh…if it were only that easy. He’d just as soon let the grass grow forever. He’d love his very own meadow! :stuck_out_tongue:

Ooh ooh ooh - go with the rifle!!

Good CALL, lieu!!


I didn’t go there, but I did think it might be about how to perform everyday tasks using power equipment only. Like washing the dishes with judicious use of a jackhammer, tying your shoes with a Dremel tool…