Real Men Don’t Need Kits

Carving pumpkins is not easy, unless you’re Bob Ross, who I imagine could carve a pumpkin in his sleep while dreaming of “happy places” with tree lined streams and snowy mountains.

We never carved pumpkins when I was a kid, so I don’t have a high water mark set by my father that I have to try and top when it comes to carving pumpkins. But with all the hype around it, and with the plethora of pumpkin carving utensils on the market, you’d think that any schmuck (can I use that word if I’m not Jewish?) could carve a decent pumpkin, thereby reaching new heights of hero worship with his kids.

“Not so!” says the wise man whose wife has been outta town for five days now…

When I was at Old Tyme Pottery earlier this season, I happened upon a pumpkin carving kit, complete with little pinhole saws for cutting those intricate corners, a scoopy thing to pull out the punkin guts, and some paper templates and glue to guide you on your way to punkin carving greatness! Now, I’ve never used a kit before, but I’ve always wanted to. In my mind, after using this kit, I’d be able to turn out one of those Award Winning Pumpkins like you see on TV.

So I bought it and I have been waiting impatiently for the day when I could whip them out and bust a move on a wary punkin; but alas, it was not to be.

See, what I didn’t reckon on, was that the tools that came with the kit, were made of microscopically thin pieces of sheet metal that snap at the slightest pressure. The very act of trying to cut horizontally, completely broke off both of the pinhole saws that came with the kit:

Pumpkin carving kit

And that little scoop thing…was made for little hands and not for the adults who will actually be carving the pumpkin!

So…after snapping off the second saw, while trying to talk on the phone with CareerMom to catch her up on all the cutesie things the boys have done this week, AND while trying to throw the ball for the dogs to give them some exercise, while ALSO trying to keep MLE from stomping in the bowl of pumpkin guts, I finally had to just put everything down and STEP AWAY from the pumpkin!

When I was finally able to again focus on the task at hand, I realized that sometimes, a man has just got to be a man. With that, I ordered the boys (and dogs) to stay put, while I went to the basement and got out the old standby pumpkin carving tool:

Real Man Saw

If you look closely, you can still see pieces of pumpkin on the blade.

In addition to being just “the bomb” for carving holes in pumpkins, it’s also wicked looking, which gives me additional “cool” points with my kids!

It’s not so good for detail work though, which means that all I was able to do last night was the regular pumpkin face.

For the really cool pumpkin design we have planned, I might have to bring out the big gun:


Don’t laugh till you’ve tried it. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a saw shredding through the soft flesh of a pumpkin at high RPMs!

That sounded kinda creepy…




3 thoughts on “Real Men Don’t Need Kits

  1. You are SUCH a man!! hahahaha
    Actually a power drill works great for making starter holes and such. I found a few years ago this great little saw made just for pumpkin carving. It’s battery powered and works great! I have not seen one for sale since! Try using an ice cream scoop to scrape out the pulp or better yet, if you have a friend in the taxidermy business, borrow a fleshing tool. Now THAT works!
    Hey, over 25 years of making Jack-o-lanterns… ya learn a few tricks!

    RE: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I bet there’s not a taxidermist within 20 miles of Atlanta city proper. Take that back…there’s probably not a “licensed” taxidermist…

  2. I laughed until tears while reading this one… Once the picture of the keyhole saw showed up, I was belly laughing – no exaggeration!!

    We have had lots of luck with the pumpkin kits… But those little saws… It takes “just the right touch”…

    This was the first year in I-don’t-remember-how-long that we acutally just made the traditional Jack-o-lantern (because I forgot to make copies of the patterns the kids wanted to use…

    They actually had a good time using their own imaginations!


    RE: Glad you enjoyed. You know, I’ve tried drawing my own designs, but as I’ve mentioned before, I am the only one of four siblings without a lick of drawing ability. I mean, how can you mess up a pumpkin face? I don’t know, but I somehow manage to!

  3. I obliterated one of those tiny detail saws this year, too.

    I thought it was because of a) my brute strength and b) the fact that I didn’t buy the “deluxe” pumpkin carving kit like you did.

    Turns out ALL of those tiny tools are crap.

    RE: I like the “brute strength” hypothesis, but I suspct the latter is true. And I bet the only diff. between the “deluxe” version (for a whopping $3.99) and yours, is probably just more template designs or something. Seriously, next year I’m sticking with the power tools!

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