You wouldn’t be reading this article trying to figure out what tools you needed to build stuff with if you thought life was like the Sound of Music. But if you’re reading this to add another layer of knowledge to your prepping arsenal, you are at the right spot. Figuring out the basic tools and machines that can get you productive in a time of crisis or in everyday life is more important than you think.
Let’s start with the basics. Having a mix of manual tools and battery operated power tools will not only keep you efficient but will ensure accuracy in whatever you decide to cut, saw, chop or drill. Here are the tools that will provide the best versatility in a time of crisis or just when you are trying to figure out how to mount those deer antlers above your master bed.
- 16’ Measure tape and 100’ measure tape – just in-case you want to draw that line in the sand that you dare your neighbor to cross or just need to measure the board length you are going to hand saw.
- 8” and 48” level – which allows you to check the horizontal and vertical (plum) of anything you want to truly keep squared.
- A good set of chisels – that run in sizes ¼”- 1 ½”. They work great for knocking down corners on wood and cleaning out saw cuts and joints. Make sure the handle is made to handle a hammer strike so if you need to carve out a Billy stick you won’t damage the handle.
- Prybars – in a few different sizes, 8” 16” and a 24” big one made for when you are really needing to pry your neighbors food supply door open.
- Clamps– you can never have enough clamps! C-clamps, F-clamps, Spreader clamps, Pipe clamps, everything you need to hold stuff together during a glue up or spread things apart.
- 6” layout square – It’s a triangle usually made out of aluminum or metal used to make square cuts on lumber stock. Framers sleep with this tool like it’s the Holy Grail. You just can’t make your life any easier with such a simple device.
- Block plane – Used to flatten edges of wood, smooth joints and works fantastic for cleaning an edge to glue up to.
- Handsaw – For when your battery operated reciprocating saw runs out of juice and the solar panels you are using are working less efficiently because it’s raining outside.
- Mallet – Use it as an attitude adjuster or for its real purpose: to coerce things into fitting correctly without destroying or denting them.
- T-Bevel/Sliding bevel – Made to measure all kinds of angles you may encounter when building your survival tree-house. Use it to cut angle trim or a slew of other things.
- A good screwdriver set and bit set that has a Phillips, star and flathead slotted bits in it.
- Utility scissors – A good industrial pair of scissors will be great for opening MRE’s or cutting your jeans to treat yourself when the neighbors Pit-bull decides to use your shin as a drumstick.
Enough of the manual stuff, lets dive into battery operated POWER TOOLS! As you already know we no longer live in the Stone Age, and technology can help us even when the grid is down. With advancements in solar, hooking up and using the sun to charge your tools through solar panels and inverters is a great way to keep efficient.
With Solar in mind, your power tool arsenal list should include the following:
- 20 Volt Jigsaw– Great for cutting angles, circles, arches and works when you need some speed when pumpkin carving.
- 20 Volt Impact Driver– you never know when you need the power, but at least you have it.
- 20 Volt 6 ½” Circular Saw made to cut lumber quickly and rip large sheets of plywood.
- 20 Volt Reciprocating Saw with multiple types of blades including smooth cut, rough cut and a few for all-purpose use. This tool is a must. It’s great for cutting low-lying tree limbs, flush cutting plugs and all sorts of things inside and outside of the shop.
- 20 Volt drill driver or simply called a drill. You will have the manual one that you will realize after ½ a turn makes the hair on your knuckles fall off due to the strain of a screw stuck in hardwood. But when you really need to screw stuff down fast this will be your Huckleberry.
For the serious hardcore woodworkers out there, you always have the Amish option. Which is going out and buying a Tablesaw, Jointer, Planer, Sander and Wood Lathe; pulling all the motors and attaching a pulley system so your buddy who lost at your poker table the night before, can pedal power your machine while you woodwork away. For the rest of us, the list above will enable you to handle 95% of most jobs around the house or when building your dream artillery bunker!