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Indispensable Non-Power Hand Tools For The Homestead

homestead tools

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If there is one thing I hate, it is not having the proper tool for a job. I compare it to asking a girl to marry you, and then asking your future mother-in-law to accompany the two of you on your honeymoon. It just does not work.

But back to tools — specifically, non-electric ones. Before my crazy days of tool purchasing, it was common for me to discover I did not have the right size socket, or my C clamp was not wide enough for the brake job.

The key to being self-sufficient is just that: being self-sufficient. This means having the proper tools and supplies on hand to allow you and your family to survive and thrive for an indefinite period of time. I advocate that if possible you should have everything from bullets to Band-Aids, beans to bull horns. I understand it takes time to purchase and procure things. Believe me, I’m in that boat myself, but I’m moving forward toward self-sufficiency.

If you are a homesteader, small farmer or prepper, one area you MUST become self-sufficient in is tools. Things break. Axles break, door handles break, engines break. What I am going to attempt to do is compile a list of basic hand tools you should have for your land, farm, home and your life. Keep in mind these are basics, and there are many more tools to add to the workshop as time goes on.

The Basics

Everyone should have at least a couple of well-built hammers. You will always need to pound on things. Ball-peen, straight-peen, sledge and framing hammers are excellent items to have in the tool box as well.

  • Screwdrivers should be kept in several common sizes and at least two of each size.
  • Pliers, needle nose, and channel locks.
  • Tape measures.
  • Clamps – C-clamps, woodworking clamps, vice grips, etc.
  • Table/bench vice.


You will need to purchase, or inherit, an excellent set of sockets and wrenches. I cannot tell you how many times you will use a socket and driver in your life. Most of you know this, but I would be roasted on a spit with an apple in my mouth if I did not mention it. I have several sets of sockets, probably more than I will ever need.

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Combination wrenches, open-ended wrenches, and adjustable crescent wrenches should be stockpiled in as many sizes as you can get your fingers on.

duct tape survival uses

Duct tape, a tool?

I have at least 2-3 oil filter wrenches. If you don’t at least know how to change your own oil, learn. If you have your oil changed at the local drive-through oil change, that’s all well and good, but keep everything you need to do it yourself on hand.

Pipe wrench. I thought I would never need one, until the day I needed one.


  • A couple of good crosscut handsaws. If the power goes out and stays out, that nice circular saw will become a nice Craftsman paperweight.
  • A hacksaw or two with plenty of extra blades. These are great for cutting through all sorts of metal objects.
  • Woodworking saws such as a coping saw, frame saw, fret saw, etc., are all extremely useful to have for any woodworking projects that will come up.


  • Straight edge knife.
  • Utility knife
  • Nail set. Not the beauty kind. If you ever need to set or sink a nail, you will need these tools. They also work well as a punch in a pinch.
  • A wide variety of Allen wrenches. All of those made-in-China bookshelves will at least give you a great set of Allen wrenches. Collect them.
  • Wire cutters and wire strippers.
  • Duct Tape. And yes, Duct Tape is a tool.

Everybody’s needs are different, and as you can, start to procure tools. Tools can be just as important as ammunition in a crisis.

What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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