Off gridders and homesteaders need tools! Period. Hand tools, power tools, and equipment all make off grid living easier and more productive. Without these tools, it’s impossible to build and maintain your homestead. Being off grid means being prepared and being 100% self-sufficient. Without the right tools for the right job, your life will be much rougher than it needs to be. Be prepared and be ready.
Top 10 must-have tools in your off grid living arsenal
You will need these, just to start:
- Chainsaws – If you don’t have a chainsaw, get one. You’ll need it to clear brush, trees, and if you’re the adventurous type, you’ll need it to build your cabin. It’s an invaluable tool for trimming trees that overhang your home, clearing trails and roads of debris caused by storms, and with a sawmill attachment, you can make lumber to build your cabin.
- Handsaws – Your chainsaw will run out of gas, and there will be others helping you build and maintain your property. A handsaw is a must-have tool.
- Table Saw – Cutting planks and boards to exact measurements takes a good table saw.
- Chop Saw – With a chop saw you can cut pipe, rebar, studs, joists, fence posts, and just about all other materials from steel, to PVC, to wood, brick, and concrete block.
- Axes – No homestead is complete without an axe. Firewood is the most needed commodity in the northern hemisphere in winter, and if you don’t have an axe, it could mean the difference between survival and freezing to death.
- Machete – A machete is a perfect tool for clearing small areas or blazing trails on your property.
- Shovels – Goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Get a few good solid high-quality shovels. Get a couple of spades and a couple of square-pointed shovels. You’ll need them to dig holes of all kinds, from footers to septic systems, to gardening.
- Rakes – You’ll need to rake leaves, gravel, sand, and soil in your garden and around your home.
- Hoe – Gardening can’t be done without one.
- Post Hole Diggers – Ever try to put up a fence without a post hole digger? Enough said. (Oh, they also work well for digging outhouse holes.)
- Hammers – Claw hammer and a sledge hammer.
- Wheelbarrows – You’ll need a way to haul small loads of various materials, sand, dirt, concrete, and fertilizers. Plus, kids love riding in them too!
- Dolly (hand truck) – Another great tool for making your life easier when moving furniture and appliances.
- Utility Trailer – A good quality utility trailer is an invaluable must-have on any serious homesteaders land. You will need to haul any number of things on your property, having a utility trailer makes it much easier.
- Tractor – From tilling to plowing, hauling, and just getting from place to place on your land, it’s a must.
- Tiller – If you have a smaller garden area, a small gas-powered rotary tiller is a good investment. It’s much easier than tilling by hand and will save you time.
- ATV or UTV – You’ll need to haul things across your land, if you don’t have a tractor (get a tractor) you’ll need a UTV or ATV to haul things from place to place with your utility trailer. It makes it convenient and you don’t have to put wear-and-tear on your truck.
- Rope & Cordage – Everyone needs a good supply of cordage and rope for their homestead. It’s a necessity.
- Chain & Cable – You will need to haul heavy pieces of equipment and materials across your land. A good solid piece of chain and a long length of strong 1/4″ and 1/2″ cable is priceless! Keep them with easy access in your truck, UTV/ATV, and barn.
- Come-Along – A come-along is a ratcheting cable used to lift and drag heavy objects into place.
- Lumber Jack – You’ll need a large lumberjack for lifting beams, logs, and other heavy objects. It also helps when you get your vehicles or tractor stuck in the mud.
- Level – Every homestead builder needs a level, from leveling pipe to wooden structures, barns, and cabin building, to running fencing you’ll need a good level. Get a large and small handheld level.
- Tape Measure – This goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Get a couple of tape measures for measuring distance, board length, and all other building and maintenance applications.
- Carpenter Pencils – Simply used for marking cut lines on boards, studs, posts, logs etc. You could use a nail, but having some carpenter’s pencils on hand is just smart.
- Wrenches & Socket Set – Your tractor, car, truck, and other equipment will break down eventually and you’ll need to repair them. You’ll also find uses for a good socket set inside your home or cabin. Get a good set. Don’t buy a cheap set! That bears repeating. DO NOT BUY A CHEAP SOCKET SET! They will not last and you’ll lose pieces and sockets because the cases they come in are cheaply built and are not durable. If you buy good quality tools in the beginning it will save you way more money over time. Craftsman tools offer a LIFETIME WARRANTY for defective tools, but you’ll most likely never have to replace them.
- Screwdrivers – Don’t get screwed by not having a good set of common sizes and types of screwdrivers.
- Drill Press – This machine is a must-have when precision is needed for drilling highly accurate holes in materials of all types. You can get by with a hand held drill, but a drill press is ten times as accurate and the quality of your build or repair will be much better.
- Vice – You’ll need a way to hold pipe, rebar, planks, boards, posts, and other objects steady while working on them.
- Hand Drill – As above, having a quality drill is a must. You never know when you’ll need to connect pieces of materials, run wire through a header or footer, drill starter holes, or ventilation holes in your outhouse.
- Welder – Every good homesteader knows a welder is a solid must-have tool for your homestead. From regular maintenance to builds and emergency repairs, a welder will save your thousands of dollars in repair bills over the long term. If you don;t know how to weld, learn. It’s worth the investment in knowledge and for the savings.
- Cutting Torch – You will at some point need to cut metal, whether it’s steel tubing, pipe, sheet metal, or steel framing on your tractor, truck, car, or steel building. Having a cutting torch and the knowledge to use it will not only save you money, but lots of time.
- 4″ Grinder – This is a very versatile tool. You can cut, grind,sand and smooth metal, wood, and concrete materials with ease. If you don’t have a grinder, get one.
- Miscellaneous Hand Tools – Pliers, wire cutters, vice grips, C-clamps, clamps, scrapers, paint brushes, chisels, and other small hand tools.
This might seem like almost every kind of tool there is known to man but it’s simply the basics. This list is far from being comprehensive. There are many, many more tools you’ll need on your off grid homestead. Without these basic tools your life will be very difficult. You need to be able to maintain and repair all your equipment and your home or cabin.
Having these tools on hand helps get the job done right and is a time saver by having the right tool for the right job and within reach when the need arrises.
It will make your off grid homesteading life much easier and more rewarding.
If you can think of more tools, please let us know in the comments below.