125 Tools Everyone Should Own

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In life you need to work on things, repair things that get broken and provide maintenance on things to keep them from breaking. This requires the right tool for the right job. This is a list of the tools you need to complete those jobs and make your life easier. Here’s the list of tools everyone should own.

NOTE: I know many of these tools seem obvious to some folks who use them every day, but there are a lot of folks out there who really want to move off grid who are unfamiliar with homesteading and the tools needed, and who need a good list of right tools to start with. This is that list. If you can think of a tool that’s NOT on this list, please feel free to comment below and let us know so we can add it to the list. Thank you! 🙂

PRO TIP: Don’t buy cheap tools! Let me say that another way. Buy the BEST tools you can afford. Don’t scrimp or be cheap with your tools or you will pay for it later either by having to buy a new tool to replace the old inferior quality tool which will cost you more in the long run. Or you could injure yourself or someone else with a cheap low quality tool. CHEAP IS NOT BETTER when it comes to tools. This is a safety issue as well as a financial one. It also helps to have the right tool for the right job. If you buy a cheap tool you’re going to get cheap results. The tools will break and you will have to replace them, and in the long run that’s going to cost you more money.

  1. Safety Glasses – Safety first! That’s what my dad always taught me. So it makes sense to put this first.
  2. Respirator – Safety first! And second. Your lungs are kind of important. Protect them from hazardous materials, dust, chemicals and asbestos.
  3. Dust Mask – Same thing. Protect your lungs.
  4. Work Gloves – Protect your hands, not just from splinters and minor annoyances, but you need your hands to work. Protect them.
  5. Welding Gloves – Same reason as above. If you’re welding you don’t need bad burns.
  6. Ear Protection (ear plugs or ear muffs) – Kinda goes without saying. Protect your hearing.
  7. KneePads – If you’re going to be doing any roofing or flooring you’ll need kneepads to protect your knees from injury.
  8. Knife – No homestead or homesteader is complete without a good quality knife on hand. Pocketknife and fix blade.
  9. Flashlight – You need to see in the dark. Or find the bolt, screw, nut, or nail that fell right under the middle of whatever it is that can get right in your way.
  10. Extension Cords – small medium and large – You’ll need a few of these at differing lengths. Have at least 100′ of extension cords around, you’re going to need it.
  11. Magnet (telescopic rod) – Again, you’ll drop metalic objects that seem to find there way to the most inconvenient places, out of sight and into some parallel universe. You’ll need the magnet stick to retrieve them and save your sanity.
  12. Utility Knife – Because sometime you don’t want to use your good knife for cutting carpet or hoses or tires or something that you don’t ant to damage your good knife on.
  13. Box Cutter – Not so much that you need a box cutter, but they do come in handy. (if you don’t have a knife).
  14. Exacto Knife – Sometimes you’ll need to cut small stuff and do some precision cutting.
  15. Shovel – Because no self-respecting farmer or rancher or homesteader would be caught dead without at lease 10 of them on hand.
  16. Post Hole Diggers – For digging post hole of course! You’ll be doing A LOT of this when you move off grid. 😉
  17. Leaf Rake – Because you’ll need to rake the leaves and use them for compost.
  18. Potato Rake – For turning the compost. And raking potatoes. lol
  19. Pitch Fork – For hay…and stuff.
  20. Pick – If you live in an area with hard ground or rocky soil you’ll need a pick to dig with.
  21. Hoe (lol) – The kind you use in the garden.
  22. Axe – This is probably supposed to be at the top of the list. You’re going to need it for cutting firewood, cutting trees down, and practicing your viking axe throwing for the coming apocalypse.
  23. Hatchet – More portable cutting tool. Get a good one. Don’t buy a cheap hatchet!
  24. Tape Measure – For measuring things you need to measure. 😉 seriously, you’ll need a few of these. A small 36″ one for measuring cloth for making your own clothes, a medium 12′ one for your tool drawer in the kitchen and bedroom and office. And you’ll need a couple larger 25′ to 30′ metal tape measures. Plus add in a 100 foot roll tape measure for outdoors and layouts for building.
  25. Nailset – To countersink nails.
  26. Carpenters Hammer – Get a few of these in multiple sizes. You’ll use them all.
  27. Ball Peen Hammer – For metal work
  28. Sledge Hammer – For concrete and BIG jobs that require a large heavy hammer. Breaking out old foundations, moving a big log 1″, drive stakes and rebar for foundations and other projects. And for smashing the engine on that old tractor that just refuses to start. (just kidding; that’s tractor abuse) 😉
  29. Screwdrivers – Flathead and Phillips head. Multiple sizes. – Get yourself a good set of quality screw drivers of all kinds and all sizes. Make sure they are not soft metal. Make sure they’re tempered hardened tool steel. Otherwise you’re going to be buying another set later.
  30. Multibit Screwdriver – A milti-bit screwdriver. This is for those indoor projects that you need to put together some box furniture or do a quick little job inside.
  31. Eyeglasses Screwdrivers – Micro screw drivers are handy little tools you will need at some point. Trust me on that.
  32. Pliers – 2-3 sizes, small medium and large – Multiple sizes for multiple jobs.
  33. Needle Nose Pliers – 2-3 sizes, small medium and large – Multiple sizes for multiple jobs.
  34. Vice Grips (locking pliers) – Multiple sizes for multiple jobs.
  35. Wire Strippers – For when you need to strip wire of course. If you’re installing your own solar system, you’ll certainly need them.
  36. Tin Snips – Because have you ever tried to cut sheet metal with wrong tool? It doesn’t work very well. Get a good pair, pay the money for them and they’ll last you a lifetime.
  37. Vice – Get a good solid LARGE bench vice. Mount it to your large heavy unmoving welding table or solid workbench. Seriously, you may need to bend a piece of pipe or rebar, metal bar, or something and you’ll need a good heavy duty table/workbench that won’t move when you start applying pressure. Mount the vice with heavy duty bolts, AND if you feel like it weld it to your metal welding table.
  38. Rope – Multiple diameters. Good rope. Not cheap rope. Cheap rope can injure you or worse. Seriously, people don’t think about this, but I’ve seen too many people get injured using cheap inferior quality rope. It will snap and it could cut or blind someone.
  39. Paracord – There’s probably 101 uses for good quality paracord on the homestead and survival and camping. Shoelaces, bootlaces, clothesline, ridgeline for survival tent/shelter etc.
  40. Duct Tape – No home is complete without duct tape. Again there’s probably 1000 uses for duct tape. The world is held together by duct tape.
  41. Electrical Tape – For insulating wires in your off grid power system.
  42. Masking Tape – General project use.
  43. Blue Painters Tape – Painting edges and other arts and crafts projects around the house.
  44. WD40 – (lubrication) – Gott have lube.
  45. Gun Oil – Never can have too much lube.
  46. Marvel Mystery Oil – Because we ll need more lube in our life.
  47. All-in-One Oil – Lube for almost every purpose. (probably should be called “Almost-All-In-One Oil)
  48. Bench Grinder 8″ – For sharpening things and grinding things of course. Get a variable speed grinder. 1/2 horsepower is good for most jobs.
  49. Channel-Locks (pliers) – 2-3 sizes, small medium and large
  50. Pipe Wrench – 2-3 sizes. Small medium and large
  51. Adjustable Wrench (crescent wrench, spanner wrench) – This is a must have tool that should be in every man’s toolbox, and woman’s. (ladies…;)
  52. Wire Cutters – You’ll be amazed at how often you’ll need to cut wire.
  53. Side Cutters – Same as above. Side cutters just make it a bit easier, more leverage and large cutting surface.
  54. Socket Set – 1/4″ and 1/2″ socket set. Deep well and standard. –  Don’t scrimp on the sockets. Get the best you can afford. You’ll need them. Make sure you get both standard and metric sizes.
  55. Wrench Set – Open end wrenches – Get the best you can afford. You’ll need them. Make sure you get both standard and metric sizes.
  56. Combination Wrench Set (metric) – Get the best you can afford. You’ll need them. Make sure you get both standard and metric sizes.
  57. Combination Wrench Set (standard) – Get the best you can afford. You’ll need them. Make sure you get both standard and metric sizes.
  58. Allen Wrench Set – You’ll need these more than you think. Get multiple sets. One for the garage, barn, and kitchen. Maybe even one for truck and each car you have.
  59. Hacksaw – Make sure you get multiple high quality blades. Hardened steel or you’ll go through blades like crazy and it’ll cost you more money. The teeth on cheaper saw blades made from inferior steel will dull fast and the blades will warp and stretch and twist with all the friction and heat generated by the dullness of the blade. Buy good quality saw blades. (this goes for ALL saw blades)
  60. Coping Saw – For small jobs and cutting corners. No really, it’s for cutting curves and intricate work.
  61. Carpenters saw – Get multiple sizes and blades for different jobs. Small medium and large.
  62. Bow Saw – This will help you with firewood and tree trimming. These saws will make short work of small, medium and larger limbs that need to be trimmed around the property.
  63. Band Saw – Because no workshop is complete without a good bandsaw.
  64. Scroll Saw – A scroll saw is kind of like a coping saw but it’s a power tool so it’s faster and it allows you to use both hands while you cut for more intricate curves and sharp corners.
  65. Table saw – One of a Carpenter’s main tools and one you’ll need to learn to use safely. I’ve seen too many people get hurt by misusing one. Always be safe.
  66. Miter Saw – For cutting angles in wood and metal.
  67. Wood Chisels – small medium and large – You’ll need a good set of wood chisels for working your cabin. Windows, door frames, saddle notches on your logs. Lots of different uses.
  68. Metal Chisels – small medium and large – You’ll need a good set of metal chisels for cutting rusted bolts off things an other jobs around the homestead.
  69. C-Clamps – For clamping things. Metal and wood clamps. Get lots of sizes of both.
  70. Gooseneck Wrecking Bar (crowbar) – Typical crowbar has many uses. Leverage mostly. Also good for killing zombies during the coming Zombie Apocalypse.
  71. Flatbar Prybar – Great for removing nails and prying on things.
  72. Large 6′ Pry Bar – When you need more leverage than a crowbar can give you. Like lifting a log wall or a foundation to level it. For providing leverage to move large bulky structures.
  73. Come-Along Cable Rachet Winch – You’ll need this to help move things.
  74. Shop Vac – For cleaning up the shop.
  75. Chainsaw – You’re going to need a good chainsaw for downing trees and building your cabin. Trimming limbs and trees that fall in storms etc.
  76. Limb cutter – Same as above.
  77. Tree trimmer – Same as above, and you’ll need it for the garden if you have fruit trees.
  78. Angle Grinder – For cutting and grinding metal.
  79. Metal Pipe cutter – Don’t just use a hacksaw, sometimes you’ll need a pipe cutter. It leaves a clear edge and you don’t have to deburr it.
  80. PVC Pipe cutter – They look like pliers with a blade on them. The’ll cut through just about any small PVC pipe and make your life a lot easier than trying to get a hacksaw into a small space. It’s also faster.
  81. Welding Machine – You will need to weld things. Fence hinges, door hinges, shocks and springs on your tractor and truck. You’ll need to weld all kinds of things. Get a welder and learn how to use it. If you have one already then AWESOME!
  82. Combination Square – For measuring the squareness of things. 😉 Seriously, being able adjust the edge length will allow you to do more than with a large carpenter’s square.
  83. Calipers (digital and analog) – These are a necessity if you’re doing any kind of precision measurement work. Metal working requires it.
  84. Measuring Compass – For measuring and drawing curves.
  85. Wood Files – If you’re building your own cabin you’ll need a good set of small medium and large wood files and rasps.
  86. Metal Files – You’re going to need to sharpen the blades on your farm equipment.
  87. Oil Filter Wrench – Changing the oil on the old tractor or farm truck? You’ll need an oil filter wrench. (of if it’s stuck, a philpshead screwdriver will work just fine; if you’ve done this before then you know already). 😉
  88. Volt/Amp/Ohm Meter – You will have to measure the voltage or check an outlet for current/electricity. Especially if you’re building your own off grid power system.
  89. Sewing Awl – When sewing canvas and leather and other thick textiles and materials you’re going to need a sewing awl. This is a must have tool! You might not think it now, but if you’re off grid, and your work boots or Carhart jacket or canvas tent get a hole or a seam comes loose, then you’re gonna need it.
  90. Hole Punch/Awl -You’d be amazed at how often this little tool gets used on the homestead. You’ve going to need to pole holes in stuff. A lot! Have a few of these laying around will come in handy.
  91. Torpedo Level – For leveling small jobs, pipes, and checking level in smaller areas.
  92. Carpenters Level – For checking level on your logs and windows, and doors and posts etc.
  93. Square – Have a few these. They’re cheap and plentiful. You’ll need a few of them because like those nuts and bolts the somehow end up in other dimensions and parallel universes. They’re there on second and the next you’re pulling you hair yelling that you just laid it down. (course all tools are pretty much like that, some more than others; like sockets!) 😉
  94. Speed Square – For making squaring things faster. Of course.
  95. Caulk Gun – Get a couple few of these too. They’re cheap and you can put people to work who come knocking on your door when you’re in the middle of caulking something.
  96. Paint Brushes – Get lots of these. All sizes. Also for the same reason as listed above.
  97. Paint Scrapers – Same as above.
  98. Putty Knives – Same as above.
  99. Drill (Cordless battery powered) – Get a couple three of these cordless drills.
  100. Drill (corded as a backup) – Always have a backup just in case the battery goes dead.
  101. Drill Press – For drilling precision holes in stuff.
  102. Drill Bits – Because your drill is worthless without them. lol – Note: Drill bits also seem to disappear into the netherworld, often for long periods of time, showing up in the oddest places when you least expect them. Never really when you need them. Because that’s just how that works.
  103. Rotary Tool (Dremel) – For grinding and sanding small stuff.
  104. SawsAll (reciprocating saw) – (battery powered) – The battery powered ones are so convenient for smaller cutting jobs and cutting out holes in things that needs holes cut in them.
  105. SawsAll (reciprocating saw) – (corded as a backup) – – Always have a backup just in case the battery goes dead.
  106. JigSaw Same as above.
  107. Circular Saw – (battery powered) – Very convenient tool A must have for cutting plywood and boards.
  108. Circular Saw- (cord powered as a backup) – Always have a backup just in case the battery goes dead.
  109. Sander – Because smooth is better than rough. You’ll need a good orbital sander for the homestead.
  110.  Chalkline – Come in handy for roofing and tile work and flooring of all kinds, and walls and anywhere you need a long straight line.
  111. WoodPlane – Get a few of these in different sizes. You’ll need them if you’re building your own cabin from scratch or if you’re into woodworking.
  112. Drywall Saw – This little tool has a bunch of uses, not just for cutting holes in drywall, as you’ll find out. You’ll always need one around the house for something. Get a couple few of them and stash them in drawers and easy to find locations so you don’t have to go looking for them.
  113. Router – For finishing edges on wood and metal.
  114. Air Compressor – If you’re got air tools you’ll need an air compressor. You can also use it to help clean up the shop and blow out lines/pipes, air up tires etc.
  115. Saw Horses – Make these out of 2×4’s or go buy the foldable kind. I bought some aluminum Kobalt sawhorses for about $30-$40 a piece and they worked great! I loved them and they were good quality for the money.
  116. Wheel Barrow – For moving stuff heavier than you want to carry. lol
  117. Dolly (Hand Truck) – For moving BIG HEAVY BULKY stuff than you want to carry.
  118. Center Punch – Not a martial arts move, but rather a small metal pointy thing the punches the center of things you want to mark. No, seriously. It’s used to mark a center on metal and/or wood prior to drilling.
  119. Step Ladder – Because if you’re short like me, you’ll need it to reach things that shouldn’t be so high up to begin with. 😉
  120. Extension Ladder – For those times when you need to get really high (move to Colorado). Always have an extension ladder on the property.
  121. Toolboxes (lockable secure) – Lockable storage for your babies. Your tools are your babies. Keep them safe.
  122. Workbench – Build a good workbench. Make it from metal if you’re good with metal, if not use wood. Heavy duty, pressure treated. If you’re not the building type, go buy a heavy duty one from the local hardware store.
  123. Welding Table – This is a specialty item for some folks. But it’s you’re serious about your homestead, you’ll learn to weld and you’ll have a good solid industrial strength welding table.
  124. Cabinets & Shelves – This kind of goes without saying, but it’s a tool for your tools. You’ll need a safe place for them. Have plenty of cabinets and shelves for storing tools so you find them…when they’re not in some weird alternate reality somewhere.
  125. PegBoard Tool Hangers – For hanging tools on to show all your buddies of course!

This list is just the basic tools and some advanced items. This list does not include specialty tools for mechanics and engineering tools and gauges. There are thousands of tools for all kinds of jobs. This list barely scratches the surface, but it does provide you with a solid foundation to build from. You don’t need to buy them all at once. Buy a few at a time. Get good toolboxes. Label the drawers. Keep everything in its place. Your tools will be easier to find later when you need them. Don’t forget to buy the BEST tools you can afford. They’ll save you money long term. Slow and steady and build your collection over a period of time. Before you know it you’ll have everything you need.

BONUS TOOLS: Because we all know we all NEED MORE TOOLS! I’m going to list some blacksmithing tools here because it just makes sense to have blacksmith tools readily available on the off grid homestead. The good thing about these tools are once you have the first ones, you can make more! I LOVE this idea of making my own tools and so should every homesteader.

  1. Anvil – Buy a big anvil. 150 pounds or more is good. A 70 pound is ok if you’re just starting out, but if you’re serious, I would suggest gettin a 150 to 200 pound anvil, maybe larger but that 200 pounder should be all you need for most jobs. Don’t try to lift it alone for safety reasons.
  2. Forge – You can build a forge or buy a commercial forge. I’d suggest making one out of an old steel wheel and welding a piece of pipe to attach the bellows. There are multiple kinds of forges. From enclosed to open and some are just shallow metal trays that you put the smithing coke in to burn. (coke is the stuff blacksmiths burn in the forge to heat the metal. It’s not exactly coal, look it up.)
  3. Bellows – For blowing air in to stoke the fire and get it hotter. This can be a shop vac in reverse hooked up to the metal pipe connected to the forge.
  4. Smithing Hammers – They come in all sizes, flat, round, chiseled. If you’re serious about blacksmithing (as you should be if you’re living off grid) then you’ll probably end up with 10-15 hammers laying around, with probably about the same or more tongs.
  5. Tongs – All sizes and shapes of tongs to hold the hot metal.
  6. PowerHammer – If you’re seriously into blacksmithing you’ll want one of these giants eventually. It makes things much much easier. Most serious blacksmiths have one of these, sometimes multiple powerhammers in one shop.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this little list of tools.

If you can think of more tools please feel free to suggest them in the comments and we’ll add them as we can. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this list and it provides some value to you, please consider sharing with your family and friends and in groups related to this DIY tools and equipment.

Thanks!

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