Tools are essential in off-grid living. There are many hand tools that can help you survive, but there are also powerful tools that you will need. Relying on hand tools seem so rugged and butch, but it’s just not practical. How are you going to build and continue to maintain your home if you don’t make use of power tools? Hand tools will do, but it may take you forever to perfect a craft like a simple table. People who have mastered living off-grid know that it’s important to remain prepared and self-sufficient at all times.
Modern technology gave us helpful power tools, and if you want to live off-grid, use them to your advantage. Power tools save time and your energy, helping you get projects done quickly.
Every off-grid prepper prepares an ax for cutting off wood in the wilderness. Having a trusty ax is sure to get you out of many trees, branches, and brush on your way. But when you need to clear out a large amount of brush, it’s tiring to do that with an ax.
Using a high-quality chainsaw will speed up your work. With a chainsaw, one person can perform the work of many men with axes. With a chainsaw, you can produce your own lumber instead of having to buy it, which means you can build your own cabin all on your own.
There are different brands of chainsaws that will last you for many years. Since it’s a combustion-driven tool, you will need to supply the fuel for it. You may need to use fuel stabilizers depending on how you will store the fuel. There are battery-operated chainsaws available in the market, but be sure to keep it charged at all times.
Here are some of the best chainsaw models you can choose from:
- Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
- Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
- Remington RM4618 Outlaw 46cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw with Carrying Case, Automatic Chain Oiler, and 5-Point Anti Vibration System
A drill is a key tool for drilling holes and driving screws. This is an important tool for helping connect your pieces together for your makeshift crafts. You will use it not only for drilling holes but for random things like adding some ventilation for your outhouse.
When you go off-grid, having a cordless tool is necessary. It’s a hassle to bring a corded one since you need to provide an outlet and a source of electricity on the site. When you go for a cordless drill, you need a battery or even an additional backup if there’s too much drilling to do. It’s also wise to keep your drill around with you in case you find yourself stuck in a jam.
You may also go through an impact driver, but remember that it’s a different tool altogether. It’s ideal for driving and removing bolts and screws.
- DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill
- BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver
- BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver
If you are roughing it by building your own home off-grid, having a table saw is necessary. Cutting the boards and planks to the exact measurements need a high-quality product. Use a table saw along with the chain saw to mill lumber. Just run your slabs through the table saw then get the precise dimensions needed.
Another great thing about having a table saw is that you can do your cabinetry work with ease. If you want to create your own hand-crafted furniture, the table saw is proven effective at making anything you need to make. IT has the capability of larger saws, plus it can make accurate straight cuts with no issues. If you have a circular saw, you can turn it into a table saw by constructing a table.
- DEWALT (DWE7491RS) 10-Inch Table Saw
- SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw with Folding Stand
- Bosch Power Tools 4100-10 Tablesaw
Many people consider a reciprocating saw as a demolition tool, but it helps a lot when you’re cutting through steel and wood. The blade measures anywhere from four to eight inches, and it’s used for cutting pipes, pruning trees, and doing any demolition work. However, the blades of a reciprocating saw are disposable, so you need to keep a good stock on hand, as cutting with a dull blade is dangerous.
When living off the grid, again, it’s better to find a cordless version. This way, you can use it anywhere as long as the batteries are charged.
- Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw
- BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw
- Ridgid R8641 18 Volt Cordless Reciprocating Saw with Orbital Action
It’s great to have a sanding block handy for smaller tasks, but if you’re dealing with a large amount of work, a power sander will help quite easily. You need to use a power sander to smooth out most wood and metal. Many people who are building off-grid will find many uses for this tool. It’s helpful anytime you have to build or paint furniture.
Since there’s a lot of sanders available, here are the main types you may encounter:
A belt sander is designed for smoothening large, flat, and rough surfaces. It’s a heavy tool that uses sanding belts instead of paper. You will need this type of sander if you’re taking out old finishes such as paints, stains, and varnishes. Belt sanders are available in different standard sizes, which is a reference to the belt they use. You can find a 3 x 21-inch (most common size), a 3 x 18-inch (most compact), a 3 x 24-inch and a 4 x 24-inch sander.
Orbital finishing sander
Also called a quarter-sheet sander, an orbital finishing sander is a lightweight sander that can be easily controlled by the hand. It’s also fairly quiet. This is a popular choice for DIY beginners because it doesn’t damage the piece you are working on easily. You can’t use it for heavy-duty projects, but it works well for smoothing wood, knocking off coats of paint, and rounding sharp edges. It uses a one-quarter sheet of a standard 9 x 11-inch piece of sandpaper. It has two spring-loaded clamps that hold the paper against the sander while the pad vibrates in orbits.
- Bosch GSS20-40-RT 2.0 Amp 1/4-Sheet Orbital Finishing Sande
- Porter Cable 380 1/4 Sheet Orbital Finish Sander
Random orbit sander
A random orbit sander is similar to orbital finishing sander in many aspects – it looks the same in design, palm grip, and housing. The only difference is it uses a round pad that can move in random orbits, thus the name. It vibrates in small circles and spins in circles at the same time. This sander is ideal for stock removal, as well as smooth sanding projects. It doesn’t remove as fast as the belt sander.