The Survivalist Blog
This guest post is by Warmongerel and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
My job title is “Maintenance Technician”. I’ve fixed industrial machinery and building equipment for a living for about 25 years. I’ve probably sourced and ordered $500,000 worth of tools in the past year alone. It’s fun spending other people’s money. Unfortunately, I don’t get to keep any of the stuff that I buy.
In addition, I also went to school for carpentry, I was a cabinetmaker for about 8 years and I worked as a machinist briefly.
In other words, I know tools. I know what works and what are the most important tools to have.
In a SHTF scenario, tools are going to be very important. Not only for building/repairing things, but for barter as well.
In my job, you also need to be very good at “thinking outside the box”, so I’ll also list some things that I know would come in handy, but you may not normally think of as “tools”.
First and foremost, a multi-bit screwdriver is a must. Not the type that has 10 little bits to swap out as needed and stored in the handle. You will lose most of those bits within a month. I recommend the Klein 11-in-1 screwdriver . It has #1 and #2 Phillips bits, 1/4″ and 3/16″ straight bits, #10 and #15 Torx bits, #1 and #2 square-drive bits and 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″ nutdrivers. These will cover almost any small fasteners that you may come across. I run a 90,000 square foot facility packed full of equipment, and this is the screwdriver that I use 95% of the time. If I had to choose one tool to have when tshtf, it would be this one.
A hammer will be indispensable for obvious reasons. I have a 24 oz. framing hammer in my bag, but a smaller claw-hammer would work, too. I like the framing hammer because, in addition to its functionality, it makes a hell of a weapon.
An adjustable wrench (aka a “Crescent wrench”) can almost completely replace any open end or box end wrench, saving a ton of room/weight in any kit. I found an amazing version that’s part “vise-grip” and locks on to fasteners, thus eliminating the problem of “stripping” nuts and bolts. It’s from McMaster-Carr. Search for part # 6556A8. It’s only available in a 10″ version. I really wish that they’d come out with different sizes. But this one will cover almost anything you’ll ever need.
Pliers, of course, will be mandatory. I’d recommend a pair of linesman pliers, long nose pliers (i.e.needlenose) and a pair of “Channel lock” pliers. These 3 will cover almost any need that you may have. I also have a pair of Welding pliers in my bag. They can be substituted for the long-nose pliers as they have the long jaws, and they also function as a light hammer, wire cutters and can grip cylindrical objects.
Locking-jaw pliers (i.e. Vise-grips). Duh. I have a couple of different sizes in my bag.
A pair of wire strippers/cutters may come in handy – especially if you know anything about electricity. The Klein 11045 covers most of what you’ll ever need.
Those things should cover almost any situation that you find yourself in and not take up too much space or weigh too much.
So let’s move on to some items that may not seem so obvious.