21 Tools: Save Big on Your Doomsday Handy-Plan

Tools Galore

21 Tools: Save Big on Your Doomsday Handy-Plan

Know When to Scrimp and When to Splurge When Buying Home Improvement Tools

Tools, tools, and never-ending tools.

Tools Galore

By now you should have concluded that the times are changing. Have you chosen to fortify yourself with skills and tools? If so, good. This list should help.

If you’re like me then budget is a major concern. You want the best you can afford, but tools are expensive. Which ones do you need for a doomsday handy plan? What tools can you not live without? Which ones should you buy new and which ones can you safely buy used?

This list is far from comprehensive, but these 21 tools are must-haves for a proper handy plan. Every household should have the tools on this list, and plenty more. However, if you’re just getting started these few tools will set you on a path toward self-reliance.

I’ve chosen these tools because I use them in my home and as a part-time professional handyman.

Tool Storage and Transport

A large, disorganized pile of tools is less than useless. If you own every tool there is but can’t find them quickly what good is that? You should forget about preparing for a doomsday handy plan. Disorganization inevitably leads to mental dysregulation and blood pressure problems. Keep a cool head instead. Keep your tools at an arms reach and portable. Everything in it’s proper place.

Husky Tools has stepped up its tool storage game in recent years. I spent hours comparing and contrasting storage options. I decided on the Husky Build Out Modular Rolling Box System and the Husky Heavy Duty PRO Tool Backpack for my particular needs. They were the best option for my money.

Husky Tools
Husky Buildout 3pc Tool Storage

This modular toolbox is tough, light and the most reasonably priced set I found. A complete set comes in at around $155. The latches are secure and the system is stable. The wheels easily roll over rough terrain. The Build Out is half the price of the Milwaukee PACKOUT System and has many features and accessories available. Also, there are custom 3D printed accessories available in the aftermarket.

The PACKOUT is without a doubt one of the best modular tool box systems on the market. But for those of us who live on a budget the Husky Build Out is the stand-out star of the handy plan show.

Husky Takes the Win

I’m not a Husky fan by any stretch. Brand loyalty only goes so far with me. I am looking for rugged dependability, efficiency and multipurpose versatility. I need that in a budget friendly package, and in this case, the Husky tool storage systems deliver for me.

The other portable system I use on a daily basis is my Husky Heavy Duty PRO Tool Backpack.

Tools Storage
Husky PRO Tool Backpack

There is an infinite variety of products available to carry and organize tools. The bottom line is they’re heavy and I often need to climb ladders or have a hands-free solution.

Hands Free

The Husky PRO Tool Backpack meets my needs and has held up like a champ. Whether in direct sunlight and heat, rain, ice or whatever else I managed to throw at it, it does the job. All my daily use hand tools fit inside in the backpack and are neatly organized in 40 pockets. A removable tool wall is also included, which is pretty useful and the bag rides on my back comfortably. It’s well-padded. The fabric is tough like a rhino and the hard shell bottom protects the contents from water.

I’m not a tech or spec guy. There is no need to follow my lead and buy these Husky products. I wrote about them in this article because I am after professional-level results on a budget. The Milwaukee 15″ PACKOUT Backpack boasts 8 more pockets than the Husky, but I chose to save $20. I would buy the Husky again, but mine is still going strong.

Regardless of which systems you choose you NEED to organize your tools. In a doomsday scenario, you need to be mobile to help neighbors in need. A rolling hard case and some sort of hand tool carrier are mandatory.

Hand Tools

Many people have hand tools laying around the house. You can fill up much of this list simply by gathering them up or going through junk drawers.

  • Tape Measure- If you don’t measure it you can’t cut it the right length. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work.
  • Square- If it isn’t square, it isn’t right. A simple speed square is enough for most people. A larger framing square and a combination square each have their uses. Both are worth the investment.
  • Hammers- One claw hammer and one 3lb sledge are in my daily tool kit.
  • Screwdrivers- I use a Milwaukee 8-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver with extra bits stored in the handle. Larger Phillips and Flathead screwdrivers are useful. So is a small set of precision screwdrivers. Torx heads are also common. You can find those in the bit set or keep them in the handle of the Milwaukee.
  • Pliers- Brands aside, “channel locks,” or slip joint pliers are a must-have. A large pair and a medium-sized pair will get you by. You should have needle nose, vise grips in medium and large sizes, and lineman’s pliers. Better yet, get a combination wire stripper/ lineman’s plier to save some money. Pro electricians need the lineman’s pliers. DIYers and handy people can get by with a high-quality combo. I love multipurpose tools and use the Milwaukee combo, which works great.
  • Multitool- A Gerber or Leatherman multi-tool is essential. I use mine many times every single day, and I’m never separated from it when outside my house. Keep in mind, as with all tools you generally get what you pay for. A cheap knockoff multi tool may be useful a time or two, but there is no substitute for quality. The more you use a tool the more you should be willing to spend on it. This is a tool I depend on because I often don’t have my full kit with me. My multi tool is priceless. $50 to $100 bucks is a small price to pay.

More Hand Tools

  • Light- Humans need lumens. We can’t see in the dark. A small headlamp is non-negotiable. A small everyday carry flashlight makes life much easier. A high-power flashlight can also double as a self defense tool at night. Especially if it has a strobe feature and a crenulated (spiky) bezel (end.) Metal framed lights are best for that task.
  • Saws- Hand saws are more useful than you might imagine. Wood saws can come in crosscut or rip tooth patterns, but most saws are a combination tooth. Hack saws can cut metal, PVC, plastic, and nearly anything else you put them to. They come in full-size or smaller frames for plumbing and tight spaces. Tree saws are usually curved and designed for their specific task. One of each type will be enough for most handy plans.
  • A socket and wrench set is also essential. Use this for anything fastened with bolts, such as fencing or vehicles. It’s good practice to have a small socket set in your vehicle, along with jumper cables.
  • Painter’s 5-in-1 Tool- This scraper-shaped instrument has a myriad uses. It’s not at all limited to painting.
  • Small or Medium Bolt Cutters- I’ll leave this tool to your imagination. Remember, this is a doomsday tool list.
  • Electrical Multi Meter- Used to measure voltage, amperage and resistance in electrical circuits. Electrical troubleshooting is a vital skill. An inexpensive multi-meter is well worth the investment. You can use a multi-meter to repair automotive, household wiring, and appliances. You only need to learn the fundamentals of electricity. Exercise extreme caution when using this tool. Household wiring has the power to electrocute a person.

Obviously there are many more hand tools on the market. There are the bare-bone basics. Specialized tools generally need specialized knowledge. For a basic handy plan, this list will take you far. With some ingenuity, one can do almost anything around the home with these.

Power Tools

The big money is in power tools, and I honestly think buying these for a doomsday scenario is a gamble. After all, if the scenario is doomsday enough then there won’t be any electricity to run them. Assuming you believe the gamble is worth it then I’ll suggest a few that are worth far more than their cost.

  • Hammer Drill- A drill is an absolute must. If your budget allows then buy a brush-less 20V hammer drill, which doubles as a screw-gun. Brushes are electrical components inside certain electrical tools. They tend to wear out quickly and must be replaced. Brush-less tools are more expensive, though, and in a pinch, any drill will do. The hammer setting on a drill allows the user to drill into concrete more easily. For a handy plan, a hammer drill is worth the extra expense.
  • Angle Grinder- An angle grinder is used to shape or cut metal or wood. It can also strip paint, sand, or any number of other tasks. With practice, an angle grinder can replace a lot of other tools. Angle grinders take some getting used to. They require confidence and practice to safely operate. Once you learn to use one it’s indispensable.
  • Circular Saw- With enough skill a circular saw can make long, straight cuts. It makes short work of smaller stock.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable mention goes to the impact driver. Impact drivers use a hammering, impact action to drive long screws into wood. I’d also recommend an electric or battery-powered multitool. This is not the same as a Leatherman multi-tool. It cuts nearly any material using an oscillating motion. The multi-tool can also sand with the proper attachments.

All these tools are found in abundance and good condition on the used market. Due to their high cost buying used is not a bad idea. I bought most of my power tools on the used market and I’ve had great experiences with them.

Naturally, many of us would like to add a whole host of other tools to this list. But for a doomsday handy plan these will do. These tools will do almost any job around the home.

Garden Tools

Of all the tools listed here these are the most important. The humble dirt movers are the ones who make the food grow out of the ground, hence their immense value.

  • Shovel- Well… it’s a shovel. It does what shovels do.
  • Pick axe or mattock- In difficult, rocky ground the pick axe breaks up smaller rocks and digs deep into clay. Use it to prepare the ground for a shovel.
  • Rock breaker, aka Idiot Stick- This delightful tool is so named because if you use it for a living you’re an idiot. Jokes aside, those who move the earth have my highest respect. This humble steel rod has broken through many a large rock. It uses nothing more than muscle and determination.
  • Post Hole Digger- This is a monster to wrestle with. In a doomsday scenario, digging holes narrow and deep enough for fence posts is a handy skill.

The Bottom Line On Used Tools

When it comes to cost, the bottom line is that all of these tools can be bought used. If you’re handy enough to use the tools properly then you’re probably handy enough to remove rust.

With tools it’s obviously best to buy reputable name brands. You do indeed get what you pay for. However pawn shops, online marketplaces and yard sales can yield amazing results. If budget is an issue then you simply need to maximize effort and go out and find them. Once you find them a great way to become acquainted and familiar is to clean them and make them serviceable, or even almost new again.

Turning a bucket of runt into working tools is pretty satisfying.

One caveat to this principle of buying used is the digital multi-meter. This is simply my preference, but I think unless you know who you’re buying it from you should buy a multi-meter new.

Big, Big Bonus

The most important tool we have is the human brain. Feed it right with quality information. Then practice problem-solving skills BEFORE you need to use them. Doing so will benefit you more than gold, silver, or even storeable food. If there is a doomsday scenario that plays out in your area you need to be ready beforehand.

Tools are worthless without the knowledge and practiced skills to put them to use.

I recommend a large stockpile of hard copy books to inform your skill building. My bookshelf contains copies both old and new covering everything from the Bible with some extras to share if needed to pottery and basket making, wilderness and natural medicine, dentistry, electrical fundamentals and wiring, plumbing, military manuals and history, philosophy, literature, science experiments for kids… there are a lot of volumes and the range of topics is broad.

A set of books about gardening or construction is better than owning tools.

I do hope this list was helpful. I hope you see fit to put these suggestions into practice while you have a chance. You may never need these for a doomsday scenario. We can hope so. Still, it’s better to have skills and not need them than to need them and not have them.

These tools are more useful for entertainment than social media is anyway.

If you’re interested in a content or copy writer check out my portfolio at www.nosuchniche.com

There is also plenty more to see at www.loveandashovel.com

See here how your down time stacks up, and whether it will benefit you in the future.

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