We go for old-fashioned high quality hand tools, not wanting to rely on the availability of electricity. I am a skilled carpenter and my husband knows many other things including plumbing etc. My weakness is I’m not sure how to professionally sharpen everything. This is a skill I want to learn.
So our current inventory includes a two man saw; bow saws; hand saws (crosscut and ripsaws); heavy hammers (20-22oz) since I learned early on that if you know how to swing one, a heavy hammer does the work–plus I can’t bear wimpy ones; hacksaws; a meat saw for big game–cutting down the backbone to halve it; coping saw; keyhole saw; brace and bit; various and sundry screwdrivers; pliers, offset pliers, dykes; wire cutters; adjustable wrenches; vise-grips; etc. Weak area: Need a larger inventory of screws and nails in case of limited availability in the future.
Other needs: extension ladder (we have stepladders), sawhorses; bolt cutters; splitting mauls; axes; sledge hammers. We have hatchets and splitting wedges. It would be nice to have a usable froe to make shingles, too…
Have a few masonry tools but if we don’t have concrete, they are not much use. Although, I saw ‘cob’ used in India on huts and grain storage sheds. It seems to survive the fierce monsoon rains so I guess it might work here. I hear they use it in England, so would like to experiment. Never too old to learn something new!
BTW Cob is a mix of clay, sand, maybe straw–in India, they add rice hulls. Use it as a plaster on woven palm leaf huts or brick sheds as stucco. One family in a West Bengal jungle village–even though we did not speak one word of each other’s language–welcomed me into their compound. They even had a large, neat patio area behind the main dwelling paved with cob. PLUS a three-hole stove shaped from it! Like a little volcano stove formed on the patio surface, three burners across, and the lady demonstrated how she burned rice straw in it to cook the meals. Live and learn!
Other tools are food oriented: American pressure canner; water bath canners; folding volcano stove; food mills for making applesauce and jams; vintage cast iron cookware; heavy stainless steel cookware inc stock pots to boil drinking water if necessary (can use the enamel canners for that also); butcher and kitchen knives; game shears (indispensable for small game and birds); ladles, mixing bowls, spoons, colanders, strainers, etc etc. I go to yard/estate sales and snatch up the old lady kitchen stuff that modern women scoff at. It will still work 100 years from now if you know how to use it.
Hand sewing supplies; scissors; some medical tools; reloading stuff; garden tools, etc. All hand operated, not powered. Whew, didn’t know we had so much…some of it I can’t remember… The difficult part is we’re always thinking of more.