Every homesteader would prefer hand tools over power tools but, truth be told, some jobs would be done better and a lot easier if you get an assist from your electric-powered friends. It’s perfectly okay to use power tools as long as it is at a minimum. Plus, you should be using alternative energy like solar energy and biofuel so you’re still leaving less carbon footprint than you’d normally do if you weren’t homesteading.
If you’re into woodworking, you know how important power tools are to your craft, especially if you make money off of them. For everyday use, however, there are a few power tools that should be in every homestead.
Basic Power Tools for the Homestead
A cordless drill is one of the most necessary power tools in the homestead. It accomplishes a lot of tasks such as boring holes, driving screws, and performing lobotomies. Okay, maybe not the last one but the drill is certainly one of the first power tools you have to invest in.
Start off with a rechargeable or battery-powered general-use drill, particularly a drill driver. This drill is useful for simple carpentry jobs such as building cabinets, shelves, tables, and chairs. It can bore holes into drywall, on the bottom of plastic drums, wooden barrels, and the like.
A cordless drill is extremely portable. You can use it practically anywhere since you’re not limited by the length of a cord. You also don’t have to spend on extension cords just so you can drill holes where there are no sockets nearby.
Invest in an extra battery so you can keep one charging while using the other. This way, you can simply change the battery when one runs out of juice allowing you to work without much hassle.
For heavier jobs, you can rent a hammer drill or invest in one, as well.
A handsaw is a vital tool for your homestead but power tools such as a circular saw are great to have when you need to do a lot of cutting. A circular saw can be used to cut wood needed to build everything from a coffee table to a whole house or structure. You should also invest in different kinds of blades for different tasks. There are specific blades for cutting thick wood, tiles, or even glass.
When using a circular saw, it’s wise to be on the safe side. Learn how to use one properly and always wear a pair of safety goggles.
When you hear about homesteading, the image of Paul Bunyan in a lumberjack get-up carrying his iconic axe may come to mind. While an axe is one of the ultimate tools to have in your homestead, you will also need a chainsaw.
A chainsaw will come in handy in cutting down or trimming trees. It’s especially useful after a storm and there are lots of fallen trees and branches. An axe will do the job but will take some time and lots of energy. If there’s an emergency and a huge fallen tree is blocking the road, a chainsaw is way better than using your trusty axe.
An air compressor is not just for inflating tires at the gas station. It’s one of the power tools that can do tons of jobs on the homestead.
Aside from inflating the tires of your truck and farm tractor, an air compressor can also be used for building and doing repairs. Pneumatic nail guns and staplers make use of pressurized air to shoot nails and drive staples, respectively. A pneumatic stapler will come in handy in attaching roofing felt or tar paper as well as roof shingles. It can also be used to build a mesh fence to keep your farm animals from straying.
Air compressors are also used in spray painting. Some people prefer painting the old-fashioned way by using brushes and rollers. Others who want the job to be done fast and as perfectly as possible can use a spray painting gun instead.
This power tool may also be used for cleaning though it may be a little tricky. Put the air compressor on a low setting then use it to clean anything except clothes and your body.
Other Power Tools You Can Invest On
A sawmill is one of the many power tools that every woodworker dreams of owning. However, this is not necessarily a huge need in the homestead. You can invest in one if you work with wood a lot of the time. You will need a sawmill to get those clean and perfect cuts.
You can opt for a portable sawmill if you can’t or don’t want to keep buying wood for your building needs. Having your own sawmill means you get to make your own lumber.
Speaking of perfect, you may want to have a sander to keep your wood perfectly smooth. You can always use sandpaper and some elbow grease if you want but having a sander will make your life a lot easier and your wood a lot smoother.
The angle grinder is another one of those versatile power tools you need to include in your tool shed. It can be used for cutting, grinding, sharpening, and sanding depending on the wheel you’re using. A metal cutoff wheel is used for cutting rebar and other metals, as its name implies, while a wire cup is used for cleaning other tools. There are also wheels for cutting tiles, concrete and ceramic.
Above are just a few of the many power tools you can own and use in your homestead. If you plan on adding more to your set of hand and power tools, make sure don’t use too much power so you won’t stray too far from the ideals of homesteading.
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