Homestead and Labor-Saving Power Tools
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Every homestead supply kit should include some labor-saving power tools. Here’s a short list to help you get started or add to yours.
By Anita B. Stone From the beginning of civilization, people have invented tools made from stone, bone, or wood to accommodate their lives, and these needs have continued in an unbroken line for centuries. With the increasing number of modern tools, there is little doubt that homesteading can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially for newcomers. Homesteaders will always need traditional hand tools regardless of how many new implements are added to the mix.
A wide range of cellular phones, Ipads, computer programs, and other innovative devices are readily available to keep the homestead running. For most homesteaders, the addition of power tools can be beneficial. Whether operating by battery, fossil fuel, or wall outlets, power tools are an asset in managing the many tasks of running a homestead. In recent years, battery-powered tools have become the preferred choice because of their light weight, portability, lasting charge, and all-around usefulness. Every homesteading supply kit should include some labor-saving power tools.
Battery-powered tools have lightened the daily load of every homesteader by reducing the time and physical effort needed to accomplish everyday tasks. Some power tools such as drills, nail guns, and chainsaws have become as standard on homesteads as hand implements. Still, the range and number of new additions to the battery-powered tool choices offered in the market have expanded and are rapidly evolving. Some battery-powered innovations consist of improvements to familiar tools by replacing older battery types with newer, more efficient ones. At the same time, other advances belong to a class of entirely new inventions. Because of the rapid development of these instruments, it is essential to take time to keep up with new offerings.
The recent expansion of battery-powered tools is due to the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries. This battery provides homesteaders with several improvements over more traditional batteries. These improvements include increased power, faster charging, a longer-lasting charge, and lightness in weight.
In general, there are two major categories of batteries: disposable and rechargeable. The lithium-ion-powered tools can fall into either category, making them equally available to off-grid homesteaders. Rechargeable lithium-ion battery tools usually are purchased with chargers included. Some of these systems use one battery interchangeably for several different devices. Lithium-ion-powered “multi-tools” are available, combining the functions of several various implements, saving time and reducing frustration. Lessening the number of tools and accessories to keep track of and haul around makes homesteading a little easier.
Cordless tillers, hay bailers, lawn mowers, seed planters, row and soil separators, and similar-sized machines are already on farms. With battery innovations, larger battery-run farming equipment will likely become the norm.
Farming technology is rapidly changing, along with other aspects of modern life. For instance, radio frequency identification chips are used with livestock. Drones are equipped with programs that inform farmers about the condition of distant crops, animal movements, water availability, soil composition, nocturnal events, and other important information. Facts gained from the internet can be placed at both farmers’ and homesteaders’ fingertips, reducing time and effort. Instant data about weather conditions and other valuable climate information, as well as neighboring advice, can be brought to the table in seconds. Exploration and research are continuing and are exploring battery options for the future.
Aside from the many battery-operated tools needed, a traditional homesteading supply list should include a first-aid kit, tape measure, pair of shears, rope, extension cords, two 5-gallon galvanized tubs to facilitate carrying water, and a generator in case of a power grid failure.
Amid the increasing numbers and complexity of both familiar and new power tools, operators need to remember that power tools are dangerous instruments requiring education, caution, and mental focus. It can be easy to forget that the tool you hold has its own power. As the number and variety of battery-powered tools increase, homesteaders will need to examine the options and decide which are the best battery-powered tools for their purposes.
The list of several labor-saving power tools for homesteaders is limitless and increases rapidly. Listed here are a few power tools used for many projects:
Mini hand chainsaw, reciprocating saw, table saw, miter saw, jigsaw, and circular saw.
Hammer drills, impact drills, push drills, and rotary hammers.
Disk, belt, and orbital sanders.
Grinder power tools can cut metal, aluminum, concrete, bricks, pavers, wood, and other dense materials. Angle grinders can be used with different types of discs for different jobs.
Several additional power tools can be found in the marketplace. By reading the manufacturer’s instructions and handling tools with care, you can save a lot of back-wrenching labor on the homestead.
ANITA B. STONE is an eco-friendly journalist who nourishes her traditional habit of nature and horticulture. Her love of the land and passion for teaching at the local community college and at senior retirement centers fills her time. She is always searching for new methods of improving the environment, growing food to benefit people, domestic animals, and wildlife. She is an author and Master Gardener in North Carolina, teaching others how to farm sensibly, making life easier and fulfilling, and admits she will always stay young-at-heart, just like her grandchildren.
Originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.