Thursday, June 07, 2012

Top 10 Homesteading Tools (Non-Power Ed.)

This is a list of conventional and unconventional tools that I consider to be some of the most important to have around the homestead. These are in no particular order of importance.

1.  Hoe - The trusty hoe can serve many uses other than weeding and cultivating (even though those two are vital to life around the farm). The Warren Hoe is the model of Hoe I have found the most useful over the few years I have been farming. I was introduced to this particular model by my Father-in-law who swore by this style. Other than its normal uses I frequently use mine to reach over fences and grab things, turn over mucky animal food bins, and much more, and this style hoe is great for drawing out a row in the garden for seeding.

2.  Loppers - Probably the number 2 tool behind axe for clearing woody land, and number 1 tool for clearing brushy land, the loppers are not to be forgotten. Loppers are used to cut branches, trees, shrubs, etc that are smaller diameter. You can usually cut and drag big stuff with them, and if you want to give your goats a treat just go cut a pile of limbs off a tree and bring them covered in leaves to your goats who usually go crazy over them.

3.  Fish Dip Net - Might seem strange to choose a piece of fishing equipment for homestead use, but this thing is so useful at catching animals on the loose or for medicating or butchering it warrants inclusion despite its very specialized usage. I recommend getting two of them so if you have a really elusive chicken you can use one in each arm essentially giving you a wingspan of around 15 feet.

4.  Shepherd's Crook - If you have any animals on your homestead at all this tool comes in super handy. Its catching uses are obvious when it comes to goat and sheep, but this is even useful in catching poultry, mainly to help herd them into a corner or beat a rabid goose off your leg. Hold it by the non-hooked end and extend it out from your body to help increase your perceived reach/width and you can really do many herding and catching jobs much easier. It can also be used like the hoe to reach items over a fence or upend feces covered feed troughs.

5.  Rope - A lease, a halter, a collar, a gate latch, a logging chain, a whip, a belt, a fencing tie, a truck tie down, an escape; a rope can be all these things and more. There really is no limit to the things a rope can do.

6.  Framing Hammer - I decided on the framing hammer out of all the hammers because it has the ability to do small jobs and bigger jobs if you add a little muscle. You can drive posts, hang a picture, pull nails, build a fence, and the list goes on. A framing hammer is heavier and longer than a normal hammer, and usually comes equipped with a magnetic nail holder on the head of the hammer to hold your nail while you get it started. This is super handy when you're trying to hold up a fence or corral board with one hand and hammer with another hand and still need to start the nail...

7.  Shovel - Not much to say about the Laborer's Backhoe here except that it moves dirt and other smelling things like poop, dead animals, afterbirth, miscarriages, etc. You pretty much have to have a shovel period.

8.  Briar Blade (Brush Cutter) - We always called this a "Briar Blade" but apparently it is called a "Brush Cutter." Keep this sucker sharp and it easily falls into a solid 3rd place on any land clearing expedition. It beats out a machete due to its heft and reach. You can chop briars and brambles without getting your hands cut up or you can chop smaller trees/saplings down with it if you don't have your loppers handy.

9.  Axe and Maul -These are basically the pioneers of the homestead. Chop and clear trees, brush, and land in general, and split firewood for the campfire, stove, or heater. Can be used in butchering and processing animals if you need to, there really isn't a whole lot that needs explaining about an axe.

10.  Lineman's Pliers - I know the proper name for these from doing electrical work with my father, but they have so many more uses outside of that field. These are a must-have for doing any fencing or tying tie-wire, or for getting a goat or other animal out of a fence that it is stuck in. I use them in building animal pens when cutting the chicken wire or fence covering, and if you ever have to "grab-a-holt" of some small wire and pull it these are invaluable. I personally think these are way better than those fencing pliers that stores sell that have a hammer tip on one side and a hook type thing on the other...

    These are just my opinions, what are the tools you find most useful around the farm/homestead that I have left off the list? Let me know!


    1. Anonymous5:28 PM CDT

      lol. i like the wide array of possible rope uses. saved the best for last. 8-)

    2. I hoped someone would catch that joke. :)

    3. Just moved to a semi-rural area three years ago and I appreciate these tips--we need all of them!!!


    Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate the input and will do my best to respond quickly if need be. Thanks again for reading!

    Yours Truly,
    The Crowsons