Most useful tools for new homestead!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lvshrs, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    I would like to know what you would consider the best/most useful tools/equipment that you have for your homestead? What are the most nessesary for starting out? My better half and I will be starting to seriously look for property this spring and we would like to start watching for tools and equipment on sale for our new place.

    We are looking to find someplace around 30+ acres perferably with a house already. We currently live in the suburbs so we have the average lawnmower,weeder,shovel,ladder,etc. Also my DH is an autobody repairman so he has stuff like a welder, air compressor(our neighbors just love us when he has to work on something :rolleyes: ) etc.

    Anyway please let me know what your favorite tool or piece of equipment is!

    Thanks everyone! :)
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Hands down... the Kubota tractor. With logging winch. And backhoe. And rented post hole digger. And rented tiller. And brush hog. And chipper. And blade for snow removal. And..

    Well, you get the idea. For ins and outs of buying the right size for your needs: www.TractorByNet.com

    I can't think of anything more expensive...or that we use more often. Following that, a freezer is a dandy device!
     

  3. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks MorrisonCorner! I think I can pass on the snow tools though as I live in Texas! :cool: Now if they had a HEAT removal attatchment I think I would pay handsomely for that :haha:
     
  4. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    A good chain saw is a real necessity around my place. I have a Stihl 034AV with 20" bar and a smaller 026 for light duty limbing etc. You could probably get by with an 18 " bar on the bigger saw if you only have smaller trees. Also several good axes of differing sizes and a couple of hatchets are required. A collection of whetstones and the ability to use them will keep your axes/hatchets working efficiencly. An 8# splitting maul is another necessity. You may want a lighter one to learn with. along with the maul you will need a couple of steel splitting wedges and a couple of plastic felling wedges for tree cutting chores.

    Various sized hammers, chains, rope, pliers, wirecutters and boltcutters find use everyday. Good luck, others will provide suggestions also. TnTnTn
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    It depends on what project you start on first.

    For example, if you move in in the winter and decide to start with building a shed or a greenhouse, tools would be what you need most. I found that my Father's cordless screwdriver was SO! much better than my own hammer and nails! It was easier, faster, more versitile, and ended up with a stronger join.

    As a 50 year old in indifferent health, I really appreciate my tiller. It weeds the garden VERY Quickly! OK, a hoe does a much better job but the tiller can do a 50' by 50' garden in 30 minutes a week, including the breaks that I must take. When the plants were small I also hand weeded, but once the big plants were established I did not bother. A few 1' tall weeds around the base of a large corn stalk or okra plant somply do not matter all that much. The weeds may use up some of the nutrients, but the corn and the okra will still thrive and produce.

    For that matter, once the corn got tall enough I only weeded with the tiller monthly!

    The 5 acres that we recently bought has a problem with 5' tall osage orange trees, and so I find nippers, a grubbing hoe, and a folding handsaw to be most esxellent tools. The grubbing hoe should also serve well when we dig holes for the perrenials that will arrive this spring.

    Ivshrs, I don't think that I could possibly afford to buy a wide assortment of tools up front so that I had what I needed for whatever I want to do! What I CAN afford is to buy the tools for whatever I am working on this year, and in time I will have a great assortment of tools.

    So, if your homestead has several trees to be removed, you may want to start with a chainsaw. If you have a garden spot already in, hire it plowed or get a tiller if you like them. Or......it sort of depends on what your land needs.
     
  6. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    A saws-all (reciprocating saw) I don't know what it is about them, but the saws-all gets almost as much use here as our drill. We have both an electirc and a battery powered. I use the battery powered for trimming braches alot. Much safer for me than climbing a ladder and using a chainsaw.

    A decent circular saw for building projects (shed, barn, chicken coop).

    And what everyone else said!

    Carla-who wished she had enough land to justify a tractor ;)

    Forgot to say, a pick up truck to haul with! We have an old rust bucket for going in the woods, and use our Suburban with a trailer for trips to Lowe's, the dump, etc. A MUST HAVE!!!
     
  7. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Long handle Loopers
     
  8. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    My truck and my two hands are priceless. After that, it really depends on what you have to do. Every tool is important when you need it for a particular job. I've only used my plumber's wrench once when I had to change the faucet on the kitchen sink, but boy is it an invaluable tool. I guess just get the basics for each type of project you plan and add on as needed.
     
  9. farmy

    farmy Well-Known Member

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    A good sturdy garden cart, big enough to move multiple bales.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    In case you haven't figured it out yet, if you buy enough really great tools you will need several trips to move them to your homestead. Depending on how far away your new place is, to move just the tools alone may be expensive! And, to leave tools at a homestead for too long without you being there would be risky: they could be stolen.

    Tell me, what kind of place are you looking for? Wooded or open? Will you be buying just before you move, or will you be putting a down payment on it and paying down the mortgage while you live in town?

    And, where are you living now? If you have a backyard you might be able to start NOW, buy the tools you need now, and get some VERY valuable experience under your belt.

    Oh, I realize that you could not keep, say, a milk cow, but perhaps a plant a garden, build a PVC pipe greenhouse that you could take with you if you move, meat rabbits, dwarf fruit trees, etc.
     
  11. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    We just made such a move about 18 months ago and by far the most useful tool are quality cordless tools. Our preferred brand is Makita because they're designed more for the industrial market, in fact they're sold by Snap On Tools in addition to their own in-house brand. Look for them on E-Bay to save some money.
    A close second "favorite" tool is the John Deere 4310 tractor. I figured it would be a time saver when i bought it but I had no idea how much time. It's like adding another member to the family. And being a Deere there's 168 years of continuous innovation and "best-in-class" market leadership to back up the purchase. Hmmm...I sound like a commercial.
    Anyway, I'm a "buy the best and buy it once" type of person.
    If you expect to have outbuildings, get a good cordless phone that will have adequate range.
     
  12. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    advil, doans, aspirin, bayer. All get used daily...
     
  13. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    knoledge is by far the best tool without it all the rest is just nik nacks
     
  14. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, yeah, definitely the pickup truck.. Didn't realize just how much I needed and used one until I hit a deer right at fairtime last summer. Ever try hauling you DD's show goats to the County Fair in the back of an SUV? I guess it could be worse, though...we could have had only a subcompact to haul them in <<<grin>>>
     
  15. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    I quess this is for all homes but living in the country we find we lose power more often so I would say the most useful thing is a non electric can opener. My dh bought be an electric one a few years ago and really I never use it as I much prefer the old fashioned kind. I also keep on hand kerosene lanterns for those often power outages. We also have our cupboards full so we don't need to worry when the weather is bad and we are low on food. Not a problem for us.

    RenieB
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You'll find a 14-18 foot light equipment trailer is invaluable, it replaces a pickup truck if you have a decent tow vehicle. I use a one ton Chev van, but any v8 car would do. Lots of great ideas, so far I'm especially happy with a little $5 Husky utility knife I got. It's like a lock blade hunting knife but uses utility blades. Ugly but very handy. Can't say enough about little Ford tractors 3000-4000 non selectospeeds are dandy first tractors. They'll run a post hole auger, or a cement mixer, pull a blade etc. What to suggest would be easier if we knew a little better what you're hoping to do
     
  17. cheryl-tx

    cheryl-tx Well-Known Member

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    I would say a Machete and By-pass lopper, if you have lots of brush that needs clearing. A post hole digger and pik axe too!
    The machete is also good to have close by if you have snakes too :)

    Cheryl
     
  18. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    MorrisCorner has the right idea about your need for a tractor -- only he's pointing you to the wrong colored tractor! (I'm a New Holland / Ford buff -- will only have a blue tractor at my place!)

    Seriously, any of the three major tractor producers will be good investments - New Holland (of course!), but also Kubota (orange) and John Deere (green).

    Regardless of the manufacturer, if your land is even the least bit unlevel or holds water in the rainy season, you MUST get a 4 X 4 tractor. You would be surprised how many people buy a 2 X 2 tractor, then realize the huge mistake they made in not getting the 4 x 4. They figure this out the first time they get that tractor stuck in the mud.

    After a few dozen more times getting the tractor stuck, they decide to put the tractor on the used market, hoping to get enough on the resale to add some money to it and buy the 4 x 4 they needed in the first place.

    That is why you find so many 2 x 2's on the used market, and so few 4 x 4's.


    In addition, next to the 4 x 4, the best investment I ever made with my tractor was getting it equipped from the factory with a Front End Loader (FEL). There seems to be no end to the number or variety of tasks I have found for that FEL on my ten acres.

    Also, I have found that you must have either a good pickup truck, or else a trailer capable of hauling a tractor. Not just to haul a tractor, mind you. I use mine to pick up manure from nearby horse farms, bags of leaves from a nearby city in late fall (makes great compost), and who knows what else.
     
  19. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    30 acres?

    Tractor. 30hp or better. Doesn't have to be new, doesn't have to be pretty, doesn't have to have 4-wheel drive, or a front-end loader.

    If you've got trees, a chainsaw. Husky 55 or Stihl 026 is nice. Poulan will get you by for a year, or two. Don't forget a decent ax, sledge, and an iron wedge, or two.

    Basic building tools. Skil saw, hammers, cordless drill, level, hammers, chalk line. If you don't know how to build, you'll learn. Lots of times it doesn't have to be anything fancier than a lean-to or a feed trough, but I know you'll have to build things as you need them.

    Pick-up, or trailer. I prefer the pick-up with a trailer :) . Anyway, a good truck is handier than an extra shirt pocket.

    That's just a few thoughts...
     
  20. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    :worship: You guys and gals are wonderful!

    Ya'll have really helped me get a good list going!

    As several of you have asked for more details on the whole deal...here are the details so far....(please keep in mind that some of these may change as I get more research done...)

    We currently live in Austin TX and have fallen in love with the town of Abilene TX so that is the general area that we are looking for property.

    I have worked and/or boarded at several horse places in the last ten years. I also have experience with dog/cat boarding places along with exotic pets(ferrets,large and small birds,reptiles etc.) I am currently reading every bit of info I can find on the livestock that I am considering for our new place. This forum has been great for alot of that and many other subjects also! I have had several gardens in the past. I can work most power tools,weld simple stuff,and have some knowlegde of working on vehicles(general tuneup stuff).

    My DH has extensive knowledge of mechanics,welding,general home maintenace,autobody repair and paint.

    As for the type of place we are looking for...that would be 30+ acres preferably with a house on it already(if no house we are planning on getting an RV till we get a home built.)

    We are looking at having to build at least two large paddocks for my horses to start off with and a shop building of some sort for DH.

    As for the equipment that we have so far....all of this equipment is paid for as are all our other debts we have 2 credit cards for emergencys and a good nest egg

    16' flatbed trailer
    20' stock trailer
    1984 Chevy 1 ton duallyin great condition( new motor and transmission)
    1984 GMC Van 3/4 ton
    1979 Chevy truck 6 cyl

    We currently own the house that we are in and will be selling it.

    We are planning on starting small with the livestock-a few chickens then add some goats and a few cattle this is of course over a 3 to 5 year timeframe as we are planning on working in town for a while.

    I have more detailed plans laid out of course but that takes up 2 binders full of plans for gardens,fencing,water,sewage,electric,livestock shelters,etc. :D

    Anyway thanks again to everyone who replied and any others that wish to reply feel free! I love input! :D