15 Handyman Kits the Self-Ample Prepper Wants

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By the writer of Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City and The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.

Due to developments in expertise, supplies, and manufacturing, the previous couple of a long time have witnessed profound adjustments in each life-style and consumption habits. Each houses used to have a handyman. Now, they largely don’t.

Till the late Eighties and early 90s, the bulk of home items and home equipment have been constructed from steel, wooden, and rubber. They have been additionally designed to be extra simply serviceable. Polymers had been round for over a century, and plastic was gaining favor amongst customers. However the single-use plastics we’re all accustomed to right now have been but to enter the market.

Subsequently, meals and drinks have been served in ceramic pottery, bought in glass pots, tin cans, jars, and bottles, and carried in all places in wooden crates. Toys have been created from tin or wooden. Meat, bread, veggies, and different recent stuff got here wrapped and brought dwelling in paper sheets and baggage. 

Recycling on an industrial scale was not but a factor. 

Nonetheless, “on a regular basis” recycling was commonplace. Containers, vessels, and lots of different non-consumable objects have been reused, repurposed, exchanged, or rebuilt into one thing else. Even nails and wrapping paper noticed a number of makes use of earlier than being thrown out. It was widespread for wearables and home equipment to get mounted or reconditioned. 

Electrical motors obtained rewired, furnishings repainted and redressed, footwear re-soled, and damaged or worn components changed. With that, washing machines, blenders, and toasters labored for many years, typically even handed down the generations. My mother and father have a ravishing, sky-blue 1960 classic fridge that belonged to Granny. It has a freezer and nonetheless works. That was the period.

The family handyman: a near-extinct species?

My grandpa had a complete room filled with cabinets stacked with all types of stuff. I imply, all types, actually: radio valves, fuses, canvas baggage, leather-based items, circuit breakers and switches, wires, urgent iron resistances, all types of bolts and nuts. He’d top off on new and recovered bits and components to make use of once more in home repairs and maintain the home going. 

It was a quite common customized again then, but it surely sadly just isn’t as frequent anymore. As talked about above, the world has modified, and so have the skillsets essential to cope with on a regular basis conditions. I believe right now, Grandpa could be referred to as a “hoarder” and find yourself as an attraction in some TV present. 

This isn’t a throwback to historical methods, nor a essential take a look at trendy life. 

It’s simply what it’s. However it’s additionally a undeniable fact that being a jack of all trades can show extremely advantageous throughout recessions and depressions. When individuals have much less cash (or none), the price of stuff rises, or items and companies grow to be rarer and even disappear, the worth of issues adjustments quite a bit. 

In poorer international locations, rural areas, and the countryside, individuals nonetheless have to be extra hands-on in the event that they need to maintain all the things operating. Figuring out use instruments and being minimally in a position to restore, create, improvise, and remedy sensible issues is kind of reassuring, it doesn’t matter what or when.

Complexity and deliberate obsolescence are constructed into right now’s society. 

These days, an important a part of home equipment and electronics are ultra-advanced and complicated, constructed from 1000’s of personalized, oftentimes tiny, and delicate components. These are made-to-order and equipped from tens of various makers world wide, making replacements not all the time available or simply sourced. 

As an illustration, the identical yr/mannequin LED TV can have a wide range of related but incompatible boards, chips, or different bits. Ditto for vehicles and different objects. It’s wild. Additionally, the cost-benefit of the restore might not compensate when in comparison with shopping for a brand new (and possibly up to date) one. 

Nonetheless, there’s quite a bit that may be repaired, restored, or refurbished round any home. 

Garments, footwear, toys, ornaments, drapes, components of plumbing and electrical methods, furnishings, lighting, and much extra. Easier home equipment, even some superior ones rely upon the issues and the talents required to resolve them. 

There’s additionally quite a bit that may be constructed or made at dwelling, too, for these with obtainable tooling, time, and inclination. This may be become a livelihood, side job, or part-time job to generate further revenue throughout arduous instances. Even when taken as a interest, these expertise can be utilized to economize and maintain stuff working round the home. 

Getting began. 

The urged kits and expertise under vary from straightforward/primary to complicated/superior. As with all the things else, the sky is the restrict. Do your analysis to speculate correctly. Some objects repeat in several kits, although there isn’t any want to purchase something in double.

Construct the kits and expertise you deem vital, additionally contemplating the obtainable funds and house. Some stuff isn’t discovered as simply anymore. This might worsen shortly, so maybe getting the stuff you need/want now is an effective transfer. I’m engaged on that myself, by the way in which. 

Lubrication equipment

Dry, penetrating, skinny and thick oils (mineral, artificial, vegetal, Teflon (PTFE), and petrol primarily based), vaseline.

A lot of stuff in the home, vehicles, and different objects want periodic lubrication to carry out properly, scale back the prospect of breakage, and prolong their lifespan. Maintaining just a few completely different oils and grease sorts round has a low value. These can be utilized in a variety of purposes. 

Often, these are inclined to final a very long time, however right storage is one of the simplest ways to make sure chemical compounds don’t break down or evaporate shortly. Additionally, sprays could be sensible however lose strain with time, so I choose lubricants in bottles, tubes, or cans at any time when that’s attainable. 

Stitching equipment

Scissor, tape, pencil, seam ripper, numerous sorts and sizes of needles, pins, assorted threads, buttons, snaps, and hooks.

I admit not realizing and even having a lot endurance to knit or crochet, however I get pleasure from stitching and performing all types of repairs in my clothes and out of doors gear fairly a bit. It’s the best and most accessible talent and renders quick advantages. A small stitching machine can add high quality, consistency, and agility in case you plan on doing this usually or for an additional buck. 

Gluing equipment (smaller repairs)

Plastic molding, silicone, numerous forms of glue (white, contact, on the spot, vinyl, epoxy, resins, and so on.), assorted tapes (duct, masking, vent tape, filament tape, carpet tape).


That is one in all my favourite and most used kits. Having the ability to mildew and correctly glue components means quite a bit could be mounted and stored in use. Every materials calls for a selected sort of glue to each be efficient and keep away from screwing up the fabric or ending. 

Prior floor remedy and thorough cleansing of components are vital, too. Particular brokers can be utilized to strengthen mounted components. Epoxy resins, liquid plastic, and molded plastic are just a few that may play that half. Stuff like Bondic, Plast-Aid, and Sugru is beneficial for a myriad of smaller purposes. 

Leather-based equipment

Mallets and hammers, punches (numerous gap varieties/sizes), setter or anvil, stitching chisels and lacing awls, curler, rivet setting device (and diverse rivets), leather-based stitching threads.

A primary leather-based equipment will permit the servicing and restore of leather-based, canvas, and different powerful cloth items like footwear, belts, baggage, backpacks, tents, and so on. That is one thing that tends to extend in worth throughout a disaster, and there’s all the time a marketplace for some objects which may be price investing in.

Locksmith equipment

Slim Jims, lock picks, wedges, jigglers (for autos), and some long-reach instruments, pliers.


Even earlier than changing into a prepper, I did a locksmith course and purchased my equipment. All through the years, I additionally realized just a few tips within the streets. Anyway, with the ability to open locks and doorways is an actual asset, not simply in SHTF however anytime, anyplace. And it’s not rocket science. In truth, it’s really straightforward and fairly enjoyable. 

Bicycle equipment

Foot pump, tire levers, tube patching equipment (a number of patches and glue tubes), chain breaking and fixing device, Allen (2, 4, 5, and 6mm), flat and Phillips screwdrivers of varied sizes. Further tires, chains, cables, bike oil, and grease.


Racing bikes (highway, MTB, or no matter) are superior and far tougher to service. Extra easy ones can nonetheless be strong and sensible but simpler to take care of. The most typical points are flat tires, damaged or worn chains and transmission components, fraying cables, and worn-out brake pads. Having some extras can maintain a motorcycle operating for years for little value and minimal work. 

Electrical equipment

Solder iron, precision instruments (pliers, screwdrivers, and so on.), working tray, magnifier with gentle, further components, sockets, electrical tape, and warmth shrink tubing.


Simply understanding the ideas and predominant elements of {an electrical} system or set up and with the ability to discover the problems is an effective begin. 

Nonetheless, everybody ought to have a primary equipment to carry out minor or short-term fixes, on the very least. Changing broken or damaged wires and plugs, tripping circuit breakers, brief circuits, useless shops, and switches is straightforward and easy. Elements are straightforward to seek out, too. 

(And don’t neglect to determine shortly evacuate along with your equipment! Try our free QUICKSTART Guide to emergency evacuations for extra data.)

Plumbing equipment

Hacksaw, propane torch, pipe wrenches, steel and plastic information, adjustable jaw wrench, plunger (Plumber’s Finest Good friend), tubing cutter, closet auger (to clear clogged bathrooms), plumber’s tape.

That is maybe one of the vital helpful to have, each for dwelling repairs or to make an additional buck. Plumbing points are widespread and frequent, no matter technological developments. Tons could be performed with out the necessity to name a specialist. Which, whereas generally obtainable, isn’t all the time prepared and far much less low cost nowadays. 

Having some further tubing, connectors, and different small components, in addition to glue, soldering materials, and different bits generally present in your installations (and others, in case you plan to work with this), can also be a good suggestion.

Glass equipment

Glass cutter and pliers, suction cups, bottle cutter, anti-cut gloves with a gripping floor, glass restore equipment.

Just a few easy instruments make repairing and repurposing glass objects straightforward, clear, handy, and secure. Additionally nice for craftwork for promoting. Glass restore resins and kits make repairing cracked home windows and windshields a breeze. 

Steel equipment

Tin snips, angle grinders, tungsten carbide reduce burrs, bolt and cable cutters, rivet instruments and diverse rivets, and drill bits.

One other easy but helpful equipment with just a few objects to show manipulating steel components like sheets, ducts, tubes, and others is reasonably straightforward and handy. Nice for repairs in HVAC methods, as an illustration. Just a few sharpening stones and steel polishers spherical out a equipment to maintain knives, scissors, and different steel slicing instruments in fine condition. 

Electronics equipment

Solder iron, precision instruments (pliers, screwdrivers, and so on.), working tray, magnifier with gentle, further, compressed air can, components.

Smartphones and different trendy home equipment require particular instruments, components, and expertise. Superior companies can solely be carried out in a lab, however some companies are extra accessible than most individuals suppose. 

Round right here, it’s widespread for people who lose their jobs to be taught to interchange screens, batteries, audio system, and different primary laptop, laptop computer and smartphone upkeep duties. Then they spend money on a equipment to supply companies within the streets and small bodegas and generate revenue. 

Different forms of electronics could be repaired, too. When my LED TV stopped working, I opened it, recognized the broken predominant board, bought a brand new one on-line, and changed it. I do the identical on a regular basis to printers, keyboards, PCs, blenders, and different stuff in my home and workplace. It takes some endurance and work however saves cash and retains stuff functioning.

Woodwork equipment

Measuring instruments (bevel, framing sq., metal tape, and so on.), slicing instruments (rip and crosscut noticed, coping noticed, hacksaw, diagonal cutter), shaping instruments (chisels, spherical and flat rasps, scrapers, and so on.), numerous hammers, saws, nails, screws, carving equipment.

We used to have obligatory woodwork courses in class. It grew to become an elective class and eventually grew to become non-available. These days, one should attend a selected course. I’d say changing into snug with primary woodworking duties is a good suggestion and an important interest to loosen up and make some cash too. 

Woodworking instruments and utensils are many, and decent-quality ones should not low cost. Extra elaborated woodwork requires precision energy tooling and superior expertise. Make investments in keeping with your targets, however purpose for a minimum of just a few important instruments to measure, reduce, drill, and form, to carry out emergency repairs and improvisations with wooden objects, and develop from there.

Fiber molding equipment (bigger repairs)

Carbon fiber, glass fiber, aramid fabric laminating epoxy resin and hardener, PVA mildew launch agent, latex gloves, brushes, and cups.

Coping with composites – carbon, glass, or different forms of fiber molding and laminating – might look to some like black magic. However it’s not sophisticated nor costly, requiring few instruments and simply discovered supplies. 

It’s price investing in as a result of it has many helpful (and worthwhile) purposes, the commonest ones being fixing/repairing and constructing components (e.g., automotive or bike equipment) and all forms of sports activities tools (fishing rods, tent and trekking poles, hockey sticks, bicycle frames and components, crusing masts, and so on.). 

Superior or efficiency/aesthetic molding and laminating require particular instruments and strategies. Nonetheless, the marketplace for carbon fiber objects is large and high-value, so it could compensate.

Common “dwelling” equipment

An all-purpose mixture wrench set is an ace. 

It incorporates the commonest sorts and sizes of instruments (plus some odd ones) that can be utilized to assemble/disassemble furnishings and home equipment and carry out numerous repairs round the home, autos, and others. No must go fancy and lay our a fortune, however purpose for one thing of fine high quality to final just a few years of intense use. 

A Dremel is a superb multi-tool to have at dwelling. It’s helpful to maintain instruments properly conditioned, carry out precision work to manufacture or improvise components, reduce, drill, take away damaged screws, and far more. Electrical or cordless influence and hammer drills and screwdrivers additionally add versatility, effectivity, and comfort.

Security equipment

Assorted masks, gloves, eye safety (goggles, eye washers), aprons, a tough hat, and steel-toed boots. 

Security is precedence #1. All the time use PPE to cope with extra hazardous jobs and objects. Deal with what you’re doing to keep away from accidents. Watch out with slicing instruments, gases, chemical compounds, and flammables. At any time when attainable, have a helper or spotter when performing harmful duties. 

Bonus equipment

Books, manuals, PDFs, prints, hyperlinks, movies, and tutorials. 

Don’t neglect to construct a “expertise” equipment. Attending programs and taking courses (or e-classes) is another choice. Observe doesn’t make excellent, however make developments, and nobody turns right into a handyman or lady in a single day. Studying is a part of the method and by no means goes to waste. Not less than have the means to check and seek the advice of when performing a job, so maintain just a few how-to sources at hand. 

Different data and information sources to begin digging for data and equipment or components on the identical time are Amazon and eBay. There are additionally countless DIY boards and blogs on the web. 

The DYI neighborhood is as engaged and useful neighborhood that may vastly profit preppers.

All you must do is ask for assist.

Many producers, similar to iFixIt, present quite a few blogs, manuals, and how-to guides, together with the tools and supplies on supply. Some corporations even have customer support to assist discover the supplies and different inputs essential to proceed with the repairs or fabrications.

But what are your ideas? Do you’ve gotten your restore provides organized into kits? Are there different instruments you’d add to this checklist? Inform us within the feedback.

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About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class employee residing in São Paulo, Brazil. Removed from being the super-tactical or extremely educated army survivor sort, he’s the common joe who since his youth has been concerned with self-reliance and out of doors actions and the sensible aspect of balancing life between a giant metropolis and rural/wilderness settings. Because the 2008 world financial disaster, he has been coaching and serving to others in his space to grow to be higher ready for the “fixed, slow-burning SHTF” of residing in a third world nation.

Fabian’s e-book, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City , is a sensible coaching methodology for widespread metropolis dwellers primarily based on the life-style of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be extra psychologically, mentally, and bodily ready to cope with the cruel actuality of the streets throughout regular or troublesome instances. He’s additionally the writer of The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.

You’ll be able to observe Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor


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