Prepper must-haves: 4 Multi-purpose tools that will come in handy when SHTF
By Olivia Cook // Feb 10, 2023

People rely on tools for numerous tasks to save time, effort and money. But you have to make sure that you have the right tools for certain situations to avoid problems.

Here are some useful items to have when SHTF:

Survival knives

A good folding knife is perfect for everyday carry, but a fixed-blade knife is more suited in a survival situation.

A folding design makes it much more compact and easier to tote, like a Swiss army knife that generally comes with a drop-point main blade plus other blades and tools, such as screw drives, a can opener, a bottle opener, a pair of scissors, a saw blade and many other components. While its iconic form is known all over the world and associated with utility, adventure and smart designs, it will never take a beating for rough abuse as its joints (or pivot) are its weakness for rigorous cutting, chopping, pounding, prying, thrusting and so on. Another reason why you would want to have a fixed-blade knife is the speed of deployment, especially in emergency situations.

The best fixed-blade survival knife for your money must have a strong, full-tang blade with a serrated edge. The handle should be comfortable to hold and provide a good grip even when wet. It is also important to choose a knife that is the right size for your hand and that you feel comfortable using.

The Tac Tool is a rescue and rapid entry knife specifically geared toward urban survival issues, and is the knife of choice by rescue workers, special response teams and military operators. The knife is designed to bash, chisel, cut, pry and smash and is said to be great for lifting hinge pins and hammering out glass.

Four-way water key

In a long-term disaster situation, especially in an urban environment, this one tiny water spigot key is designed to gain access to both commercial and residential water faucets. Your chances of being able to find drinking water in the city could increase with this four-way water key, which you can use to open or close radiators, water valves and outside garden spigots where valve handles have been removed, or open tamper-resistant hose bibs that are usually located on the exterior of commercial and industrial buildings, as well as rest stops.

Portable solar chargers

An example of a small portable solar panel kit is the Goal Zero Adventure Kit, which can keep just about any USP device going indefinitely without ever having to rely on the power grid – from charging your AA and AAA batteries to powering up cellular mobile phones, GPS devices and emergency radios.

A research article published in the journal Solar Energy has demonstrated the versatility of the standalone portable solar-dual storage system through real usage under different outdoor weather conditions. It operates via a mode selector that allows switching between two independent systems – direct mode with a high-power density supercapacitor to buffer fluctuation and off-grid mode with a high energy density battery-coupling – supporting loads of up to 300 watts.


Cordless chainsaws are an ideal multi-purpose tool – not just cut out for emergencies and gardening. You could use the help of a chainsaw and save yourself the effort of annoying branches with mere shears, securing and preparing wood for winter and getting rid of debris in the form of large branches or even trees after storms. If you have a cordless chainsaw in your car, it can save you from being stuck in the middle of nowhere with fallen trees on the road. Chainsaws are also considered one of the basics when it comes to DIY projects. (Related: 22 must-have prepper tools for your survival bag.)

Things to consider when purchasing and storing tools

Here are a few rules when purchasing and storing tools:

  • Go for the multi-use tools as they will provide various uses and they are easy to carry. Leave the single-use tools for the others.
  • Go for mechanical quality tools and avoid the ones that need electricity. If you opt for electrical tools, make sure you get the ones that have an alternative method of charging.
  • Always have a solution available for charging your tools. Go for a mobile one that can be used as an all-purpose generator, such as solar power.
  • Get tools that are compact and lighter. Take weight restriction into account as you may need to bug out.
  • Get the tools you need and the ones you know how to work with. Do not stockpile on tools that you think you will need or tools that you don't know how to use.
  • Do not be cheap when it comes to buying tools. You get what you pay for. Do not go for bulk promotions or for deals that are too good to be true.

Preparedness means having the right tools on hand and knowing how to use them in emergency situations. When SHTF, being prepared will go a long way toward ensuring you and your family's survival.

Visit for more prepping and survival tips.

Watch this video to learn more about essential power tools.

This video is from the Tucker Survival channel on

More related stories:

13 non-electric kitchen tools for your off-grid homestead.

10 things that will still work after an electromagnetic pulse.

15 tools every prepper needs to make life on a homestead easier after SHTF.

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