Getting electric tools in your preps

Electric and battery powered tools have become very good substitutes for gas powered tools and are a part of my preps. I know it may seem a little odd when so many of things I have prepared for usually include the power being off for a significant amount of time.  But, with solar energy you have a renewable power source that is under your control and is not dependent on anything but how large of a system you can afford to build/install.  Now you may already have a gas generator and it can run all of these electric tools as long as the fuel holds out but by adding in a small solar setup you can keep right on working even if you run out of gas!

You can also see how many tools are now battery powered from drills, sanders, circular saws and even small chainsaws.  While have a good selection of plain old human powered tools is great to have on hand they can be hard to find at a good price. These little battery powered tools can be bought in a small groups that all share the same type of battery and will make jobs a bit easier when you are low on physical energy, disabled or need to get a job done quickly. If you are a little low on funds you can pickup a single tool at a time and slowly build up your toolbox.

You might find that corded power tools a bit cheaper as well as having a bit more power compared to the battery type tools so I think it is best to try and get both tools  if you can for your tool box.  With a high watt inverter (1000 watts +) you should be able to run your tools for a short time even if you have a small solar setup as well as charging up your tool’s batteries in between jobs.

My little toolbox has a combination of battery and corded power tools and I have to say I have been very impressed by my electric rototiller by Earthworks. The cord can be a little difficult if you are not used to one but after awhile you learn to work around that little issue.  I have a small electric chainsaw that does a great job on smaller jobs that it’s short 14 inch bar can handle.  Of course I have a battery powered cordless drill that are about as common as mud and are work great for small jobs.  I gave my Dad a battery powered circular saw that I had a issues using because of my disability.  It ready to do some work though if needed!

Add in the weed whacker and my leaf blower/vacuum mulcher you can see how much work you can still get done with relative ease by going electric and having solar energy as your backup electrical needs.  I’m looking at purchasing from amazon a small electric lawn mower by Earthworks to replace my old gas mower.  That will take care of most all of the yard chores and it’s all done via electric power.

Almost all of the electrical energy in the west is done by Hydroelectric Dams.  Here in Idaho we tend to have some of the lowest electrical rates in the nation. If you depend on a coal-fire, natural gas or nuclear turbine your electrical cost maybe much higher and not as cost effective as electricity is for me.  You can still take advantage of using solar panels or wind to generate electricity and store it in batteries to use with an inverter.

You don’t have to spend $50,000.00 and have a whole house solar setup to take advantage of solar energy.  A 20 watt panel costs about $60.00 and you can buy one or two at a time and slowly build up your power collection. I got my 1100 watt inverter for $65.00 on sale at Amazon but the batteries I want to get are expensive $120.00-$180.00 each but they are the AGM batteries with no out gassing like lead acid batteries and built for many charge and discharge cycles.  By going with a small and portable setup I can use my solar generator at home or with my RV and by going with several small panels,  if one is damaged it still will work though I will lose a little efficiency of a single high watt panel.

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6 Responses to Getting electric tools in your preps

  1. riverrider says:

    j, been collecting dewalt 18volt tools for years and batts/chargers. can recharge thru the solar inverter. i hardly ever use a plug-up tool or manual one anymore. they have proven to last the best for me. laid in a good supply of nails and large deck screws too. worth their weight in gold soon:)

  2. Jamie says:

    river, most of mine seem to be the 18 volt Black and Decker’s especially the small yard tools like the cultivator. I think I can swing the electric mower and AGM battery next check that will take care of the yard tools and give me at least a start on my solar generator.

    If it wasn’t for that world wide economic collapse and that Armageddon thingy the PTBs are playing with, I would be having a lot more fun getting all these things in place and somewhat independent.

  3. riverrider says:

    roger that. i’m trying to focus on what i can do something about and blocking out the rest. only so-so sucessful to date, but i’m trying, relearning how to enjoy life. still it makes one mad to watch the ptb screwing everything up.

    • Jamie says:

      river, It has gotten pretty darn surreal in the USA. Being awake and aware does have it’s downsides. I don’t know about you but for me I tend to be staying a bit closer to home and think very hard about value between cash on hand, hard goods and PMs.

      In some ways I’m spending a bit more on the hard goods I think I will need as well as trying to get a somewhat better “emergency fund” saved up.

      I haven’t bought much in the way of PMs other than a little junk for that last 3 months. That’s been tough with silver “on sale” for under $30.00 an oz.

      I know it might be considered silly to buy a Rotisserie and programmable coffee maker. I think it was a good idea to get a couple of so-called non-prep items that just make life a little bit nicer, more enjoyable day to day and spoil myself a bit.

  4. riverrider says:

    j, roger that. staying close to home myself, between the news and gas costs. i stocked up on pm but its hard not to add at those prices. after 3 years my retirement paperwork is finally complete so they started taking out taxes n such, ouch! now i need a job. who’s going to hire a 50 year old with a broken back? i’m going to try to enjoy this summer and worry about a job this fall. yeah, we gotta spoil ourselves once in a while or life just ain’t worth living. take care.

    • Jamie says:

      river, I hear you brother. In a way my preps have become my retirement plan or at least something that can make whatever dollars I get go farther. I will be 47 this year and it is possible that my bulk foods will still be good to eat in 25-30 years when I’m in my 70’s if I don’t have to eat them before that time. Add in some small renewable energy sources along with water and heat and a person can really reduce monthly living expenses.

      I listen to so many folks talk about income but for me the biggest thing has been about outgo since I woke up!

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