Titanium Alloy Claw Hammer
- There is simply no replacement for a good claw hammer, and if Situation X meant there would never be another
hardware store again in the near future, this hammer will allow you to even do crude smithing to make, or remake, your other tools. Titanium will
outlast a cheap iron-head hammor a thousand times over. A very highly regarded model is the Stiletto
, which is a hefty $84USD. For the casual American use of hanging a picture or minor little repairs here and there, a cheap hammer will do
you fine and last you years, but in the event of Situation X, it is likely that you will need your hammer every day, for hundreds of different uses. A
cheap hammer won't last under those conditions very long at all. I know, however, we have some people here with much less, and some with much more,
to spend on a hammer.
is an interesting article reviewing
different types, brands, and models of hammers. It may not sound like fascinating reading, but again, the right tool for the right job is essential,
and in Situation X, a hammer can serve as the right tool more often than any other tool you name. With a good claw hammer, you can hammer, of course,
but also crush rock, cut stone, tool metal, forge metal, be used as a fire tool (like picking up the lid of a dutch oven), dig holes, drag heavy
things, gaff hook bulky things, opening things, shutting things, prying things open... You can even use either end as a weapon, one side stuns, the
other kills, god forbid it ever be needed like that though. And, in a pinch, it can also be used as a thrown weapon if the balance is good enough, but
usually it's better to keep something like that in hand.
- You'd be amazed how many people have the wrong nail for the job. Make sure you get a range of lengths, widths, and types. You may very
well need a lot of nails before Situation X is over.
Some terminte-treated 8' long 2x4"s, a couple of 2x6"s, a couple of 4x4"s, stored in a dry place, like the wall of a garage, will
last a very long time, and in the event of an emergency are extremely useful items that are a pain in the rear to get. That's probably a good $20-50
worth of lumber, so don't buy it all at once unless you're ready. However, one 8' length of any of the above each time you visit the hardware store
is a lot easier to manage (maybe $5ea?), and can be spread out gradually over one's abilities to collect it. If space and funds permit, consider a
sheet or two of plywood as well.
2 Hand Saws
- One for metal, one for wood. Another one of those items that, in Situation X, will get used a lot. The
20-045 Fat Max Hand Saw
seems to be an overwhelmingly positive reviewed one, but again, the important thing is at least you GET a saw. If
you've got the money, get a stonecutting saw as well.
A box of wood pencils
- Pencils store forever, don't go bad, write when wet or upside down, can be sharpened with a rock or your teeth if
desperate, can be used as short dowells for reinforcement, can be used as pegs, splints, touraquets, land position markers, the shavings can be used
as kindling for a fire, and let's not forget it tried and true method of staking a vampire through the heart
- My father bought Channel Lock, so that's what I get, and I'm happy with them, but I don't have any review pages to
show on those. Of the three tools you'll need most in Situation X, this is the third, and the one you'll least want to have cheaped out on. As it is
made of moving parts, it will almost certainly be the first to break. The cheaper it is, the sooner it will break (or bend, or scar the clamps).
With those tools, you can improvise almost any job or create almost any tool you need as far as construction and rebuilding goes in the event that
Situation X or the closure of stores lasts longer than a few days. Absolutley there are other tools that would be nice to have, but the ones above you
just can't cheap out on, because they are, by and large, irreplacable once the stores close, without a loooot of work. Arguably, a knife, screw
driver, etc, could all be considered vital, but they're also the most common items around, and fairly easy to fashion out of crude materials.
To be honest, I'd recommend these tools at each of your primary locations, one set at home, one set at each of the 4 cardinal destinations in a
cache. That'd be the ideal situation, but at the very least have one full set of the above, wherever you intend to be going to survive Situation X.