Are Tools Worth More Than Gold?


Tools vs Gold- Which is worth more after an Economic Collapse?


The survival philosophy of buying nothing but guns and gold will get you a short but “Oh so glorious” life in a collapsed economy or post apocalyptic fantasyland.  But in a reality based collapsed society or post apocalyptic America where our country has turned into a third world, tools and the ability to use them, will help to get you a much safer and more stable livelihood than stock piling gold, guns and ammo.  The reality in third world countries (which is very similar to a post apocalyptic scenario) is that commerce continues.  For some great information from a guy that is currently living through this situation checkout  Money still changes hands in exchanges for goods and services.  Even when there is no functional form of government or security, people still use the system of exchanging items of value (bartering) for items they need.

The bottom line is that it just isn’t realistic for the vast majority of people to have the income to be able to stock pile enough gold to last for the rest of their life.  So what happens when their gold runs out?  Although unlikely what happens if gold doesn’t have any value in a barter centric economy?  The value of gold is based on supply and demand… if no one is buying jewelry or gold bars or coins will gold still have value like it does today? On the other hand if it is a major form of currency it could have great value.  Bottomline for most preppers is that you should have all of your other bases covered before you buy Gold or Silver.  Make sure you have food, water, clothing, self defense items, tools, and even some barter items, etc.  Once that is accomplished then is the perfect time to look at buying silver or gold.

Who does well in an Economic Collapse?

People who flourish in places that have experienced economic collapse are people who possess multiple skill sets and own the tools associated with those performing skills.  Sure having some money, gold and silver set back in savings is a good thing, but be rational about it.  Gold or silver shouldn’t be the only thing you have to fall back on.  Consider investing in your own knowledge and ability.  Learning as many of the following basic skills as possible will go a long ways towards affecting your survival.  You don’t necessarily need to be a super skilled craftsman at all of them, but just learn them to a level of basic competence and understanding to where you might be called “A jack of all trades, master of none”.  And if you master a few of them, all the better!

What skills and tools will be valuable after an economic collapse?

1. Carpentry:  Disasters damage houses, carpenters can fix them.  Hammers, Nails, Saws, etc.  Handtools – Not just power tools!

2. Electricity:  Auto and home.  Know the difference between 110 volt Ac and 12volt dc.  As well as how to wire some basic projects on both systems.  Voltmeter, Wire Cutters, Crimpers, Strippers, Test Lights, etc.

3. Plumbing: Turning it on and off.  The basics of working with PVC pipe, cooper tubing and black iron pipe.  Pipe Cutters, hacksaw, sweating joints with solder, PVC primer and glue, etc.  Understand the concepts of flow and the need for venting.  Knowing that shit runs down hill is a good start, but not enough…

4. Auto repair:  The basics at least.  Oil changes, air filter, plugs, wires, sensor changes and reading codes.  Changing tires, and all of the fluids, remove and replace the belts and hoses.  Buy and read a Chilton’s manual for your vehicles.  Tools to have are a full set of standard and metric wrenches, screwdrivers, straight, phillips, hex, torx, etc.  Torque wrenches, brake tools, oil filter wrench, a hydraulic jack and a set of jack stands, etc.

5. Cutting and Splitting Wood: Have a a chain saw and the associated gear, bar oil, extra chains, a chain sharpener, extra bar, also an axe and a heavy splitting axe, splitting wedges, pneumatic log splitter.  Once the power goes out having these tools will certainly be worth their weight in gold if you have to heat your home with a wood burning stove.

6. Torch: Own a oxygen and acetylene cutting torch.  Cutting and welding metal to fix old and broken junk becomes a way of life in a third world. In a collapsed society you can’t just go to the store and buy a new one.

7. Welding: Own at least one or both,  a 110 volt wire welder and larger 220 volt stick welders.  You will also need plenty of wire, rods, flux, heavy leather gloves, a slag hammer, and welding helmet. And of course a generator capable of running the welder.

8. Air: Own an air compressor and basic air tools.  When combined with a generator having an impact wrench and air ratchet can save a ton of time and effort when working on vehicles or other items.

9. Hunting, trapping, fishing, livesock raising: Knowing how to do all of these things and how to butcher, cook, store and eat the meat from all of the above will be vitally important in a collapsed society.

10. Digging tools: Owning several digging tools like shovels, spades, adz, picks, pry bars, etc.  Now with all of the modern machinery that we have we don’t think much about digging anymore, but the first time you have to dig out a broken water pipe or septic system by hand, or even a latrine you will be thankful you had these tools around!

11. Utility Vehicle: An ATV or UTV with associated implements like planting equipment, mowing equipment, snow removal equipment, etc can all be very useful as well.  And could also make an alternate bug out vehicle if needed in an emergency.

12. For people who live in more rural areas: Small or large tractors with varieties of implements will also be highly sought after items in a collapsed society.

13. Generator: Having the ability to make electricity is huge! The reasons are so obvious I won’t even go any further.  But take a look a this link to see a post I did on Generator preparation and maintenance.

14.  Misc: This list isn’t an all inclusive but just a primer to get you thinking.  You should have all sorts of hand tools and power tools to be able to tackle any sort of job that comes your way.

How can these things make me money after an economic collapse?

Blue collar skills, like those mentioned above will be in demand and bring more money in a third world economy than do white collar skills.  An accountant will go hungry long before an auto mechanic or carpenter.  A financial adviser will be begging for breadcrumbs while the plumber and electrician are eating high on the hog.  Having an assortment of tools and the skills to use them will be the driving force behind the rebuilding of any collapse.  Just look at Katrina….do you think any housing contractors have made any money in the rebuilding?  Of course you will also need to have a sufficient supply of guns and ammo to defend yourself and your property.  But if you are a valuable member of society who is contributing to the rebuilding effort, you will be amazed at how much support you will get from others (whom you have helped) in staying safe and keeping away would be thieves.  Third world countries are comprised of multiple small groups of people (tribes) who take care of one another and if our country came apart at the seams (and I doubt it will in our lifetime, but who knows), our country would be no different from any other in the world and we will do the same and reorganize ourselves into small groups of people who help and support one another.  Owning tools and knowing how to use them will help to position yourself as being a productive member of that new society and that will be worth more than gold in the long run.

You may ask how do I know that this will be the case?  Because I have traveled throughout much of the third world and spent a lot of time talking to regular people who live in those places.  And time and time again in second and third world countries, it always rings true that those who have done well for themselves “on their own” without taking and stealing from others are the ones who have a tangible skill and the tools to use those skills to provide for their families.  Inevitably the people who end up working for warlords or living as bandits are people who felt like they had no other options to put food on the table for themselves or their families.  So rather than starve they take up arms and become part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.

For a different perspective on this subject checkout this blog at

What tools or skills can you think of that may be valuable to have in a society that has experienced an economic collapse?

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6 thoughts on “Are Tools Worth More Than Gold?

  1. Great Article! While traveling overseas, I have noticed much of the same. Those with some sort of skill(s), tend to be the community leaders and often fare well in terms of quality of life.

  2. Great article, so many people don’t understand this concept. A little extra hint: anything with an engine should have a carburetor, not fuel injection. Carburetors can easily be fixed in the field, fuel injectors, not so much. Why do you think the SOF version of the Polaris ATVs have carburetors?

  3. Tony,

    Thats true! Although it getting harder and harder to find vehicles produced without fuel injection. I miss the good ole days! 🙂

  4. Wow, that was a heck of a good write up. Yes, tools and skills are extremely valuable when they are needed. I have a good collection of them, and can use them well, given the chance. I also believe in keeping on hand various fasteners. I have a collection of carpentry nails, screws and bolts, along with hinges and knobs and springs and… the list goes on. Automotive fasteners, too. Replacement generic hardware fits right in with the other. These things take up a bit of room, but any collection of tools worthy of the name will take up room anyway, and portability really isn’t a concern in any case. They are heavy, and not easy to relocate.

    Great list, and great focus. This could be an entire category on a web site. Here are a few links from my personal collection. Maybe they can be useful to someone.
    Lindsay’s Technical Books –
    Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them –
    9,515 Free Woodworking Plans –
    Vintage Farm Plans –
    LP recently posted..Some BORV Upgrade RecommendationsMy Profile

  5. Good points. I’m a big fan of gold and silver but I think it makes more sense to acquire the things you’ll need now while they’re readily available and not scarce than to assume that you’ll come out better in these kinds of exchanges later in a barter economy. Going to Menard’s and paying cash now will probably be a lot easier than trying to track the item down and hoping the person will accept silver for it. I think it’s better to think of barter precious metals as being for the things you’re forgetting now or you’re just plain unable to do yourself.

  6. The following are some other tips to keep your old chain saw running smooth.

    The latest incarnation follows a young girl as she and her friends are terrorized by a chainsaw-wielding killer, after she inherits a Victorian mansion in Texas.
    Petrol chainsaws are generally more pricey than electrical ones,
    but the higher versatility means this added dollars is perfectly invested.
    John recently posted..JohnMy Profile

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