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Top 10 Handheld Tools for Survival

Top 10 Handheld Tools for Survival

Top 10 Handheld Survival Tools

Working with 
my hands is one of the things I enjoy most. Whether it's programming a radio, planting a garden, or working out in the garage, you can always find me knee-deep in some sort of project that involves some handiwork a little elbow grease. Using everyday tools to complete my projects help immensely. Everyday tools like this are a luxury when completing these simple projects, but during an emergency situation, these types of tools may be your only lifeline. Follow the list below, and make sure you have each of the items below. They could make a huge difference when your in an emergency situation and lives may be on the line.

1. Knife

One of the most primitive, yet still most useful tools in the world today is still a good knife. Whether your preparing your latest catch, or fashioning a tourniquet, a knife should always be at the top of your list of handheld tools for survival scenarios, and the different ways you can utilize a knife are almost endless. You will likely find yourself using your knife for many more things than what knives are traditionally used for. Start a fire, prepare your vegetables, flash a distress signal, or create a spear. The list goes on and on. Knives are also compact and there are many to choose from that are perfect for survival. Pick out something sturdy and durable, and pick out more than just 1, you may need them all for all sorts of purposes.

2. Hatchet

If you will be in a survival situation for a long period of time, you will need something a that's a heavier hitter than a knife. Hatchets have been a useful tool for a long time, but now they are collapsible, and are made for survival. Create tinder for your fire, chop down small trees, build a shelter, or chip away snow and ice to gain access to the watering hole you need access to. A hatchet does the things that a smaller knife can't handle. Equip yourself and you have another handheld weapon and another survival tool.

3. Handheld Radio

When your talking about handheld tools, don't forget that radios are one of the most useful handheld tools in the book. You'll want to ensure you well-equipped when the power grid is down and you need a way to get a message to someone. Sometimes, a radio might be the only solution. Whether you need to beacon your location or need to use the GPS coordinates to figure out where you need to go for safety, a two-way radio like the AnyTone 878UVII Plus could provide a path to survive that no other tool can. With up to 
35 hours between charges using the supplied 3100 mAh lithium-ion battery, this radio can last longer than most, and will provide critical communications during the worst scenarios.
878UVII Plus878UVII Plus in the Wilderness

4. Multi-tool

For every tool you don't have, there is a multi-tool. And while a multi-tool may not be an ideal tool for every situation, it will provide a lot of the little functions that you don't get with your other tools to fill in the gaps. Typically a multi-tool comes equipped with a needle-nose pliers, wire-cutters, knives, small saw, can/bottle openers, bit drivers, and a file. Some of the more advanced multitools also have things like a hammer, wrench, and flashlights. These multi-tools can have a price range of around $10 to around $210. Check out the $10 version compared to the $200 version below. Grab something that fits your price range, but gives you all the functionality that you might need for an extended stay in the wilderness.
Cheaper MultitoolExpensive Multi Tool
As you can see, these multi-tools look similar but have some big differences when it comes to quality as well as durability.

5. Flashlight

Daylight and indoor lighting is something we constantly take for granted. In cases where electricity won't be available, you will need a light source for safe travels and to be able to do any sort of nighttime activities. The flashlights they make today are more powerful than ever, so ensure your well equipped with something potent. A powerful flashlight provides the lighting you will need in many of these cases. A solar-powered flashlight might be your best bet, but having more than one type of flashlight will ensure your well prepared. You probably have some extra batteries laying around but make sure you have plenty of backups to be equipped for long periods in the wilderness.

6. Whistle

A whistle may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to handheld survival tools, but a whistle provides communication in the heart of an emergency which may be the only way to send a signal to someone at the time. There is actually an international whistle code as well so make sure each member of your family is armed with a whistle and knows the code.

1 Whistle Blast = “Where are you?”
2 Whistle Blasts = “Come to me!”
3 Whistle Blasts = “I need help!”

International Whistle Code

A whistle works great for these short emergency type communications, but if you want something with just as much range with more clear transmission of your message, check out our Buddy FRS Radio, which gives you line-of-sight comms and delivers clear and concise messages, even in the thick of a bad situation. 

7. Shovel

A sturdy shovel, or tactical shovel made for survival situations is another tool that should definitely be on your list. A tactical shovel typically folds down to a smaller size that allows for easy carrying, and usually comes with some other survival tools embedded within. Use a shovel for freeing a stuck vehicle, creating a plumbing system, clearing brush, and search and rescue missions. Look into survival multi-tool shovels if you want your shovel to be more versatile with other survival uses, or look as classis survival shovels if you plan to use it more traditionally. Just remember that in these kind of scenarios, things might not go exactly according to plan.

8. Saw

A hacksaw will likely be the ideal type of saw for most emergency scenarios. Survival hacksaws fold into a more compact format so you don't expose the blade among the other items that may be in your bugout bag. A clunky or non-foldable saw will be something you want to avoid if possible, but if you have a designate bag for clunkier tools like this, having some kind of saw will be better than having nothing at all.

Saws can be used for cutting wood, plastic, bone, rubber and soft metal, as well as clearing the roadway from fallen trees and building a shelter or fire. You can also look into single-hand saws or wire saws as well for the same type of cutting functionality.

9. Firestarter

Fire provides the light and warmth needed in everyday survival. These fire starters are usually composed of a ferrocerium and magnesium blend, and most kits I see give you about 15,000 strikes to provide a spark. If you are in a true wilderness type of setting, a fire will be essential to live for days or even weeks in forests or wooded areas. Get your fire started to stay warm, cook food, provide light, signal rescue teams, and provide some comfort to friends or family members. If you can't build a fire out in the wild, you're way behind the 8 ball.

10. Compass

There's a reason that compass' still exist in today's world of modern technology and advanced computers. A compass provides some reference and frame of mind as to where you are at in the area. Getting familiar with your compass allows you to be ready for an emergency, and also requires some confidence and self-reliance when using a compass. Using something as simple as a compass can ensure your headed in the right direction, and maybe most importantly can make sure your not getting lost and walking around in circles. Remember, if your equipped with a radio like an 878UVII Plus, you can use the GPS feature to track your coordinates. Use your compass and radio in tandem to keep track of where your at in the world so you can be sure you are always on the right track.


These everyday tools provide convenience and simple advantages over doing tasks by hand in our everyday lives, but the purposes of these tools are taken to a whole nother level when talking about them in an emergency situation. If  you're not well-equipped with a plethora of tools, you'll be overwhelmed and underprepared, and when your the only person in a wide area that knows what you need to do, it's vital you have the equipment to get you and your family to safety. Use these ten handheld tools as a baseline for your survival gear, and be the guide that leads your family, neighborhood, and community to security and protection.
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