Desert Island tools

How about a little thread about your favorite tools. What are your six most essential hand tools. Basically, if you were stranded on a desert island and could have only 6 hand tools to garden and grow your own vegetables and fruit, what would they be?

No electricity or fuel available on the island of course, but I guess if you know some great solar powered tools…

For me it would be:
Hori Hori - Japanese garden knife
Nejiri Kama - Japanese weeding sickle
A pair of hand pruners
A folding pruning saw
A spearhead spade
A rake

Other tools might make me more efficient at some things, but I can probably do everything I’d need to just with these. I’d love to have grafting knife, a hatchet and a machette, but I don’t think I’d trade any of the above to get them.

How about things like files and stones? I can see how you might find native stones for the knives, but I think that saw is going to need a file sooner or later.

Oh, this is hard!


I’d want a digging fork too.

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Lol. True, but what do you give up to get it? What is your list?

I’m always curious what people find essential. I must have given a half a dozen people a hori hori as a gift and everyone raves about it. I never knew such a thing existed 4 years ago.

A hammer…probably a masonry hammer at least 20 ounce.
Spade…cut roots and oh so much more.
Channel lock pliers.
A drill bit or auger…a handle of some sort.
Knife of some type.
Something to start a fire.

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I’d give up the rake for a digging fork. Also switch the weeding sickle for a double headed Japanese cultivator (has small hoe on one side and a 3-4 tine fork on the other).

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Grub hoe. I use it to remove grass from my lawn to make room for native flowers.


The weeding sickle looks useful, but I would substitute one of my favorite tools, a Ho-Mi digger. Mine is a short hand-tool version. You can weed with it, just not a sharp edge. I would have ahard time deciding between a rake and a garden fork, I use them both frequently. If you upped to 7 tools, I would add a Boston digger. Best posthole and planting digger I have ever used.