Finding Good Tools in Developing Countries

Good quality tools can last decades if properly cared for.
Good quality tools can last decades if properly cared for.

Getting good tools in developing countries is challenging since the market is flooded with very low quality products. Often the tools are worthless within minutes or a few hours of use. Sometimes they never work. For instance, I bought a screwdriver a few weeks ago that stripped out on the first screw. This is not unusual. It’s actually very common in poor countries.

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Earthbag Tools

Here is a compilation of previous blog posts and videos on earthbag building tools for those who can’t afford my Earthbag Building Guide. All this is covered in my book, but $20 – the cost of the ebook – is a lot of money in some parts of the world. Plus, it takes a good bit of time to search through our websites with thousands of pages of information and find just what you need. You will see in the following documents that very few tools are needed for building with earthbags. Whenever possible, buy (or make) the best tools possible so they last a long time.

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My Favorite Digging Tools

Grub hoes and grape hoes are my favorite digging tools. Shovels work fine with loose material such as gravel and sand, but it’s rather difficult digging clayey soil such as road base with shovels. One of these hoes, however, can cut right into the soil and readily pull the material into buckets without lifting. Think … Read more

My Favorite Slider

Here’s a drawing of my favorite earthbag slider that makes it easy to place bags on the wall without getting hooked on the barbed wire. If you want to make one, start out by cutting a sheet of 1/16th thick steel about 13 inches wide by 16” long. Tack weld a piece of 1” by … Read more

Tampers from Building Supply Centers

It’s relatively easy to make your own earthbag tampers, but some may decide it’s simpler and more expedient to just purchase them. Here’s one tamper I came across after a quick search on the Internet: Ames True Temper 8″ x 8″ Tamper, 42 inch hardwood handle, $24.98, available from Lowe’s building supply centers.

Earthbag Building Tools

Earthbag building requires very few tools. You mostly need sturdy, basic tools such as shovels, buckets and tampers. Buy the best quality you can afford. This may mean buying from yard sales or Craigslist to get older, higher quality tools. A lot of new stuff is junk that will fall apart in a few days … Read more