We all know that nuts and bolts are useful for securing things together, but did you know that they can also serve as a handy multi-tool?  Let’s take a look at some examples of how you can improvise these rudimentary objects in order to accomplish tasks in situations when you don’t have access to basic tools.


Imagine that you need to loosen a nut but don’t have an appropriate-sized wrench or socket.  A great alternative is to attach two nuts to a long bolt and use that instead.  Place a nut near one end of the bolt and use the second one as a spacer.  Simply adjust the second nut to fit snugly against the one you’re trying to remove, and you should be able to use the leverage from the bolt to loosen it up.  While this may not be a perfect solution, it can be just what you need to get the job done.

Lighter Holder

Attach a nut at the end of a bolt that is tall enough to hold a lighter, and you can improvise a way to keep the flame lit without holding it yourself.  Place the bottom of the lighter above the bottom nut, tighten the top one over the trigger to hold it down, and you’re good to go.  This is a great trick to use when soldering, lighting things in hard to reach areas or any other project when you want to keep both hands free and still have a steady flame.


Do you have sandpaper or a file in your survival kit or stockpile?  If you said no, you’re not alone.  This is one item that rarely crosses the minds of most preppers, but it may be something that we need to do, particularly during a period of prolonged self-sufficiency.  You can use the threads on a bolt to accomplish the same thing, and the metal can withstand a lot of abuse before wearing down.  While it may take some time and effort to sand with a bolt, it will get the job done, and chances are that the bolt will still be in good condition once you’re finished.


Take some copper wire and coil it around the body of a bolt that is capped with nuts on either end, and leave about an inch of extra wire on either end as well.  Place one end on the top of a AA battery and the other at the bottom, and hold them in place with your finger and thumb.  Now you have a magnet that can pick up all kinds of small metallic objects.  However, the battery will start to heat up after a few seconds, so make sure that you let go of the wires so it can cool if you need the magnet for longer periods of time.  Once cooled, re-connect, and you’re good to go.  You can also scale up with larger batteries and more coil as needed, but you’ll be surprised with how much power the AA magnet can generate.

Feel free to experiment with these tricks, and take some time to get creative and think of other uses that you can get from nuts and bolts.  You’ll be surprised at how many tasks you can accomplish with these objects, and this can translate into making life a little bit easier in the field during difficult times.