Last Updated on November 30, 2020
Having the right farming tools and farm equipment for your small farm will make your life way easier. They will save you time, frustration, and even your back. Here are the best farm tools you’ll need on your small farm.
What farm equipment do I need for a small farm?
Depending on the size of your farm and how you plan on farming it, you may not need everything in this list. Nonetheless, here is what I recommend for a typical small farm.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to run a farm without a tractor. If you have a really small farm, you should look at sub-compact tractors.
If that won’t cut it then I recommend starting with something that’s a diesel with around 50 horsepower. If you can get one with four-wheel drive then that’s even better but may not be necessary depending on your property.
I personally use a Ford 3910 for my main tractor on a farm with about 50 acres. It’s not new but I am very happy with it.
I use it for things like bush hogging, moving wood chips and dirt around with the front end loader, moving mobile chicken coop around, hauling water totes and feed with pallet forks, leveling areas with a box blade, and fixing drainage issues with a subsoiler.
Check out this article on the Best Tractor for a Small Farm to help you figure out exactly what you need.
2. Pickup Truck
It’s very hard to farm without a pickup truck. You can use it for things like picking up lumber, pulling trailers, carrying hay, and even getting around the farm.
I spent $2,000 on my first farm truck. It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world but it got the job done. You can always start out with something cheap and upgrade later.
3. Livestock Trailer
If you are going to raise animals then a livestock trailer is necessary. You’ll need a way to pick them up and drop them off.
But livestock trailers can be used for a lot more than just hauling livestock. You can use it for things like hauling hay, firewood, tools, wood, and anything else that will fit in it.
If you want to save money, you can even start with a small bumper trailer made for horses. I’ve seen some go for as cheap as $500. These are not the best in the world but will get the job done.
Having some type of ATV can be a nice addition to a farm. You can use it to not only get you around the farm but also to haul supplies and tools.
I personally use an electric golf cart that is on a lift kit for this purpose. It’s not super strong but it gets my entire family and me around the farm and helps me haul tools for a lot less money than what a side-by-side would cost.
What implements do I need for a small farm?
A tractor by itself is not much use without implements. Here are the ones that I recommend.
5. Bush Hog
If you have a larger farm with pastures or a large yard, you may need a bush hog. I use my bush hog when knocking down brush, exploring new areas, and helping to clear areas for new fence.
My go-to bush hog is a 5 ft wide 3-pt hitch rear attach. I like this type of bush hog because I can raise it up and lower it down whenever I need to.
6. Front End Loader
My tractor has a front-end loader and it would be hard to live without it. I use it for hauling around rocks and soil around the farm as well as wood chips for our garden. It’s also great to use for hauling things around that you would otherwise need a wagon for.
7. Pallet Forks
I have forks that attach to my front end loader and they are a huge help to me on my farm. I primarily use them to haul feed and water totes around my farm but they can also be used for hauling logs, fence posts, brush, and firewood.
You can also put a pallet on them and use them to haul anything else around your farm that you don’t want to hook a wagon up for. Check out this article on the Best Clamp on Pallet Forks to help you pick out some for your tractor or skid steer.
If you don’t have a front-end loader, you can also get pallet forks that attach to your 3 point hitch. Check out this article on the Best 3 Point Pallet Forks if you need these type instead.
8. Post Hole Digger
Digging fence post holes by hand is hard work. If you are going to be installing any type of permanent fencing on your farm, I highly recommend getting a three-point hitch post hole auger. It will save you countless hours of hard work along with your back in the process.
9. Box Blade
A box blade is a super versatile piece of equipment that can be used for leveling. A lot of people use them to level out driveways but they can be used for much more than that. You can use them to make paths, level out your yard, level areas for new buildings, and even level out your garden.
10. Hay Wagon
Even if you aren’t hauling hay around your farm, a hay wagon can be really useful. Think of it like a bed of a truck but much larger. You can use it to haul all kinds of tools and equipment around your farm and you can even give hay rides on it in the fall.
What hand tools do I need for a small farm?
Here are some hand tools that can make your life so much easier when getting started with a farm.
Also, if you are looking to buy a gift for a farmer then check out this article on the Best Gifts for Farmers. It has some of the same essential farming tools that I recommend in this article but includes additional items that make great gifts for farmers.
11. Head Lamp
Having a good head lamp will make things like evening chores much easier on your farm. They are also great for checking on animals at night. The brighter the better. Once you have one, you’ll find it hard to live without.
12. Pocket Knife
You’ll need a good pocket knife because you never know when you will need a quick way to cut something. I use mind almost daily to cut open boxes, bailing twine, and even poly wire. They are just as useful off the farm as they are on the farm.
13. Electric Screwdriver
You will be building a lot of stuff on your farm. Because of this, I highly recommend buying a good electric screwdriver. You’ll need one that’s strong, durable, and has a long battery life.
14. Circular Saw
A circular saw is pretty much my go-to saw when I need to cut wood on my farm. And if you build as much stuff as I do, you will use one a lot. I prefer a plug-in circular saw but there are some very good battery powered ones available as well.
15. Jig Saw
A jig saw does not cut as fast or as clean as a circular saw but it is more versatile. I use mine for cutting around things or when I need to make a turn on a piece of wood.
16. Reciprocating Saw
A reciprocating saw is even more versatile than a jig saw. You can use it to cut things like pipes, tree branches, thick plastic, and even metal. Make sure you get the right kind of blades for what you are planning on cutting to make things easier.
17. Tool Kit
I also recommend a good craftsman toolkit with an assortment of various types of tools so you never have to farther than your workshop or garage to get the job done. This should include things like screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, vice-grips, a ratchet set, and a good hammer.
18. Dump Cart
A dump cart is basically a wagon with a dump bed. You can use it to haul things like you normally would with a standard wagon but you can also use it to haul things that need to be dumped out like soil, wood chips, fertilizer, rocks, etc. These are just handy to have around the farm to make it much easier to move things around without hurting yourself.
19. Spud Bar
A spud bar can be a good, multi-purpose farming tool. You can use it for things like breaking up ice in the livestock waterers, prying things apart, or tamping dirt while installing fence posts (if your spud bar has a tamper on the other end).
20. Air Compressor
Let’s face it, tires get low and you’ll need something to air them up. Having at least a small air compressor on your farm can be a huge help. But besides that, they are really handy for other things like using the air nozzle for cleaning the radiator out in your tractor. If you use any type of air hammer or nail gun then you’ll need one for those as well.
21. Portable Generator
Sometimes the power will go out on your farm. In some cases, this can last a while. Having a way to power your equipment without the power grid can be a big help on your farm. And sometimes you may need to power something that’s far away from an electrical source. A good portable generator will take care of this for you.
22. Ratchet Straps
Chances are that if you have a farm you’ll be hauling lots of stuff around. You’ll need a good set of ratchet straps to secure this stuff and tie it down securely.
23. Tow Chain
Farms have mud and mud makes things get stuck. Having a good tow chain can be necessary when getting yourself out of a bind. Besides that, a tow chain can be used for other things like pulling logs and other heavy objects on your farm.
What gardening tools do I need for a small farm?
If you are growing a garden on your farm then here are some essential garden tools that you may need.
24. Garden Hoe
Arguably the most important garden tool that you will need is a good garden hoe. There are actually several different types of hoes and you’ll need the one that works best for the type of gardening you are planning on doing.
Check out this article on the Best Garden Hoes to learn more about each type and find the one that’s best for you.
A shovel is obviously necessary for digging holes when planting but you’ll find a million more uses for it around your farm. Get one that’s tough and won’t break under stress. Steel shovels are my favorite.
I also recommend that you get a good pitchfork if you are doing any type of mulch gardening. You’ll use it to throw your mulch around from one place to another.
27. Garden Rake
If you are serious about gardening then you’ll need a garden rake. A good garden rake will help you spread dirt and mulch around your garden with ease.
If you are raising a more traditional style of garden then you will need a good tiller. The type of tiller you choose will depend on how large your garden is and how much gardening you will be doing.
There are some really great electric tillers out now for smaller gardens. If you have a fairly large garden then you’ll want to go with a gas tiller.
29. Weed Torch
If you are gardening organically like myself, you should invest in a good weed torch. You can use it to scorch weeds to kill them off instead of spraying them with herbicides.
30. Soil Blocker
If you will be starting seeds on your farm, I highly recommend getting a soil blocker. Just like its name insinuates, a soil blocker creates blocks of soil that you can start seeds in. These blocks can then be transferred to the garden when you are ready.
If you are a serious gardener, a soil blocker will save you time and money in the long run.
31. Produce Scale
If you are going to sell produce from your farm then you’ll need a NTEP certified scale for weighing your produce. Check out this article on the Best Produce Scales to make sure you get the right kind.
32. Garden Hose
I have listed garden hose under the gardening category but in reality you’ll use it for a lot more than that. Besides using it to water my plants, I use mine for things like filling livestock waterers and cleaning off equipment. You’ll want to get one that doesn’t kink easily and will last you many years.
What tree work tools do I need for a small farm?
If your farm has trees or if you will be heating your house with wood, here are some essential tools for tree work on your farm.
The most important farming tool you’ll need for tree work is a good chainsaw. I use my chainsaw all throughout the winter and sometimes even during the summer.
For your farm, you’ll need a chainsaw that’s reliable, can cut through logs like butter, and is tough for farm work. Check out this article on the Best Farm Chainsaws to help you decide which one is right for you.
34. Log Splitter
If you will be burning wood in a fireplace or a wood burning stove then you will need a reliable log splitter.
Depending on how large the logs are that you will be splitting, you may be able to get away with an electric log splitter. For heavier and larger logs, you’ll probably need a gas log splitter.
Check out this article on the Best Log Splitters for a Farm to help you pick out the one that will work best for you.
35. Wood Chipper
If you are into mulch gardening or wood chip gardening, owning a good wood chipper will help you create your own wood chips instead of having to import them. Check out this article on the Best Wood Chippers for a Farm to help you pick out a good one.
Loppers are great for trimming smaller branches that don’t require a chainsaw. I use mine the most while clearing new areas for fence in the woods and through brush.
What yard work tools do I need for a small farm?
Unfortunately, even farms have yards that need maintaining. Here are some tools to help you with yours.
37. Lawn Tractor
One of the biggest tools you’ll need for yard work is a good mower. If you can use animals to take care of your yard then that’s great. But, if you are like me, you prefer to have at least a little space that’s off limit for animals.
A lawn tractor can also double as a farm vehicle. You can use it to pull a wagon around your farm as well.
38. String Trimmer
You will need a good weed eater, especially one that can stand up to the abuse it will receive on a farm. Check out this article on the Best Farm Weed Eaters & Weed Wackers to help you pick out the one that will work best for your farm.
39. Hedge Trimmer / Fence Trimmer
Keeping grass from growing under your fences will be a constant battle. This is especially true if you have electric fences because you want to keep them from shorting out.
I actually use a hedge trimmer to combat this on my farm. Check out this article on How to Keep Grass From Growing Under a Fence to see how. The nice thing about this is that I can use that hedge trimmer to actually trim trees and bushes on my farm as well.
What farm animal tools do I need for a small farm?
If you have animals on your farm then here are a few essential tools that you may need.
40. Feed Storage
For feed storage, you can actually use trash cans. These work especially well if you want to keep your feed next to your animals out on pasture. A solid trash can with a tight lid will not only keep the rain out of the feed but will also keep the predators out.
41. Feed Scoop
I also recommend a really good feed scoop to help you keep track of how much you are feeding your animals. Check out this article on the Best Feed Scoops to help you pick out a good one.
42. Meat Scale
If you are going to be selling meat from your farm, you will need a good NTEP certified scale. In other words, you’ll need a scale that is certified legal for trade. Check out this article on the Best Meat Scales to help you find the right one.
43. Fence Post Driver
If you plan on using any type of t-posts on your property then you should invest in a good fence post driver. There are a few different types to choose from.
Some drivers have a spring inside to make it less jarring when hammering the post in. But some people prefer the ones without the spring because you can hit the post harder without it.
I personally use one with a spring and have no issues hammering in posts with it.
44. Electric Fence Tester
I primarily use electric fences on my farm. And with electric fences, there’s nothing worse than having your livestock escape because the voltage is too low.
If you plan on using electric fences then you need a good electric fence tester to make sure your voltage is correct. You’ll be amazed at how often a fence shorts out because something fell on it or it broke somewhere down the line.
Check out this article on the Best Electric Fence Testers to make sure your livestock stays in.
45. Electric Fence Light
An electric fence light is a tool that helps you to determine if your fence is on or off from a distance. You may be able to get away with not having one of these but they are great at giving you reassurance that your fence is working properly all the time.
With an electric fence light, you don’t have to walk up to the fence or the fence charger to check to see if it is on. You can simply look across the field or wherever your light is installed to make sure.
Check out this article on the Best Electric Fence Lights that will make it easier for you to determine if your fence is on and keeping your animals in.
What type of clothing do I need for a small farm?
Clothing is not considered a tool or equipment in the conventional sense but you’ll soon realize how much it actually is when you rely on it to keep you dry when it’s wet, warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot outside.
46. Muck Boots
Farms are muddy. Because of this. I highly recommend a good pair of muck boots to keep your feet warm and dry in the winter. There is nothing worse than your feet being wet and cold in the winter. With a good pair of muck boots, you no longer have to worry about that.
A good pair of gloves are essential to keeping your hands warm in the winter and keeping them protected when dealing with rough and heavy objects. Make sure you get a pair that will last you a long time.
48. Insulated Bib Overalls
I love my insulated bib overalls. Whenever it’s extra cold out, I slip them on over the top of my jeans. They keep me so warm that I hardly remember it’s winter. And they also help my jeans to stay clean.
I recommend the warmest and toughest coat you can get your hands on. There’s nothing like trying to get chores done while freezing. A good coat will make things so much easier. And it will need to be tough because it will get abused on a farm.
50. Moisture Wicking Shirt
A good moisture wicking shirt is another item that is great at keeping you cool in the summer. This is especially helpful if you are doing a lot of garden work in the sun. They will pull the sweat away from your body and help it to evaporate faster than a regular shirt will. This will help you stay more comfortable in the hot sun.
I love wearing a hat. I always have one on when I’m outside working on the farm and I recommend you do the same. You’ll especially need one to help you stay cool in the summer.
Check out this article on the Best Farmer Hats to help you pick one out that works best for you.
If you are doing any type of work in the sun then a good sweatband will keep the sweat out of your eyes. This one item has been a game changer for me while working outside during the hot summer days.
Even though I wear a hat, my head still sweats. So I use mine under my heat and it does an awesome job at keeping the sweat out of my eyes.
53. Dust Mask
If you will be doing any type of bush hogging, mowing, or weed eating, I highly recommend getting a good dust mask. This is even more important if you suffer from allergies. A good dust mask will keep your nose and lungs happy.
54. Farm Laptop
Having a good laptop is an essential tool when it comes to running your farm or ranch. You’ll need a laptop that you can use for things like running farm management software, ordering parts, tools, seeds, and livestock, bookkeeping, emailing, web browsing, and word processing.
If you’ll only be using this laptop in your home or office then a business grade laptop is a good choice, However, if you plan on taking this laptop out with you on the farm, you’ll obviously need one that’s very tough.
You’ll want to get a laptop that is not only hard to break, but one that can stand up to dirt and other debris and liquids that might get spilled on it on a farm or ranch.
Check out this article on the Best Laptops for Farmers & Ranchers to help you pick out the one that will work best for your farm or ranch, whether you are working from your office or taking it out on the farm with you.
I hope after reading this guide you will know exactly what farming tools you need for your farm. If I have missed anything, please share in the comments what tools are essential to your small farm.