If you like to build a lot of stuff try a plasma cutter. In 2005 I bought my miller spectrum 625 plasma cutter while I was in japan because I couldn't get a cutting torch and I wanted to cut stainless and aluminum and I still have it. You don't have to buy one just find someone with one and try it out. I have used it to make knives and axes, actually if I remember correctly those were the first things I made with it. I have also used it to make my own spanner wrenches, wrenches. It makes very quick work of high alloy 1/4 inch steel. To the miller spectrum 625 1/4 steel is nothing. It cuts through AR500 steel, I would estimate it cuts about 1 inch every 3 seconds even on higher alloy steel. You want a high travel speed if you are just going to cut tools out and use them, that way you keep the heat effected zone to a minimum. I actually do not recommend miller plasma cutters. I wish I would have bought a hypertherm. Problem is miller stops making stuff for their plasma cutters after a while. Where I work they have an old hypertherm at least as old as my plasma and that is when I found out hypertherm doesn't just sell overpriced replacement parts, they sell up grade parts for their old stuff. So you can up grade an old machine to be just as good as the new ones. So if you are not a welding shop using it every day a plasma cutter could last you 20 years or more. Do not buy a cheap one, unless you like buying junk over and over or not being able to use a machine because you cant get consumables like tips, nozzles and electrodes. As far as plasma cutter and EMP that could take out everything, plasma cutters are different, they have built in high frequency start generators, that means the electronics inside the machine are bathed in electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference anytime its used so they are shielding and have EMP resistant design. In theory as long as you are not using it when the EMP happens and have the cords disconnected (an easy mod) it should survive. You generator is a different story. List of stuff I couldn't have built with out my plasma cutter: Bumper modification, bumper builds, trailer builds, trailer repairs, trailer mods, leaf spring swaps, knives, hatchets, wrenches, spanner wrenches, rail road track anvil, metal salvage, equipment skids, engine brackets and mounts, exhaust work, shelves, my solar hybrid generator, tire chains, my portable winch rig, salvaging hundreds of feet of SS winch cable and that is just the stuff I can remember. Before I got the plasma cutter I had used and still use a skil saw with abrasive disc, grinder, die grinder with cut off wheel, portable band saw.