PT1 – Why hand tools rule

Definition: Hand Tools Only

  1. using traditional hand tools
  2. unplugged
  3. no power tools
  4. no electricity

Yes, there ARE benefits of using hand tools only in woodwork!  This is what I like about using hand tools instead of power tools.

  1. Less dust.

I have no need for face masks, air filters and bulky, noisy dust collection systems!  Although, sometimes I get some dust in my face when I get my face really close to the saw.  That’s annoying.

  1. Less space.

I don’t need a large shop to work.  This is important for me because I don’t have a large shop!  And, I’m a bit of a minimalist.  Most of my tools fit into a fancy, handmade toolbox.  This also means I can be mobile!  Unfortunately, my tool box is really heavy, so I’ll have to work on the being mobile part.

  1. Less expense.

Well it might depend on what you buy, but none of my tools cost thousands of dollars!  My most expensive tool was probably around $300.  That was a splurge.  I haven’t calculated how my shop compares to the cost of a power tool shop, but I’m pretty sure there’s a huge difference.  I wonder if power tool guys also have a tool buying obsession…

  1. Less noise.

I still use hearing protection in some situations, like hammers and axes, but sawing and planing are not super noisy, even in my small workspace.

  1. Less danger.

Hand tools can still be dangerous and require caution!  But, I do feel better about not having sharp things moving at high speed all by itself.

Apparently, I’m a less is more kind of guy.

A comment on dangerous tools:

Only my carving axe gives me fear for the safety of my digits.  My best advice is only use dangerous tools when your mind is calm and clear.  A reckless mind tends to stray from safe technique.  My axe is one of my favorite tools.  It has never bit me, and I intend to keep it that way.

How do you feel about using hand tools instead of power tools?

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