When it comes to shopping for tools, there are two choices available: Power tools vs hand tools. And make no mistake, the age-old debate of “which is the better choice” is still raging on as fervently/weirdly as ever. In fact, with the ever-evolving technologies blurring the lines between them faster than ever before, the choice is becoming even harder – with both helping you to do your tasks more quickly, with less effort & fewer mistakes.
The real truth, however, is that they both have their own advantages, and of course some disadvantages too. Knowing these factors can not only help you to pick the right one for you but can also assist you to use them, the tools, to their full potential. To that end, we thought a quick comparison might do you good.
As a life-long DIY enthusiast, look below for my take on the subject of “hand tools vs power tools” to get an understanding of the differences between the 2 tool types, their top pros, and cons so YOU can make an informed choice.
Without wasting any more time, let break them down;
Power Tools vs Hand Tools – It Can Be Confusing!
For starters, here is a quick overview of what is the difference between hand tools and power tools from a general perspective:
The hand tools are exactly what they sound like – power tools that are portable enough to be used by a hand and draws power/fuel from a battery, a power cord, etc. that doesn’t affect their mobility in any way. The typical power tools, on the other hand, are designed to be stationary but offers increased power and features. The former has less moving parts, and a simpler design, whereas the latter strives for efficiency.
As you can see, they are both quite similar yet from a physical and quality aspect; they are also poles apart – like seriously. Besides, there is also the price difference, with hand tools costing way less than their bigger cousins.
So yeah, as a buyer, you do have a very serious decision to make here.
Hand Tools vs Power Tools – Don’t Worry, We’ll Help!
Disclaimer: I am not saying that I have the final answer to the Power tools vs hand tools question. In fact, no one does, as the choice may change depending on the type of tasks at hand, the power required, speed, and accuracy levels. A good workshop should both have hand tools and power tools safety for that extra bit of versatility – Yeah, in this way; you can enjoy the best of both worlds together forever.
Keeping to that smarter sentiment, the below article will try to give you an idea on what to (and what not to) expect from both of these tool types, a lapros, cons, etc. so, YOU can mix & match the two to fit your needs better.
The top power tools vs hand tools difference includes;
Power Tools vs Hand Tools 2020 – Breaking Down The Differences
Hand tools vs power tools – before we jump into deciding which of the two types of tools are better (sneak peek: It depends), let’s take a closer look at the major and most obvious differences between them.
Starting in no particular order;
1) Power & Speed Levels
First, let’s start with the most obvious one. When it comes to power and speed, the power tools have a huge superiority over the hand tools, thanks to their bigger motors, more robust designs, and honestly, the sheer premium goodness. They are perfect for doing tasks that need a brute, consistent level of force & accuracy. Honestly, if you need to get your work done faster, the power tools are the better choice, period!
The hand tools (obviously), offer lesser power & speed. That said, they are still more than enough for your daily DIY needs. It’s worth noting that with each year, the hand tools are getting more increasingly powerful, with some of the recent premium ones boasting enough “juice” to go toe to toe with their bigger cousins.
2) Length Of Operation
With larger projects and time strained DIY’s, a tool needs to be capable enough to endure long hours of rigorous, continuous usage. To that end, the power tools again have the upper hand. Thanks to the above fact & the beefier, durable designs, the power tools are designed to work continuously, even indefinitely
On the other aisle, hand tools lack this versatility, thanks to everything from the battery limitations, durability issues & of course, the human factor – hand nailing a small shelf is easy. A wood cabin itself, not so much..,
3) Precision & Consistency
As far as these two power tools vs Hand tools aspects are concerned, things can get a bit complicated.
You see, while power tools will be more precise & consistent in terms of getting the same tasks done repeatedly, hand tools are often time more precise, especially in trickier angles, thanks to their better level of control.
In other words, if you want to repeat accurate and consistent performance across the general spectrum, the typical power tools are the way to go. However, if you require accurate performance, say like drilling into a fragile, uneven & small surface, the finer hand tools obviously will make increased sense.
Yup, let’s call this one a tie, shall we?
4) Power Consumption
More force = more power. So yeah, it pretty much goes without saying that typical power tools can be serious power eaters. On average, expect a 10% to 20% increase in your monthly energy/electrical bill. It’s also worth noting that since power tools draw power straight from the outlet, they can’t be used when the power is out. Yeah, there are models with power reserves. However, they can be a bit expensive.
Weaker motors, lesser features & battery-based operation means that hand tools can be extraordinarily power efficient. In fact, you probably don’t even go to notice a dent in your power bills in most cases.
5) Price Levels
Over the last couple of decades, prices of both power tools Vs hand tools have seen a steady decline. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see power tools retailing for as cheap as $70 to $250 range in online/offline stores. That said, do remember that power tools can be expensive to maintain as they need frequent servicing.
On the other hand, hand tools are still cheaper than their bigger power tool cousins, often costing only 1/3rd of the latter’s price tags. But then again, you’ll be compromising on power, build, longevity, and reliability.
Put simply, it’s a catch – 22 situation. So make sure to keep an eye on your exact needs & budgets when buying either of these tool types.
6) Safety Levels
With the power tools and hand tools safety, we are (again) into tricky territory here. Generally, hand tools are – mainly due to their lack of sheer brute power – safer than full-blown power tools. However, since they are portable, the human factor may become a safety hazard, especially in the hands of newbies.
With the power tools, the danger is (again) still present. But the stationary design can help somewhat mitigate the human error factor. Besides, the higher power levels mean that you can get your projects done faster too – the lesser the time& effort you spend with the tool, the less risk there’ll be overall.
At the end of the day, both tools can hurt you. So, be sure to take top precautionary measures always when using them both. This includes wearing protective clothing’s, being trained, keeping vigilant, etc.
Power Tools vs Hand Tools – Okay, But Which Is Better? (Conclusion)
As explained in the Power tools vs Hand tools article, both have their own advantages & disadvantages. Thanks to all that, it is almost impossible to tell which one is better – especially from a purely utilitarian standpoint.
So instead, try & see it from THIS angle: go and look at your own situation, and based on that, decide whether or not the cheap price of hand tools (and their safer qualities) is enough to compensate well the extra time & effort that you may need to put forth. For tiny tasks like fixing a shelf or the door, this might be more than enough.
However, if you are planning to do something heavy-duty, like building a boat or a deck for the summer home – or if you are planning to start a DIY hobby or a profession, going the power tool route might be a better idea.
To be honest, you most definitely – in most cases – can benefit from having both power and hand tools in your tool kit.
Yup, that’s exactly the perfect way to go!