What Is The Difference Between Hand Tools and Power Tools?

24 June 2020

When selecting tools to complete a task, they can be categorised into hand tools and power tools. But what is the difference between them?

Hand Tools vs Power Tools

Manual labour is required when using a hand tool, where as power tools are operated by a power source such as a battery, electricity or fuel.

Hand tools tend not to have many moving parts or components. However, power tools are usually more complex, for example they are frequently composed of multiple parts and additional maintenance is often essential.

What are the benefits to using hand tools?

You may now be thinking, “Why would I bother using a hand tool when it can be done automatically?” Here are 4 reasons why you would select a hand tool over a power tool.

1. Usually hand tools are cheaper than power tools

This is because they are more basic and do not have the same complex parts to them. You can also purchase hand tool sets which give you a broad range of hand tools at a lower cost than buying separately.

2. Hand tools are less likely to break than power tools

Hand tools will last you a long time due to the simplicity and can be cheaper and easier to replace. Because power tools have these complex parts, they are more likely to have electronic faults and break. Therefore they often require more maintenance.

3. Hand tools give more control over the job

Because hand tools are used manually by the person completing the job, they can be slower and give more control over to the movement of the user. This is important for some tasks such as woodcarving.

4. Hand tools are always available

You can trust a hand tool will be reliable, without the need for changing parts, ensuring power is available through charging batteries, and the potential for the tool to fail like power tool users may encounter.

However, there are also drawbacks to hand tools that must be considered. To start with, the main drawback is that they are not nearly as powerful as power tools, and can therefore take more work and more time. There are also times when a hand tool can be less accurate than a power tool. For example, the high speed of a chainsaw will make a much smoother cut than an axe would when cutting a tree. Additionally, it will be safer to use power tools in instances such as this.

For some sectors and industries, hand tools are most commonly used. Commonly, mechanic tools will often be hand tools such as wrenches.

What are the benefits to using power tools?

Power is the main reason for choosing a power tool. Jobs can be done considerably quicker as well as requiring less effort from the user. The power from the tools even enables tasks to be done which would be almost impossible by hand.

The only two major drawbacks to power tools are the reliability of them as parts can fail, and the constant need of a power source. If a battery dies, you will need to wait until it has recharged to get going with the task again. They are also more expensive.

Should I choose a hand tool or power tool?

The tool you select will come down to the task you need the tool for. If using a power tool will save massive amounts of time on a project, you may want to select that. For some particular tasks, you simply need to use a hand tool, especially in smaller and more precise work. To work out if you will get value for money, consider how much you would use the tool in future.

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