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Home » Hand tools » Power Tools vs Hand Tools: When to Use Which?

Power Tools vs Hand Tools: When to Use Which?

man ferociously holding a power tool - too much? or do we need hand tools? He is very excited about power tools.

When it comes to tools, the real question you must ask yourself is, what is the desired result? If you are looking for brute force, strength, all or nothing type of impact, reach your hand for a power tool. But if precision, detail, art, and finesse are your desire, then grab a tool and let your hand provide the power. 

Each type of tool is going to serve a different purpose, and when it comes to deciding between power tools vs hand tools, you really want to be sure you use the correct one. Power tools are unbiased to the outcome of their usage. Hand tools are warmer, steady, and usually smaller to allow a more precise touch and access to tighter places.


Power tools are meant to produce force, fast and hard impact and typically are best for repetitive movements such as cutting many boards the same length. All of the impact is taken by the tool itself. They are also a little harder to control and keep at a constant speed from beginning to end. Hand tools are going to provide more control and stability with the finishing touches of any project you tackle.


Using a power tool is going to give you a hard shot of all of nothing power, whereas, with a hand tool, you can really feel the resistance against your skin and stop before something breaks. The same idea goes for loosening up a bolt or spinning off a nut. Power tools are great for the middle work, but using a hand tool to get it started, and to finish the job will allow the control of your own pressure to avoid a hunt for the flying piece when the power tool sends it in whatever direction it was spinning. 


Ever heard the phrase “tighten it one-quarter turn before it breaks”? That is the precision and art only a hand tool can provide. Power tool vs hand tool finesse can be seen in the final product of any project, really. Wood carving requires a steady hand, the art of pressure, speed, and a connection to the piece that a power tool could not provide. Finesse is in the details, and details are made by hand. 

So the next time you find yourself needing to debate power tools vs hand tools, remember to think about the outcome of your project. Do I need all or nothing power, repetition, and speed to get the job done, or do I want the art of finesse to show through the finished product?