When embarking on any project, one of the most important criteria for success is having the right tools to get the job done. When it comes to building and repair, your choices often include hand tools vs. power tools. While “Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor” was known for his “More Power” grunt on Home Improvement, the right answer depends on several factors.
How to Choose
In a nutshell, hand tools require people power, and power or pneumatic tools require an external power source. The chart below breaks down the benefits and drawbacks of each across several considerations.
|Consideration||Hand Tools||Power Tools|
|Price||Less expensive||More expensive|
|Power||Limited to user strength||Strong|
|Maintenance||Minimal||More prone to part failure|
|Reliability||Always available||Requires power source|
|Portability||Lightweight and compact||Bulkier and heavier|
|Speed||Slow; requires more time||Very fast; powerful|
|Accuracy||Limited to user ability||High|
When choosing the right tool for the job, think about which considerations are most important for you. Banging in a couple of nails with an inexpensive hand-held hammer is a relatively small job, but if those nails need to penetrate concrete, or if you have a lot to do, a nail gun is worth the extra expense. You can easily assemble a bookcase with a hand-held screwdriver, but you’ll save a lot of time and ensure a tighter hold with an electric screwdriver.
Power tools are stronger, faster and often more accurate. Hand tools are inexpensive, don’t require an external power source (besides you!) and are easy to use. Power tools have more components that can wear out or break down. Hand tools may not have enough power for big jobs. Power tools have the strength for jobs hand tools can’t handle. Hand tools can fit into tight spaces that power tools often can’t.
We offer the top names in hand, power and pneumatic tools. Shop online or stop by our store, and we’ll help you choose the right tool for the job.