Making the Switch to Hand Tools

It may not be as speedy or as precise as working with power tools, but woodworking with simple hand tools is quickly becoming a popular pastime. Hand tools have ridden the recent wave of new interest in traditional folk arts. Many craftsmen are choosing to toss their band saws and drill presses in favor of smaller, quieter hand tools. These hand tools evoke a simpler time when artistry and craftmanship were as important as speed and low prices.

By transforming a typical workshop into a traditional one, woodworkers gain a variety of benefits. Hand tools can be safely stowed on the wall or in cabinets. Unlike power tools, they don’t take up much space, freeing shops for additional projects and storage. Switching to hand tools also makes spaces quieter. The lack of noisy power drills and screeching circular saws means there is time to listen to ambient sounds or put on some good music. Additionally, cleanup is much easier with hand tools. Power tools tend to spread dust and wood chips in all directions, but the precise nature of hand tools makes it easy to track debris across the shop floor. Hand tools are also much safer than conventional power tools. Small cuts and gouges are the most serious injuries that typically occur with a hand tool. Power tools, on the other hand, can cause significant injuries and have caused death in some cases. This added safety in using hand tools gives woodworkers a decided advantage when they are working near children or pets.