Whether you’re a hobbyist or starting your career as a machinist, it’s important to understand the merits that both hand and power tools have in this field. This article will help you make an informed decision on what kind of tools to utilize, including the benefits and drawbacks associated with both types of tools. Be it a collet, a portable floor jack or socket sets, this post has you covered.
The Difference between Hand Tools and Power Tools
Well, anyone can know the difference between these types of tools from their names. Hand tools are tools that require manual manipulation, mostly by hand, to use like a collet or screwdriver. Power tools, on the other hand, utilize a power source to operate the machine without the need for a lot of physical effort like power drills. Power tools require a battery, electric connection, or an air compressor to work. And they’re extremely popular. In fact, about 84% of contractors use power drills as opposed to any other cordless power tool.
Hand tools are simple in design and don’t have any complex parts, making them a preferred choice for beginners. This simplicity in design makes them easy to repair and replace if they’re damaged. Compared to power tools, hand tools give the user more control over the work in question which makes hand tools ideal for tasks like carving or shaping very delicate pieces. In addition, hand tools can be used anywhere at any time and are lighter and easy to pack and carry. Finally, most hand tools cost less than power tools in terms of acquisition, operation, and maintenance.
On the flip side, there are a few downsides to using solely hand tools. First and perhaps most obviously, hand tools are less powerful than power tools. It takes a bit more time to complete machining tasks, especially if precision work is the name of the game.
Power tools require a power source to operate. They are however very fast and easy to use. Power tools are often more efficient because of the motors and other electrical components that power them. They can handle tasks that hand tools are unable to handle. Power collets, for example, can grip items with greater force than hand collets. However, not all tools have power counterparts meaning you won’t find any power tap extractors or caliper sets around. Power tools can also help you complete bigger projects faster, especially if there’s no need for extreme detail. It is for both reasons that tools like carbine grinders and magnetic dial indicators are industries’ preference.
Unfortunately, power tools cannot be used without, well, a power source. That means power outages and depleted batteries could render these tools useless. In addition, they’re more likely to require regular maintenance and parts replacement. They’re also a bit pricier than hand tools upfront.
Whether you opt for power tools or hand tools, the final decision boils to the intended use and personal preference. Remember you can always have both types of tools for various tasks.