Have you ever tried traditional woodworking? If yes, you may think the process was way too long and boring, and asked yourself why you did that when you could have use power tools. Well I’m going to tell you 6 reasons I prefer it and why I think everyone that enjoys woodworking should try it out and discover the magical of hand tools.
1. The price: It is cheaper to buy hand tools than power tools, and you know it! You could have bought a $10 coping saw rather than a $500 band saw to do the same job. Same thing goes for the drill press, table saw, planer… I’ll let you calculate how many thousand bucks you could save or make if you sell your power tools…
2. The hand tools you buy are going to last a lifetime and even longer if you take care of them. Imagine your grandchildren using your hand plane to make their workbench! Owning such a heritage tool is a lot more inspiring than owning a machine that only last 10 years. And the skills you’ll acquire to maintain the edge of the tool or the tool in general just can’t be bought.
3. The exercise you get while using hand tools is also beneficial for you. You know the benefits of it and you know you need to do it, so why wouldn’t you include some in your hobby? Just try ripping a 4 x 2 x 6. Trust me; you won’t need to go to the gym if you do that all day long.
4. The noise! What do you prefer? The rhythmic sound of a hand saw or the loud noises of the table saw? You need to have a peaceful state of mind while working with wood so you don’t make mistakes, but the noises power tools make are just irritating, and if you don’t wear ear protection, you could do serious damage in the long run. Please, do yourself a favor and save your hearing!
5. Less power, so less injury. No one would like to lose a finger when they can avoid it, so why would you run such a risk? To save time of course! That’s why power tools were invented; to get the job done faster, but they come with their downsides…
6. Have you ever made something you were proud of, show it to your friends and just listen their compliments and admiration? You know that feeling and when you do everything by hand you feel it ten times more! What would you be the most proud of: A log cabin you made with a chainsaw in 2 weeks or a log cabin you made with an axe, saw, chisel and a gauge in 2 months? This is mainly why I’m still using only hand tools. Yes, it takes more time to do everything by hand, but the satisfaction of a completed project makes you forget it.
Again, the only downside of using hand tools is that it’s more time consuming than using power tools. But if you don’t sell your work, I don’t see any downsides to spending a little more time and getting the benefits of traditional woodworking.
The list goes on and I’m sure there are more reasons why traditional woodworking is better physically and mentally. I hope it was enough to convince you, and to motivate you to get started in traditional woodworking!
Justin has been woodworking since he’s 10 years old, and now, at 15 years old he aspires to make a living out of it. Having made multiple small and large projects from wooden spoons, to timber framed projects, he already carries quite a bit of knowledge.