What kind of Woodworker are you?

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Forum topic by bearkatwood posted 11-19-2015 12:09 AM 2339 views 1 time favorited 98 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1835 posts in 2295 days

11-19-2015 12:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: survey humor brian noel bearkat wood hybrid question

Hi everyone,
With a growing movement of hand tool purity, I thought I would take a survey and see what you all thought of it. I myself am not a purist and do not mind plugging in, so I guess I would fall into the Hybrid category.

I started completely power tool obsessed, but I have through the years become better versed in the hand tool school and I have great enjoyment in using them.

So in the field of woodworking do you favor the hand tool (Roy Underhill) approach or do you plug in to the (Norm Abrams) side of the chart? Let’s hear it.

-- Brian Noel

98 replies so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8347 posts in 4636 days

#1 posted 11-19-2015 12:19 AM

I plug in when ever I can because of my 69 year old body; if I work my hands and arms too much I get some wicked cramping going on.
But sometimes my projects dictate the need for a hand tool now and then. So I guess I’m about 90% plug in and 10% hand tools and pray the cramps don’t creep in.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3621 days

#2 posted 11-19-2015 12:22 AM

Hybrid here.

Because of efficiency, I use a lot of power tools. But there’s some things that only hand tools can do right.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mark's profile


1075 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 11-19-2015 12:23 AM

A little of both. While I don’t mind plugging in, I enjoy pushing a plane or chisle just because it feels good.

-- Mark

View DanMax's profile


5 posts in 2211 days

#4 posted 11-19-2015 12:26 AM


Or better yet, is there a term for you when most of your projects never leave the planning stage and never get built at all?

I’m one of those!

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3123 days

#5 posted 11-19-2015 12:33 AM

Hybrid. As I slowly learn to sharpen, I am gravitating more and more to hand tools. It’ll be awhile before I give up the bandsaw, scroll saw and planer. ;-)

-- God bless, Candy

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 2370 days

#6 posted 11-19-2015 12:33 AM

Hybrid here, for sure. I like pounding a mortise chisel into a piece of pine as much as the next guy, but bucking down a piece of rough rock maple to size and smoothness, I have no problems at all plugging in!

Each has its place, I guess.

-- Learn Relentlessly

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3244 days

#7 posted 11-19-2015 12:42 AM

I’m almost entirely a hand tool user, but I’m not a purist at all. I’m not against power tool use by me or anyone else. I happen to like a lot of the advantages of hand tools, but power tools sure work faster in most cases. For reasons like Tony’s and Monte’s I think a lot of people should use power tools. In fact if you’re in business you should definitely use them unless you can find a way to get the client to pay appropriately for the labor and want to use hand tools. On the other hand almost everyone should try some hand tool skills to get a deeper appreciation for how it can be done, quieter, less dust, less space for tools, etc.

View DW833's profile


246 posts in 3165 days

#8 posted 11-19-2015 01:00 AM

I’m mostly plugged in. Do you use hand tools for a few things. Hand saw for cutting rough lumber to length.
Cleaning up joinery or whatever with a block plane.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2860 days

#9 posted 11-19-2015 01:03 AM

Def started plugged in but slowly moving into a hybrid mode.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20241 posts in 3851 days

#10 posted 11-19-2015 01:13 AM

Hybrid. Whatever makes the most sense for the best project.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 4325 days

#11 posted 11-19-2015 01:17 AM

80/20 plugged in vs. handtool. I have mostly been doing restoration and most of that calls for hand tools for fine tuning. When I’m building new, mostly powered, truthfully just not good enough using hand tools for lack of knowledge.


View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 2349 days

#12 posted 11-19-2015 01:34 AM

I’m a Heinz 57

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View bearkatwood's profile


1835 posts in 2295 days

#13 posted 11-19-2015 01:49 AM

Well said Tim,
DanMax I think NASA would call that “failure to launch.”

Sometimes I wish I was a purist and had all day to slowly slide a unbelievably sharpened combination plane to create my work. That actually might work well for me as I could afford to loose a few pounds and missing food would do that, so I pump those suckers out however I can. I do try to take it as slow as I need to with perfection in mind, but at some point you have to call it done and get it out the door.

-- Brian Noel

View jdmaher's profile


472 posts in 3862 days

#14 posted 11-19-2015 01:56 AM

Hybrid. 70% power.

DanMax, we are called designers (90% of my designs never get built).

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View BurlyBob's profile


9399 posts in 3548 days

#15 posted 11-19-2015 02:01 AM

Hybrid, I’ll use which ever works to get the job done the best.

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