What kind of Woodworker are you?

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Forum topic by bearkatwood posted 11-19-2015 12:09 AM 1686 views 1 time favorited 98 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1171 posts in 428 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)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

3933 posts in 2770 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.

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21512 posts in 1755 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.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mark's profile


813 posts in 1391 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 344 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


8552 posts in 1257 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 504 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


3029 posts in 1378 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


181 posts in 1299 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


829 posts in 993 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

17869 posts in 1984 days

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

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

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View wseand's profile


2754 posts in 2459 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.


-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


795 posts in 483 days

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

I’m a Heinz 57

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View bearkatwood's profile


1171 posts in 428 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


379 posts in 1996 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


3450 posts in 1682 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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