The Power Tool I Love

by | Oct 17, 2013 | 15 comments

After establishing that I don’t hate power tools I wanted to give an extra bit of praise to the one tool I feel I really wouldn’t want to be without; the cordless drill.
I still love my bit and brace and appreciate the control and feedback that it can give me, which I find essential in some cases. But unlike any other power tool I use, the drill offers me one huge advantage over it’s old equivalent – it gives me an extra hand.

Cordless DrillThere are so many times when drilling where that free hand can be the difference between getting on with the job or fumbling around setting up a frustrating clamping situation. Take the pegged joints in my wall cupboard for example. I could have used a bit and brace here but by opting for the electric drill instead my spare hand can become my clamp.

I don’t use hand tools just for the sake of using them but because I find them to have the most relevance to me, and for individual work they tend to be the most efficient. The cordless drill however is a nice example of where going modern adds a huge perk to my way of working and there are many new, more efficient possibilities which it opens up.

Related Posts

About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Hilton Ralphs

    Another power tool that shouldn’t be discounted is the band saw. Unlike using a table saw, cutting on the band saw still requires a fair degree of skill and there’s plenty of tricks you can make it do.

    • Richard

      Hi Hilton, I couldn’t agree more. The bandsaw is right up there at the top of my list.

    • Steven

      Absolutely. And minimal, if no, chance of kick back. If some one is buying a power saw first time, they should certainly cosider bandsaw before table saw.

      • Michael Forster

        When new woodworkers ask what is the first machine they should buy, I often hear the reply ‘A table-saw’ – but I seriously question that. IN a (usually small) hobby workshop there’s probably only room for one powered saw and a band-saw is so versatile I wouldn’t be without one. The safety issue is a big one, too – no kick-back as you say and the motion of the blade actually pushes the timber down on the surface of the table. A small band-saw will also cut deeper than a similarly priced table-saw – and my Startrite has a huge 400mm under the guides. I use it for all my timber prep as well as all the other usual stuff. And of course you can cut tenons on it without removing the guards to do so. All ways round it’s the band-saw for me every time.

  2. Ken

    Use whatever tool is most efficient for the job in hand. Hand tools, power tools, all have their place just use what you are happy with, and most of all enjoy your woodworking. Whatever you’re making, and whatever tools you use to make it, make it to the best of your ability and enjoy. 😉

    • Richard

      Very well said Ken!

  3. Ian Elley

    I agree with Ken, what ever feels the most appropriate and comfortable to use. Its the same with metric or imperial measurements, I just use what ever fits best, while I think about it converting a drill into a pillar drill gives the tool another dimension for not much extra layout too.
    I have to mention it is my Birthday today and I woke up to a nice surprise of a new belt sander, the first time in 25 years, and I suspect the last time I will ever get any kind of tools for my Birthday !!!

    • Ken

      Happy Birthday Ian. Have a good one buddy 😉

    • Richard

      Many happy returns! A belt sander… that’s up there with the most manly of tools. Using a belt sander feels almost as manly as backing up a trailer! Enjoy!

  4. Dave

    Ken stated my feelings exactly. Now Ian enjoy that belt sander and HAPPY BIRTHDAY

  5. Mitchell

    Your right – take my wife, but leave my cordless drill alone. Ok, given that there is a slight chance my wife will read this, let me rephrase that – take my tv remote, but leave my cordless drill alone.

    Oh ya, and don’t touch my drill-press either.

  6. Graham Haydon

    Excellent stuff Richard, your are creating a balanced and sensible narrative here which is refreshing and appealing. I’m looking forward to some of you flat belt machines coming on stream soon.

  7. john

    Well, a well set up yankee screwdriver will do most of the cordless trill things screw-wise. And you can get similar drills that would easily do all your countersinking and piloting.

  8. Ian Elley

    Thanks everyone, asking the wife to “belt up” has a whole new meaning!!

  9. ken jenkinson

    using hand tools really helps when fixing mistakes i have made with power tools.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Updates:

Related Posts:

Simple Work Holding For Ploughing Grooves [Without a Tail Vice]

Sometimes the biggest challenge of a project can just be getting the wood to stay put while we try to work on it. I suppose it's why it's so easy for us to get lost in the hunt for a perfect workbench design. And drawn in towards all kinds of vice bling and fancy work...

Hand Tools Make Machines Cheap

As you know, to become fast with hand tools you have to understand that perfection isn’t a thing. You need to learn where the inaccuracy can be hidden, and deliberately place it there. A good example of this, were those table legs in the hall table build. Getting them...

The Perfect Hand Tool Workshop

Sadly I ain't one of those that can say he’s been in a generations old workshop all of his working life. There aren't tools still hung on the wall that my grandad put up, or boxes full of secrets who's keys were lost lifetimes ago. Instead I seem to move workshop like...

We Teach Online

Practical Hand Tool Education

Watch immediately on PC, tablet or mobile

Browse All Projects