Doing Things The Old Way With Manual Tools

 by Texas Homesteader ~
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I enjoy using manual tools as much as possible. I’m not sure why, it’s just my preference to work with my hands.

Of course I’ve had an electric can opener in the past. But I got rid of it decades ago, much preferring to use a hand-held crank one instead.

I prefer a whisk to an electric mixer and I sharp knife and cutting board to a food processor. Our youngest daughter often teases me about my old-time preference.

Using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part, but they don't use electricity so they're much more gentle on the environment. #TexasHomesteader

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We have a high-end dryer in the utility room, but it hasn’t even been turned on in over 4 years.  I love to hang our laundry outside on the *retractable clothesline.

Using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part, but they don't use electricity so they're much more gentle on the environment. #TexasHomesteader

Not only does it reward me with the country-fresh sunshine aroma that you simply cannot get from a bottle, but I feel my heart smile as I remember being with my grandmother as we completed this task together when I was a child.

Add to the equation that it does my environmentally-friendly heart good to use 100% solar power for this necessary chore and you’ve got a winner!

In the garden I would rather use a shovel and hoe as my primary method for working the soil.  \You’ll often find me on my hands and knees stubbornly pursuing the root to that rogue weed that’s trying to invade my garden. This is because I don’t like to use poisons or pesticides.

I even irrigate my garden with Captured Rainwater that’s collected from the roof of our home and sent to an underground cistern where it’s stored until needed.

Well, I actually use rainwater for all of our Outdoor Watering.

Underground cistern for rainwater collection. Using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part, but they don't use electricity so they're much more gentle on the environment. #TexasHomesteader

It takes so much effort to obtain that tomato or squash that first started with preparing the beds, planting the seeds, water/weed/repeat, and finally harvest.

I like to preserve garden excess that we can’t eat fresh and after we have shared with family members, church friends and our community retirement center.

Sometimes doing things with manual tools is so effective with more new-wave tools. I have a *solar oven to bake bread or cook our food.

Solar Oven for electricity-free cooking. Using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part, but they don't use electricity so they're much more gentle on the environment. #TexasHomesteader

But I’m also able to use it to dehydrate fresh garden produce. I absolutely love it. Especially since dehydrated food takes so much less in storage space and energy!

I have a KitchenAid mixer that allows me to more efficiently make RancherMan that Homemade Sandwich Bread he loves. I’ll use the tools I have, but my hand is by far more often reaching for their manual counterparts.

Yes, using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part. But I love that they don’t use electricity which makes them much more gentle on the environment.

Plus a manual tool is often much less expensive than the powered counterpart. And many times lasts much, much longer.

I also love how it puts me in the moment with the chore at hand. I guess I feel it’s just the way that suits me best.

What about you? Do you enjoy doing things the ‘slow’ way?


Read More About How Grandma Would Do Things

See All Our Frugality Posts

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15 thoughts on “Doing Things The Old Way With Manual Tools

  1. Sarah

    I quite enjoy doing things with manual tools, especially in the garden. In the kitchen, I do manual tools most of the time. I think it makes me appreciate the food more when I do all the work myself. I honestly never understood the point of an electric can opener (except for those who have disabilities and have a hard time using a manual one) since it takes about the same time to do it yourself as the electric one.

  2. Summers Acres

    I really just can’t stand an electric can opener. I have always preferred my manual one. A outside clothes line is another of our “to-do’s”. We always had one growing up. Hopefully we will get to that soon. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Mary@Back to the Basics!

    I don’t most I my cooking using hand tools, except for my blender. I would in the garden using gloves and a shovel. Simple is better IMHO.
    Thanks so much for sharing

  4. debra@ HOMESPUN

    I think that I do alot the slow way too : ) No food processor here…if I bake bread I knead it. I do use my dryer but I like to hang the bedding on the clothesline. Don’t use pesticides of any sort in my yard or anywhere, no.

  5. Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

    I used to do things manually much more often, but have gotten out of the habit. I did mix up the pancake batter with a whisk today, though! ha ha I’d love to get back to hanging my clothes. It’s such a calming thing to do.

    Thank you for linking up to From the Farm Blog Hop! We hope to see you again next week!

    ~Kristi@ Let This Mind Be in You

  6. Daphne

    Good Morning to you, This was a refreshing post, as like you, I always use my “old fashioned” cooking utensils first. I use my balloon whisk for whipping and I was interested in the reaction to your juicer, because I have one which is exactly the same which I use all the time. I do own a Kitchen Aid, which I must admit I do like using, but my first port of call is always hand tools.
    I hang all my washing out on a washing line, like you say, there is nothing like seeing the washing blowing in the wind and the smell is so fresh.
    I have never owned an electric tin opener and actually I do not know what they look like….. I have to admit, my hand held tin opener is even more ancient that yours. It was given to me as a wedding present 42 years ago…… and it is still going strong!
    I have enjoyed my visit and so I have ticked the box to follow you.
    I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! when you have the time, as the door will always be open.
    Best Wishes to you from England,

  7. Karyn

    I, too, love my solar cooker, though we get a lot of afternoon showers, so it’s sometimes a bummer to have to move things into the oven for “finishing”. Anyway, I’m wondering how you use it for dehydrating. I have an electric dehydrator but would love to use the solar oven. Did you buy racks or make them yourself? Do you have to “vent” the top in order to deal with humidity?

  8. Dar

    I have to chuckle seeing the citrus juicer…I decided to buy an electric one when I threw my back out from squeezing lemons with my manual one. It hurt for more than a week. Must be getting old!!!

  9. Angela

    Ah! I agree! I have 3 boys and we have even taught them to push mow. We have an acre but with 3 of them going they get it done fast. Not to mention that it is a better use of time and the health benefits. They now have several clients and they are mostly the older generation and they appreciate push mowing. There is cliental that prefer it. I also use a hand can opener, knife and chop garlic without a press. Great topic.

  10. Kathy G

    Depending on the job I’ll use either a manual or an electric tool. If I’m only chopping a couple of onions I pull out my trusty chef’s knife (and well-used wooden cutting board). If I’m shredding a head or two of cabbage for sauerkraut or cole slaw, though, I find the food processor does a much better job ~TALU~

  11. Linda@With A Blast

    I like to use some of them, but definitely not a manual juicer ! That’s where I will draw the line 😉 Other than that, I’m with you …

  12. Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

    I’m with you on a lot of these things, but a hand whisk just doesn’t cut it when making meringues and whipped cream. I never realized that until I used a stand mixer for the first time and realized how much of a volume difference there was. [#TALU]

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Chris, gotta agree with you there. I have a nice KitchenAid stand mixer that’s used where it’s appropriate and I love it as well. But my first go-to tools are typically manual. ~TxH~

  13. Lynn

    You are not alone in your love for manual tools. Me too…

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thank you Lynn – Sometimes I get that surprised look when a guest asks “where’s the can opener?” LOL Glad I’m not alone. ~TxH~


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