Do the modern Amish, and Mennonites use power tools?
I always hear commercials on the radio from stores that sell hand crafted furniture made my Amish, and Mennonite craftsman. Something makes me think they dint use power tools for building because i figure they do things strictly with their hands since their old fashioned.
I just had this thought after i thought of the movie Kingpin.
not the real ones. no electricity = no power tools. only hand tools. why do you think their furniture is SO well made? lots of Amish in Illinois, where there are tornadoes. and their homes don't fall over.
Some Amish sects use power tools, but for the most part no. The Swartz who build buggy's have improvised their tools. IE: Turned a bicycle into a air powered paint sprayer. Made a treadle sewing machine into a band saw.
In Indiana there is a Amish sect that uses solar panels to charge the batteries on their buggy's that power their headlights and taillights for night driving. They have running water in their community, it is gravity fed.
In Missouri there are Amish who milk cows for a living and have a cooler run by electricity for the cans of milk. Plus these Amish have a little building with a telephone inside for all the clan to use. Mennonites on the other hand do use power tools, drive cars, have tractors. Usually no television. Maybe they will have a radio. Their clothes can have prints, buttons and zippers, unlike the Amish who prefer the plain cloth.
Here is a tiny bit of history for you. The Mennonites came first. There were disagreements among them and they broke up as a group. One man, Jacob Amin tried to get the group back together, but instead wound up forming another church and the Mennonites dubbed them Amish. One of the quarrels was over the men's beards. Some felt the Bible said not to cut the beard and to wear it long, others thought it meant to keep the beard trimmed up and short. They couldn't agree on what to do, was it Biblical, traditional, or doctrine?
I hate to burst all these bubbles, but yes- some of the Amish and Mennonites use power tools in their wood shops. They do not use it in their homes. They don't believe electricity is evil and will use it when necessary. They don't have it in their homes because it would open the home to outside influences and dependence on things. Some of them even share a telephone, though it too is kept out of the house. What they have and use is determined by the local ordaining- the deacons and elders of each church. Mennonites tend to be a bit more liberal in use of "modern" technology, so you will even find some of their homes wired for electricity and with a phone. Although they may use power tools for the large tasks, they often do prefer to do detail work and less demanding tasks by hand. Believe it or not, they also use some of the latest in farm equipment, although the Amish still avoid using cars. They will ride and drive a car if it is necessary, and there are church groups who own a car for just such occasions. They just prefer to live simpler lives, that's all.
Most Amish will not use power tools. The Mennonites, I'm not sure about, partially because here there is a huge range in what is acceptable. For example, while there are Mennonite colonies sort of nearby and you see when the families come into town--their clothes are very obvious--there are also some Mennonites who live in town who dress a little more modernly and others who go to Mennonite churches in town where there are no specific dress 'codes'. We have at least a couple of Mennonite churches here in town and most of them don't dress really any differently than the rest of us.
Yes, they use power tools. I've owned an Amish furniture store and have also sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Amish made furniture on line. I lived in the middle of Amish country and spent my days visiting my Amish friends that build the furniture.
Ten or so years ago most Amish made their living farming, now hardly any farm. They either work in a factory or build things in their shops next to their homes to sell. They all have generators in their shop for electricity for lights and things, but most of the tools they use are air tools. Driving through Amish country you will notice large propane tanks behind their barns. These don't contain propane, but compressed air to run their tools.
I have more Amish history on my website WNW.amishdining.com