When writing a procedure and instructing to detach something with only fingers etc. and not a tool, which would be more appropriate expression: "detach without using a tool" or "ddetach without use of a tool"? Is there any difference between these two?

  • There is no difference between the two in terms of meaning. One can also opt to explain in more details how to remove X, making the requirement to use fingers and not a tool an implicit one (assuming that if there's a reason not to use any tools, whatever is being taken apart is perhaps sensitive enough to warrant more detailed instructions.)
    – Terah
    Mar 4, 2016 at 7:09
  • Possible duplicate of "The use of" vs. "using"
    – Mitch
    Mar 5, 2016 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Either would do, but in the context, without using a tool is better.

"I have use of a car", means that there is a car available which I may use. If I have "use of a tool" it means that there is a tool at my disposal. Perhaps it belongs to my neighbour and he has said I may borrow it whenever I choose.

I am "using a tool" means I am currently performing something with that tool.

Depending on the context "detach without use of a tool" could mean what to do if no tool is available; whereas "detach without using a tool" is clearly instructing that no tool should be used.

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