Is there any difference between these two?

Do (suppose) technical knowledge and technical know-how convey different meaning?

3 Answers 3


"Knowledge" is the acquaintance with the facts and information. You know it, in your head.

"Know-how" is the knowledge of how to do something. In other words, "know-how" is the ability to perform a task or action.

  • I agree: in other words theory and practice.
    – nico
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 10:11
  • In some (but definitely not all) areas know-how also requires knowledge. Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 11:13
  • I would rather say: knowledge is plain theory and know-how is the theory you need to do something in practice.
    – Nappy
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 12:34

I think the terms knowledge and know-how are very similar. The only two small differences I can think of are perhaps that know-how is a bit less formal than knowledge, and that know-how may place a little more emphasis on knowledge of how to do something practical/physical, as opposed to knowledge being potentially more abstract. That said, you can certainly have knowledge about how to do practical/physical tasks.


Different perspectives :

Conceptual :

  • Knowledge allows you to explain the thing

  • Know-how allows you to do / make the thing

Cognitive :

  • Knowlegde is what your head knows. It is mental, conceptual.

  • Know-how is what your "body" knows. (Even if the body is steered by the brain) It is procedural.

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