I've seen this topic debated on over the last 12 years or so more times than I can count. Basically, both methods have their individual merits. "Pros and Cons" if you will.
First, stretching with the hands.
Pros with "manual stretching" as it is often called in the PE community are usually cited as follows:
It can be done any time you drop your pants.
Requires no "tools", or devices.
A guy can stretch in any direction that he can imagine.
Many variations of stretching can be done. You can use just your hands, incorporate a "leverage" point of sorts with the forearm of your other hand or a pipe for example. These seem to improve the perceived stretch and therefor, it is often reasoned, the stretch is or should be more effective.
Cons of stretching manually are usually cited as:
Requires use of the hands. This prevents any sort of multi-tasking. You can only stretch during your stretching routine and do nothing else.
Requires a LOT of mental endurance and focus. You are your own "drill sergeant".
No way of actually determining the amount of resistance used. Resistance is completely based upon your physical strength level and your perception of the stretch.
The hands have many small muscle groups with very low levels of endurance. The hands fatigue very quickly. This limits not only the amount of resistance able to be applied, but also the duration of each stretch. It is therefor necessary to do multiple, repetitions of stretches. The average man is able to hold a stretch for 30-60 seconds from communicating with men about their stretching routines and my own experience.
As the penis adapts to the resistance applied through stretching, more force is required in order to continue making the penis larger. Most men are not bodybuilders and are limited on how much resistance they can continue to apply to their penis with their muscles.
Combine all of these "Cons", and stretching is pretty limited and very much involves a lot of guesswork.
Hanging weights, "Pros and Cons".
It is possible to use an exact amount of pre-determined resistance in the form of an amount of weight. Usually, barbell weight plates. No guesswork.
Weights are easy to come by and do not cost much. Usually, a few dollars per plate depending on the weight level of the plate.
It is possible to maintain a stretch through hanging weights for a pre-determined amount of time. There is no guesswork here either. Rather than several stretches of "around" (guesswork again) 30-60 seconds each, a man can maintain ONE, long stretch for 15-20 minutes at a time.
As the penis adapts and requires more weight/resistance to continue making it bigger, more weight can easily be added.
Requires a hanging device. A "hanger" as it is more commonly called. These can either be hand made by the man for a few dollars or so, or purchased "ready made". Price will vary. Some devices cost up to $200. The "ready made" hangers are always the better route as they actually grip the penis the way it needs to be from the inside out.
Requires wrapping the penis to protect the skin. This is not difficult to learn how to do properly.
Requires the purchase of weights. As mentioned above though, these are inexpensive.
Requires a man to stand or sit in one position for 15-20 minutes at a time for a few "sets" per day. The good news being, your hands and mind are free for multi-tasking. I often read, watch TV, watch movies, surf the net, talk on the phone, etc. while hanging.
Hanging weights is an investment, but a very small one. Many men happily pay THOUSANDS of dollars for surgery which carries with it many more risks than hanging weights. Risks such as infection, rejection, retraction or loss of size, and (surprised???) the use of a hanging device post op for the best results. Surgery also carries no guarantee of results. The doctor will make a vague statement along the lines of "You can expect around half an inch to an inch of flaccid length gain, and I cannot guarantee an erect length gain, however if you engage in proper post op protocol (IE: hanging weights) you may gain one to three inches over several months." SOOOO, why get surgery when you can just hang weights, save a TON of $$ and basically have the same chances of gains?
Following a well guided, simple hanging routine, a man can gain as much size as he desires. It is not rocket science.
I show men how to make their penises permanently bigger. I sell a device I call Malehanger for only $35+shipping.