This blog post approaches the comparison of the git gui tools SmartGit 7.0.3 and SourceTree on Windows. I mostly use the command line for simple stuff, but I prefer gui tools for file merging and the faster separation of commits through git add -p. The comparison of both tools is divided into different categories to better highlight each’s advantages and disadvantages and represented in the following table.

UPDATE 29.01.2016: Bad hunk button accessibility for big changes in SourceTree!

  SmartGit SourceTree
Text Comparison character by character line by line, does not always work
Binary Documents no support content and diffs of pdfs and office documents are displayed
    buttons for fast file opening
License commercial: fee-based free of charge, registration required
Language english system language
Hunk Selection no selection of lines by cursor selection of lines by cursor
  sometimes no fine-granular hunk selection bad recognition of hunks and no intuitive right-clicks
Merging visualization and comparison only whole file is displayed like in git
  of different file states console
Miscellaneous   wants to change git settings
    cannot consistently handle umlauts
    big files or changes require a lot of scrolling and therefore cause a bad accessibility of the hunk handling buttons

The code to demonstrate my findings is published in this GitHub repository.

Since both tools have their pros and cons, there is no best tool which outperforms the other tool. In consequence, you should select the best fitting tool based on my findings and your impression. A free license in a commercial environment leads to the selection of SourceTree, while an important support for text change displays favors the application of SmartGit.

Do you know other important factors I didn’t consider? Do some points need to be clarified?