In the old days of my bricklaying career, raking out mortar for repointing was a tedious job.
Even in the 1980's it was either a hammer and chisel or we had a raker tool with a tungsten tip to chip away at the mortar. It was definitely a long slow process, that gave you blisters.
Today with the modern angle grinders at least that aspect of the work has moved on leaps and bounds.
I have always been more of a traditionalist in my method of repointing; preferred the hawk and trowel method of placing the mortar back in the joint.
On this I have moved on to a more quicker method, still with a hawk, but now with a long tuck trowel.
However, one aspect that has changed for me is access the work and I still prefer to use a ladder on this type of job.
Although LBC Heather brick, the original brickwork was built in Lime Mortar. Therefore I repointed the Left Hand side of the Front Elevation with Natural Hydraulic Lime mortar mix.
I had to chop out some additional pointing down the pier of the bay window which had been pointed in sand and cement. That allowed the whole area to have a uniformed finish.