Handchimes are easier to handle than handbells. They can be used in addition to handbells or played alone. Chimes are more affordable than handbells because they are not so expensive to manufacture. In addition, they are a little less sensitive and easier to use.
For this reason, chimes are often used as a pre-stage to the handbell choir. The younger players play in the handchimes choir, later they switch to the handbell choir.