A tool is a device used to augment a species' natural abilities. The most basic tools are the simple machines.
Although tools were once thought to be used only by humans, it has been observed that chimpanzees and other animals, mostly primates, but also for instance ravens, are able to use them as well.
Norse knife (photo Uwe Kils)
Knives are amongst the oldest tools and have been fabricated since the stone age.
Most tools can also be used as weapons, such as the hammer and knife. Similarly, weapons, such as explosives can be used as tools.
List of tools:
- Hand tools such as adze, axe, chisel, drill, hammer, machete, plane, saw, screwdriver, shovel, stone tool, straightedge, ruler, tire iron, scissors, wrenches.
- Power tools such as crusher, drill, paper shredder, power grader, wire bonder, wood router.
- Heat-based tools such as soldering irons, welding torches and thermic lances
- Eating utensils such as chopsticks, fork, knife, spoon.
- Writing instruments such as ballpoint pen, brush, fountain pen, pencil, quill, stylus.
- Measuring instruments
- Special use tools: Buggy whip, Ox goad, dildo, vibrator
- Other household implements such as backscratcher, bottle opener, can opener, fan, fly swatter, syringe, toothbrush.
is a concrete or abstract tool, in particular a refined one.
Toy tools are popular. Some are essentially similar to the real thing, and just a cheap and/or small version, for example a shovel and bucket to use on the beach and in the sandbox. Others are less functional, e.g. a dull plastic knife, or not functional at all.
In computing, software programs that assist people doing work on computers are also called tools, such as Computer Aided Software Engineering tool, Lint programming tool, software or web-based collaborative tools, software development tools, programming tools.
- "Don't blame your tools." --Unknown
- "When all else fails, clean your tools." --Robert Pirsig
- "A poor workman blames his tools" -- Unknown
Use of tools started at the beginning of the Stone age.