digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

For the American rock band, see Tool (band). For other uses, see Tool (disambiguation) and Equipment (disambiguation).
A modern toolbox

A tool is any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal, especially if the item is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tool use by humans dates back millions of years, and other animals are also known to employ simple tools.

Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such as "instrument", "utensil", "implement", "machine", or "apparatus". The set of tools needed to achieve a goal is "equipment". The knowledge of constructing, obtaining and using tools is technology.

History[edit]

Prehistoric stone tools over 10,000 years old, found in Les Combarelles cave, France
Carpentry tools recovered from the wreck of a 16th-century sailing ship, the Mary Rose. From the top, a mallet, brace, plane, handle of a T-auger, handle of a gimlet, handle of a hammer?, rule.
Stone and metal knives
Main article: History of technology

Anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind.[1] Humans evolved an opposable thumb — useful in holding tools — and increased dramatically in intelligence, which aided in the use of tools.[2] Because tools are used extensively by both humans and wild chimpanzees, it is widely assumed that the first routine use of tools took place prior to the divergence between the two species.[3] These early tools, however, were likely made of perishable materials such as sticks, or consisted of unmodified stones that cannot be distinguished from other stones as tools. The beginning of the Stone Age marks the era when hominins first began manufacturing stone tools, and evidence of these tools dates back at least 2.6 million years in Ethiopia.[4] One of the earliest distinguishable stone tool forms is the hand axe.

Up until recently, weapons found in digs were the only tools of “early man” that were studied and given importance. Now, more tools are recognized as culturally and historically relevant. As well as hunting, other activities required tools such as preparing food, “…nutting, leatherworking, grain harvesting and woodworking…” Included in this group are “flake stone tools".

Tools are the most important items that the ancient humans used to climb to the top of the food chain; by inventing tools, they were able to accomplish tasks that human bodies could not, such as using a spear or bow and arrow to kill prey, since their teeth were not sharp enough to pierce many animals' skins. “Man the hunter” as the catalyst for Hominin change has been questioned. Based on marks on the bones at archaeological sites, it is now more evident that pre-humans were scavenging off of other predators' carcasses rather than killing their own food.[5]

The transition from stone to metal tools roughly coincided with the development of agriculture. Mechanical devices experienced a major expansion in their use in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome with the systematic employment of new energy sources, especially waterwheels. Their use expanded through the Dark Ages with the addition of windmills.

Machine tools occasioned a surge in producing new tools in the industrial revolution. Advocates of nanotechnology expect a similar surge as tools become microscopic in size.[6][7]

Functions[edit]

One can classify tools according to their basic functions:

Some tools may be combinations of other tools. An alarm-clock is for example a combination of a measuring tool (the clock) and a perception tool (the alarm). This enables the alarm-clock to be a tool that falls outside of all the categories mentioned above.

There is some debate on whether to consider protective gear items as tools, because they do not directly help perform work, just protect the worker like ordinary clothing. They do meet the general definition of tools and in many cases are necessary for the completion of the work. Personal protective equipment includes such items as gloves, safety glasses, ear defenders and biohazard suits.

Tool substitution[edit]

Often, by design or coincidence, a tool may share key functional attributes with one or more other tools. In this case, some tools can substitute for other tools, either as a makeshift solution or as a matter of practical efficiency. "One tool does it all" is a motto of some importance for workers who cannot practically carry every specialized tool to the location of every work task; such as a carpenter who does not necessarily work in a shop all day and needs to do jobs in a customer's house. Tool substitution may be divided broadly into two classes: substitution "by-design", or "multi-purpose" use, and substitution as makeshift. Substitution "by-design" would be tools that are designed specifically to accomplish multiple tasks using only that one tool.

Substitution as makeshift is when human ingenuity comes into play and a tool is used for its unintended purpose such as a mechanic using a long screw driver to separate a cars control arm from a ball joint instead of using a tuning fork. In many cases, the designed secondary functions of tools are not widely known. As an example of the former, many wood-cutting hand saws integrate a carpenter's square by incorporating a specially shaped handle that allows 90° and 45° angles to be marked by aligning the appropriate part of the handle with an edge and scribing along the back edge of the saw. The latter is illustrated by the saying "All tools can be used as hammers." Nearly all tools can be used to function as a hammer, even though very few tools are intentionally designed for it and even fewer work as well as the original.

Tools are also often used to substitute for many mechanical apparatuses, especially in older mechanical devices. In many cases a cheap tool could be used to occupy the place of a missing mechanical part. A window roller in a car could easily be replaced with a pair of vise-grips or regular pliers. A transmission shifter or ignition switch would be able to be replaced with a screw-driver. Again, these would be considered tools that are being used for their unintended purposes, substitution as makeshift. Tools such as a rotary tool would be considered the substitution "by-design", or "multi-purpose". This class of tools allows the use of one tool that has at least two different capabilities. "Multi-purpose" tools are basically multiple tools in one device/tool. Tools such as this are often power tools that come with many different attachments like a rotary tool does, so you could say that a power drill is a "multi-purpose" tool because you can do more than just one thing with a power drill.

Multi-use tools[edit]

Bicycle multi-tool

A Multi-tool is a hand tool that incorporates several tools into a single, portable device; the Swiss army knife represents one of the earliest examples. Other tools have a primary purpose but also incorporate other functionality - for example, lineman's pliers incorporate a gripper and cutter, and are often used as a hammer; and some hand saws incorporate a carpenter's square in the right-angle between the blade's dull edge and the saw's handle. This would also be the category in which the "multi-purpose" tools since they are also multiple tools in one (multi-use and multi-purpose can be used interchangeably). These types of tools were specifically made to catch the eye of many different craftsman who traveled to do their work. To these workers these types of tools were revolutionary because they were one tool or one device that could do several different things. With this new revolution of tools the traveling craftsman would not have to carry so many tools with them to job sites, being that their space would be limited to the vehicle they were driving. The problem of having to deal with so many different tools was solved with the overtaking of multi-use tools.

Use by other animals[edit]

A Bonobo at the San Diego Zoo "fishing" for termites
Main article: Tool use by animals

Observation has confirmed that a number of species can use tools including monkeys, apes, elephants, several birds, and sea otters. Philosophers originally thought that only humans had the ability to make tools, until zoologists observed birds[8] and monkeys[9][10][11] making tools. Now the unique relationship of humans with tools is considered to be that we are the only species that uses tools to make other tools.[12]

Tool metaphors[edit]

A telephone is a communication tool that interfaces between two people engaged in conversation at one level. It also interfaces between each user and the communication network at another level. It is in the domain of media and communications technology that a counter-intuitive aspect of our relationships with our tools first began to gain popular recognition. Marshall McLuhan famously said "We shape our tools. And then our tools shape us." McLuhan was referring to the fact that our social practices co-evolve with our use of new tools and the refinements we make to existing tools.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Sam Lilley, Men, Machines and History: The Story of Tools and Machines in Relation to Social Progress, 1948 Cobbett Press.
  2. ^ Primates and Their Adaptations, 2001, M.J. Farabee. Retrieved on November 6, 2006.
  3. ^ Whiten, A., J. Goodall, W. C. McGrew, T. Nishida, V. Reynolds, Y. Sugiyama, C. E. G. Tutin, R. W. Wrangham, and C. Boesch. 1999. Cultures in Chimpanzees. Nature 399:682-685. Panger, M. A., A. S. Brooks, B. G. Richmond, and B. Wood. 2002. Older than the Oldowan? Rethinking the emergence of hominin tool use. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 11:235-245.
  4. ^ Semaw, S., M. J. Rogers, J. Quade, P. R. Renne, R. F. Butler, M. Domínguez-Rodrigo, D. Stout, W. S. Hart, T. Pickering, and S. W. Simpson. 2003. 2.6-Million-year-old stone tools and associated bones from OGS-6 and OGS-7, Gona, Afar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 45:169-177.
  5. ^ Holmes, Bob. "Man's early hunting role in doubt". Newscientist.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Nanotechnology: Big Potential In Tiny Particles, David Whelan. Retrieved on November 6, 2006
  7. ^ Will this Tiny Science Usher in the Next Industrial Revolution?, Katrina C. Arabe. Retrieved on November 6, 2006
  8. ^ Selection of tool diameter by New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides, Jackie Chappell and Alex Kacelnik November 29, 2003
  9. ^ Calvin, William H. "The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain". 
  10. ^ Host: Alan Alda (02-09-2005). "Chimp Minds". Scientific American Frontiers. Season 15. Episode 4. PBS. http://www.pbs.org/saf/1504/.
  11. ^ "Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure: Chimpanzee". 
  12. ^ Bjorklund, David F.; Bering, Jesse M. (5 June 1997). "Big brains, slow development and social complexity:The development and evolutionary origins of social cognition". In Cooper, Cary L. International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Robertson, Ivan T. John Wiley and Sons. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-471-96111-6. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of tool at Wiktionary
  • Media related to Tools at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Tool 10,000 Days (Full Album)

Vicarious 0:00 Jambi 7:07 Wings For Marie (Pt. 1) 14:35 10000 Days (Pt. 2) 20:47 The Pot 32:01 Lipan Conjuring 38:23 Lost Keys (Blame Hofman) 39:34 Rosetta ...

Tool - Aenima (1996) (Full Album)

Part 5 of a series of 9 ReULs of DOOMSTONER93's videos that were deleted a couple of days ago.] Ænima ( /ˈɒnɪmə/[3]) is the second studio album by American ...

The Best of Tool

I made an album with the best songs tool has to offer. There's 11 songs because that's the maximum amount of space that a regular CD can hold. This is my fav...

Tool - Sober [hq - fullscreen]

http://lanotanegra.com Tool's sober video clip from Salival DVD Links to Salival DVD Videos: Aenema http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =uCEeAn6_QJo Sober http://...

Tool - Schism

Music video for the song Schism by Tool.

Tool Undertow (Full Album)

Intolerance 0:00 Prison Sex 4:54 Sober 9:50 Bottom 14:56 Crawl Away 22:10 Swamp Song 27:39 Undertow 33:11 4 Degrees 38:33 Flood 44:35 Disgustipated 52:21.

Tool - The Ultimate Review - Full Documentary

The entire Ultimate Review documentary. WOW, 500000 VIEWS!!! Thanks everyone.

Best Of TOOL - FULL ALBUM - 3 ½ HOURS! (320-Kbts)

OPIATE [1992] 1. "Cold & Ugly" 0:00 2. "Sweat" 3:48 3. "Hush" 7:24 UNDERTOW [1993] 4. "Prison Sex" 10:12 5. "Sober" 14:55 6. "Bottom" 19:58 7. "Crawl Away" 2...

Tool - Vicarious

Tool - Vicarious official music video clip.

Tool - Stinkfist [hq - fullscreen]

http://lanotanegra.com Tool's stinkfist video clip from Salival DVD Links to Salival DVD Videos: Aenema http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =uCEeAn6_QJo Sober htt...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

12805541 news items

 
New York Times (blog)
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:01:04 -0700

Ms. Geambasu; another assistant professor at Columbia, Augustin Chaintreau, and a team of graduate students, led by Mathias Lecuyer, have come up with a tool that addresses the data transparency challenge. It is called XRay, and they will present a ...
 
PCWorld (blog)
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:44:06 -0700

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency traders now have a new tool, LibraTax, to calculate their tax obligations—provided they want to report them to the government, of course. LibraTax isn't a full-fledged tax preparation suite in the vein of TurboTax or ...
 
FOX10 News - Mobile
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:56:15 -0700

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Airbus, in conjunction with its hiring partner AIDT, has posted open job positions for one Site Security Manager and one Tool Shop Manager for its assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The Site Security Manager will be responsible for ...
 
The Star-Ledger
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:33:45 -0700

PISCATAWAY — Rutgers employed a new piece of technology during spring practice that was able to settle debates between the quarterbacks and offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. The coaching staff was able to see the field through the quarterbacks' ...

Express.co.uk

Express.co.uk
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:24:52 -0700

Epidemiology lecturer Dr David McAllister, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “This tool will enable us to give people at risk the opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes to improve their health, without the cost of running a national ...
 
Gigaom
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:56:15 -0700

It's often been said; the most expensive tool you will ever purchase is one that your team never uses—shelfware. This lack of adoption can especially be frustrating for project leaders who rely on a tool to provide updates on project data, resource ...

Nature World News

Nature World News
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:11:15 -0700

A new tool developed by scientists at Michigan State University shows how humans are impacting US coastal waters, thereby helping environmental officials determine what action, if any, needs to be taken to preserve various ecosystems, a new study shows.

MinnPost

MinnPost
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:34:51 -0700

Council President Barbara Johnson's reactions (37:32 to 40:06) during a May 7 Committee of the Whole briefing on the city's Equitable Solutions for One Minneapolis. It was in early May when what had been a rather tame Minneapolis City Council meeting ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Tool

You can talk about Tool with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!