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Tool
consumed in the process. 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

View Wikipedia Article

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. 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", "device," or "apparatus". The set of tools needed to achieve a goal is "equipment". The knowledge of constructing, obtaining and using tools is technology.

Contents
  • 1 History
  • 2 Functions
    • 2.1 Tool substitution
    • 2.2 Multi-use tools
  • 3 Use by other animals
  • 4 Tool metaphors
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

History 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, possible handle of a hammer, and rule. Stone and metal knives An upholstery regulator Main article: History of technology

Anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. 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. 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.

Stone artifacts only date back to about 2.5 million years ago. However, a 2010 study suggests the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis ate meat by carving animal carcasses with stone implements. This finding pushes back the earliest known use of stone tools among hominins to about 3.4 million years ago.

Finds of actual tools date back at least 2.6 million years in Ethiopia. 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.

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.

Functions

One can classify tools according to their basic functions:

  • Cutting and edge tools, such as the knife, scythe or sickle, are wedge-shaped implements that produce a shearing force along a narrow face. Ideally, the edge of the tool needs to be harder than the material being cut or else the blade will become dulled with repeated use. But even resilient tools will require periodic sharpening, which is the process of removing deformation wear from the edge. Other examples of cutting tools include gouges and drill bits.
  • Moving tools move large and tiny items. Many are levers which give the user a mechanical advantage. Examples of force-concentrating tools include the hammer which moves a nail or the maul which moves a stake. These operate by applying physical compression to a surface. In the case of the screwdriver, the force is rotational and called torque. By contrast, an anvil concentrates force on an object being hammered by preventing it from moving away when struck. Writing implements deliver a fluid to a surface via compression to activate the ink cartridge. Grabbing and twisting nuts and bolts with pliers, a glove, a wrench, etc. likewise move items by some kind of force.
  • Tools that enact chemical changes, including temperature and ignition, such as lighters and blowtorches.
  • Guiding, measuring and perception tools include the ruler, glasses, set square, sensors, straightedge, theodolite, microscope, monitor, clock, phone, printer
  • Shaping tools, such as molds, jigs, trowels.
  • Fastening tools, such as welders, rivet guns, nail guns, or glue guns.
  • Information and data manipulation tools, such as computers, IDE, spreadsheets
  • Simple machine tools, including the wheel, pulley, inclined plane, wedge and screw.

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

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" , 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 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 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 and monkeys 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.

Tool metaphors

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
  • Ergonomics
  • List of timber framing tools
  • List of tool-lending libraries
  • Toolbank
  • Toolmaker
References

Notes

  1. ^ Sam Lilley, Men, Machines and History: The Story of Tools and Machines in Relation to Social Progress, 1948 Cobbett Press.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Jones, S., Martin, R. & Pilbeam, D., eds. (1994). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-32370-3.  CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) Also ISBN 0-521-46786-1 (paperback)
  4. ^ McPherron, Shannon P.; Zeresenay Alemseged; Curtis W. Marean; Jonathan G. Wynn; Denne Reed; Denis Geraads; Rene Bobe; Hamdallah A. Bearat (2010). "Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia". Nature. 466 (7308): 857–860. Bibcode:2010Natur.466..857M. doi:10.1038/nature09248. PMID 20703305. 
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Holmes, Bob. "Man's early hunting role in doubt". Newscientist.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Nanotechnology: Big Potential In Tiny Particles, David Whelan. Retrieved on November 6, 2006
  8. ^ Will this Tiny Science Usher in the Next Industrial Revolution?, Katrina C. Arabe. Retrieved on November 6, 2006
  9. ^ Selection of tool diameter by New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides, Jackie Chappell and Alex Kacelnik November 29, 2003
  10. ^ Calvin, William H. "The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain". 
  11. ^ Host: Alan Alda (02-09-2005). "Chimp Minds". Scientific American Frontiers. Season 15. Episode 4http://www.pbs.org/saf/1504/resources/transcript.htm |transcripturl= missing title (help). PBS.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure: Chimpanzee". 
  13. ^ 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. 
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WBM Himalayan Glow Hand Carved Natural Crystal Himalayan Salt Lamp with Genuine Neem Wood Base, Bulb and Dimmer Control, 8-to-9-Inch, 8-to-11-Pounds
WBM Himalayan Glow Hand Carved Natural Crystal Himalayan Salt Lamp with Genuine Neem Wood Base, Bulb and Dimmer Control, 8-to-9-Inch, 8-to-11-Pounds
• Unique salt lamp is made from Natural Himalayan salt crystals hand mined in the Himalayan Mountains • Once lit the lamp will emit a calming Amber color • Heating the salt with the included 25 watt bulb releases negative ions into the air, creating an effect similar to an ionizer, purifying the surrounding air • Due to the natural variation in Himalayan Crystal salt, weight, size, color and shape may vary • Includes:6 ft Power Cord, 25 watt Light Bulb, Rotary dimmer switch • Material: 100% Himalayan Crystal Salt . • Base is made of genuine neem wood. The neem tree is one of the most versatile of India’s plants. Valued for centuries throughout tropical Asia for its multitude of medicinal and other uses, it has ­recently attracted attention in the United States as an effective botanical insecticide. Neem wood is now becoming a popular option for furniture manufacturers. The advantage of using this is that it is a strong wood making it durable and giving your furniture a long life. Secondly, due to the pest repelling aromatic properties of the wood; it is termite free. • Finish: Natural • Lamp and cord assembly are UL approved. Ingredients: 100% Himalayan Crystal salt, 100% neem wood

$29.99
-$9.96(-25%)



TP-Link Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Control your Devices from Anywhere, Works with Amazon Alexa (HS100)
TP-Link Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Control your Devices from Anywhere, Works with Amazon Alexa (HS100)
Control electronics from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone with the HS100 Smart Plug. Turn devices on/off, check status, create schedules and set timers using the Kasa App. Gain peace of mind by checking on your devices remotely and always coming home to a well-lit house. Use away-mode to make it look like you are home when you travel, and have lights turn on/off at set times to conserve energy and save on your next bill. Add voice control to any electronic device by pairing with Amazon Echo.

$29.95



Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool 7"- White
Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool 7"- White
Made in the USA! The Squatty Potty is a wonderful health aid for the entire family. The Squatty Potty helps you to eliminate faster and more complete by putting your body into a natural squatting position over your own toilet. Using the Squatty Potty during elimination will un-kink your taking your body from a continent mode to an elimination mode. This will speed up the elimination process therefore reducing the risk of toxic build up of fecal matter left in your colon. Using the squatty potty for elimination will reduce straining and decreases the pressure. The reduction of straining will help to heal and prevent hemorrhoids. It will also reduce the risk of bowel herniation and other damage to the lower digestive tract. The Squatty Potty is attractive and will discretely tuck under your toilet bowl when not in use. Its designed with a forward slant to ergonomically align the body for a comfortable and complete elimination. Children love the Squatty Potty. It is an excellent toilet training aid. It provides them with a place to support their feet which helps to remove the fear of falling. They also don't have a need to hold onto the dirty toilet seat for balance. The White Plastic Squatty Potty is very durable, and easy to clean. Made of durable hard Polypropylene plastic. It is 7 3/4" high at the back and has a slight forward slope to 6 3/4" in the front. The Squatty potty is not a stepping stool and should only be used around the base of your toilet.

$22.47



Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Wind-Resistant Hinged Balaclava, Black
Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Wind-Resistant Hinged Balaclava, Black
High quality thermal outdoor sports mask to provide the best protection and warmth in cold winter climates. Perfect addition to any winter gear kit for skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, motorcycling, snowboarding, hiking, cross country skiing, or just shoveling the driveway!

$11.19
-$7.85(-41%)



BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vac
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vac
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac Ideal for Any Quick Pick Up Ideal for Quick Pick Up The sleek CHV1410L boasts lithium technology, strong suction and fade-free power. With a translucent bag less dirt bowl, the dirt is easy to see and empty. Ever ready, the hand vac can hold a charge for up to 18 months when off the charger, and is lightweight enough to tackle quick pick ups around the home. Smart Charge Technology High efficiency Lithium ion chargers help to protect your BLACK+DECKER hand vac by automatically shutting off when the battery is charged, allowing you to conveniently store your BLACK+DECKER hand vac on the charger while maintaining long run times, year after year. About Black + Decker Since 1910, Black + Decker has been setting the standard for innovation and design of power tools, accessories, outdoor yard care equipment, home cleaning products, automotive and lighting products, hardware and other home improvement products. The inventor of the first portable electric drill with pistol grip and trigger switch, Black + Decker has evolved from a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland to a global manufacturing and marketing powerhouse with a broad line of quality products used in and around the home and for commercial applications. When users need to get work done, they trust Black + Decker for the products that will do the job efficiently and reliably 16V MAX Lithium Ion Dust Buster 16V MAX Lithium Ion Dust buster This hand vac provides consumers with everything they need in a hand vac, plus long battery life, year after year. The CHV1410L features great power and suction for use on everything from carpet to ceramic tile to furniture and more. Cyclonic Action Cyclonic Action The cyclonic action spins dust and debris away from the filter keeping suction strong. It delivers powerful suction where users need it most. Crevice Tool and Brush

$59.99
-$30.00(-33%)



PopSockets Stand for Smartphones & Tablets - Black
PopSockets Stand for Smartphones & Tablets - Black
What Are PopSockets? PopSockets are expanding grips and stands that attach to most phones, tablets, and cases. Add a single PopSocket, or a pair of PopSockets, to the back of almost any mobile device to transform its capabilities. PopSockets "pop" whenever you need a grip, a stand, an earbud-management system, or just something to play with. Remove your PopSocket by pulling slowly on the base; you can reposition and reattach time and time again. You'll always have the exact grip or stand you need. PopSockets not only make terrific phone grips and phone stands, they also make holding tablets and e-readers more comfortable and secure. Whether you place PopSockets on your Nintendo 3DS for gaming, your GoPro for a supplemental grip in the water, or on your bedroom mirror to hang jewelry, the possibilities are endless. If you attach two PopSockets to your device you now have a convenient earbud-management system. Simply wrap the cord around the two PopSockets, and voila! No more tangly mess to deal with. Never Lose Grip on Your Phone or Tablet Again! Click "Add to Cart" now to get your PopSocket expanding grip and stand.

$9.99



Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Classic Green (R-01526)
Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff, Classic Green (R-01526)
At the range or on the hunt, the Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff keeps you protected from hazardous noise and connected to your environment. It carries a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22 in both on and off mode. When the electronic ear protection is switched on, it employs built-in directional microphones that amplify ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB. This allows you to hear important commands on the range and crucial environment sounds when hunting. As an added safety feature, it also actively listens and automatically shuts off amplification when loud impulsive sounds reach 82 dB. Patented Air Flow Control technology allows for a slim earcup design that ensures your stock has clearance while in use. The padded headband features telescopic height adjustment for a comfortable, customized fit. An external audio jack lets you connect the earmuff to an MP3 player, scanner or other audio source. Automatic shut-off after 4 hours helps save battery life.

$40.50
-$0.47(-1%)



TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge, 100 PSI
TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge, 100 PSI
In any light, day or night, the TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge gives you an instant, accurate, and easy-to-read measurement of your vehicle's tire pressure. A simple push button turns the unit on and selects one of four measurement ranges. When it’s dark, the lighted nozzle illuminates your work area, so you can easily locate the valve stem. With gentle pressure, the nozzle seals onto the valve stem quickly and completely to deliver an accurate measurement. The exact measurement instantly displays on a clear, lighted digital screen, so there’s no guesswork or estimation like reading an analog gauge. After you’re done, a 30-second automatic shut off means you never have to worry about accidentally running the batteries dead. Contoured to fit your hand, the ergonomic shape is complemented by a soft, nonslip texture for ultimate comfort and control. Check your tire pressure often. Properly inflated tires keep you safe on the road and help you save on gas. Store this handy tool in your glove box or console, so it's always ready when you need it.Specifications:(4) measurement ranges: PSI: 0-100, bar: 0-7, kPa: 0-700, kg/cm2: 0-7Minimum increment: 0.5 PSIPower source: (1) CR2032 3V lithium coin cell, (3) LR44 1.5V button cells (all included)

$10.99
-$1.00(-8%)



Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack
Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack
This recreational home fire extinguisher is a UL-listed unit that keeps small fires from spreading and growing. It’s non-rechargeable and designed for single use.^^Features Lightweight Aluminum Body Tough Nylon Valve Assembly Pressure Gauge for At-a-Glance Status Multipurpose Dry Chemical^^Suitable Uses Class A Fires (Trash, Wood, and Paper)Class B Fires (Liquids and Gases)Class C Fires (Energized Electrical Equipment) Model#: FA110.

$19.98
-$23.01(-54%)



O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream, 3.4 oz., Jar
O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream, 3.4 oz., Jar
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is a concentrated, highly effective moisturizer that relieves extremely dry hands that frequently crack. This odorless, non-greasy formula hydrates the skin – helping it retain moisture and making a difference you feel in days. It is safe for people with diabetes. Representative Photos: Before and After Hand Images. One week usage period. Cream was applied before bed and three times day. Results may vary..100% Money Back Guarantee - If you are not fully satisfied with the performance of O’Keeffe’s products, we will refund 100% of the purchase price. Simply return the unused portion of the cream and your receipt to 4550 Red Bank Expressway Cincinnati OH 45227..100% Money Back Guarantee - If you are not fully satisfied with the performance of O’Keeffe’s products, we will refund 100% of the purchase price. Simply return the unused portion of the cream and your receipt to 4550 Red Bank Expressway Cincinnati OH 45227.

$5.90
-$1.08(-15%)


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