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tool

tool

A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment.

Early tools, made of such materials as stone, bone, and wood, were used for preparation of food, hunting, manufacture of weapons, and working of materials to produce clothing and useful artifacts.

The development of metalworking made additional types of tools possible. Harnessing energy sources such as animal power, wind, or steam, allowed increasingly complex tools to produce an even larger range of items, with the Industrial Revolution marking an marked inflection point in the use of tools. The introduction of automation allowed tools to operate with minimal human supervision, further increasing the productivity of human labor.

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.

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 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

Functions

Shaping tools, such as molds, jigs, trowels.

Fastening tools, such as welders, soldering irons, rivet guns, nail guns, or glue guns.

Information and data manipulation tools, such as computers, IDE, spreadsheets

Tools that enact chemical changes, including temperature and ignition, such as lighters and blowtorches.

Guiding, measuring and perception tools include the ruler, glasses, square, sensors, straightedge, theodolite, microscope, monitor, clock, phone, printer

Cutting and edge tools, such as the knife, sickle, scythe, hatchet, and axe 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

Moving tools move large and tiny items

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.

Timeline

Further Resources

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