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  • Expand : Functions of Tools, Multi-use tools

Does anyone know what this tool is?[edit]

I took the photo from a man who was a fire safety inspector. Each of the prongs has a single number on it. I believe it is used to imprint numbers on an aluminum sheet for record keeping after a piece of fire equipment has been inspected for operational effectiveness. Perhaps it is not limited to fire safety, but instead is a general inspectional record-keeping tool. Either way I'm dieing to add it to Wikipedia and describe it.

Jason7825 (talk) 08:04, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but I suspect that this is a punch (metalworking), essentially a selectable letter punch. The correct number is selected, the handle is closed and the back of handle (rubber covered area) is struck with a hammer to imprint the letter. Dhatfield (talk) 02:04, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Are you sure it's not a punch pliers? Because it looks a lot like these:,Hand-tools,Punch-pliers. Plus there's that one really slender punch, why would that have a letter? I can't see that being used to punch a number into metal, because you want to strike the side that has the impression. Wizard191 (talk) 12:03, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
"Are you sure it's not a punch pliers?" Not at all: well found. It was a good theory while it lasted... :) Dhatfield (talk) 02:07, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Hole Hog[edit]

I have photos of several Hole Hogs, devices for drilling horizontally through earth such as under roads and buildings for routing pipe, cables, etc. Hole Hog seems to be Allied Construction Product's trade name, but I couldn't find a generic article, or even mention of one in the obvious places. Additionally, there doesn't seem to be a Wikiproject which clearly covers construction tools. Suggestions? —EncMstr (talk) 21:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I would call it an "trenchless underground piercing tool" or some combination of that wording. Wizard191 (talk) 13:19, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Directional drilling calls this "horizontal directional drilling". Maybe you can mine that term for generic names for the tool. Bernd Jendrissek (talk) 06:15, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Seems ambiguous to me[edit]

Most anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind.[5] Humans evolved an opposable thumb — useful in holding tools — and increased dramatically in intelligence, which aided in the use of tools.

What's the point of this? All primates have opposable thumbs, so stating that it's important to "human evolution" specifically doesn't make much sense. Humans didn't evolve opposable thumbs, they already had them. Something else should be used, or the statement should be clarified to make a bit more sense. (talk) 17:42, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Split[edit]

The article mashes 'Tools' devices/instruments/equipment and 'Tool' as an concept quite confusingly. Might help to split it out so into one article covering the technology of tools and one that is more abstract.--Savonneux (talk) 18:14, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Keep - I don't see any pressing reason why both topics can't be supported within the same article. Right now it's definitely not too big to split, based on size considerations. I think it would make sense to first talk about the concept of tools, which would then lead into a section about common types of tools. Wizard191 (talk) 19:51, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
On second consideration I'm going to take it down and just use sections. I was reeling in pain from such an essential article just being so confusing.--Savonneux (talk) 00:51, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, this article needs a lot of work, so any help is appreciated. Wizard191 (talk) 12:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Big edits[edit]

Tried to fill up some of the cites and make the intro less abstract. Lots to do yet but I wanted to commit things incrimentally so that other people might get interested in this article. It hasn't had significant content changes in a long time.--Savonneux (talk) 03:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks good! I'm just going to move the etymology section to the wiktionary, as that's where it belongs. Wizard191 (talk) 12:36, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Tools on wikipedia need some work[edit]

I've been looking around the category hierarchy for Tools as well as the articles about various groups of tools. Tools seem to be in anarchy on Wikipedia. The tools category works by a very generally definition of tool--so general I honestly can't figure it out. Included are machinery like tractors and cranes, instruments like like a Geiger counter and caliper, woodworking tools like saws and lathes, and abstract mathematical tools. The encyclopedia itself doesn't really work by this outline set out in the categories. I think this page could really use a "taxonomy" of tools which would help to explain the relationship between all these things which fall into category of "tool". Also, I think establishing a clear definition of what is and is not a tool would be helpful.

Tools should probably classified based on their function (i.e., cutting tools, moving tools, digging tools), their applications (i.e., gardening tools, metalworking tools, woodworking tools, clay sculpting tools) and their power source (i.e., hand tool, power tool, air tool). Off course all these categories would need to be defined. This task would certainly be very complex. I think we should work to come up with such a hierarchy. Scientific29 (talk) 03:06, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Quick web search shows one such existing classification:
  • Cutting, Pinching, Gripping Tools
  • Striking tools
  • Driving tools
  • Struck or hammered tools
That only seems to cover hand tools. Is a soldering iron a tool? Is it a power tool, or a hand tool?
More importantly, is there a well-accepted taxonomy of tools, say similar to the Hornbostel-Sachs system of classifying musical instruments? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 20:45, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry it took me so ridiculously long to respond here. I have been thinking about this issue on and off (as well as being busy in real life). I've found a relatively consistent classification for woodworking tools which is similar to what you listed above. (Tools: A complete illustrated encyclopedia [1] and a few others). However, whatever vague sense of "tool" was used to construct the Tools category doesn't seem to have any sort of well-accepted taxonomy. I had written an extra two paragraphs outlining a sense of what I would define as a tool, but I couldn't really nail down a definition solid enough to define the category. Any ideas would be welcome; perhaps I'll put out a request for comment.
On the soldering iron question, I would think yes it is a tool, but that's just gut instinct. I would think of a soldering iron as a power tool in the same sense I would think of an electric hand drill to be a power tool. I have some free time now so I would really like to tackle this issue. Best! Scientific29 (talk) 03:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Quick reply: if a soldering iron is a tool (could easily be, but I don't have a source for that opinion of mine) then so is a propane torch. Need a category for heating tools? I have sometimes done gentle prying with the chisel tip of a 47-watt Ungar soldering pencil. Many a tool gets used for purposes other than the "intended one," and many tools are multi-purpose by design. I will be giving this some thought and attention. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 11:07, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Thinking about tools for applying or controlling heat... the Wikipedia article on bellows is in category:tools. A hot-air gun is both a heating and an air-handling tool. I still haven't found a source on line that classifies tools completely. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 17:26, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
It would be difficult to classify tools based on both their intended and unintended purpose, but at the same time screw drivers are very frequently misused to pry open containers of paint.
I haven't found any source classifying (or even defining well enough to make a category) tools either. I think we might be best off creating our own definition--not in the sense of original research, but purely for the purpose of better organizing the encyclopedia. Here's a thought (just a rudimentary idea): let's say there are passive and active tools. Passive tools create no tangible effect--these are measuring devices, ladders, flashlights, stools, clamps (unless they are used for crushing), jacks, beakers, tape recorders(?). Active tools have a tangible effect: drills, pencils, hammers, nail clippers, spatulas, shovels. In general tools act on a material (although not necessarily a specific material, like a flashlight will act on most things): pencils act on paper, egg beaters act on eggs, saws on wood or metal, caulk guns on caulk, paint brushes on paint, beakers on chemicals. So consider a container of correction fluid: the little brush on the inside of the lid is the active tool, the container is the passive tool and the whiteout is the material. These are just some philosophical thoughts I worked and might give us somewhere to start. Scientific29 (talk) 01:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Gallery at top of article?[edit]

Can we get consensus one way or another about the gallery that just appeared at the top of the page? My preference is to go back to the way it was before. The gallery surrounds too-small thumbnails with too much white space, making for too much visual overhead and not enough content in the available screen space. Just because the markup language allows something, does not mean it is a good visual idea. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 12:30, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

The idea may have merit though. Take a look at what I put together on the Computer page, it's a lot tighter than this and could help bring in a load of different tools, to show the diversity of the definition. --Errant (chat!) 13:02, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
The collage approach has less wasted white space, but looks cluttered to me. I've put this page back to the previous layout. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Irrelevent links[edit]

A lot of pages that link to tool should not do so. Peter Horn User talk 03:21, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

wasn't the first tool an az to sharpen other tools[edit]

how else would you get an axe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Please fix[edit]

At the top, it says that tools for people dates back millions of years, which has not been proved. Also, it says "other animals"! Someone please delete the word "other"! 2602:302:D124:A0E0:9D27:830C:1E04:6AD0 (talk) 23:17, 20 December 2016 (UTC)