Hand Tools

Hand tool, any of the implements used by craftspersons in manual operations, such as chopping, chiseling, sawing, filing, or forging. Complementary tools, often needed as auxiliaries to shaping tools, include such implements as the hammer for nailing and the vise for holding. A craftsperson may also use instruments that facilitate accurate measurements: the rule, divider; square, and others. Power tools—usually handheld motor-powered implements such as an electric drill or electric saw, perform many of the old manual operations and as such may be considered hand tools

A tool is an implement or device used directly upon a piece of material to shape it into a desired form. The earliest known tools, found in 2011 and 2012 in a dry riverbed near Kenya's Lake Turkana, have been dated to 3.3 million years ago. The present array of tools has as common ancestors the sharpened stones that were the keys to early human survival. Rudely fractured stones, first found and later “made” by hunters who needed a general-purpose tool, were a knife of sorts that could also be used to hack, to pound, and to grub. In the course of a vast interval of time, a variety of single-purpose tools came into being. With the twin developments of agriculture, roughly 10,000 years ago, the many demands of a settled way of life led to a higher degree of tool specialization; the identities of the ax, adz, chisel, and saw were clearly established more than 4,000 years ago.

The common denominator of these tools is removal of material from a workpiece, usually by some form of cutting. The presence of a cutting edge is therefore characteristic of most tools, and the principal concern of toolmakers has been the pursuit and creation of improved cutting edges. Tool effectiveness was enchanced enormously by hafting—the fitting of a handle to a piece of sharp stone, which endowed the tool with better control, more energy, or both.