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Modern and stone age knife and axe
Stone age knife and axe compared to their modern versions

What Are Tools?

A tool is an object or thing used to make a task easier to perform. Humans and human ancestors have historically made great use of tools, creating more and more sophisticated tools as time has gone by. Some animals are even known to use basic tools, such as monkeys and apes, and even some species of birds.

Some examples of common tools include hammers, knives, and shovels. Modern tools might include anything from pencils, to telephones, to computers—even the software running on computers can be considered a tool.

The Human History of Tools

The use of tools has played a significant role in human history and evolution. Our ancient hominid ancestors began creating simple tools during the Stone Age around 3.3 million years ago. These early tools were made from stones and other natural materials and were used for tasks like cutting, scraping, and pounding. As time passed, humans developed more complicated tools out of stronger materials, such as bronze, a mixture of tin (Sn) and copper (Cu).

Tools have allowed humans to manipulate their environment, build shelter, hunt for food, create art, and engage in various activities. The invention of tools marked a significant milestone in human evolution, shaping the course of civilization.

Top Facts About Tool for Kids

  • 1. Aside from primates, crows are some of the most advanced tool users.

    New Caledonian crows, for example, have demonstrated remarkable abilities to create and utilize tools in their search for food. They use their beaks to create tools from twigs and leaves, shaping them into specialized tools to get insects out of trees.

    What's particularly amazing, however, is that scientists have also observed these crows changing and improving their tools for different tasks. This behavior demonstrates great problem-solving abilities and creativity, and suggests an understanding of cause and effect. The crows' tool-making skills are considered among the most advanced in the animal kingdom, showing us the complexity of their intelligence.

  • 2. A multi-tool is a combination of several tools, fit into one.

    One of the most popular and well-known multi-tools is the Swiss Army Knife. The Swiss Army Knife is a versatile tool that ususually combines one or more knives, screwdrivers, can openers, bottle openers, scissors, tweezers, and other tools into a compact and foldable design. It originated in Switzerland and gained worldwide recognition for its quality, functionality, and durability.