Klein Tools continues to invest in U.S. manufacturing and is committed to maintaining its place as the favorite among electricians. Klein is the only major tool manufacturer worldwide focused on electrical and utility applications. No other manufacturer of hand tools and related products used in electrical applications makes more items in America than Klein Tools.
We've expanded our Tools and resources sections initially published on our homepage as a "frequently accessed tools and resources" drop down. This new format is now accessible from anywhere on the site
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Where do you want this tool to work? Choosing more than one region will result in a larger number of returns, and will include tools that may not be useful in all of the selected geographies. If a tool must work for a given geography, only that geography should be selected.
A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment or help them accomplish a particular task. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates back hundreds of millennia, have been observed using tools to make other tools.
Early human 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 and crafts such as pottery, along with the construction of housing, businesses, infrastructure and transportation. 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 inflection point in the use of tools. The introduction of widespread automation in the 19th and 20th centuries 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 (Homo sapiens) and wild chimpanzees, it is widely assumed that the first routine use of tools took place prior to the divergence between the two ape 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 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".
Many tools were made in prehistory or in the early centuries of recorded history, but archaeological evidence can provide dates of development and use..mw-parser-output .div-colmargin-top:0.3em;column-width:30em.mw-parser-output .div-col-smallfont-size:90%.mw-parser-output .div-col-rulescolumn-rule:1px solid #aaa.mw-parser-output .div-col dl,.mw-parser-output .div-col ol,.mw-parser-output .div-col ulmargin-top:0.mw-parser-output .div-col li,.mw-parser-output .div-col ddpage-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column.mw-parser-output .plainlist ol,.mw-parser-output .plainlist ulline-height:inherit;list-style:none;margin:0.mw-parser-output .plainlist ol li,.mw-parser-output .plainlist ul limargin-bottom:0
Other important uses of metal parts were in firearms and threaded fasteners, such as machine screws, bolts, and nuts. There was also the need for precision in making parts. Precision would allow better working machinery, interchangeability of parts, and standardization of threaded fasteners. The demand for metal parts led to the development of several machine tools. They have their origins in the tools developed in the 18th century by makers of clocks and watches and scientific instrument makers to enable them to batch-produce small mechanisms. Before the advent of machine tools, metal was worked manually using the basic hand tools of hammers, files, scrapers, saws, and chisels. Consequently, the use of metal machine parts was kept to a minimum. Hand methods of production were very laborious and costly and precision was difficult to achieve. With their inherent precision, machine tools enabled the economical production of interchangeable parts.
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.
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 is "makeshift" when human ingenuity comes into play and a tool is used for an unintended purpose such as 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. For example, many wood-cutting hand saws integrate a 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 screwdriver. 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.
Tool use by animals is a phenomenon in which an animal uses any kind of tool in order to achieve a goal such as acquiring food and water, grooming, defense, communication, recreation or construction. Originally thought to be a skill possessed only by humans, some tool use requires a sophisticated level of cognition. There is considerable discussion about the definition of what constitutes a tool and therefore which behaviours can be considered true examples of tool use. Observation has confirmed that a number of species can use tools including monkeys, apes, elephants, several birds, and sea otters. 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. 041b061a72