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Device for making material changes on other objects, as by cutting, shearing, striking, rubbing, grinding, squeezing, measuring, or other process. A hand tool is a small manual instrument traditionally operated by the muscular strength of the user; a machine tool is a power-driven mechanism used to cut, shape, or form materials such as wood and metal. Tools are the main means by which human beings control and manipulate their physical environment.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tool, visit Britannica.com.