The earliest tools were made of stone. Some predate early man as Neanderthal and other early ancestors used rocks and stones as tools and even made stone tools.
- Olduvai stone chopping tool, Tanzania, 1.8-2 million years old – Stone tools such as this are the first known technological invention. This one is the oldest object in the British Museum.
- Handaxes first appeared about 1.5 million years ago
Axe or ax – an implement used to shape, split and cut wood; to harvest timber; as a weapon; and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialized uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve.
- The earliest examples of axes have heads of stone with some form of wooden handle attached (hafted) in a method to suit the available materials and use. Axes made of copper, bronze, iron, steel appeared as these technologies developed.
- The axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is a type of wedge, or dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper. It splits the wood into two parts by the pressure concentration at the blade. The handle of the axe also acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge
Similar tools with sharp blades
- Cleavers resemble handaxes in all but their tips which are straight instead of round or pointed. As the toolmakers gained experience, they began using massive pieces of lava and quartz.
- Knife – a metal tool with a sharpened metal blade that is used to cut all sorts of things.
- sissors – scissors have two sharp edges.
- knife sharpener – angles and materials, steel type and sharpener material, stone or a graphite material. Also bonding the material to the structure.