A tool is any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal, especially if the item is not consumed in the process. Tool use by humans dates back millions of years, and other animals are also known to employ simple tools.
Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such as "instrument", "utensil", "implement", "machine", "device," or "apparatus". The set of tools needed to achieve a goal is "equipment". The knowledge of constructing, obtaining and using tools is technology.