Tools vs Equipment
Why do we call items used in a garden, tools and those used in a kitchen, utensils? What is the basis of using the word equipment and why do we call items used in a laboratory apparatus? These are questions best answered as traditions and confuse many people as they are unable to differentiate between tools and equipment. This article attempts to highlight these differences.
What happens when you are at roadside and find that you do not have a screwdriver to open a bolt inside the car to get to the fault that suddenly brought it to a standstill? With nobody in sight you look for objects that could help in opening the screw. The pocket knife in your back pocket comes to your rescue as it becomes the object with which you can unscrew the bolt. Any object that helps you in a problem or crisis situation in general is referred to as a tool. When a chimpanzee makes use of a stick to get to a banana that he cannot reach with his hands, he is using the stick as a tool. And when prehistoric man used stone to light fire, he was using them as his tool. Even before fire, man sharpened stones and used them as his weapons to attack and kill animals. These sharpened stones became his tools. It is thus clear that tools are general items that help in doing work in any situation. When a carpenter arrives at home, we he opens his bag and takes out tools to start his work. Similarly the items we see a plumber working with are called his tools.
What then is equipment? Well, it is commonplace to refer to a number of tools as equipment. We can either use the plural of tool, which is tools, or simply refer to a collection of tools as equipment. Thus equipment is a set of tools. Another differentiation is the fact that tools are what we work with and equipment also contains guard that we use for our safety like gloves, helmet, goggles etc that someone who is in welding profession wears when he is using his tools.
Tool is a word commonly used in daily lives. Take for example, the use of word tool in a news headline when it says that the minister used diplomacy as his tool when talking with the foreign delegate. Equipment is a word used when we mean to say gear. The gear that a mountaineer uses is called his equipment. This equipment consists of tools that he actually uses while climbing, and also includes protective gear that he wears to prevent any injury to himself.
Tools vs Equipment
• Tools are multi purpose, small, handy objects with which to work in a particular situation
• Equipment is a general term that is used to refer to a set of tools