One of my questions was edited this morning with the note:

Replaced the ambiguous "hooks" tag with the more general "tools".

In my opinion is utterly too broad and will apply to way too many different pieces of equipment. No one can specialize in "tools" because it could include anything from knitting needles/crochet hooks to paint brushes to saws.

This tag is un-useful.

I have re-edited the question to replace with which is significantly better and what I should have used in the first place.

Am I missing value in a generic "tools" tag that would make it worthy to keep?

The only tool-related tag I could think of being useful is perhaps if someone has a mystery tool in their box of equipment they need help figuring out what purpose it serves.

What are the community's thoughts on the tag?

While we may not have enough evidence yet to outright blacklist it, should it generally be understood as a poor choice for tagging?

4 Answers 4


I feel like , , or are too generic and more specific tags should be used. Otherwise, we could potentially tag every question with one of those four, which isn't terribly helpful.

Here are some specific examples:


Some of those may get too specific, but it will really depend on how many questions we see in the immediate future about those specific tools.

And maybe even

If it's actually about selecting the proper tool for the job.

I think this is a way to go, because we may actually have people that are highly skilled or familiar with specific implements. There will be others who are not familiar with those tools at all and would want to learn everything they can about them, without looking at an entire parent tag such as , which could be overwhelming.

As usual, best judgement should be applied as to whether a specific tool tag is needed, or if the parent tag is fine. I don't think a should ever be necessary.

  • 1
    I think the important point you are trying to make is give the tags some time before we decide what to do with them.
    – Matt
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:34
  • I am yet unable to answer... so I must comment: I just posted this as a comment to another question. I was an Industrial Technology major in College. A tool is a thing you hold in your hand. A hammer, a maul, a saw, a drill bit (not the drill) a chisel, a crochet hook, knitting needles, cork screw, a sharpening stone. Machines are a Spinning Wheel, a "rabbit style" cork remover, my wool processing machines, grinder, welder, etc. May 2, 2016 at 0:41
  • @JoelHuebner Machines should follow the same guidelines. If you were calling out my use of the word "lathe" as a tool, then good! There's a reason we need experts from a variety of backgrounds.
    – user24
    May 2, 2016 at 0:44
  • And I had to look up what conte is
    – Matt
    May 2, 2016 at 0:57
  • On ww.se what have hand-tools and power-tools. They are both still tools to me. That distinction makes sense there at least. I would consider lathe a tool.
    – Matt
    May 2, 2016 at 0:59
  • @Matt, A lathe, is a machine, by with which you manipulate the item placed into it by a tool, called a chisel. May 2, 2016 at 1:29

isn't a meta tag, but it is too broad.

(I say that because the tag does give you information about what's in the question, which meta tags don't.)

I was the person who originally added it (to this question). I was trying to hit the balance between not being too narrow and not being too broad, and in retrospect I ended up too far on the broad side of that line.

It's since been replace on that particular question with , which has a much better scope. Similarly scoped tags should be used elsewhere.


Sorry to jump on this so late, but I agree that is too broad. However, there are some crafts where the question volume would not be large enough to support a specific tag for tools used in that craft. For example a used in .

I think at this stage it is right to be flexible, so when a craft is popular enough to generate significant questions, then individual tool tags are appropriate, but for niche crafts, such as the aforementioned , then could be a good compromise.

  • 1
    More tags isn't necessarily a bad thing, even if they don't get used heavily. I don't think we'll have the auto-delete for tags not used frequently enough. We just need to make sure the tags we have are useful themselves.
    – user24
    Jul 1, 2016 at 12:28

I originally though it might good context tag but for the shear amount of crafts I don't think so anymore. Given the amount of different crafts we have the tool pool would be too large.

There could be cases for other context tags but not this one. So, yes is too broad and it would never be used on its own. We have a on WW and it works well. We also have and which could work well here.

In the case of hooks is arguably the primary tool. Not many outside of that so tools does not work there. Like CreationEdge says we don't need specific tags for every tool. Play it by ear though.

I think we should allow extra tags now and clean them up later if the end up being less than useful. Doing it that way would be easier then to realize later there was 1-2 questions that needed a tag but you have to go searching for them.

I don't think we can objectively decide the fate of all tags initially so it is best to see what the community does with them. That was the case for and it does appear to be used correctly nor can it be.

  • 1
    I disagree on allowing extra tags at the onset. IMHO, we should be very judicious with what tags we use, because it is much less common to add tags than to have to clean up extra or ambiguous tags.
    – Beofett
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:08
  • We can't at this point objectively decide the fate of all tags right now. Some might get better traction. Tools no
    – Matt
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:12

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