I was doing some tag edits and I was trying to work out the one for . My excerpt reads like tool maintenance and I was wondering if I was missing something.

Could there be other maintenance questions that are not about tools? So far the 2 that are using the tags are about just that.

Depending on how you answer that first question: Should we rename it to ? Does there even need to be a distinction? Is just fine on its own?

  • 1
    I can't really think of a different sort -- "craft maintenance" is much more readily understood as "preservation".
    – Erica
    May 1, 2016 at 22:56
  • 1
    Erica, I disagree, A tool, is a thing you use, in your hand. A hammer is a tool, as a chisel, an ice saw, a hand saw etc. Machine maintenance is an entirely different thing. I do maintenance on my Wool Picking machine, on my drum carders, on my yarn swift, on my spinning wheels, even on my knitting looms and knitting machines. A simple cork screw is a tool, a "rabbit style" cork remover is a machine. Then there is Preservation to Antique and Ancient tools and machines. May 2, 2016 at 0:34
  • @JoelHuebner -- I meant that maintenance performed on a craft that I have completed is "preservation", not maintenance. Tool or machine maintenance is "maintenance".
    – Erica
    May 2, 2016 at 17:09

3 Answers 3


I think that maintenance in general is going to be on tools, so these two tags are generally synonyms. If some other kind of maintenance shows up then I would differentiate that one. Though I am having a hard time thinking of any.

Basically I'm saying stick with maintenance. it's a simpler tag and any maintenance that show up that isn't tool maintenance can be expanded upon IMO>

  • We can't make them both redundant :)... do you mean that they are likely to be synonyms at this point? If so, can you please improve your answer by stating which tag you believe should be the primary one?
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 4, 2016 at 16:22
  • @Catija better?
    – bowlturner
    May 4, 2016 at 16:33

I prefer that we use more specific tags whenever possible to reduce misuse (assuming we aren't running into length issues).

So even if we end up with other types of "maintenance", is the proper tag for the maintenance of tools.

That being said, depending on usage, this may end up being too broad, in the same way that is considered too broad. Someone who knows how to maintain a knife may not care (or know) about maintaining paint brushes or pen nibs.

This may be something we start with a broader tag and then, when it becomes clear whether these questions make up a large enough volume of questions here, it may be better to break them up by tool and create tags like and .

Note that it's not generally good practice to use tags to "append" onto other tags. There's no "official" way to do this because the meaning of the tags don't "combine". So, using and does not really imply . Much like on SO, tags for specific versions of programs or languages are made rather than making tags for a program and a tag for a version number and expecting them to combine like the Planeteers combine their powers to create Captain Planet.

That being said, some sites use this method to help with some tagging issues - for example, on Movies.SE, some titles are too long, particularly with series, so they use harry-potter in conjunction with prisoner-of-azkaban. This is non-standard and usually forced due to tag length restrictions.

  • Hmm. I am used to combining tags in searches. If I wanted to know more about knife maintenance I would search for [knives] [maintenance]. knife-maintenance feels too specific. This tag behavior is discouraged? I feel sometimes I don't get how tags are supposed to work.......
    – Matt
    May 4, 2016 at 17:04
  • Yes, it is discouraged. Otherwise half of the tags on SO would be years or version numbers without program names.
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 4, 2016 at 17:06

I think a distinction might be warranted. Tools are not the only thing that need maintenance in an arts and crafts world.

I can think of a whole world of questions about the proper maintenance of an oil painting or charcoal sketch. Works of art and crafted items need maintenance just as much as a tool does.

  • Like erica said though... would you ever refer to the maintenance of your painting/sketch or would you be trying to preserve it?
    – Matt
    May 3, 2016 at 0:27
  • Well, I think it's a fine line but when I hear "preservation" I think "things I need to do now so it lasts a long time" and when I hear "maintenance" I think "things I should do periodically so that it lasts a long time". I can't think of anything immediately but I'm confident there are crafts which require routine maintenance to keep them from falling apart or deteriorating.
    – leigero
    May 3, 2016 at 0:31

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