Created By: Koncur on March 21, 2012 Last Edited By: DAN004 on March 8, 2015

From Tool To Weapon

Something that is created to be a tool is then used more famously as a weapon

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Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs a Better Title

It is a weapon of great power! It cuts the demons in half, it blows the robots to bits, and it burns the aliens where they stand. Can you believe you bought it at the hardware store?

This is about items that are thought of in-universe as simple tools, that end up being used as effective weapons. Basically, if it can break something, then it can also kill something.

In the writing process, this trope will often come up when one has an idea for a novel weapon, that doesn't quite make sense as something that would be fielded by an army. It is then given a backstory of having been a tool for some purpose, allowing it's existence to make sense.

Note that smashing a bottle over someone's head or grabbing the nearest blunt object in a fight is just an Improvised Weapon.

Compare Misapplied Phlebotinum, which is about magics or technologies being used in places where they are going to waste. The difference here is that the tools weren't necessarily going to waste, as they may have previously been well-used for their intended purpose, before being used as a weapon. Compare also Improbable Weapon User when a character uses a non-weapon as their Weapon of Choice.

Contrast Mundane Utility and Improbable Use of a Weapon (weapons being used as tools). Compare and contrast Utility Weapon when weapons are actively used as both a tool and a weapon.

NOTE: As the real life station notes, pretty much every kind of weapon in the planet had been a tool before, and fiction also likes to weaponize every tools that can destroy (and even some that cannot), so this trope will be limited to listing tools that are entirely fictional.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Speed Racer: The Mach 5 has a pair of buzzsaws mounted to the front intended to clear brush as they drive through the forest or some such, but all anyone who tries to steal it can see are weapons to destroy other cars with.

Film
  • The Cargo Loader in Aliens was meant to be a walking forklift. Ripley ends up using it like powered armor to battle the Alien Queen hand-to-hand in the famous climatic battle.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Wayne enterprises created a nuclear reactor to solve an energy crisis. It was stolen by Bane and turned into a nuclear bomb in the final act.

Literature
  • In the Discworld novel Night Watch, a populist uprising takes advantage of the fact that plenty of people have access to tools that can be used as lethal weapons:
    "men who, every day, peacefully and legally, handled things with blades and spikes that made a mere sword look like a girl's hatpin"
  • On Gor the "peasant staff" is a largely looked-down-upon weapon because peasants use it. The reason they use it is because they aren't generally allowed weapons but can have a walking stick.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space novels, the kzinti caught the full impact of this trope square in the face when they invaded human space. Even as kzin telepaths kept reassuring their superiors that the humans had no weapons, human vessels were pummeling them with the lethal energies of their ships' communication lasers and starship drives, neither of which had been designed as weapons.

Mythology and religion
  • The Old Testament mentions that at the end of times, wars will stop entirely, and this trope will be inverted.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer 40K, the Imperium of Man's Chimera APC (which most of their tanks are based on) was originally a tractor. Bonus points for the fact they also tend to have bulldozer scoops mounted on the front.

Video Games
  • Half-Life 2
    • The Zero-Point Energy Manipulator was meant to be used for heavy lifting for construction purposes. In Gordon Freemanís hands, it finds more use as The Gravity Gun, punting heavy objects into the faces of Combine soldiers.
    • This series has practically redefined the average player's concept of the purpose of the crowbar.
  • The Freezethrower in Duke Nukem Forever is meant for construction purposes, but Duke uses it to freeze enemies solid so that he can smash them to pieces.
  • In Penny Arcade Adventures, the player character starts with a rake, which is used to defeat rampaging robots. As the game goes on, the rake is upgraded into some kind of battle-rake capable of harming a Cosmic Horror.
  • In Ocarina of Time, the Biggoronís Sword was just a giantís butterknife.
  • The Tools of Kagrenac from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Designed to manipulate the heart of a dead god, they also make decent magical weapons; the Keening, for example, is one of the best magical daggers.
  • In one of the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots trailers, a bulldozer which has been converted into a tank is used as a Bait and Switch for the introduction of The Beauty & The Beast Corps (civilians who became Powered Armoured soldiers to cope with PTSD).
  • In Enter the Matrix, Ghost finds a fire-fighting tool that propels bombs filled with concentrated water-vapour into the heart of a blaze. Sparks notes that if it was used as a grenade-launcher, the bombs would fill someone's lungs with water and effectively drown them, which is what Ghost ends up using it for.
  • The original Megaman's signature "Variable Weapon System" ability was originally designed to allow the copying of normal household tools due to the titular character originally being a household robot. It was adapted into its current form when Dr. Light adjusted Megaman's body for combat use in order for Megaman to take on Dr. Wily.
    • Only some of the Robot Masters Megaman faces are designed specifically for combat use. The others were designed to work in specific fields before Dr. Wily reprogrammed them to be evil (ie, Cut Man was designed for timber felling, Guts Man for land reclamation and construction, etc.).
  • Virtually all the "weapons" used in Dead Space were originally tools, modified to fight necromorphs, the most obvious example being Isaac's trusty plasma cutter. Upgrading your weapons in-game actually involves removing safety features and power limiters — some of them become visibly less stable (but more powerful) after being upgraded.

Web Comics
  • Erfworld has the "arkentools", powerful holy artifacts left behind by the Titans when they created the world, which must be "attuned" to their wielders in order to function at their full power. Some of them, such as the arkenhammer and the arkenpliers, also function as melee weapons in addition to their more mystical functions. (The arkenhammer can shoot lightning as well as Non-Lethal K.O. any dwagon with a single blow, while the arkenpliers instantly dusts any uncroaked it touches.)

Real Life
  • Lots of real life weapons were tools. From knives, to bows and arrows, to hammers, and even explosives. General rule of thumb: If a tool can break/destroy something, expect it to turn into a weapon sooner or later.
    • Sometimes these tools are rarely (if ever) weaponized in Real Life, but are turned into weapons in fiction. A few examples are scythes, chainsaws and nailguns.
  • Inverted by nuclear energy: Invented as a weapon of mass destruction, but then re-applied as a way to meet increasing demands on the power grid.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 103
  • March 21, 2012
    aurora369
    The Tools of Kagrenac from TES 3 Morrowind. Designed to manipulate the heart of a dead god, they also make decent magical weapons; the Keening, for example, is one of the best magical daggers.
  • March 22, 2012
    Starfire
    The Scythe might be an option. While most people would probably acknowledge that they're farming tools, these days, likely due to the Grim Reaper (and because they just look cool) most people are probably more inclined to think of them as weapons. It is possible to use them as a polearm but only if you remount the blade.
  • March 22, 2012
    FalconPain
    Since Half-Life was brought up, that series has practically redefined the average player's concept of the purpose of the crowbar.
  • March 22, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • Knives are used fairly equally often as tools and weapons.
    • Axes
    • Warhammers
    • Most eastern martial arts weapons were originally gardening tools (kamas, sais, bo staffs, nunchaku), because "professional" weapons such as swords were restricted exclusively to the warrior elite.
  • March 22, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    Professional barbers use straight razors to deliver precise, smooth shaves that can't be matched by any other razor. In the popular perception, however, it's more notorious as a murder weapon, used by the likes of Jack The Ripper and Sweeney Todd.
  • March 22, 2012
    animeg3282
    Also see Drop The Hammer
  • March 26, 2012
    Bisected8
    In regards to nuclear weapons/power, the idea of a radioactive material as a source of energy was actually conceived long before the potential of a nuclear bomb was considered since it was thought of in the same way as a burning piece of wood (albeit too short lived to be of any use). The nuclear bomb wasn't considered until it was discovered that nuclear fission, when successful, could cause a rapid, self sustaining reaction (keeping up the fire analogy, it was like trying to find a way to make coal burn better and discovering black powder). So even though the first atomic bomb preceeded the first nuclear reactor, the idea of radiation as a power source predated nuclear weapons.
  • March 26, 2012
    Koncur
    Hmm, do you think I should remove that example?
  • March 27, 2012
    TBeholder
    > Most eastern martial arts weapons were originally gardening tools (kamas, sais, bo staffs, nunchaku), because "professional" weapons such as swords were restricted exclusively to the warrior elite.

    Too much ninja movies. :]
  • March 27, 2012
    Chabal2
    I'd suggest changing warhammers to just hammers, since a weapon made specifically to punch through armor might be difficult to apply to everything a normal hammer is used for.

    Mentioned in Night Watch, where Vimes notes that while the ban on weapons is carried out efficiently, ther's no ban on tools, so when the butchers (with a dozen different knives and cleavers each) and dock workers (with long hooked poles) join the rebellion, the enmy army nealy has a Mass Oh Crap.

  • March 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well, a nuclear bomb is essentially a specially modified nuclear reactor (or vice versa), so it would probably be best to reword the example rather than remove it entirely.
  • March 27, 2012
    KDeisenberger
    Axes and warhammers may count as a subversion - while they may seem like battle-ready versions of common tools, the earliest axes and hammers (respectively, a sharpened rock and... a rock) were equally at home both as tools and as weapons. As time went on, they became more specialized to their roles, but one was never really based on the other.

    However, medieval weaponry with farming pedigree is entirely commonplace - europe was rife with polearms (the common weapon of common people) based of some kind of farming tool. In example the English levies were often armed with bill hooks, which were little more than a hook and a sharp edge on a stick, based off of the agricultural billhook. Yes, the only difference in the name is spacing. Yes, the spacing is important.
  • March 27, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^ uh, no.
  • March 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    Eh? They both run under the same underlying principles don't they (inducing fission to release energy in a controlled manner)? What I meant was that it would be hard to tell whether the bomb or the reactor came first.
  • March 27, 2012
    SharleeD
    Bows were almost certainly invented as hunting implements, not weapons against other humans.
  • March 27, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^^ An atomic bomb is inducing fission to release energy in an uncontrolled manner. And the triggering mechanism is completely different, it's impossible to make a reactor explode like a bomb (which is why most of Chernobyl is still intact).
  • March 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    Exactly, that's the way it's been modified (while the burst of energy is uncontrolled it takes a great deal of precision and control to make it release it in the first place). Well, it wasn't supposed to be a perfect analogy anyway.
  • March 27, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^ A fission bomb works by slamming pieces of unstable metals together at precise angles and speeds.

    A nuclear reactor fires a small amount of neutrons at a bar of fissile material, setting off a chain reaction regulated by adding additives to the liquid or placing lead bars between fuel rods.

    It's a pretty big difference.
  • March 20, 2014
    jatay3
    Heavy chopping knives like saxes, falchions, machetes, fascine knives, and kukris should be mentioned in their own class separate from smaller knives. They are both tools and weapons and some gained great fame as weapons.
  • March 20, 2014
    Larkmarn
  • March 20, 2014
    DAN004
    So this is about "this thing wasn't generally meant as a weapon but it evolves into a weapon over time"?

    Based from the nitpicks I saw above, all weapons but swords, maces and firearms can be put here. Which is somewhat pointless.
  • March 20, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Anime and Manga
    • Naruto: Historically kunais were cheaply produced all-around tools that could be used for digging, climbing, prying, and even gouging holes in walls while performing breaking and entering. In the series, however, kunais are used almost exclusively as throwing weapons.
  • March 20, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    This Mitchell And Webb sketch, in which an inventor creates things which are obviously weapons but which he sees as having less violent applications: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HgejSCHRi8
  • March 20, 2014
    Bisected8
    Compare Utility Weapon (which is used equally as a tool and a weapon).
  • March 20, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Speed Racer: The Mach 5 has a pair of buzzsaws mounted to the front intended to clear brush as they drive through the forest or some such, but all anyone who tries to steal it can see are weapons to destroy other cars with.
  • March 20, 2014
    DAN004
  • March 20, 2014
    Lumpenprole
    In the Discworld novel Night Watch, a populist uprising takes advantage of the fact that plenty of people have access to tools that can be used as lethal weapons:
    • "men who, every day, peacefully and legally, handled things with blades and spikes that made a mere sword look like a girl's hatpin"

  • March 20, 2014
    randomsurfer
    On Gor the "peasant staff" is a largely looked-down-upon weapon because peasants use it. The reason they use it is because they aren't generally allowed weapons but can have a walking stick.
  • March 20, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Axes and Warhammers are Zero Context Examples.

    Also shouldn't the General and real life sections be merged?
  • March 20, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Seriously? They need an explanation?

    • Axes are mostly used for chopping wood, but they're pretty good at chopping limbs as well.
    • The heavy head of a hammer for pounding in nails can pound in skulls too.

    Also battleaxes have their own trope, An Axe To Grind, the one for warhammers is already listed.
  • March 21, 2014
    Arivne
  • March 21, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ zarpaulus Short answer: Yes.

    Long Answer:the only acceptable Zero Context Example that I know of is Alliterative Name and the like. plus, the purpose of the trope is to educate us on what the tool originally was used on. your context actually is Captain Obvious level.

    to add context to others: Real Life
    • Chain Sickles (Kusarigama) were originally well, handheld sickles weaponized by farmers by putting a weighted chain on one end. though by itself, it's already a viable weapon due to the japanese sickle's Dagger Axe-like shape.
    • The Sai is NOT originally an agricultural tool, ax it.
    • Dual Tonfas were said to be originally handles from Millstones, a plausible improvisation from a heavy duty tool's part.
    • Bo Simple Staff were originally the stick used for carrying stuff, since they had to be pretty tough considering they're used to carry heavy weight. So they were plausible Improvised Weapon.
    • Nunchaku were rumored to be originally tools for rice threshing; other theories claim it's just two sticks tied together and were used as clappers by the village Night watches for alerting townspeople; others claim it was a makeshift weapon used by peasants for whacking bad tax collectors.
    • Tridents and harpoons are used for fishing by stabbing fish. this makes them obvious Improvised Weapon for fishermen.
  • March 21, 2014
    woddor
    Machetes were used to cut through difficult terrain. Tell that to Jason, who uses it to cut through people like butter.
  • March 21, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
  • March 21, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Real Life
    • Shovel Strike and Powerful Pick are obviously originally used by either farmers or miners. doesn't take a leap of logic for them to be used for self defense considering their durability and mace-like weight balance.
      • The Monk's Spade is an interesting case. It's a Double Weapon which consist of a spade head on one end and an inverted "pickaxe" head on the other. it originally was carried by Monks for impromptu burials as per their tradition. with the other end for self defense. Presumably it was against their religion to use a sacred burial tool's business end as a weapon, so they used it's other end instead.
  • March 21, 2014
    woddor
    @Shanghai Slave I said how it is used IRL and what film it is used differently in. How is that a Zero Context Example?
  • March 21, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    @woddor

    compare your example with the Sinister Scythe example above. and look how much things you did not explain. that one mentioned it's a farming tool, and how it evolved into being more known as a weapon. and how it was weaponized. other relevant context is to why they are plausible weapons, but not necessary for machete since it hardly needs expounding.
  • March 21, 2014
    woddor
    @Shanghai Slave

    I get it. I still don't think it's a ZCE, but I didn't put as much info as average in this article. I felt that most weapons are Self Explanatory.
  • March 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Again, any weapons that aren't swords, maces or firearms (maybe aside from rockets) will count for this trope. And that'd be too much...
  • March 21, 2014
    KantonKage

    Professional Wrestling

  • March 21, 2014
    Larkmarn
    I'm still a bit unsure of the point of this.

    Any personal examples (such as the power loader, the freezethrower, or the rake) are just Improbable Weapon User or Improvised Weapon.

    General examples about how a lot of weapons are derived from tools isn't... really a trope. Just a piece of trivia about weapons, not even trivia about a work.
  • March 21, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ thus the thing more worth listing, I guess, is an Applied Phlebotinum exclusive to the story that is meant to be a tool, but then weaponized.
  • March 22, 2014
    Alvin
    Fil/Live Action TV: Would Buford Pusser's (Walking Tall) two-by-four, Principal Joe Clark's (Lean On Me) baseball bat, and Bat Masterson's cane count?
  • March 22, 2014
    nitrokitty
    • Night Watch: At one point during the rebellion, Lord Venturi expresses annoyance that his troops are being beaten by unarmed civilians and old veterans with garden forks. His lieutenant has trouble explaining how much damage a garden fork can really do when hurled straight down from twenty feet, and that "unarmed civilian" is really stretching the term when the civilian in question is a 200 pound slaughterhouse worker with a flensing knife in one hand and a meathook in the other.
  • March 22, 2014
    SharleeD
    • In Larry Niven's Known Space novels, the kzinti caught the full impact of this trope square in the face when they invaded human space. Even as kzin telepaths kept reassuring their superiors that the humans had no weapons, human vessels were pummeling them with the lethal energies of their ships' communication lasers and starship drives, neither of which had been designed as weapons.
  • March 22, 2014
    SquirrelGuy
    In Western animation, anvils are used as weapons WAY, way more often than as tools blacksmiths use. Indeed, anvils are an important source of metaphors right here on TV Tropes! (Anvilicious, etc.)
  • March 22, 2014
    SquirrelGuy
    Also in Western animation, many household kitchens have a raised, narrow door in the wall which contains a fold-down ironing board. These were common in older houses, probably pre-war construction, but rarely seen today. In any event, when shown in cartoons, it's not usually used for ironing clothes, but more likely to whack a pursuing cat on the noggin.
  • March 22, 2014
    Bisected8
  • March 22, 2014
    Daefaroth
    Isn't this borderline chairsy? How many weapons don't point to a tool somewhere in their evolution? Swords are big balanced knives. Maces are longer more aerodynamic hammers. Guns trace back to slings and bows used for hunting, replacing physical effort with the gunpowder. Bombs, missiles, and grenades trace back to dynamite used for mining. I would suspect that the list of weapons that don't fall under this incredibly small.

    Step 1 A scientist discovers they can do something awesome. Step 2 Someone else figures out how to take that discovery and use it to kill people.

    "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." - Albert Einstein
  • March 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that's why we limit this to Applied Phlebotinum or (in humorous cases) entirely mundane objects.
  • March 22, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Except that no one's... doing that. People are just listing a bunch of weapons that are derived from tools.
  • March 22, 2014
    Daefaroth
    It is also worth noting that the description states "Note that smashing a bottle over someone's head or grabbing the nearest blunt object in a fight is just an Improvised Weapon." but then lists a crowbar and a rake under examples.
  • March 22, 2014
    Daefaroth
    So if we take away all real world examples as chairs and take away all ImprovisedWeapons what are we left with here?

    Instances of Weaponizing No OSHA Compliance?
  • March 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Is the OP even there? I wanna grab this badly...
  • March 23, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Last edit was in 2012. Give them a week to see if they're still around and just forgot, then take it.
  • March 28, 2014
    FalconPain
    I thought the point of this trope was to list examples of tools that are used more often as weapons than for their intended purpose.

    I listed the crowbar because it is well known as one of Gordon Freeman's trustiest items, yet at no point do I recall him ever using one to pry open a crate. It's an example not because it's a tool that can be used as a bludgeon, but because it's all it's ever used as.
  • March 28, 2014
    DAN004
  • March 28, 2014
    Astaroth
    • In Enter The Matrix, Ghost finds a fire-fighting tool that propels bombs filled with concentrated water-vapour into the heart of a blaze. Sparks notes that if it was used as a grenade-launcher, the bombs would fill someone's lungs with water and effectively drown them, which is what Ghost ends up using it for.
  • August 26, 2014
    Koncur
    Wow, I started this one like two years ago, it didn't seem to be picking up enough steam so I ended up forgetting about it. I'm surprised there was so many posts since then.

    I just tagged this as Up For Grabs, in case someone else wants to see this one through.
  • August 26, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Will do.
  • August 26, 2014
    DRCEQ
    I'm not sure if this adds any to this article, but I feel it is worth mentioning that the common media even portrays the use of the nunchaku as a weapon wrong. As a farming tool, it is designed to thresh rice plants. Martial arts movies would have you believe that it is an effective blunt object (which it can be when properly used, to be sure), but even the most skilled fighter is very likely to get smacked by their own weapon as it rebounds off their opponent. It's ACTUAL use is for defense. If an enemy comes within arms reach, you dodge their attack and wrap the nunchaku around their arm and use it as a tourniquet. You can instantly cut off blood flow to their arm with just very slight pressure, and they'll give up the fight pretty fast.
  • August 26, 2014
    Inferus54
    Most if the weapons in dead space are repurposed mining tools. Rivet gun, blowtorch flamethrower, etc. Although some of the tools fit so well into distinct firearm categories (plasma cutter = pistol, line gun = shotgun, etc.) It is surprising none of the weapons have been militarized in-verse.
  • August 26, 2014
    TwoGunAngel
    @DRCEQ: Ever seen an Epic Flail in action? That's what I generally think of when I think of how much power a pair of the things can generate in the right hands. The nunchaku is best used as a flail, or with both sticks being used as a stickfighter would use them without whirling them around like Bruce Lee liked to do in his films back in the day. And the cord or chain, in addition to being used how you described, is also useful for strangling enemies.
  • August 26, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ but that would fall into Improbable Use Of A Weapon, in any case.
  • August 26, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ but that would fall into Improbable Use Of A Weapon, in any case.
  • August 26, 2014
    DRCEQ
    I learned that the nunchaku is best used as a tourniquet from a pair of actual professional Japanese weapon practitioners and historians. Actually recognized weapon masters. They admit the use of being an Epic Flail, but in most practical situations, swinging those things around really will result in a self-inflicted Groin Attack or smacking yourself in the face.
  • August 27, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Plowshares To Swords for a redirect? [1]
  • August 28, 2014
    nielas
    I think we need to be careful not just have examples that are trivia and do not provide a dramatic context for the use of the weapon.

    For someone who grew up in Poland, a scythe turned into a polearm has strong symbolic meaning because it is the iconic weapon associated with the Koscuszko Uprising. It brings up an image of the common people rising up against a foreign invader which is a key part of Polish cultural makeup.
  • August 28, 2014
    CrimsonZephyr
    The military bill, the weapon of choice of a medieval English soldier, was an adaptation of the billhook, a threshing tool used by farmers.
  • August 28, 2014
    lordGacek
    Machete Mayhem. Machetes are farming tools.
  • August 28, 2014
    DAN004
    So it leaves morningstars as a purely-weapon.
  • August 29, 2014
    Pastykake
    Crowbars are meant to be used to pry open crates, etc. that are nailed shut, but they are more often portrayed as bludgeoning weapons.
  • August 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Might as well bring up the whole Improvised Weapon as a subtrope (it lists crowbars, bottles, chairs etc.)
  • September 5, 2014
    DAN004
    Maybe I'll take a bold move and delete all of those "mundane"/Real Life examples. Or at least put them under a more general note.
  • September 5, 2014
    Chabal2
    The Starcraft short story "The Fighting Sceevees" has the Terran SCV being used to take out a massive Zerg Rush without actually fighting them.
  • September 5, 2014
    TBTabby
    Chainsaw Good could be considered a subtrope.
  • September 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I put them under Real Life.
  • September 5, 2014
    acrobox
    The Dark Knight Rises: Wayne enterprises created a nuclear reactor to solve an energy crisis. It was stolen by Bane and turned into a nuclear bomb in the final act.

    If the Real Life examples have stories behind them, like the nunchaku and scythe above that add meaning or context, i see no reason why they have to be lumped together as a general note.

    I'd say keep the general note for ZCE, and then have bullet points for those we can find meaningful context for.
  • September 5, 2014
    NativeJovian
    I'd say the obvious name is Weaponized Tool

    • Erfworld has the "arkentools", powerful holy artifacts left behind by the Titans when they created the world, which must be "attuned" to their wielders in order to function at their full power. Some of them, such as the arkenhammer and the arkenpliers, also function as melee weapons in addition to their more mystical functions. (The arkenhammer can shoot lightning as well as Non Lethal KO any dwagon with a single blow, while the arkenpliers instantly dusts any uncroaked it touches.)
    • Virtually all the "weapons" used in Dead Space were originally tools, modified to fight necromorphs, the most obvious example being Isaac's trusty plasma cutter. Upgrading your weapons in-game actually involves removing safety features and power limiters — some of them become visibly less stable (but more powerful) after being upgraded.
  • September 5, 2014
    videogameboymichael
    Would Shovel Knight count as this?
  • September 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Technically it would, but then it'll devolve to a list of character wielding shovels. Which we already have under Shovel Strike.
  • September 5, 2014
    DAN004
    @ acrobox: I love to see how nunchaku or scythes turn from tools to weapons too, but then lots of other weapons will then be given this treatment. It is more convenient if they're lumped together under a more general note.
  • September 6, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Mystery Men: The Shoveler uses his shovel to fight crime.
    God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well.
  • September 6, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I've explained myself why I'm not gonna list that.
  • September 6, 2014
    randomsurfer
    I admit I didn't notice that. But you could still list Shovel Strike as a see also/related/subtrope.

    How about Axe Cop?
  • September 6, 2014
    Bisected8
    Warhammer 40 K goes under Tabletop Game, not Video Game.
  • September 6, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ as many comments here noted, many weapons irl had been tools, listing them would be a waste of time. In Real Life section I mentioned it at least.
  • September 16, 2014
    KarjamP
    • The original Megaman's signature "Variable Weapon System" ability was originally designed to allow the copying of normal household tools due to the titular character originally being a household robot. It was adapted into its current form when Dr. Light adjusted Megaman's body for combat use in order for Megaman to take on Dr. Wily.
  • September 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I have been a Mega Man fan for a long time and How Did I Miss That One? D:
  • September 16, 2014
    KarjamP
    Under Megaman:
    • Only some of the Robot Masters Megaman faces are designed specifically for combat use. The others were designed to work in specific fields before Dr. Wily reprogrammed them to be evil (ie, Cut Man was designed for timber felling, Guts Man for land reclamation and construction, etc.).
  • September 16, 2014
    jatay3
    Eighteenth century soldiers when they ran out of ammunition often stuffed nails-or just miscellaneous junk-into their cannon.
  • September 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ That's Abnormal Ammo. And it's not like ppl tend to use their nails as their primary ammo after that, right?
  • October 14, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • October 27, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • When first seen in the James Bond thriller The World Is Not Enough, the circular saw array dangling from a helicopter is clearing away branches from a pipeline course, making airlifting pipe sections much easier. Of course, the mooks later use these saws to slice-n-dice a certain troublesome spy.

    Western Animation
    • When asteroid miner Tyler discovers the Mac Guffin in Heavy Metal 2000, his boss declares that anything Tyler finds is company property. Tyler responds with his jackhammer, drilling through his boss's sternum, heart and thoracic vertebrae, pinning the corpse against the rock wall.
  • November 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump.

    I might consider un-grabbing this, btw.
  • November 13, 2014
    Scorpion451
    On the nails thing, that reminds me that nail guns often get used as weapons in works, but they have to have their safeties disabled, or be portrayed as having No OSHA Compliance. Fallout New Vegas and The Strain both use intentionally modified versions as short range weapons- the strain is especially notable for the inventive idea of using silver nails against vampires.

    In a couple more purely fantastical examples, all but a couple of the weapons in Dead Space are high tech mining and engineering tools like mining lasers and plasma cutters, and in RedFaction:Guerilla your primary weapons are explosive charges meant for structural demolition and mining.

    If you're wanting to shift this to being purely about things like the second set of examples, you might call it something like Fantasy Tool To Fantastic Weapon
  • December 5, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • December 6, 2014
    randomsurfer
    The staple gun is a staple in ECW Garbage Matches.
  • January 13, 2015
    DAN004
    pmub
  • January 25, 2015
    DAN004
    There, I removed the trope-grabbing banner.
  • February 12, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump to see if this goes anywhere... or if somebody might wanna grab this
  • February 13, 2015
    dalek955
    • Many famous Japanese weapons descended from tools, since peasants there were forbidden from owning weapons. Nunchaku, for example, were originally a kind of Okinawan horse collar.
    • In the Star Wars EU, when one mining camp was attacked by robots too tough for the miners' guns to hurt, one miner succeeded in killing one with one of the camp's beamdrills, which were basically modified laser cannons. Unfortunately, he was caught in the explosion when the beam cut into the robot's power core.
  • March 8, 2015
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ls8rvgckuooot1t81r0w20s8