A broader definition of a tool is an entity used to interface between two or more domains that facilitates more effective action of one domain upon the other. The most basic tools are simple machines. For example, a crowbar simply functions as a lever. The further out from the pivot point, the more force is transmitted along the lever. A hammer typically interfaces between the operator's hand and the nail the operator wishes to strike.
A telephone is a communication tool that interfaces between two people engaged in conversation at one level. And between each user and the communication network at another. It is in the domain of media and communications technology that a counterintuitive aspect of our relationships with our tools first began to gain popular recognition. Marshall McLuhan famously said "We shape our tools. And then our tools shape us." McLuhan was referring to the fact that our social practices co-evolve with our use of new tools and the refinements we make to existing tools.
Tools that have evolved for use in particular domains can be given different assignations. For example, tools designed for domestic use are often called utensils.