About Cool Tools

Cool Tools is a web site which recommends the best/cheapest tools available. Tools are defined broadly as anything that can be useful. This includes hand tools, machines, books, software, gadgets, websites, maps, and even ideas. All reviews are positive raves written by real users. We don’t bother with negative reviews because our intent is to only offer the best.

One new tool is posted each weekday. Cool Tools does NOT sell anything. The site provides prices and convenient sources for readers to purchase items. When Amazon.com is listed as a source (which it often is because of its prices and convenience) Cool Tools receives a fractional fee from Amazon if items are purchased at Amazon on that visit. Cool Tools also earns revenue from Google ads, although we have no foreknowledge nor much control of which ads will appear. Cool Tools also earns income from more traditional FM ads, which are managed by Federated Media.

We recently posted a short history of Cool Tools which included current stats as of April 2008. This explains both the genesis of this site, and the tools we use to operate it.


Mark Frauenfelder

Mark edits Cool Tools and develops editorial projects for Cool Tools Lab, LLC. If you’d like to submit a review, email him at editor {at} cool-tools.org (or use the submission form).


Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly

Kevin started Cool Tools in 2000 as an email list, then as a blog since 2003. He edited all reviews through 2006. He writes the occasional review, oversees the design and editorial direction of this site, and is working on the book version of Cool Tools. If you have a question about the website in general his email is kk {at} kk.org.


Camille Cloutier

Camille Cloutier

Camille runs the Cool Tool website, posting items daily, maintaining software, measuring analytics, managing ads, and in general keeping the site alive. If you have a concern about the operation or status of this site contact her email is cc {at} kk.org


Previous Editors

Oliver Hulland: May 2010 — February 2013
Elon Schoenholz: June 2009 — April 2010
Bruce Sterling: May 2009 — June 2009
Steven Leckart: January 2007 — May 2009
Charles Platt: January 2006 — April 2006



James Home
James Home

This site was originally designed by James Home, who also did the coding for it on Movable Type. Jim is a true renaissance guy — designer/coder/humanist — who also suggested the site’s logo and domain name, and designed the Asia Grace website.


Kirk von Rohr
Kirk von Rohr

A revised design of Cool Tools was initiated by graphic designer Kirk von Rohr. Kirk also designed the new KK*logo and redesigned Asia Grace.


Thomas Marban
Thomas Marban

The new Cool Tool design was further revised by Thomas Marban, who developed the alternative grid views. Thomas is designer, programmer and creator of Popurls, the best one-stop aggregator site on the web.


Wayne Bremser

The tough job of implementing all these changes — and additional design tweaks — was done by Wayne Bresmer. Wayne is a Movable Type wizard who also gave the site badly needed hygienic upgrades.


Occasionally asked questions about Cool Tools are answered here.

Press Kit
A press kit and quantitative description of the site can be found here.

We only post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted.

Great people make great sites
Article by Dennis O’Reilly
CNET, May 30, 2014

Inspector Gadget: A New Guide Gives You the Lowdown on Must-Have Items
Article by Lisa Sweetingham
Time Out New York, January 29, 2004

Relevant and Useful, In a Catalog Redux
Article by John Markoff
New York Times, December 8, 2003

Kelly’s Catalog of the Cool
Interview with Leander Kahney
Wired News, December 1, 2003