The Swiss Army Knife of the Lower Paleolithic. Hand axes were the main tool of the early humans from 1.7 to .25 million years ago. Appearing at about the same time as Homo Erectus, hand axes were roughly oval-shaped stone tools that were wide at one end and sharpened to a point at the other. This allowed the tool to fulfill a wide variety of uses from hammering to slicing to chopping.

An interesting thing about hand axes is that they are rarely found near H. Erectus settlements. Most hand axes are found out in the field where humans would have been searching for food. This, coupled with the fact that they are very easy to make, indicates that the hominids would take the tools out into the wilderness and then just discard them when they were finished using them.