Initially a definition of the term tool came as follows from a fellow tool fan who attends the USMA:

"Tools are seen as sellouts. They follow the regulations to the letter and will turn even their best friends in for the slightest violations."

Another fan, and student at the USMA wrote with this clarification:

"We commonly use the term "tool" here, but it has a slightly different meaning that perhaps makes more sense and use of the title.

Previously, the idea was stated that Tools will turn even their best friends in for the slightest violations, this only slightly true. A tool isn't necessarily what we refer to as an Honor Nazi. A tool is a cadet that follows the rules blindly because they are the rules. Tools do the dirty work of the officers that run the place. They are "tools" : something someone more powerful uses to manipulate others with...much like a farmer uses a plow, another tool. They are, in a sense, hollow. In another sense, they have very little personal thought or direction.

Consider a recurring theme of the band. They hate those who do what others want them to do. The band is about creativity, thinking, reflecting, dreaming...not following others blindly. I think that has a little more consistency with the song intolerance and the honor code theme."

An interview with Maynard shed a different light on this topic...
Maynard said that the name came from his bandmates joking around, always saying that they were going to take him out back to the toolshed, probably to beat some sense into him.