I took a shot at answering In what cases is it NOT useful to have more than one of the same tool?, but I found it necessary to reframe the question somewhat in order to write an answer that didn't depend on the particulars of one's situation. Put another way, it seems to me that this question and its partner, In what cases is it useful to have more than one of the same tool?, are subjective to the point that every answer is equally valid.

I haven't voted to close yet because I try to avoid closing questions that I've answered, and also because the questions were posed by a moderator. But if these questions are allowable despite the advice in What types of questions should I avoid asking?, we should probably discuss why.

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    FYI I've reframed the "NOT useful" question per your suggestion and have deleted my answer since it is no longer valid.
    – rob Mod
    May 30, 2015 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


Caleb, thanks for bringing this up for discussion.

I think the original "useful in multiples" question can be answered objectively because all one must do is prove that the tool can be reasonably useful in multiples. This is easy to do simply by providing an example demonstrating a practical situation in which keeping two or more of the same tool provides a measurable benefit (in most cases, time saved). The monetary cost and the space occupied are not necessarily factors when determining whether it could be useful to have multiples of a given tool, though they may be factors in determining whether or not it makes sense to apply this usefulness to your own situation.

The "NOT useful in multiples" question, as it turns out, is much more difficult to prove for any given tool, because one cannot just provide a single counterexample to the usefulness of a second copy of that tool. Instead, one must logically prove that it makes no sense for anyone to have multiples. This question has turned out to be more difficult to answer objectively than I had initially intended, and in hindsight I agree that it is an opinion question. I've tried limiting the scope through a couple of edits, but it now feels like I'm grasping at straws. I'm beginning to think the "NOT useful in multiples" question might not be salvageable, or would need to be reframed in the manner you've suggested.

Edit: I've now reframed the question per your suggestion.

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