It offers beginning players an easily obtainable means of removing background walls and shaping blocks, as players are not automatically given a hammer on character creation (except on Journey Mode, in which they are given an Iron Hammer), the way they are for the other essential construction tools (axe and pickaxe).
Its best modifier is Light for harvesting purposes and either Agile or Forceful/Strong for combat purposes, due to its unusually low base damage.
It is the weakest tool in the game, having the lowest tool power and slowest use time, along with a range penalty of -1. It also has the lowest DPS of any item in the game overall (especially with the Broken modifier), bested even by the infamous Copper Shortsword by a large margin (However, it does have more knockback than the Copper Shortsword).
It is the only tool to be made of wood. (Weapons can be made as well, but are not counted as tools.)