I get that in a game certain mechanics are arbitrary but there are some glaring inconsistencies in some crafting tools/objects.
Spindle and Spinning Wheel:
The spindle/cotton and spinning wheel/wool demarcation is to my mind silly. The same natural fibres can be spun on both, and in fact a spindle is also a component of a spinning wheel (IRL). It is made more silly by the fact that someone with the means to farm a goodly amount of cotton would likely have used a wheel, whereas even nomads with livestock used spindles for animal hair yarn. I think either tool should be usable with either resource, but the spinning wheel should produce more/faster and maybe even better quality. Note that both string of cloth and wool yarn can be used in the same floor loom.
Large Anvil and Small Anvil:
There are a couple of things here that have always bugged me a bit. Firstly is the method of use - a large anvil can ONLY be used while on the floor (or some other object) while the small anvil can ONLY be use in-hand. It's an ANVIL! You never hit anything with the anvil. Both anvils should be on-the-ground use only. Secondly is the fact that small and large anvils are treated more like fine and coarse anvils, which just isn't so. The large anvil is depicted like a typical blacksmith's anvil, capable of both coarse and fine work. The small anvil should really be a BASIC anvil, able to produce some basic materials (its graphic is very much a "blunt object" style) while the Large Anvil should be able to make pretty much any smithied product. What about fine jewelry, I hear you ask. "What about fine jewelry?". I am glad you asked. The large anvil appears in inventory like it has storage capacity or a mount point. That right there could be a hardy hole, for placing a hardy-tool for jewelry or some other specific sub-skill, or tools for nail and rivet making etc. Apply some QL or time penalty for the Large Anvil making stull that could be made with the small anvil (to reflect that more care must be taken). That way the small anvil is still useful (especially for beginners and especially for travelling) but a Large Anvil is itself the basis of good smithy. Actually, if the small could be used on the ground, it wouldn't matter so much if the large can make that stuff, as you can lay out your smithy with both and use them as needed.
A bit of a bugbear for me because I like to keep my materials in one place, tools in one place and other objects in one place so I don't have to go looking for them. Most tools can be racked, but some, for example the file and the grooming brush cannot, so have to be stored in a chest or something. I got so sick of trying to remember which large chest has them that I have made multiples and scattered them into several chests just to shorten the search. Realistically, the rack has pegs so anything too small to hang across two pegs would have either a hole or a lanyard so could be hung on the rack. I wouldn't even mind adding a couple of hooks to the rack and be done with it, but a tool rack (okay, weapon rack, but it has more tools than weapons) should be able to hold pretty much any tool that can be carried in inventory.
I don't think there is any chance of getting this fixed, but a knife is a knife. Heck even a sword can function as a knife. I like that the butchering knife gives better butchering results than using a shovel (or, <shudder> butchering with a pickaxe). The same should apply for other blades, though. Chopping veges, best done with the cutlery knife, but why couldn't a hatchet chop a head of cabbage? Why couldn't a [poor quality] shaft be carved with a short sword?
It's not. It's a spade. You don't dig with a shovel, you shovel with it. You can shovel with a spade, but digging with a shovel is almost impossible. (And for those who want to say a shovel has a point and a spade is flat - buy a pack of cards). English only dies if we let it.