Tinker's Construct 2: Tools and Materials - use and abuse
Since there seems to be interest about discussion on this topic, I thought it best to get the ball rolling in a less confrontational manner.
As a Caveat: This information is being compiled from the latest 1.12.2 release of TiCon2, there may be some differences based on various bugfixes or balance tweaks that have been released before or since. Also note that some mod packs, particularly those branding themselves 'hardcore' or 'expert', will alter or modify these traits, and in some cases the changes are quite drastic. Please consult with your pack developer to see if this guide is right for you!
Tinker's Construct has been an amazing mod for many years, first introduced back in the 1.4 era, it quietly slipped under the radar until the Forgecraft crew picked it up, and from there its popularity has only grown!
In brief, Tinker's Construct completely overhauls the idea of making tools. Instead of simply crafting a couple of sticks and three pieces of cobblestone together in a crafting grid, you can make tool parts out of a wide variety of materials, each with unique and interesting properties which are then bestowed upon the tool once it is finally assembled.
Tinker's Construct 2 originally released for Minecraft 1.10 and was a complete overhaul of the mod, taking the same basic mechanics and innovative tool construction concepts, and bringing in a more balanced and comprehensively interesting material property list. It also let the various tinker's stations form a multiblock structure together with a more useful GUI so you didn't need to keep switching back and forth so often.
The original Tinker's Construct had a very definitive progression of materials that were subsequently superior to the previous, however Tinker's Construct 2 has broadened things out, making any one material less 'mandatory' than before, and giving us a wide variety of options to make tools with.
Presented for your edification and education is a treatise on the various materials, modifiers, and finally the tools themselves which you can make using this mod. I encourage viewers to make their own contributions to the thread, offering things they have done in their instances that have proven useful to them.