“You can change their appearance with transmutation charges the same way you do your armor, weapons, and backpacks: open the Wardrobe in your Hero panel, click on an equipped tool, and select a skin you’ve unlocked. The preview will display each tool’s on-use effect. You can use gathering tool skins across your entire account, and they can be applied to limited-use tools as well as unlimited tools.”
Gatherers will also want to take advantage of the brand-new glyph system, which basically allows you to slot upgrades (faster harvesting, more stuff, etc.) into your tools so you can tailor its bonuses to what you’re after. If you put them in normal limited-use tools, you do get the glyph back when it croaks, which is a nice touch.
So how do you get glyphs? They’re direct-buy from the cash shop as well as dropped, rarely, from lockboxes. You also get one when you buy certain unlimited tools from the cash shop too. “If you already own these tools, visit a Black Lion Exchange Specialist in any major city or lounge to trade them for an updated version at no cost,” ANet says. It also appears that you can buy limited-use tools with built-in bonuses for karma:
“Gathering merchants have set up shop in every major city and lounge to offer limited-use tools with bonus effects in exchange for karma. They’re currently stocking tools with bonus effects equivalent to Glyph of the Tailor, Glyph of the Leatherworker, Glyph of Industry, Glyph of Flight, Glyph of the Watchknight, and Glyph of the Scavenger.”
Non-F2P accounts should swing by the gem store today and grab the freebie that’s sitting there waiting for you.