With the help of a Wooden Pickaxe, we can go to the Stone Age. With the help of a Stone Pickaxe, we can go to the Bronze Age; or even the Iron Age, if you have the will to skip the annoying bronze alloying. By an Iron Pickaxe, you can mine diamonds and mese.
Then, how about the Industrial Revolution? That's what the technic mod's doing.
The technic mod have four stages: Burning fuels, Low Voltage Power, Medium Voltage Power, and High Voltage Power. The first three stages provide tools to smelt materials, cook foods, extract dyes, compress dusts, and to grind stuffs. The High Voltage Power provides advanced power sources and powerful tools, such as quarry (though digtrons is better), force fields, and nuclear reactors. They all provide assistant to survival players to finish their tasks more effectively. In LinuxForks, the technic mod helped me to process tons of minerals from my digtron.