Here is something that just popped into my head. Add or use one of the existing Hotbar slots as a dedicated crafting tool slot.
So let’s pretend for a minute that Slot 9 on the Hotbar is that Dedicated Tool Slot (there isn’t a slot 9 currently). That means that crafting tools are always there and doesn’t take up other slots. When you want to swap to another tool, you hold down the hotkey for that slot and it brings up an additional hotswap menu where you can select the next Tool that you want to use. The icon changes to the tool you selected, and you go from there. This free’s up the other slots for doing other things, like having more weapons on the hotbar, more buildings, or food and water (which, maybe food and water deserve their own slot too).
If an additional Hotbar slot can’t be added, then let the player dictate which Hotbar Slot to use (1-8 and the console versions equivalent) for the Dedicated Tool Slot. If a player would rather not use it at all, then be granted the ability to disable it entirely and use the current setup.