The whole "questions about tools commonly used by programmers are on-topic on SO" thing seems to cause some confusion from time to time. In short, not every question related to tools used by programmers is on-topic.
Recommendation questions for example are not on topic. These questions are often referred to as shopping questions, or list questions as well. And we don't do those. In fact, I don't know of any Stack Exchange site that would support them.
So is every question that might result in a tool recommendation off topic? No, not necessarily. The subtlety lies in the question asked. You are most likely facing a programming problem. If so, present that problem to us. Don't explicitly ask us to recommend tools. The answer however might still lead to a tool recommendation. The difference being that in this case it is far less likely to end up in a list of recommended tools, the overall content of which might be of dubious quality.
There are some voices within the community that say, recommendation questions might be fine if properly researched and significantly narrowed down (i.e. there is no chance of a big list), but in practice you might still find yourself downvoted and your question being closed. The line there is a difficult one. Your best bet, in my opinion, is to steer clear from the recommendation question if at all possible.