Rather than make starter tools soulbound, i think a better soultion would be to start new players with a tiny (5-8 slot) basket on their back. It should be highly visable as well, while on the ground.
This way a new player can drop his valuable starter tools, and mabey a back up weapon, inside this basket, go explore, and not risk the terrible situation of losing all your starter gear within 10 mins of entering the world.
Just something they can place on the gound to reduce the risk of losing it all before they know what the hell is going on. Nothing large enough to compete with basketweavers, and something with so little space that it becomes obsolete the second you aquire a crafted basket.
Just something to start off with, so they can protect their tools untill they acually know how to use them.
I think this would work better than soulbinding the starter tools.
Mabey even place a little note, with instruction on how to place it on the ground, and to store their tools in it....