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Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  5,876 ratings  ·  660 reviews
In this New York Times bestselling “imperative how-to for creativity” (Nick Offerman), Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters—shares his golden rules of creativity, from finding inspiration to following through and successfully making your idea a reality.

Every Tools a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making, but it’s also a
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Atria Books
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David Flores Chávez Not a lot of visuals. And some of them in grayscale, for the date of the picture, or because the colors in the image are in reality, in greyscale (ske…moreNot a lot of visuals. And some of them in grayscale, for the date of the picture, or because the colors in the image are in reality, in greyscale (sketches, for example).(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  5,876 ratings  ·  660 reviews

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B Schrodinger
I'm not a big fan of "Mythbusters" Adam Savage. He can come across as loud, obnoxious and wanting the one liners all the time.

I am a huge fan of Adam Savage though. He is a gentle man full of passion, care and wisdom. I have gotten to know him over the years on I found tested about 2 months before Adam joined, in the heyday of Norm and Will. Adam fitted in so well.

Over the years, through videos and podcasts, Adam has been a source of wisdom and inspiration. He's all "let your freak f
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish there was a slip in time so I could have read this book earlier in my life, say annually mid teens to mid 20s, & a couple of times a decade after that. Very well narrated by him, this is a must-read for every young maker out there. Older ones like myself will nod along & hear voice given to some things we've felt, but never managed to really come to grips with. It's well worth the time.

Savage is a maker. He's done it from an early age & made it his life's work as well as his hobby. We hav
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Check out my review/discussion (with my husband) over on Booktube! ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. If you are looking for a Mythbusters tell all this is not the book for you.
This is part how his mind works, bio, how to, and self-help. He is funny, full of energy and seem like the guy you saw on Mythbusters is exactly who he is.
Lisa Yee Swope
So many books on success principles are rooted in the business world; it's refreshing to have one built around the joys of makerspace.  Adam Savage's unbridled enthusiasm and his willingness to share both his triumphs and “this is what you should not do/let that be a lesson to you” experiences make this a fun read for dreamers, builders, artists, crafters, writers, cosplayers, and of course, Mythbusters and Tested fans. ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, read-in-2019
As a fan of Mythbusters I was excited to pick this book up. I was expecting a memoir from Adam Savage and hoping for some Mythbuster stories along with thoughts about his life and how he got there. Instead, Every Tool's a Hammer is Adam's ode to his life's passion: making. One part memoir and two parts instruction manual to people looking to get into the craft this ended up being an enjoyable read, though not exactly what I was expecting. Adam's love and passion for making things shines through ...more
Dianna Elkmann
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a complete autobiography, this isn't the book for you. There are some personal stories, but they aren't really the main focus. If you're looking for a glimpse into a makers creative process and progress, and possibly a little motivation of your own, I highly recommend this book. ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, biography
Hard to quantify what this book is but I loved every second of it.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that seems like it might have been more entertaining as an audiobook but even then it is not at all what I anticipated based on it being an Adam Savage memoir. It's also not what I hoped for based on the title. This is not a true biography detailing the major beats of Adam's life. It's also (sadly) not an insight into many cool MacGyver Moments where Adam somehow used tools in interesting manners to finish a project or meet a deadline in a unique way. It is definitely not an in de ...more
Patrick Casebeer
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I loved this book. I’ve been a fan of his and really wasn’t sure what to expect of the book but it was, for me, a bit inspiring, funny, honest, educational, and an overall good read.

It actually inspired me to start, and soon will finish, a woodworking project I’ve thought about for a while. I was reading this, and how he prepares and sketches and uses check boxes, and I just decided it was time and I was going to borrow some of his processes and start the build.

I’m almost done and couldn’t be
Michelle Morrell
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! So much encouragement to embrace our eccentricities and obsessions, and that through our differences we find greatness. (Plus practical tips) Proclaim loudly: I am a crafter, I am a maker!
Heino Colyn
Most people who know me, know that I am a big fan of Adam Savage. And boy, was I excited when I heard he was busy writing a book! I rarely pre-order books, but this one was paid for as soon I could give someone my money. Equal parts instructional, philosophical and autobiographical, I had such a good time reading this! Almost every single chapter left me excited to try something new or to improve the way I do something (how I make lists, how I set deadlines, how I use glue vs. mechanical ways to ...more
Koen Crolla
Aug 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I want to choose my words carefully, since it's not like I was tricked into reading this or didn't know what to expect: this book will probably not change your mind about Adam Savage.

If you like him and the kinds of things he does, you'll probably enjoy it for the straightforward memoir it is (though you should be aware it barely talks about the Mythbusters years), and you may even be fooled into believing, probably like Savage himself, that it's more than that—Nick Offerman generously calls it
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This didn't get 5 stars because it's brilliant, but because it did what it said in the intro. It made my fingers itch to make stuff ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Adam Savage is known for many things (cosplayer; prop-maker; ILM builder; artist; etc.); the most prominent of these is his role as the co-host of the Discovery Channel juggernaut Mythbusters. In this, his debut novel/biography, he produces a grab-bag of story beats: lightly sketched memoir; go-get-'em exhortation to believe in the art of making; and sneak peek behind the curtain of creation.

1. Ultimately, I was interested in the first and third of those items. However, none of the three are pa
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is precisely what I would expect a book by Adam Savage to be--a frenetic flurry of information, some obvious, some insightful, but all delivered with an undeniable enthusiasm. I appreciate that he acknowledges the massive privilege he's had in his life, but it's still just a wee bit annoying that he says things like, "I called up Guillermo del Toro..." Sure, great, let's all just call up our heroes in Hollywood and get some inside information. While the occasional acknowledgement is ap ...more
Brian's Book Blog
The Audiobook Is Definitely Better

4.5 out of 5 stars

Before reading this I wouldn’t have considered myself a “maker”. I’m not really good with tools or making things with my hands, but I do create things online. I blog, I write, and I do design work as well. It was interesting that early in this book Savage covers this (“I don’t make, I code”) where he is telling someone if they are making something then they are a maker even if it’s on a computer. I liked that a lot.

The whole book was a “how to”
Jason Pyrz
I absolutely loved the first 1/3 of this book. That's the bit that seems to deal most with the idea of creating. The middle 1/3 was interesting too, because that's the bit that goes through a lot of Adam's background and reads like an autobiography. I found the final 1/3 a bit difficult to get through, as that seems geared towards an very specific audience - one that would appreciate tips on which glue to use in certain situations, or how to store tape in a way that made the most of your availab ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like Adam Savage on Mythbusters, but I had very little knowledge of him outside of that. Also, I don't consider myself a "maker". I consider myself creative, but my creativity comes in words - I can't build or craft; I'm definitely not a visual learner; I have zero spatial skills and can't use any but the most basic of tools in an extremely rudimentary fashion. But I liked this book because it is about how how we are all makers in our own way, even if the specifics are different. It is about l ...more
I would give this six stars if I could. I highly recommend the print and audiobook both. The physical book has images that help illustrate Savage's points, while the audiobook is read by Savage himself, giving emphasis to nuances that I would not have caught in my reading.

Savage's book is all about Making. His definition of Makers is inclusive and broad. It comes across that Adam Savage is rather intense and creative and a persistent problem solver. He also thinks deeply about what allows creati
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An organized and meditative dissertation of Adam Savage's career life and his philosophy of making, no matter what you make. Savage's bombastic energy and optimism come through on the page, and the act of reading this is pure enjoyment as a consequence. Extremely useful advice (a scale-balancer for Adam) is imparted throughout, and drawings, photographs and illustrations abound. I keep hoping Adam Savage will write something that lays out his personal philosophy (glances are available on Tested, ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs, read-ebook
Like many people, I loved watching Mythbusters not only for the busted myths but also to see what contraptions they built each week to test them.

Every Tool's a Hammer is an insight into Adam Savage's mind and creative process - one that I found fascinating as a maker myself. In fact, it was quite cathartic to be told by a professional maker of things that my thoughts, obsessions, projects, tests, and even failures are a good thing and that I should keep going. We all need that reassurance someti
Felicia Owens
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This was exactly the creative inspiration I needed. Savage breaks down his creative process into fundamental blocks that can apply to any and all creative pursuits. (I'm using his checklist method at work and it has done wonders for my productivity and sanity.) Highly recommend! ...more
Huib Botman
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
A beautiful insight into the life of Adam Savage and his ways of making. A essential guide to all makers or want-to-be makers!
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Listening to the Audiobook and it being narrated by Adam Savage made this book quite enjoyable. If you want to know more about how Adam started down this maker road he gives you a peek into his world from childhood, messy young adult dumpster divin’, getting to work for ILM, working and learning from Jamie Hyneman, Mythbusters and so on. He even has a lengthy chat about which types of glue to use and an interesting take on drawers while intertwining his philosophy on visual cacophony and the ret ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book for teacher's the early chapters cover a bunch of meta cognition and philosophy about making. Very inspiring.

I was happy that it was not a straight autobiography. Adam just used stories from his life as support for his thesis.

A fun and interesting read.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a fan of the old Mythbusters show I thought this book might be interesting. And having the opportunity to get a signed copy I made the purchase. I wasn’t sure what to expect, was it a how to book, a memoir? It a little bit of each. What it is mostly is an introspective look at his passion, making things and all that it takes to be a maker. He focuses on his work in commercials and in movies, the show Mythbusters, and his passion of maker costumes for Cosplay. It’s an interesting story and som ...more
Ricky McConnell
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes he rambles on, and I skimmed over these parts, but he has some very enjoyable stories. If you are a fan of Mythbusters I think you will like it. People who like to tinker in shops will like it. I also believe there is something in this book for people who like to be organized as well. There are lots of good pictures, and it also gives you an idea of what the people do who build the props behind the scenes of movies and television .
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

I'll start by saying I've always been in awe of people who cosplay. In fact, I've spent a lot of my own life wondering why I couldn't achieve that level of detail. Having read Adam Savage's memoir, I now understand why. I will never, ever, ever have that kind of brain. I have achieved quite a lot in my own making but I think I might kill myself before spending four (or much more) years on a project.

That said, though, this book will be catnip for a certain kind of maker and, as a book t
3 no 7
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Every Tool's a Hammer" is Adam Savage's chronicle of his life as a maker from his first use of a single-blade razor blade to the most complex movie and TV props one could imagine. I listened as an audio book that he narrates. His chronicle is interesting and inspiring. His journey includes advice for daily living and making:

1. Organize your tools where you can see them
2. Or at least where you can find them
3. Use cardboard.
4. Make changeable lists with checkboxes
5. Glue is forever.

I loved this
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Adam Whitney Savage is an American industrial design and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, and co-host of the Discovery Channel television series MythBusters.

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“It doesn’t matter if you’re a model maker, a potter, a dancer, a programmer, a writer, a political activist, a teacher, a musician, a milliner, whatever. It’s all the same. Making is making, and none of it is failure.” 8 likes
“I began furiously making lists, and more lists, until I was making lists of lists . . . .” 2 likes
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