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

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  659 ratings  ·  89 reviews

“An imperative how-to for creativity.” —Nick Offerman

Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and one of the most beloved figures in science and tech—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
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Atria Books
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David Omar 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…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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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  659 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Lisa 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.
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.
Heino Colyn
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ngarc, 2019, book-kindle
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
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!
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

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
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”
Susan Paxton
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who expects a biography or "tell all" MythBusters dirt will be disappointed, I imagine, but this is a wonderful book. From a very early age, Adam Savage understood that he is a "maker." His own particular skill is making objects - costumes, props, models - but as he ably points out, "maker" covers a very wide span, and people who write, craft, paint, work in business (pretty much everyone, in fact) will find a lot of useful advice and ideas here, because much of what Adam talks about has ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great book. I'm a fan of Adam Savage and his work, as well as a regular listener to his podcast, but I also started and ran a hackerspace in Oakland from 2010 to 2014, so I've seen a lot of making of various sorts and done my own. I think Adam has a lot of great advice, tells an interesting story, and most of what he said is applicable at many levels of our lives. I heartily recommend this book!
Janatee (Jaclyn B)
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
While Savage isn't a writer, he's definitely a maker, and he brings all of the philosophy of making - passion, dedication, and creativity - to this work. It gives a fascinating look at the process of making that is accessible to everyone - writers, crafters, bakers, or anyone who has ever looked at a finished product and said "hey, I could probably figure out how to do that!"
C. A.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not an autobiography.

You will learn a bit about Adam's childhood and early life, a little bit about his early career, and hear a few stories about Mythbusters, but it is not an autobiography.

This is a book about being a Maker, and every story in it either illustrates his journey, points out a triumph he experienced, or demonstrates something he royally screwed up. And it's wonderful.

Adam Savage is enthusiastic about practically everything, and it comes through on every page. He loves to
Jason Braatz
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
I wasn't very familiar with the MythBusters show; I'd only perhaps had seen bits and pieces of it throughout the time it was running. I was simply intrigued to read about this new(er) term of upstart crafters ("makers") and to find out who they really are, what they do - and why they do it. The author breaks it down simply in the first few chapters; essentially, from the javascript programmer to the steampunk cosplay costume artist, anyone - taking a raw material or idea, adding value to it for ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever seen Mythbusters and know Adam Savage's voice, then you can practically hear him reading his book to you as you turn the pages. It's incredibly genuine to Savage as a creator, maker, and person and it makes you wonder: Is there anything he can't do?

Filled with photos of his workshops, projects, and sketches, Every Tool's a Hammer brings the life and work of Adam Savage to life on the page, told by the maker himself. It's an inspiring and telling book about his life as a creator fr
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, did I ever enjoy this book. It's aimed at makers, a group to which I do not think I belong, but Adam does. Along with the people who actually build objects from raw materials, he includes cooks, writers, and artists of all stripes as makers. It's this spirit of inclusion and the outright joy Savage obviously takes in... well, pretty much everything he talks about -- that hooked me.

Adam Savage: TV star, Renaissance man, Nerd. I'd even go so far as to call him an über-nerd-- he's a theater n
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, picks
I enjoyed this book immensely. If you enjoy doing anything moderately creative, from amateur hobbyist to laser-focused builder, you'll find yourself in this book. Have dreams of doing something crafty but lack the confidence to start? This book is for you too.
I love that he explains his processes, how they've adapted over time and experience, but doesn't say "this is the right way". In fact, I think the key point he makes is that everyone is different, and what works for some may be a creative
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
Andrew Schlaepfer
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't really consider myself a 'maker' in any sense of the word before reading this book. Adam is very explicit in saying it's a broad word encompassing not just actual physical building of things, but also writing, baking, cooking, coding, etc. I now see that I do incorporate parts of the making ethos into my life, particularly in baking and coding.

This book offers a great range of specific advice (which glues to use to join certain materials) and advice that has a much broader scope that ca
Jay Kiros
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From cover to cover this book contains some of the most practical advice for makers, and non-makers alike.

For the makers amongst us, this book is a celebration of what we do and who we are. It's a call to action to wave our nerd banner and declare to the world that the maker movement is a thing to be embraced. For one, I ended the book with a renewed sense of purpose and a desire to make something awesome.

For the non-makers, or the readers that recognize the face and wonder if there is anythin
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, audiobook
We loved Mythbusters. And we've had a chance to see not only Kari, Grant, and Tory, but also Adam and Jaime on multiple occasions at DragonCon. So when this book came up on #librofm I grabbed it. There's a fair amount of biography-type stuff in this one and it was all entertaining. But there's also a ton of maker stuff here. So if you're a maker, you'll probably enjoy that part too. But I am not and I don't really care to know about every type of glue out there. Still, I overall enjoyed this one ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Makers of all sorts, project managers and nerds everywhere
Shelves: owned
I jumped in, somehow expecting a book solely about making stuff, because that's what I've known him for. Everyone knows how excited Adam gets when he gets excited talking about something and that's evident throughout - and it was immensely contagious: I wasn't even halfway done with the intro on that one morning when I felt the itch to jump out of the metro and take the next one home to get back to my model. (I didn't, btw, I went to work as usual, as much as it pained me.)

His optimistic energy
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2019-summer
No review yet, but initial comments.........

I began the audio while debarking a locust tree with a drawknife for my husband and almost thought it wasn't for me during the first chapter. Since I was thoroughly occupied, I continued to listen until I could get to a stopping point and change to another book. THEN, the second chapter title was announced. "Lists." Mmmmm. Now this is right up my alley.

Then, Now I love lists. I like long detailed lists. I like big unruly lists. I like sorting unsorted
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
While not for everyone, this story is for everyone who works with their hands and doesn't know where their life will end up.

I liked the stories of building things for Mythbusters, I liked the bits about the importance of tools, I liked most of this book... but I LOVED the story of how this book came to be.

I am a Physics teacher with a degree in Social Studies.  I've worked landscaping, food service, warehouse, private investigating/process serving, retail, and got to where I am now through a maz
Uge Saurio
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great inspiration and is certainly moving in a sense: while reading it, I was compelled to start making things, to list my projects, to re-organize my shop, to try again. I like how Adam's personal experience as a maker can easily relate to other people that like to make things from baking and cooking, to coding, writing and painting. The titles of each chapter can be read as very specific to making and building and, then again, can feel like life lessons too.

I beliebve this book
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
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book on making. While probably 50% or more of the book deals with issues around creating physical items (as opposed the areas that I'm interested in, which would be coding, writing, and music), I thought this was a really excellent book for its perspective on projects and on life.

I think part of the reason I responded to this book so positively is that it struck me as a work of passion. It's not a couple of tips, padded with a bunch of biography and celebrity stories. It's a pretty meaty book,
Gavin Yee
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great Book to inspire you to do Creative work but also gives some background / life experience in being a builder, But also Practical tips can be used. If you are a fan of Tested and Mythbuster and want to make stuff great book to read!
Some notes

(Adam Workshop and way of working is to be able to grab tools easily, and it be visible, so it don't get lost in Drawers, he made custom styrofoam shape for tools if he needs to put it in drawers so is easy to spot. When he work at ILM
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I, of course, know Adam from his years on Mythbusters. On the show, his antics were some of my favorite parts of the show, especially his passion for making things. I've continued to follow him through the years on social media and YouTube and enjoy his builds of various and sundry things. I've been looking forward to this book for months and got it from the library the day it came out. I was not disappointed. The book is a lovely mixture of the aspirational and the practical. Adam's doing his b ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I absolutely love that Adam read this himself. I think some of the tone and cadence of the book might've been lost, without his delivery.

The mix of both practical and philosophical advice was, in my view, in perfect balance. I found it very educational, and gave me some great new things to think about. In particular: how I organize my "shop", whether that's my home kitchen, my computer, or whatever. That was groundbreaking for me, and I appreciate how open he is with his stumbles, not to
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are an educator, you've heard in countless professional development sessions that we need to teach 21st century skills. We must lead students to think critically, problem solve, and work collaboratively because this is what employers search for in the world beyond academia.

These are the driving forces behind making.

I'm not a maker. Not really. I used to be, but now I'm an English teacher. Although I haven't worked on a costume or built a prop in quite some time, I still connected with Ad
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Goodreads Librari...: Duplicate Book Listing - Every Tool's a Hammer 2 18 Apr 02, 2019 11:34AM  
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.
“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.” 1 likes
“I began furiously making lists, and more lists, until I was making lists of lists . . . .” 0 likes
More quotes…