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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,247 ratings  ·  340 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
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…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 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,247 ratings  ·  340 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
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Check out my review/discussion (with my husband) over on Booktube!
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 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
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.
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
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
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, audio
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
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 ...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”
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
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
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 ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ngarc, book-kindle, 2019
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
Koen Crolla
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  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 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 ...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
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 ...more
Shane Burgel
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I enjoyed this book, but as a long time fan of both Adam and Tested, I was disappointed by the lack of original stories. A lot of the anecdotes were ones I had heard already. Despite that it was an enjoyable read and reminded me, as a parent, to facilitate the love of making that I can definitely see in my son.
My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at

I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting into with this book. Amazon has it listed as #8 in Mid Atlantic U.S. Biographies, #1 in Science Experiments & Projects, #7 in Mythology & Folklore Encyclopedias (at the time I wrote this). But as I was listening to this book, I found it to be part memoir, part self-help, part business and part how-to. Basically, Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame, writes a story similar to
Mason Soerens

Every Tool’s a Hammer by Adam Savage is a very inspiring book. It helps me dig deeper into my hard to reach creative side. The book catches me off guard with the fast-paced and advanced vocabulary, which is similar to Adam Savage. He is a fast talker and very knowledgeable. I had been struggling a little bit in this book, but once I slowed down and took my time to comprehend what it is saying, it really has opened my mind to many great ideas. I found this book after watching
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
Chris Conrady
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the Leatherman Wave of books about creative creation - an irreplaceable universal tool that anyone involved in imaginative endeavors should read. There is so much valuable information and informed perspective in this that I wish I would have had it available to read 20 years ago!
Adam Savage always comes across as energetic, enthusiastic and up-beat positive. That shines through in this book. He encourages readers to do their thing while providing examples of his successes and failures,
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
For makers only. Must be interested enough in the practical aspect of making things to appreciate a whole section on workshop organization, another on glues (seriously, glues), fasterner theory, scissors, etc. Very utilitarian and specific.
The parts I found most fascinating were when he discussed his passion for making. He's a kid at heart with grown up toys. His excitement for making is contagious and inspiring. I loved his take on obsessions, and going deep into an idea or project, and how
Eric Vierling
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This book is a wonderful collection of both practical and philosophical knowledge from across Adam Savage's impressive career as a maker. I found it informative, inspirational, and fascinating all at once! The structure tends to wander a bit in terms of subject matter but after completing the book it seems only appropriate for the mind that created it, and none of the information feels out of place. It manages to be both educational and deeply personal in a very engaging way, and I enjoyed every ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adam’s passion is palpable. You can still hear his passion for what he does in his voice still, after all these years. Every Tool’s a Hammer isn’t quite what I expected. Even though it’s aimed at makers and wannabe makers, this book is really about leadership and being successful in your passions and interpersonal relationships.

Adam discusses many business/professional themed elements without making them seem businessy or boring:

Project management
Christine Kayser
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got a signed copy of the book when we went to see Adam Savage talk at the Wilbur in Boston. His talk was so great - inspiring, insightful, and made me want to read the book even more. I hadn't really considered myself a "maker" until seeing his talk. I started thinking about all my cooking projects as making and my kitchen as my "shop." I kept that in mind while reading the book, and it was as inspiring as his talk. It also has really practical advice for organizing your space and your ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
While reading this (physical book), I could hear Adam narrating in my head. He's blended the professional and the philosophical well to the point that I was interested in reading about the different types of glue and will readily agree that he has a ridiculous amount of tape as he states in his caption. Those looking for pure autobiography or pure professional how-to will not find it in this book. But for those who are creative, you will find plenty of encouragement and inspiration here.
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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.
“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.” 4 likes
“I began furiously making lists, and more lists, until I was making lists of lists . . . .” 1 likes
More quotes…