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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “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 Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a ma A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “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 Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and break­ing, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer—don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance—making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid—it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the fric­tion in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue—mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects. This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations. I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “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 Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a ma A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “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 Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and break­ing, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer—don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance—making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid—it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the fric­tion in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue—mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects. This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations. I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    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 Tested.com. 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 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 Tested.com. 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 flag fly" and educating people in processes. This book is a distillation of his wisdom that he has shared over the years and some stories that I hadn't heard before. The guy bares his maker soul. He tells of really big mistakes and embarrassments ; he tells us of those type of failures in life that keep you awake at 3 a.m. 25 years later. Adam's introduction is all about taking on the new challenge in making - a book. He tells of how it was the hardest project he has ever done. Well, he has succeeded. I enjoyed the audiobook, read by Adam in a natural story-telling way. And I have just gone and purchased a paper book so I can revisit it when I need some of his wisdom. For anyone interested in the Maker movement, any creative person or any self-confessed nerd, have a read. Sit at the feet of a guru who has gotten there the hard way. Edit: I just noticed how the cover mimics my profile photo. Gingers in glasses looking smug with their arms folded!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Check out my review/discussion (with my husband) over on Booktube! https://youtu.be/v4ATwUxp3mY Check out my review/discussion (with my husband) over on Booktube! https://youtu.be/v4ATwUxp3mY

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    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 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 have a lot in common & learned many of the same lessons the same hard way, even though what we make is different. Some of us just have to fiddle & no matter what medium you work in, his lessons for every step of the project are important. Interspersed among these great lessons are bits of his life working on stages, movie props, & Myth Busters. That's icing on the cake & it's fabulous icing. I love the glimpses behind the scenes. 1. Dig through the bottom of the rabbit hole: Obsession isn't a bad thing. It's what separates the OK from the great. The best way to get obsessed is to do what thrills you. He's into cosplay, something I don't understand, but most people don't get how much I can get into a piece of wood, either. Embrace your weirdness! 2. Lists: His obsession with them goes way beyond mine, but it's also been a key to his success. Laying out the stages of a project makes a huge difference, especially when they're as complex as his. He mentions The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, a fantastic book that's definitely worth reading. Yes, it is planning. No, it doesn't stifle the creative process, it enhances it. 3. Checkboxes: Crossing items off a list makes them tough to read. A check box has more range & leaves the text unsullied. 4. Use more cooling fluid: Patience, Grasshopper. It makes all the difference. As frustrating as it can seem in the moment to slow down, it's not nearly as frustrating as screwing the project up. 5. Deadlines: His take on these is great. Rather than a wall to be hated, he uses them as a tool to focus the project. Excellent. 6. Drawing: Putting down on paper what is in our heads is amazingly helpful. Even if you can't draw worth spit (Me!) the act cements the relationship of pieces to on another & focuses the vision amazingly. I've made dozens of tables, but I still always sketch the joints because it's just too easy for me to forget which piece laps another & how or - far worse - get a brilliant notion halfway through & then realize it won't work right after I've made cut. 7. Increase your loose tolerance: Making is messy. It’s full of fits and starts, wrong turns, and good ideas gone bad. You WILL SCREW UP, but don't beat yourself up over it, just learn. Also, have extra material. I made 5 perfectly good, 2 piece tapered legs for my last table. I had the luxury of choosing the best, but all too often I don't. 8. Screw > glue: What sort of fastener to use & when. A lot about glues, great for anyone not familiar with them. Using baking soda to harden CA glue faster was new to me. I'll have to try that one, but he doesn't mention how accelerators can make CA glue turn white. That sucks for me in my natural wood bowls & such. 9. Share: I agree that all should be shared. Keeping processes or work secret is usually just silly. It's great to share enthusiasms & it's how to learn new techniques. 10. See everything, reach everything: How he sets up his shop & tool bag. He covers this very well & it is different depending on what you do, space, budget, etc. One of my shops was in an old chicken coop. My shop today is almost as big as his, but I have an overhang for welding which keeps the sun glare & rain off, but allows fresh air & access to equipment too big for the shop. I can't imagine Jamie's shop with all hammers in one place. I have a dozen metalworking & woodworking hammers each & they're stored in or near the areas I use them. Wood tools are not allowed in metal working areas & vice versa, either. (I don't care how well you wipe it, any tool that was greasy better not get near my woodworking bench!) I'm surprised Adam never used 5 gallon buckets with trays or Bucket Buddies. One with trays holds the 16 sizes of nails & deck screws I normally need. One BB is for construction, another for gardening, plus I have a tool belt. 11. Cardboard: Yes, it certainly is great for mockups & templates. I use it all the time plus it's perfect for laying on my gravel driveway when I have to work under equipment. 12. Hammers, blades, and scissors: I concur with his acquisition of tools. For expensive tools, buy cheap &, if you don't use it, don't bother getting another when it breaks. If you do use it, you'll know what to buy in a good one. His example was riveting, but I did exactly that with my first wood lathe. I hated the $120 cheap PoS the day I unboxed it, but a year of working with it made the $1200 I invested on the next one money well spent. I not only liked turning, but found out what sort I liked (bowl rather than spindle) & what accessories I needed. (The lathe was $600, but I spent as much on 2 chucks.) Fabric Scissors - Cloth ONLY or die! Absolutely & just don't use my old Swedish cabinet chisels. 13. Sweep up every day: Cleaning up sucks, but is necessary. It is good meditation time & often creates new ideas simply by moving around & cleaning the tools. He mentions his Leatherman multi tool fairly often. Agreed. I carry the Juice S2 at work (IT guy) & the Surge around the farm, both in my pocket. Spend the money on a real one, too. The strength & machining make all the difference. Cheap ones are just frustrating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Narilka

    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 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 on every page and is told in exactly the excited and enthusiastic manner he had on the show. Other makers of all skill level will likely enjoy this book. I listened to the audio book narrated by the author. This continues to be my preferred method of "reading" memoirs. I just wish we'd gotten more insights into his life and career.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dianna Elkmann

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    April

    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 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 depth look into his time at ILM or Mythbusters. Instead, this reads as the text to a repetitive and, sadly, rather lack-luster motivational speech intended for a set of creative students about to embark on a journey into becoming Makers. There's some "Yeah, go make stuff! It's awesome! Be creative and find what works best for you!" bits; there are some "Here are my favorite kinds of tape! Also, cardboard it amazing!" sections; and there are a few "This cool past event is what shaped my feelings on this tool and/or type of project". It's a kaleidoscope of mish-mashed events and thoughts and advice that just didn't work for me and required some heavy skimming after a while. Since this is not at all a linear style of memoir there are quite a few parts where the same (nearly verbatim) lead-in will set up the same moment to discuss a slightly different aspect to fit with the related chapter ("This happened right before I joined Industrial Light and Magic, which is when..." or "This was right about the time that I joined Jaime on Mythbusters"). So, this was largely disappointing for me. It may be of interest to anyone who is new to the entire concept of "making things" or who is curious about what Adam's philosophy is on "Making" or who is for some reason obsessed with knowing the steps Adam took to recreate the blaster prop from Blade Runner or how he goes about organizing his workspace. But otherwise? I'd pass on this one and save yourself the boredom and just go see him speak somewhere to get your motivational kick.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Casebeer

    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 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 happier. I feel like this was just the thing I needed and now I feel inspired to ‘make’ more things!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Morrell

    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!

  11. 5 out of 5

    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 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 attach things to each other, etc). One of the most important takeaways for me was to not wait until everything is perfect to begin a project. I often use that excuse - I just have to wait until it is quieter at work, until I can buy this one tool, until I'm done reading this giant list of articles. Looking at the index and seeing chapter titles dealing with glue, cooling fluid, hammers, blades and scissors, you might think that those chapters deal exclusively with those things. But while discussing cooling fluid and how it prolongs the life of blades and bits, the conversation turns to a reminder to slow down and reduce the friction in your work and relationships as well. Adam's knowledge, efficiency and enthusiasm is what makes him great, and his book is overflowing with it. Apart from what I've already mentioned, it also serves as a permission slip of sorts from Adam to the reader: Permission to grab hold of the things you're interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. If it isn't obvious, I loved this book and will be double-dipping to get it on Audible as well! Not sure you'll like this book? Maybe it sounds like too much? I have some free reading for you - you can thank me later! Adam Savage on lists, more lists and the power of checkboxes Adam Savage Teaches You How to Set a Deadline (By Way of Alien)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    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 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 ``a how-to for creativity'' on the cover, though it's hard to see why. If you don't like Adam Savage, you'll have plenty of opportunities to be reminded of the reasons why: his deep contempt for craftsmanship, his continued inability to see the difference between collecting skills and merely collecting tools and toys, the fact that he still doesn't even begin to fathom the truly breathtaking extent to which things have just been handed to him all his life (the book does not contain a rant about the injustice of having to pay your interns, like I half expected, but it's clear Savage still doesn't think the fact that his parents paid for the entirety of his living expenses for years after he left home is that unusual), the fact that he's kind of a sociopath (``employees like positive feedback'' was apparently a big revelation to him), ``my friend Max Landis'', &c. For myself, I'm just really tired of rich kids writing their own hagiographies.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    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

  14. 4 out of 5

    kris

    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 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 particularly ... thorough. They're all shallow; they serve only to begin to whet the appetite. It leads to a somewhat cyclical, repetitious book with some uneven patches that swing a little too far into the philosophy. (1.5 Here is where I acknowledge that the philosophy behind the "being a maker" portion of this book is something I fully support: the issue I have is that it doesn't necessarily have roots enough to take off. Early on, Savage acknowledges the importance of getting tools and techniques into the hands of more people--specifically those without access to these tools and techniques due to economic or social limitations. ...and then it's never really mentioned again. Which is a little discouraging, because it's clear there's a large amount of capital required to support the life and work habits of a maker—and while Savage touches on some of the internal hurdles to Making, he doesn't really acknowledge all the other hurdles out there. Like, access to ridiculously expensive tools. And having disposable income for materials. And having dedicated space to work in.) 2. Who ever was the editor of the e-book did Savage dirty: there's quite a few obvious copy-writing errors as well as some horribly inserted images. The lack of care definitely took away from the reading experience. 3. I did finish this book wanting to go out and create something, so that's a plus!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    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 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 creativity to flourish (read: bosses invested in growing their employees, personally organized spaces, quality tools, awareness of how many people help you, a willingness to keep moving forward to find a solution, and more). The whole book is about ideas and setups that help Makers Make; it's just a bonus that there are dozens of little executive functioning hacks along the way. You've heard some of the advice in here before. The genius of the book is that Savage presents it in such an accessible way that you don't even realize this is true. Amongst my favorites are Chapter 6: Drawing, which is the most convincing rationale of "show your work" I've ever heard, and Chapter 5: Deadlines, which has a fantastic mental shift on viewing deadlines as a helpful creative force, rather than an enemy to ram into. His discussion on project momentum is very much in line with what has worked for me to overcome procrastination and overwhelm. Towards the end, the chapter on cleaning up at the end of the day is probably a lecture you've received a thousand times as a kid. It works because Savage doesn't set out to hammer it into your head; it's his experience and it just happens to have a point. For me, the best part of the book was a quieter statement about half way through that applying these techniques to his personal projects has reaped great benefits. I think many people miss this subtle point about treating your own projects as professional endeavors; at it's heart, it's about respect for yourself and your skills and integrating your work and home selves as one person. It's also an effective counter to Imposter Syndrome, which Savage touches on briefly. I want to quote huge sections of this, as well as to hang up a poster of his Six Stages of Project Refinement over both my work desk and my sewing table. I think it will appeal not only to people who already think of themselves as creative but also to a broader range of people, who may come to realize through reading Every Tool's a Hammer that they are in fact Makers as well. It's worth noting that, while this was written with an adult audience in mind, the content would likely work for tweens and teens as well. Highly, highly recommended for engineers, sewers, builders, crafters, woodworkers, cooks, bakers, middle management, people who struggle with long term planning or executive functioning, procrastinators, deep divers, people called "intense", and pretty much anyone committed to the idea of being incrementally better tomorrow.

  16. 5 out of 5

    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” 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” but more of a how to not screw up like he did. He admittedly rushed things and did things differently than a lot of makers and took a different path. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn’t. He went into detail on the how and why and it was a fascinating look behind the curtain. I was a huge fan of Mythbusters and I follow Adam’s Tested platform as well from time to time. I’ve listened to some of his podcasts (the first one I remember listening to reminded me of this book a lot). He’s just a fascinating and interesting person. He’s a “celebrity” but also just a real person. He’s down-to-earth and interacts with his fans at Cons and other events. Overall, I thought that listening to this book really gave it an extra edge. He included anything I might have missed from the book but listening to him tell the stories, events, and mishaps first hand really makes a book like this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynette

    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 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 appreciated, it might help mitigate the privilege a bit to have maybe a list of other resources that could be useful for those of us who don't have del Toro, employees of ILM, Jamie Hyneman, or R̶o̶n̶ ̶S̶w̶a̶n̶s̶o̶n̶ Nick Offerman in our back pockets. All in all, I got a couple tidbits out of it, and it was a pretty fast read. I definitely appreciate the chapter on lists and drawings since I'm prone to list making but always felt like it was taking up precious time so often force myself to skip it. Savage seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy, and that's got value too. I would suggest that this book is aimed at younger, newer makers though, and that anyone who is a little further along in their maker journey may find less value in his discussions (unless, of course, you just want to read about Adam Savage and get a good idea of his personal journey--there's certainly value in that too!).

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 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 available space. If you're a creative type looking for inspiration and/or validation, definitely read the first few chapters. If you're a fan of Adam and the Mythbusters days, read the middle, and if you are a serious "maker," read the final 1/3. That last third just wasn't very applicable or interesting to me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    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 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 list and organization and how to be a boss and how to overcome hurdles. Sure, there's a whole section on glue, but even that was sort of entertaining. I think many people will be happily surprised by this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

    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, 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, MythBusters, and his TED Talks), but this is more a manual one coats with something water and dust resistant and parks in the shop, ready for reference where you can see it, whenever you need a reminder, a pick-me-up, or just a fun read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    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 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 sometimes. With advice that easily translates from making to living life, I think this is a fantastic book for creatives who can sometimes get lost in their own heads (me) as well as anyone who would like a glimpse into the world of making.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Felicia Owens

    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!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Huib Botman

    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!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    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 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 somewhat inspirational if nothing else his for focus and dedication to what he loved. 4/5 Stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ricky McConnell

    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 .

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Umm..... 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 Umm..... 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 to encourage people to follow their dreams no matter how detailed, Every Tool's a Hammer succeeds beautifully. As for me, I have to admit that this book suceeded, in a sort of backhanded way, in freeing me from any desire to do cosplay. Now I can go back to my own projects with a lighter heart!

  28. 4 out of 5

    3 no 7

    "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 "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 book. Everyone should read it or better yet, listen to Savage read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shane Burgel

    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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com. 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 how he wa My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com. 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 how he was on the show, a little bit of everywhere and everything. The big thing you will take away from this book is his passion for building/making and his love of sharing his passion with others. “Making is more than the physical act of building. It’s dancing, it’s sewing. It’s cooking. It’s writing songs. It’s silk-screening. It’s breaking new trails both literally and figuratively. In this book, Adam takes you through his passion for making. He takes you through and how he learned all these processes through trial and error. He talks about how his mentors have given him tools to become successful and how he continually modifies his processes to improve on them to what works best for him. I love how he talks about everything from making lists and how that evolved over the years and how difficult it was for him to make lists in the beginning, being the type of guy who just wants to dive in (If you watched Mythbusters, you will see Adam isn’t known for being the big planner, but more the type to just dive into a project). There are three parts that really stood out to me. First was a story about how a very young Adam immortalizes his favorite toy bear. He started out with a drawing and how, even has a very young child, he wanted it to be more than just a drawing. So he broke the rule of stay away from the razor blades to cut out the picture. The story really shows how supportive his parents were, even when he broke a very strict rule, but for a reason of making something. Second part that really stood out to me was about mentorship. He talks about how Jaime, also of Mythbuster’s fame, mentored him as one of Adam’s first bosses. Adam talks a lot about how much he learned, not just from Jaime, but all his mentors and took different pieces of their styles and made it his own. He also talks about how he is now mentoring his own teams, on the shows and in his own business. This part of the book would be great for a lot of business individuals. The last piece that really stood out to me was very early in Adam’s carrier. It was his second project to help a film student build a set. It was what seemed like an easy build. A small room with an ATM machine. But it proved more difficult than young adult Adam could do on his own. It had complications that he didn’t consider and he didn’t give himself enough time to compensate for difficulties. It was his first big failure. The biggest thing was that not only did he fail, but it affected not just him, but the film student that needed the set. This story again showed how his father was very supportive, but also gave Adam the hard truths. He screwed up and lost a friend over it. There wasn’t anything he could do to make up for it. The only thing was to learn from it, so that he never did anything like that again. Like I said, this book is many things and it is hard to put it into a box or genre because it covers so many things, deadlines, tools, and how to force yourself to actually finish a product. As Adam mentioned above in the quote, makers are more than just builders. They are people who create anything, be it a coder, a writer, a dancer or pretty much anything where you start with nothing and create something. I think anyone can listen to this audiobook and take something away from the story to use in your everyday life. Narration So Adam Savage is also the one who narrates this story. Listening to it you can really tell his passion for the things he discusses. You can really hear about stuff that he was excited about years ago are still exciting to him today. You can also hear how disappointed he was in himself with that story of the set he messed up when still very young. Adam is a performer at heart and you could hear that in his telling of his own story. **I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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