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

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

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“An imperative how-to for creativity.” —Nick OffermanAdam 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...

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Title:Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It
Author:Adam Savage
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Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It Reviews

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Brian's Book Blog

    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”

    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.

  • 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:

    If it isn't obvious, I loved this book and will be double-dipping to get it on Audible as well!

  • 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!

  • Brendon 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!).

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