Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities

Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities

4.6 3
by Kevin Kelly (Editor)

Cool Tools is a highly curated selection of the best tools available for individuals and small groups. Tools include hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful.

Tools are selected and presented in the book if they are the best of kind, the cheapest, or the only thing


Cool Tools is a highly curated selection of the best tools available for individuals and small groups. Tools include hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful.

Tools are selected and presented in the book if they are the best of kind, the cheapest, or the only thing available that will do the job. This is an oversized book which reviews over 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are. Indirectly the book illuminates the possibilities contained in such tools and the whole catalog serves an education outside the classroom. The content in this book was derived from ten years of user reviews published at the Cool Tools website, cool-tools.org.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities:

"There is something magical in the book's juxtaposition of stuff, folklore and product reviews ..."
New York Times

"This may well be the greatest catalog of all-time..."

"The result is something more than just a paper-bound list of awesome objects. It's a tool itself."

"This wonderful book is so much more than hardware and electronics however, this is 472 pages of inspired genius."
Time Out

"It's 460+ full-color pages of ear-to-ear grinning, hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing, and years of repetitive page-turning."

"It is like sitting with the old Sunday funnies, slowly poring over the colorful illustrations and finding surprises on every page."
The Joiner's Apprentice

"A real geek's geek-guide to tools."
American Design and Master-Craft Initiative

"Guaranteed you will want 4,000 things from this huge catalogue."
The Coast

"What a knockout! Book of the year!"
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons

"When this fabulous, amazing, unputdownable book arrived at my studio I immediately spent two and a half hours in it, and then the next morning passed another three-hour stint of 'Wow — look at this! I could do that!' This book is more exciting — in both what it actually offers and what kind of life it suggests — than anything I've read for a very long time. It's an outstanding achievement in every sense — content, design, and quality.
Brian Eno, musician, artist

"Flipping through Cool Tools is a completely different experience from reading the same material online. Long live dead trees!"
David Pescovitz, Boing Boing

"If this doesn't solve some large part of your Christmas shopping challenges, you need a different set of people to whom you give Christmas presents. The book itself (a real print 463-page glossy-stock oversizer) is great either for young people starting a home, or geezers who are in touch with their youth who might want to be shocked and reminded why so much of their take-control-of-your-own-life life is the way it is, or somebody who just could use a striking coffee-table conversation-starter/stopper. And then there are the hundreds and hundreds of amazing things — "tools" defined extremely widely and deeply as stuff that really works reviewed by people who've actually used them — to give you more gift ideas."
Joel Garreau, The Washington Post, author of Edge City and Radical Evolution

"I don't know an adjective large enough to do it justice."
Michael Litchfield, Fine Homebuilding

"I love it. A worthy successor to the Whole Earth Catalog."
Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

"This is a roundup of over 1500 tool reviews with incredibly useful tips and how-tos covering just about everything you can imagine. On one page there will be a recommendation for a great truck (Toyota pickup) on another they'll be tips on learning how to swim properly (it's all about the stroke length). This is, without a doubt, my favorite book to come out in 2013."
Sal Cangeloso, Geek.com

"The Cool Tools book was sitting on the counter of the bar when an old boatbuilding friend stopped by and immediately became immersed in it. His exact words: "I GET this! There's no buttons to press!"
George Dyson, author of Turing's Cathedral

"Best coffee table books = size of coffee table. Kudos for the beautiful Cool Tools collection."
Scott McCloud, cartoonist

"Right now, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 . . . just grab a copy of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. It's 460+ full-color pages of ear-to-ear grinning, hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing, and years of repetitive page-turning. After it arrived at my door, I lost almost two full hours in its pages before realizing just how much time had elapsed . . . and this was me just skimming the various sections and randomly jumping from item to item. Since then, I've lost a few more hours as I've started to methodically tackle specific sections that are relevant to a few special projects that interest me (right now)."
James Floyd Kelly, GeekDad

"Most catalogs are short stories. This one is a catalog novel."
Mark Pauline, Survival Research roboticist

"Covering topics from hand tools to adhesives, organizational oddments, bicycles that double as chainsaws, beer brewing, mushroom growing, milling and fabricating, and so much more, it's enough to make your brain hurt with all the ideas for projects."
Michael Una, Inventables

"Bravo for this mega catalog. Back to the future!"
Steven Leveen, CEO founder of Levenger's

"I find myself not only flabbergasted at the size and extent of this achievement but happily awash in the feeling I used to get from the Whole Earth Catalogs; that all may not be right with the world, but that it could be."
Jim Woodring, illustrator and cartoonist

"The glorious Cool Tools is like my dream update of the Whole Earth Catalog."
Steve Silberman, NeuroTribes

"Multiple head asplosions on every page. Amazing!"
Mark Laidlaw, science fiction author

"Love you, Wirecutter, but we're breaking up while I work through this tome."
Luke Pebler, actor

"Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities reminds me of the engineering catalogues I read at my grandfather's house."
Steve Remington, Chronicinfoholic.com

Product Details

Cool Tools Lab
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 13.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He is editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984–1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. His last book, What Technology Wants (Viking/Penguin October 18, 2010), asserted that technology as a whole is not just a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. He also authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.

Kevin Kelly's website is kk.org.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
GrandpaGuy More than 1 year ago
Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly might turn out to be my favorite book of 2014. Remember what it was like to get the "Wish Book" at Christmas time in the old days. (For the uninitiated, that's the Sears Christmas Catalog.) Then add in the flavor of the Whole Earth Catalog from the 1970's. It's been a long time since I paid money for a book, and this one is well worth the dollars.
Joacchim More than 1 year ago
I bought this with a B & N gift card and at first glance I was disappointed, thinking I'd just bought a catalog of catalogs - which in a way, it is. I get enough catalogs as it is... Then I spent some time with it, starting from the beginning (instead of using the index to view a specific topic) and the time spent learning the author's methodology made it more meaningful, especially "tool shopping strategies". The qr codes given with each topic are really useful, although I did find one (for LED light reviews) that didn't work. One nice thing for me was that it confirmed some of the catalogs I'm already using. But you know how when you're looking at a particular catalog and you get ideas for new (or existing backlogged) projects? Well, multiply that effect by about a hundred and you get how this book reads. And the quotes at the bottom of each page are a nice touch, e.g. "Eternity is very long, especially near the end" - Woody Allen. Overall, a nice addition to my coffeetable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband read a review of this book in the NYT, and placed it on his wish list. When it arrived I was surprised at how big it is, but I frequently find him sitting at the counter reading this thing! He says there are fascinating things in it, and he ordered one for his son and one for his daughter! This was a "right on" Christmas present! :-)