Most helpful positive review
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Like an espresso shot of engineering knowledge
on July 29, 2010
Marks' is legend among reference handbooks for engineering and for good reason, the book combines excellent commentary from industry and academic experts with plenty of formulas, tables and diagrams. It lists the references for each section right at the beginning along with the authors which is convenient if you want to dig deeper into the knowledge area.
Mechanical Engineering is a very wide area and while you study many topics in school, unless you actively use them professionally your knowledge gets fuzzy. For this reason having a handbook like this one is a great way to refresh your memory or learn about topics you haven't spent much time with before going on to more specific books on the topic. I still find it amazing how much information is squeezed into each section and readers will see that the knowledge density is staggering.
It is because of Marks' section on Welding that I learned about, and subsequently purchased, the excellent books on Welded Structures and Weldment Design from Lincoln Electric written by Omer Blodgett. I would have never run across these books in a store and despite being written in the 1960s, and mentioning slide rules, they contain a wealth of practical knowledge about welded steel structures still relevant today. You just can do the calculations on a computer and skip the nomograms these days, though I still like the nomograms ability to build your intuition of how a result will end up.
I can be confident from following that chain of references that other areas of Marks' would lead to similar quality references should I need them, and that is why this handbook is worth its weight in gold.