Popular Mechanics helps the reader master the modern world, presenting trusted information about his home, his car, his technology and the world around him. With tool tests, building projects, car reviews and more, Popular Mechanics shows the American man how to upgrade his life. And the magazine's analysis of the latest developments in technology and engineering keeps him in the know about the science behind the news-from alternative energy to military technology to digital privacy. Each month, nearly 9 million curious minds turn to Popular Mechanics for advice and in-depth reporting. Get Popular Mechanics digital magazine subscription today.
THE ABANDONED BASE WHERE SCIENTISTS DRY-FIT THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB
WHY AIRCRAFT CARRIERS DON’T TIP OVER
The 3 Most Expensive Home Renovation Projects
How the Power Grid Works
Why the Marines Are Ditching Tanks and Howitzers
WHETHER ALIEN PROBES ARE ALREADY ON EARTH
When the Aerospike Engine Will Change Space Flight
Why Hair Turns Gray
WALKING THE LINE • Along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, a volunteer group of surveyors is racing to save the stones—and the story—of the Mason-Dixon Line.
WE NEED GEAR FOR WORK, FOR PLAY, EVEN TO MAKE A GREAT DINNER AT HOME. • That’s why in preparing for our annual awards package, we spent the past year working on our houses and yards, camping and grilling, and performing nearly miraculous feats with technology. If it sounds like fun, it is. We love gear, and preparing the Gear of the Year Awards is always a blast. But it’s also work that we take seriously because we want you to shop with confidence based on our recommendations. Then we want you to enjoy this gear as much as we have.
FALL OUT • A ST. LOUIS FACTORY HELPED SPAWN THE MANHATTAN PROJECT—AND THE RADIOACTIVE WASTE IT LEFT BEHIND HAS LONG BEEN THE REGION’S “DIRTY LITTLE SECRET.” WITH DEVASTATING CANCER RATES, THE COMMUNITY IS STILL SUFFERING.
Rotary Hammer: Don’t Call It a Hammer Drill
BEST OF THE TEST
Starrett Safe-Flex Hacksaw Blades | $6–$8
5 58 Years Ago in PopMech • //A PORTAL INTO POPMECH’S PRESCIENT AND OCCASIONALLY ABSURD PAST //