Popular Mechanics Winter 2018/2019

Discover the latest in technology, engineering, and tools with Popular Mechanics. Plus, get essential advice on your home and car, useful DIY ideas, in-depth explanations on how things work, and more!

United States
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the comfort of rituals

WHEN WE MOVED from the city to the country, the boys were, I think, six and three. On the third night in the new house—the first house they’d ever lived in—my wife and I were tucking them in and the older one started to cry. I asked him what was wrong. “I liked when we used to walk to the bagel store across the street in our pajamas,” he garbled through his tears. He was right. Every Saturday morning, we would wake up and shuffle across First Avenue to Ess-a-Bagel and order a big, warm, puffy breakfast. A city ritual. Now the view out our kitchen window was a red barn and a field. We told him that we would do new fun things that would become regular things. And we have done…

1 min
one more gift

I’ve dreamt of being able to tell Alexa to turn on my TV, and now I finally can. Setting up the Amazon Fire TV Cube ($120) is super-easy. I told it my cable company, that I’m using a TiVo, my ZIP code. Once my passwords were in, which is still a chore, my voice replaced all my remotes. Instead of turning on the TV, selecting Input 2, picking up my Apple TV remote, and finally asking Siri to find Ozark, now I walk in the room, say, “Alexa, play Ozark” and the TV turns on right to the episode I was watching. It works on my cable box, too. It’s awesome. I love it. And it’s the beginning of something much, much bigger.…

1 min
popular mechanics everywhere

ONLINE! DO YOU BELIEVE in Bigfoot? Or is it Sasquatch? Whether you're a fanatic or a skeptic, you'll want to check out our history of the giant ape-man, who has been documented in the U.S. for centuries: www.popularmechanics.com/history-of-sasquatch. THE PODCAST! What will it be when humans finally get to Mars? Andy Weir, author of The Martian, joins us on the Most Useful Podcast Ever to teach us all about what our future life on the Red Planet will look like, wgile promoting season 2 of National Geographic's Mars. Find MUPE on Apple Podcasts. INSTAGRAM We're constantly updating our feed with products we're testing and adventures we're going on. Find us @PopularMechanics.…

6 min
the best gifts for 2018

A / Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron AFTER MANY EVENINGS of working on this two-foot model (and it will be many), along with having a to-scale version of one of the most beautiful cars ever made, you’ll also know how the engine works, because these pistons actually reciprocate. You’ll know that the car has an eight-speed transmission, because you can actually shift gears by pulling on the steering-wheel paddles. You’ll know that the real Chiron needs a special key to activate top-speed mode, because you need a special Lego key to drop the rear wing into the same top-speed position. Like the McLarens and Ferraris and the Porsche Lego made before it, the Chiron shows how good Lego is getting at letting those of us who will never see this hypercar in…

2 min
other great gifts

Milwaukee Redlithium USB Heated Gloves As tough as any Milwaukee gear, with a built-in battery that keeps your hands warm for up to six hours. $179 Ridgid Pro Gear Cart Toolbox A convenient and easy upgrade to a classic toolbox, with the option to stack multiple toolboxes. Because the job isn’t always close to you. $59 Therm-a-Rest Uno Camp Chair A comfortable folding chair that folds down to the size of a Frisbee. $90 Big Agnes Bolten Sleeping Bag A mummy bag with flexible sides that let you actually move inside it. Good to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Weighs less than three pounds. $289 Specialized Allez Bike For under a thousand bucks, you get a carbon-fiber fork, mounts for racks and saddlebags, Shimano shifters, and a name you can trust. $800 Lee Valley & Veritas Japanese Knife-Making Kit Comes with honed carbon-steel…

1 min
the complementary gift

A / Otterbox Yampa Dry Duffel YOU MAY BUY the Yampa for your canoeing trip, but you’ll use it for everything. The zippers on most dry bags need to be wrestled closed or open, which means when you’re in a hurry you won’t get a good seal. Boom, leaks. The Yampa’s zipper slides like the one on your favorite sweatshirt. The material is tough enough for anywhere you throw it, and the backpacking straps make carrying big loads easy. So far I’ve used mine in a boat, driven 400 miles with it in the bed of my truck, and strapped it on the back of my motorcycle across the Adirondack Park. Pretty sure it doesn’t care where we go next. $250 —J.L. IF THEY GOT… An iPhone XS GET THEM… the Logitech Powered Wireless…