The 10 Best Engineering Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Engineering Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Engineering is a discipline that demands much from its practitioners. After all, an engineer's decisions can affect the happiness and safety of large numbers of people. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent textbooks that help those in this field become knowledgeable and productive. Our selections cover a range of sub-disciplines and topics, and some would even make great gifts to students. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction

2. Practical Electronics for Inventors

3. Engineering Mechanics: Statics & Dynamics

Editor's Notes

April 06, 2020:

Engineering is such a broad field that our list couldn't possibly cover the entire range of sub-disciplines out there. We decided to focus on some of the major players, general introductions, and versatile volumes with wisdom and information that applies to the entire field, like To Engineer Is Human and The Design of Everyday Things. The former of these focuses on high-profile mistakes and the errors that contributed to them to give the student an appreciation for peer review and the perils of overconfidence. The latter goes in-depth on user experience to help engineers get out of their heads and into that of the consumer who uses their creations. These two books are often suggested by teachers as extra reading, but they can also be a great gift alongside another relevant selection, like an architecture book or urban planning textbook.

Schaum’s Outline of Advanced Mathematics is an ideal study aid for students struggling with math, but know that it is intended for practice and not for explaining theories. And be aware that although Practical Electronics for Inventors can be a boon for hobbyists, it is by no means less rigorous than a typical textbook. If you are an absolute newbie, its introduction will help get you grounded, however, you'll need some prior knowledge and experience to continue past that.

Today we removed Introduction to Environmental Engineering due to its being outdated and added Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook in its place. This massive volume has been recently updated and offers coverage of almost every conceivable chemical engineering topic, from the fundamental to the cutting edge. It's the type of book that helps enormously during school and then remains on the bookshelf as a reference throughout your career.

Special Honors

Engineer4Free Students who need extra help understanding and appreciating their classes can peruse over 400 tutorials on The site features relatively short video explainers for myriad subjects, including C++ programming, calculus, chemistry, dynamics, engineering economics, fluid mechanics, linear algebra, mechanics of materials, project management, structural analysis, and more. Autodidacts looking to learn from home and traditional students who want to supplement their classes can enroll in a multitude of relevant online courses from top engineering universities with edX. You can choose between general introductory courses or explore specific areas such as structural, mechanical, electrical, software or aeronautical engineering.

4. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction

5. Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook

6. Engineering Economy

7. Schaum’s Outlines "Advanced Mathematics"

8. The Design of Everyday Things

9. Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach

10. To Engineer Is Human

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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