Pocket Ref

Pocket Ref is a comprehensive, all-purpose pocket-sized reference book/handbook and how-to guide containing various tips, tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions by Thomas J. Glover.[1] It is published by Sequoia Publishing, and is currently in its fourth edition at 864 pages in length, released in late 2010.[2]

Pocket Ref
AuthorThomas J. Glover
SubjectScience and engineering reference, general reference
Published1989 (Sequoia Publishing)
Pages864 (4th ed.)

It contains references, tables, and instructional guides on such varied subjects as automotive repair; carpentry and construction; chemistry and physics; computers; physical, chemical, and mathematical constants; electronics; money and measurement conversions; advanced first aid; glue, solvents, paints, and finishes; hardware; mine, mill, and aggregate; plumbing; zip codes; rope, cable, and knots; steel and metals; surveying and mapping; and more.[2]

Described as an "oracle of all things DIY", the Pocket Ref has been featured on the television series MythBusters.[3] In the "Shop 'til You Drop" episode, Adam Savage noted that "nearly everyone" had asked him about the little black book.[4]

The Pocket Ref is available at many hardware stores, in addition to book stores and online. The Pocket Ref is often imprinted with the name of a hardware store or other third party on its front cover.

Although the Pocket Ref is printed on very thin paper, its page count is still limited by the publisher's desire for it to fit in a standard shirt pocket, so a more comprehensive work, at 1280 pages, DeskRef, has been published.

Glover is also the author of Pocket PC Ref, Deskref, Handyman In-Your-Pocket, Pocket Do It Yourself Source, Measure for Measure and Tech Ref.

Comparable books include AutoRef by Glover's sometime-coauthor Richard A. Young, and Pocket Partner "a comprehensive collection of vital information for law enforcement personnel" by Dennis Evers.


Nick Stockton, writing for Wired, included it in their list of favourites,[5]

Thomas J. Glover's $12 Pocket Ref refutes the notion that the best way to portably access a world of information is through a touchscreen. Glover has packed gigabytes of analog data into a book that's less than an inch thick and small enough to fit into your front shirt pocket. Inside is everything from the best angle for dumping a truckbed full of ashes (33 degrees) to the proper title for a box full of kittens (kindle).


  1. Schaeffer, John; Pratt, Doug (2005). Gaiam Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook: Your Complete Guide to Renewable ... - Google Books. ISBN 9780916571054. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  2. Glover, Thomas J. (August 2010). Pocket Ref (Fourth ed.). Littleton, CO: Sequoia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-885071-62-0.
  3. "Pocket Ref". Cool Material. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  4. "Shop 'til You Drop". MythBusters. Season 2005. Episode SP5. 2005. Discovery Channel.
  5. Nick Stockton (29 Aug 2014), "The Gadgets and Gear We Couldn't get Enough of This Month", Wired