General Reference Books

Below I give recommendations of general reference books for the mechanical PE exam.

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Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam

ME PE reference manualMany consider this to be the most important reference book.  I agree that it is a very good reference book.  Honestly, I did not even take the book with me for the exam (though I do own the book).  I did not use it because I was not familiar enough with the book.  I preferred to use books that have the same information that I could easily find the information.  You can use the book if you want (as I said…it is a good reference book), but make sure you use it long enough to become familiar with the format prior to taking the exam.  If you click the link and use promo code MPA15 you will save 15% on this great reference book!!

Machinery’s Handbook

Machinerys handbookI consider this to be a vital reference book if you plan to take the Mechanical Systems and Materials PM session.  If you are taking the Thermal / Fluid systems or HVAC / Refrigeration exam it is probably not necessary.  This book contains a wealth of information about material properties, machine elements, gearing, threading, fasteners, and more!  I also highly recommend this book as just a general reference book to own as a practicing engineer… for after you pass the exam!

Mark’s Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers

Marks handbookThis is another very standard mechanical engineering reference book.  In my opinion the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE exam is a better one to use for the exam, but you can use this one if you prefer.  Use whichever one you are most familiar with!

Schaum’s Outline – Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables

Schaum math handbookUnlike the FE exam, there is not a specific section on the PE exam that is devoted to math.  However, engineering requires a lot of math!  You want to have quick access to common math formulas.  This Schaum’s Outline is a GREAT resource for the exam!  The book is inexpensive, small, and covers everything you will likely need (and a lot more).


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