The Only Must-Have Tool to Build a PC
When you build your own computer these days, it doesn’t require any fancy tools or equipment, and for the majority of modern builds the only tool that’s actually necessary is a basic screwdriver.
Specifically, you’ll need a Phillips-head screwdriver (size number #2 if possible) as pretty much all screws inside a PC are going to be crosshead ones.
There are other tools that are not absolutely required but may come in handy at times and are worth considering, especially if you want to be as prepared as possible. Let’s take a look at the options you have.
Do You Need an Anti-static Wrist Strap?
If you want to be extra careful with static electricity, either because you want to reduce the risk of damaging components to zero or you don’t have a choice but to build your PC in an area with static such as carpet or very dry areas, you’ll want to invest in one of these.
It attaches to a large metal object such as your PC case and keeps you grounded at all times to avoid any static electricity from damaging your components when you’re touching them.
They’re cheap and will give you peace of mind, however they’re not necessary as there are ways to avoid static electricity which we’ll cover later. It’s really up to you, but I would recommend beginners to get one unless you’re going to be really careful and follow all instructions carefully. I won’t take responsibility for any damage you cause during your build, so you’ve been warned!
Cable or Twist Ties
These come in two forms, zip ties and twist ties, and are used to tie up any loose cables lying around in your case which not only makes your finished build look neater, but promotes better airflow within your case. It's important that you don't fit these too tight around your cables as you could damage them. Velcro straps can also be used instead. Note that some cases or power supplies come with these already. To cut the ends of your ties once you've fitted one you can simply use sharp scissors.
Needle Nose Pliers
Not necessary but handy to have. They have a variety of uses such as picking up hard to reach screws that you may drop within your case, removing chipped/broken screws, removing motherboard standoffs, and cutting zip ties.
Flashlight, Lamp or Headlamp
Depending on where you're building you may need an extra light source to see exactly what you're doing when working within your case. PC cases are notorious for blocking out light, even if you’re in a well-lit room.
You could use a flashlight (or a flashlight on a mobile phone), however this is far from ideal as you’ll have to hold it in one hand while trying to hold your hardware in the other; not good, and a recipe for a more difficult installation.
A better option would be a lamp that has an adjustable neck that you can place beside your build and angle right inside of your case. Even better would be a headlamp, which may feel a little over the top but works a charm and frees up your hands to properly handle your components.
A hobbyist game programmer turned hardware enthusiast, Julien "cyberjulz" is the founder of BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming ever since starting BGC back in '06 as an almost laughably-basic and brief 20 page site with the aim to make building PCs more accessible to the average gamer since most resources weren't too noob friendly. Over countless reinventions and reiterations to the quality, depth and usefulness of the content over many years the site has steadily grown into the expansive, comprehensive and ever-updated first-time PC builder resource that it is today that now reaches and helps thousands of gamers and power users each month to more easily plan optimal setups for their exact needs. You can learn more about the BGC mission and ways to support it here.
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