Upgrading your old PC or building a new PC doesn't have to be a stressful experience. In fact, many people enjoy the time they spend tweaking PC hardware, and most will tell you that the right tools make all the difference.

Which tools? Here are 15 that should make your next upgrade or build a breeze.

1. Strap it to your wrist if you want to protect it

Rosewill anti-static wristband

Static electricity is NOT your PC's friend. Before anything else, strap this to your wrist and clip it to your case to ensure your RAM doesn't go in the can.

2. Take protective measures to the next level with an anti-static mat

Rosewill anti-static mat

A wrist strap is often not enough for those extra concerned with the safety of their hardware. Grab this mat and rest easy while you tinker.

3. Get the back off your laptop with a set of Torx screwdrivers

Wiha Torx screwdriver set

You can't start an upgrade while the back is securely screwed down; Torx screws are common and these screwdrivers are quality all the way.

4. This five-pack of spudgers and pryers will get even the toughest cases open

JacobsParts spudger and pryer set

Glue? Some other mystery adhesive? A really tight fit? No matter what has it stuck down, one of these tools will get it up.

5. Use these long-nose pliers to reach into the tight spots of your compact build

Neiko long nose pliers

Your fingers are the products of millions of years of evolution, but they still can't fit between your power supply and the back corner of your case. Deal with it.

6. PC tools assemmmmmmbbbbbblllllle!

iFixit PC toolkit

Need everything at once? If this is your first upgrade, the answer is likely Yes. Grab this soft case that just so happens to contain a bunch of tools needed to work on your PC.

7. Solder, strip, and screw with this seriously extensive PC toolkit

Rosewill complete PC toolkit

For some people, a toolkit without a soldering iron, flashlight, wire strippers, tape, and zip ties just isn't a toolkit at all. This is for those people.

8. Find the back corners of your tower with this bright pen light

Streamlight pen light

PC towers are often dark and, admit it, dusty. It happens. Light everything up with this pen light and ensure you're installing RAM where RAM is supposed to be installed.

9. A power supply tester will save you money and heartache in the long run

Optimal Shop power supply tester

PC won't turn on? Test the current power supply unit before rushing out for a new one. Smell something burning? Test the power supply. Seriously. Check it before your hardware investment melts down.

10. You can't put a PC together without fasteners. Believe us; we tried

Vapker fastener kit

Whether you're putting together a new PC or taking an old one apart for an upgrade, you'll most likely drop a fastener and watch it roll out of sight. This kit has an assortment of screws and standoffs to ensure you don't resort to tape to keep your rig together.

11. Proper cable management is the difference between a mess and a showcase PC

Attmu cable ties

Grab a 50-pack of reusable Velcro cable ties and turn your case of cable soup into a series of tight conduits that you won't be able to look away from.

12. How long will a processor last without thermal paste?

MX4 thermal paste

We don't know and we don't want you to get any ideas. Pick up a tube of thermal compound paste and apply it properly: between your CPU and its cooler.

13. Give your parts a good cleaning with some good ol' isopropyl alcohol

Swan isopropyl alcohol

It isn't very exciting, but it sure is effective. This stuff is 99 percent isopropyl alcohol, which means it evaporates fast. Use it to clean away the old thermal paste before applying new stuff, or soak a soft toothbrush and scrub other parts clean.

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