Best PC build tools and accessories in 2024

Whether you're building a PC completely new, are upgrading an older build, or are tinkering with a pre-built desktop PC or pre-built gaming PC, having the right tools and accessories at hand for the job will make your experience so much better.

I've attempted in the past to put together a PC with the gear I had lying around the house, and I wouldn't recommend it. The proper tools and accessories for building PCs really don't cost much, especially when compared to the price of the actual PC hardware, and you won't have to spend extra time fixing mistakes caused by improper handling and assembly.

With everything from screwdrivers to thermal paste to full toolkits, this collection of great tools and accessories can make your next PC build as easy as possible.

Essential tools you need to build a PC

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HYTE Y70 Touch case with ASUS motherboard ready for a new build. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

The essential tools required to put together a PC really don't extend much further than some quality screwdrivers, as manufacturers of PC parts have made the process very easy. PC building is a great hobby that I liken to LEGO, in that you can come up with some truly spectacular builds put together from a pile of pieces.

A quality Phillips #2 screwdriver like the one from Spec Ops Tools we recommended above will be your best friend throughout the process, though a Phillips #1 will likely be required for the smaller M.2 screw at the end of your SSD. Seeing those tiny parts will be much easier with proper lighting, which is why we recommend a headlamp like the Energizer LED.

You might also want to pick up the GRIP magnetic screw tray to hold all your fasteners in place before they go into the build, and you'll also no doubt want to pick up some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal paste to keep your processor running cool and efficient. Don't forget some isopropyl alcohol to clean up any extra paste or other gunk. For those concerned about cable management, HMROPE's reusable cloth ties are cheap and very useful; a 60-pack only costs about $5.

Anyone living in a dry climate prone to static electricity should consider some anti-state measures, whether from a full mat or with a wrist strap. And on the subject of electricity, having a multimeter around to test your PSU for faults can remove a lot of frustration. It might also save the rest of your PC, as the PSU has the ability to do a lot of damage when it fails.

The toolkits I recommended here from Strebito and iFixit aren't totally necessary if you're only working on a desktop PC, but they will come in handy with practically all other electronics, including laptops. They have all the screwdrivers you'll ever need, as well as tweezers, anti-static measures (in the case of the iFixit kit), pry bars, and many more useful tools.

What accessories are best for a desktop PC?

Completing a PC build and having it turn on is an incredibly satisfying experience. It's humming along next to you, and you now realize that you need some supporting hardware to help it realize its full potential.

For those who built a PC focused on more general computing, our collection of the best PC accessories that we've tested and reviewed here at Windows Central should have some great options that will work for just about anyone. We also have a broader list of the best laptop accessories, with many options that will work just fine with a desktop PC.

If you built or upgraded a PC with a gaming focus, we also have a list of the best PC gaming accessories that's worth checking out. For a more broad approach, our collection of the best gaming laptop accessories has plenty of options, many of which can easily make the transition to a desktop PC.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.