10 PC tools and toolkits that make tinkering with your rig a breeze
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. But which tools should you get? Here are 10 products that should make your next upgrade or build a breeze.
Simple anti-static protection
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. It's an affordable accessory that can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Advanced anti-static protection
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. It measures about two feet by two feet and has a 10-foot grounding wire that clips onto your PC case.
Pry it open
Is it glue? Some other mystery adhesive? A really tight fit? No matter what has it stuck down, one of these tools will get it up. Five nylon pry tools are included, as well as a metal spudger, all for less than $10.
Everything in a soft kit
If you're starting from scratch, a complete toolkit is probably your best bet. It has an anti-static wristband, a bunch of pry tools and spudgers, a complete screwdriver kit, and some metal spudgers, all neatly contained in a soft case.
Solder, strip, and screw
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. It's a relatively pricey set of tools, but it's well-rated and it all comes in a hard-shell case that keeps everything organized.
Don't fry your hardware
PC won't turn on? Test the current power supply unit (PSU) before rushing out for a new one. Smell something burning? Test the power supply. Seriously. Check it before your hardware investment melts down.
Extra screws and standoffs
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.
Cool your CPU
We don't know how long a CPU lasts without thermal paste, and we don't want you to get any ideas. Pick up a tube of Arctic MX-4 and apply it properly: between your CPU and its cooler. This is the latest iteration of the excellent paste, and it arguably remains the best you can buy.
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. This four-piece set of long-nose pliers from Neiko gives you extra reach, and they come in a soft case.
If we're making some suggestions
All of the above products can help when building a PC, but it's unlikely you'll need everything. If you're just starting out with your first build ever, we recommend grabbing the ORIA Precision toolkit for a well-rounded collection of common tools. Arctic MX-4 thermal paste is a must when installing a new CPU, and an HDE tester is always good to have around should you run into any problems with your PSU.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.