If you are going to build a PC, you will need some basic tools as well as your components.

Here we give a rundown of the tools and equipment you should have on hand for the best building experience.

1. Screwdriver

One of the most important tools for building a computer is a Phillips screwdriver. This is used to tighten screws on most components to keep them in place. Get a decent quality screwdriver in the right size to make your life easier.

It’s helpful to have your screwdriver magnetic as it will help you control your screws when installing items from awkward angles.

2. Pliers

Sometimes you may find a screw or bolt that is so tight that it’s hard to undo. In these cases, a pair or pliers is helpful. You can use them to loosen strong fasteners.

Pliers are also handy for removing small screws if you drop them in a tight spot, such as behind a motherboard tray. You want to make sure you remove any loose screws, as leaving them in the case can cause a short circuit. So if you drop a screw, be sure to remove it before continuing.

3. Anti-static equipment

You should be aware of the negligible risk of electrostatic discharge to your components. This happens when two surfaces rub against each other and create static electricity that can create a small spark. If this happens near your components, it could damage them.

There is some debate about how serious this problem is when building a PC, but if you’ve spent a lot of money on components, then it’s worth taking extra precautions.

The best way to avoid electrostatic discharge is to wear an antistatic wrist strap. It’s a bracelet-like device that you put on your wrist and plug into an electrical outlet. This way, if any electrical charge builds up between your body and the computer, it can safely dissipate through the connector and not generate sparks.

4. Clean workplace

It’s important to have a place to work while you’re building. Look for a flat surface at an appropriate height so you don’t lean or hit your back in good clear overhead lighting. Some of the parts are small or hard to fit properly and will be much easier if you can see what you are doing.

The only thing to avoid is working on carpet. Carpet can generate static electricity, especially if you wear fluffy socks that can damage your components. It’s not very likely, but it’s a risk.

The best surfaces are a wooden table or coffee table, or you can use a kitchen counter if there’s enough space and you’re not too close to the sink.

5. Lightning

Once your components are placed in your case, you need to manage your cables to keep everything neat and tidy and to ensure you don’t obstruct airflow.

To do this, you will need zippers, Velcro or ties. This will allow you to tie cables to points inside the case and tie cables together for easier management.

See our article on cable management tips for building a PC like a pro. cable management when creating on this topic.

6. Thermal paste

If you buy a new processor or a new cooler, it will probably come with a small tube of thermal paste. But if you’re building with used components, you’ll need to supply your own thermal paste.

You may also want to consider having your own thermal paste on hand, as the paste that comes with some processors or coolers is not the best quality. Thermal paste helps transfer heat from your CPU to your cooler, so using a quality paste can help prevent your computer from overheating.

Some popular quality thermal pastes are Arctic Silver 5, Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, or Noctua NT-H1.

If you’re using an all-in-one cooler, you won’t need thermal paste as it comes pre-applied with paste. Just make sure you understand how little thermal paste you need before applying.

7. Rubbing alcohol

If you are adding new thermal paste to your processor, you will need to remove the old thermal paste first. Thermal paste hardens over time, becomes crispy and less effective.

Luckily, removing old thermal paste is very easy. You can use alcohol to remove it. Simply dip the tip into alcohol and rub gently into the old thermal paste to remove it.

If you don’t have alcohol, you can use acetone as a pinch, which is found in nail polish remover. However, some nail polish removers contain conditioning oils as well as acetone, so they are not ideal for use on a CPU. Stick to alcohol for best results.

8. Processor installation tool

All you need to build a PC - a processor installation tool

This tool is not essential, but it can give you confidence if you are new to building.

When you install the processor, you must make sure that it is properly connected to the socket on the motherboard. There is a small triangle in the corner of the processor to help you line it up. You just need to gently drop the processor into the socket. Do not move it or press too hard, otherwise you may damage the processor.

If you’re worried about the process, you can use a CPU installation tool like this one from ASUS. This is a small plastic bracket that holds the processor in the correct position and helps to gently drop it into the socket.

9. Spare parts

Finally, one of the most useful things you can have on hand when building is a currently running PC for troubleshooting.

If you plug in all your components, your new computer should be able to POST (Power On Self Test). This means that the components communicate with each other and the machine can access the BIOS. The BIOS is the underlying software that runs a computer and has an operating system installed on it.

However, sometimes you will plug in your components and the computer will not POST. When this happens, you can listen to beep codes that can tell you what the problem is. But if that doesn’t work, it’s time to start troubleshooting.

This is where your work PC comes in. You can replace components one at a time with components from your work PC because they are known to work. For example, if you replaced your new RAM with your old RAM and the new computer is now posting, you are probably dealing with a faulty or incorrectly installed memory card.

Having working parts on hand greatly simplifies troubleshooting.

If you have these tools at hand, you have everything you need to start building your own PC.

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