I’ve written a few blog post around the concept of preparing before you start a PC build. But I haven’t gone really in depth regarding the tools you need to build a PC. There’s nothing worse than having to mad dash down to the hardware store mid-build to rummage around for the tool you need. So, I wanted to make a bit of a checklist article to ensure you have everything and anything you might need for a PC build. Here is the definitive list of the tools you need to build a PC.
A Phillips #2 Screwdriver
Bet you didn’t know Phillips head screw drivers came with different head options? (I mean maybe you did, but it’s still a fun fact to tell someone who doesn’t, that’s for sure.) Phillips #2 heads look similar to its smaller counter part in that they are both Phillips heads, meaning they have the cross shaped head. The #2 variety is the larger of the two, and great for screwing in bigger screws like fans or motherboard screws.
A Phillips #1 Screwdriver
This is another super important screwdriver type to have handy. It has a slightly smaller screw head, which can be useful for working with screws like your M.2 screws. It can also be a slightly better option for overall PC building at times depending on the screw types you have handy. So, I always say have one of each and use the one that works best at the time. In this instance, having more options is far better than less.
Also, fun fact, if you happen to strip your screw head, a Phillip #1 is one of your best bets to fix it. A stripped screw is when you begin to damage the head of the screwdriver from either using the wrong screw bit, screwing too fast or screwing from an off angle. Sometimes, using a thinner, pointer screw head can get a grip on the damaged head and be enough to screw it out still. (Otherwise, pliers are often your next best bet.)
Not Essential but Handy
A set of precision screwdrivers
These are those little baby screw drivers you see sometimes, which often include Phillips #0, #00 and #000 varieties. These can be great for working with really tiny screws and often also come in handy in other areas around the house like kids toys. While you can most certainly build a PC with just a Phillips #1 and #2 head screw driver, gabbing yourself a pack of these to have around the house is certainly not a bad idea.
A flat head screwdriver
While not essential, I still think it can be worth having at least one flat head handy. There are certain mechanisms in and around tech that might utilize a flat head screwdriver like securing certain screws in place or opening panels. They are also handy for installing Ikea shelves so at that point, why not aye?
A motorised screwdriver
Let’s be honest, you don’t need a battery powered screwdriver. You can most certainly just use good old fashioned elbow grease. But it is certainly nice to make things move a little bit faster.
A magnetic screw tip
This is another helpful but unessential option you can take, and certainly makes you less likely to drop a screw into the void that is your chassis.
A ratcheting screwdriver
A screwdriver with a ratcheting mechanism is a solid mid-way point between going all out and getting an electric screwdriver, and being able to skip arm day at the gym from using a standard screw driver.
Flat Nose Pliers
If all goes well in your PC Building endeavours, you might never need these. But, I’d rather suggest it and you have them handy, than you need them and not have them. The main reason you might need one of these boys is if you have an issue with your motherboard stand offs. I sadly can remember too many times when unscrewing a motherboard that the standoff it was screwed into has just come along for the ride. When this happens, some flat nose pliers are great for holding the stand off still, so you can get that screw out and free your motherboard.
These little guys look like pretty standard pliers, but they have one major twist, the ends are sharp. This makes them perfect for cutting things like cable ties.
The cable tie of choice for our PC builder Nick, these bad boys definitely do a number on any loose cables. Just remember to trim the ends otherwise they can look super messy. These are a great choice if you absolutely don’t plan to change anything out back of your PC anytime soon.
These, while often being less taught than zip ties, are certainly another viable option for cable management. These are a better pick in my opinion if you plan on doing some upgrades soon and just want a more semi-permanent fix for your cables.
These are the perfect combination of the previous two choices. They are semi-permanent AND you can tie the cables quite taught which keep them neater. But these are often less available to purchase and more expensive than the previous two options. Some cases do have these included though, (like our Ceres 500) which can be a big plus.
RANDOM EXTRAS THAT MIGHT HELP TOO
Magnetic Screw Tray
These bad boys are a great way to keep all your screws together and not rolling all around the place.
Anti-Static Wrist Bracelet
Jury is still out on whether these do all that much, but if you are concerned they won’t set you that much if you want to pop one on to ground yourself while building.
Scissors are the worst for cutting open PC part boxes in my opinion. A good box cutter will do the trick much easier.
If your thermal paste application was less than satisfactory, some of this will clear your CPU and cooler right up.
Put your Windows and Ethernet/Wi-Fi Drivers on USBs
You’ll thank me later.
So, that was my definitive list of the tools you need to build a PC.
Are there any tools you need to build a PC that I have somehow missed? List them below to help out your fellow builders. And before you go, why not check out the rest of our awesome Tech posts right here! Or even, hop on over to our YouTube channel to see my knowledge in action! (I know things I swear.)