Check MarkSome of these tools are on the unconventional side, but they are valuable nonetheless. If you think plastic zip bags are only useful to hold sandwiches and leftovers, think again – they’ll help you organize your screws and bolts as well as provide a surprising function you’ll discover when you read our list!

    Philips Screwdriver1. Philips Screwdriver (non-metallic) – This is your most important tool of all! Almost every part in your system is held together by a screw, most of which conform to the Philips head screwdriver. Make sure your screwdriver does not have a magnetic tip, because a magnetized object introduced into your computer’s pristine environment can damage some circuits or drives.
    Hex Driver Bit2. Hex Driver – This is a bit of a rarity in the average Joe or Josephine’s toolbox, but it’s a handy implement nonetheless. In case you haven’t seen a hex driver before, it has a head that resembles a socket wrench. Hex screws you might find in your computer usually come in 3/16″ and 1/4″ sizes, the most common of which is the 3/16ths.
    Slide Lock Tweezers3. Tweezers – Yes, tweezers! Ever drop something inside your computer, like a tiny screw and wish you had thought of having a pair of tweezers nearby to retrieve the little devil? Make that wish come true by always having some tweezers on hand. These versatile tools are especially handy when you’re working in tight places, especially when working with motherboards and drives.
    Wrist Grounding Strap4. Grounding Strap – Static electricity can be a system killer. The short high voltage zap or discharge that results from this shocking energy can fry electrical components. A simple anti-static wristband can prevent lots of damage, but another great preventative tool is the grounding strap. This is generally a Velcro strap with a metal contact fixed to a wire that you clip to an external metal part to help discharge any static charge that may build up on the body. Grounding straps can be found in either disposable or the more useful reusable style.
    Isopropyl Alcohol 5. Isopropyl Alcohol (99-percent solution) – An essential cleaner for your computer, isopropyl alcohol can be found in drug and grocery stores and dollar shops. It’s among the best-known substances for cleansing thermal compounds without leaving a potentially harmful residue. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the CPU and heat sink before you attach them. This high quality rubbing alcohol is also provides a good way to clean contacts that are beginning to corrode.
    Zip Ties6. Zip Ties – Another of our unconventional, but extremely useful tools, are the ubiquitous zip ties. Many computers are clogged with a snarl of wires. A little plastic zip tie can help you organize your unsightly wire clumps and make them easy to manage. This accomplishes two purposes – it makes it easier for you to work inside your computer and can improve airflow inside.
    Lint Free Cloths7. Lint Free Cloth - Don’t start your project without one! Lint and dust can wreak havoc inside your computer. Lint and dust build-up within your case can drop down onto fans and air slots, impeding their function and causing system-harming heat increases. Dust and lint in just the wrong place can also cause short-circuiting. A lint-free cloth allows you to wipe down the case and components to prevent dust and lint buildup.
    Plastic Zip Bags8. Plastic Zip Bags - Yes, yet another use for these jack-of-all-bags! Use plastic zip bags to store your loose parts and hold spare screws. Here’s a creative and effective use of these handy bags – before you spread a thermal compound by hand, put your hand inside a bag to remove your natural body oils. Body oils from your hands can contaminate thermal compounds.
    PC Compressed Air 9. Canned Air or Vacuum - A great way to blow out dust and lint. You can find cans of compressed air in most computer stores. However, a vacuum is best because it pulls the dust right off the components and out of the environment. Specially designed computer vacuums are ideal, but a standard house vacuum with a versatile array of hose attachments does a great job as well.

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