Home Modder tool list

Maybe a moderator can put this somewhere more appropriate but just to get it started...
I've not seen one on here so apologies if one already exists.

Welcome to the Modders Tool list/checklist/guide of sorts

Please feel free to add anything you feel is important enough to mention and help fellow choppers out :)
A few people I've seen on here quote lack of tools or knowledge as a dissuading factor in their modding desires so I thought I'd make a basic list of what tools (Imo) you should have as a basic set up. these things should be widely available to most if not everyone, if you dont have something, I'll bet your Neighbour/Dad/Mate has.

If your going to do something, make sure you have room to move about, put things aside etc, and try to keep it clean...

I've screwed up so many things over rushing, if you want it to look good and avoid accidents or problems, take your time, better to walk away for a half hour and come back to a job fresh, than rush and risk damaging an expensive item.
now I know technically those two are not tools as such, but imo they are both vital requirements to doing a job well so I mention them as essential before you start.

Plan it,
so you'll need either pen and paper, or a drawing program to sketch out your idea, tweak it to your liking and how it will fit in your case.

read up on whatever it is you're doing, for example heatsink mods, learn about thermal paste, cleaning it off, applying new paste, get an idea of what it is youll be actually doing to your pc soon.

get your space cleared, have time to do the job your planning to do and double check everything you've planned so far.

Check you have everything you need before you start as well,
its no good cleaning old thermal paste off your cpu only to remember you never actually bought the new heatsink.

Actual tools then, like I say everyone should have access to these, or know someone who does

Measuring tape.

Outside the case I use a steel tape, inside it I use my Gf's dressmaking tape, its foldy, non-conductive and isnt going to smash into a chip or capacitor unexpectedly.


If you only have one set, make them needle nose pliers imo.

Drill and bits.

If you have a proper work bench and drill thats groovy, but some folks have to make do with Dremel type tools, thats fine too, just make sure you take your time and the results wil be the same, sometimes better, if you have both your onto a win.

Hacksaw or Jigsaw.

need a big casefan hole in your sidepanel? you can 'perforate' the lines using your drill and use the saw to cut them out hole to hole.


couple of various sizes imo, smoothing cuts off, tidying holes etc.

usually I use one as a marker for pilot holes etc.

Insulation tape.
sometimes just to hold wires out of the way while I work, can be used to shroud cables or hold them in place for cable management.

Ziplock/Cable ties.
again for C.M. purposes mainly.


preferably a good sharp one,
I have a Leatherman which fills a few of the other requirements here, but its a proper one, its a good solid tool don't skimp on your tools or you are cheating yourself in the end, and your finished jobs.

Masking tape
great for marking holes/lines to cut, protecting surfaces and generally handy stuff, I use painters tape, low adhesive so it doesn't mark the work
So, theres a basic list of bits, I fully expect people to chip in with their suggestions of essential items by the way :)

Hope this helps in some small way, and grows as it should.

Happy chopping guys n gals,
18 answers Last reply
More about home modder tool list
  1. One important thing to take into consideration especially in the planning process is ATX form factors (if you're going to do a 100% enclosure, oppose to open air). Im sure theres an image online that shows the usual measurments to ensure that everything lines up properly! The one below appears to be appropriate though rotated 90 to the right.

    (Back slots and I/O especially shown on this V image as the line shaded square V )

    Could be vary important incase you wish to reuse the case down the road, it'll already be ready to mount different size MB's :D

    Another thing is materials! Alot of different stuff out there to consider. Looking forward to this :]
  2. Knife, how could I forget knife lol,
    I'm a Blade maniac :P
    *Edited to include in Op*
  3. Yup, your dead on there Ashkaji,

    plan it to death before you even look at going shopping :P
    Thanks for the handy mobo sizer :)
  4. Screwdriver'd be handy too I reckon :P
    see what happens when you dont plan properly hehe
  5. Also just bought an Auger (thing for working out holes) and some cutting pliers for any snips I need to make
  6. Nice post.

    Just a (hopefully) constructive comment. Your post would be much more readable with the addition of topic headings (maybe bolded & larger typeface) or possibly bulletted/numbered lists.

    Links to examples of the various tools would be good too.
  7. Thanks for the input Cold, I will work on that, lots on at the minute but I do want this to be as useful as possible to potential modders :)
  8. Another suggestion as your go, I would recommend making links for a few (if not all of) the tools, supplies & equipment. This way people who have no idea what you are talking about can pull up the link and say... "Oh, I have that tool" or "There is where I can get it"... Make sense??
  9. A good soldering kit

    Center punch - keeps the drill bits from wandering when you are trying to drill a hole.

    Not tools but supplies:
    cable ties

    Window molding
  10. Bit updated with some pictures :)
    Thanks for the input guys,
    I use the auger previously mentioned for pilot holes McGhee but a centre punch does the same job
    Had a mare trying to edit the Op, had to do it all Quick edit :P
  11. A magnetic screwdriver comes in handy to hold and start small screws. This tool is great for retrieving screws that drop down to the bottom of the case. Great care must be exercised when bringing magnets close to magnetic media such as disk drives.

    I have a longer, more powerful, telescopic version, that I use while working on our cars.
  12. its a pretty good guide, although impatient people like me start the job then worry about the tools half way through :P
  13. Thats do-able if you have the required resourcefulness to quickly adapt things to tasks Ps3, screwdrivers can sometimes be hammers you know, **Important,<<<get that one the right way round :P**
    I just thought this would be a handy reference tool for people wondering about modding but too scared/didn't know how to approach things
    and although we're getting some good replies with some nice toys like the gribber/mechanical finger grabber thing, it shows that you can be modding with just a few basic bits anyone can get hold of,
  14. lots of cable tie sizes - keep things neat and tidy!
  15. Already up there, they're a modders staple hehe
    I like to get away without using them as much as I can though
  16. Jig saw and blades. Nothing fancy, just an inexpensive little set maybe - I like to cut out the backplate where the cpu chip sits so I can change the cooler out without removing the mobo. Files, both round and flat for smoothing out all the edges so only the metal/ plastic gets cut and not you. Don't forget the little pop rivet gun so you don't have to use bunches of screws.

    I think that fixed the links? lol

    Does a sound proof room count so the wife and kiddys don't wake up with all the @#%^@* going on???
  17. That links a bit off dude, even typing it in I'm getting error screens
    I reckon its a hacksaw set though?
    and yes, rivetgun is nice, non essential but bloody handy, I'll be putting that on my shopping list lol **Yeah jigsaw, I use an angle grinder myself :P and most of my work is kitchen or back yard (if its dry out)
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