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Top ten PC Modders Tools

Files

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Finger files are an essential tool for any modder, whatever material you’re working on. From creating USB port slots to reaching into areas a Dremel can’t, they’re a cheap and invaluable addition to your toolbox. Metal files cost a bit more but can still be useful if you’re going a little more hardcore.

Drill

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A quintessential tool for every modder out there. Whether you’re cutting a fan blow hole, toggle switch hole, screw hole or water-cooling fitting pass-through, or drilling out rivets, a drill is something every modder should own. We’ve recently made the switch from cordless to corded when our battery ran out for the last time – but whichever you choose, they’re a relatively inexpensive addition to your inventory.

Cable braiding kit

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While you can get away with using staples to remove some PSU cables, a proper kit usually makes the job a lot easier. There are numerous tools available now, from the usual Sunbeam/Phobya standard kits, to new dedicated tools although the latter can be a bit pricy. If you’re going to be braiding your PSU in the near future, you’ll certainly be wanting one of these.

Scrollsaw and Bandsaw

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The more expensive items in a modder’s shed usually include these lust-worthy tools. A scrollsaw is used for cutting out large sections in sheet materials, specifically dealing with smaller details such as curves. They have the advantage that the blades can be inserted into a pre-drilled hole, allowing you to cut out sections in the middle of your material and at angles too using guide rails.

A band saw on the other hand is essentially a scrollsaw on steroids. They’re able to deal with longer sections of material but can cope with curves and bends too. If you have metres of acrylic you need cut to shape and don’t want to spend weeks sanding and trimming it to shape having used a Dremel or Jigsaw, a bandsaw will make your life a heck of a lot easier, although your wallet probably won’t thank you for it.

Jigsaw

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While it’s not the most elegant of instruments, the jigsaw is a relatively cheap way of doing some of the classic modding manoeuvres. Side panel windows, fan blow holes and generally dealing with long lengths of materials too cumbersome for a Dremel – they’re all task for the jigsaw. It’s not as flexible as the Dremel, but seeing as you can pick one up for less than £20, it’s a cheaper alternative to a scrollsaw or bandsaw and a better option than a Dremel for cutting long lengths of material, particularly metal.

Rivet Gun

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I was amazed at just how cheap rivet guns are. I bought my own a few months ago for around £5 to re-rivet a case I’d dismantled prior to painting it. I’d always thought this was a tricky business but nothing could be further from the truth. The satisfying squeeze and snap and the rivet is squeezed into place and the tail removed. It's the very essence of feeling like you’re achieving something. I’d also definitely consider using it in future scratchbuilds instead of adhesives or mounts, although it will take a while to rid me of my obsession with 3M mounting tape.

Holesaw

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You can’t use a holesaw without a drill, but nonetheless, they’re fairly cheap and one of the best ways to cutting neat holes in your case. They’re available in a range of sizes, from toggle switch size all the way up to 140mm fan blowhole size. We’ve even cut through steel cases so there’s really nothing these saws can’t achieve. Just make sure you have plenty of spare batteries for your cordless drill as cutting through steel can take a while.

So there you have it – the above are our favourite modding tools. Which tools do you think everyone should own? Let us know in the forum...

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