Have you ever injured yourself building a PC?

Henry Cavill builds a PC
(Image credit: Henry Cavill)

The PC building gods sometimes demand blood. What's your worst injury? A particularly bad cut from an IO shield, a soldering iron burn, a bruise from a dropped component, an electrical shock? If you aren't a PC builder, or are just too sensible to cut a zip tie with a Stanley knife and slash open your thumb, how about injuries while playing games? Ever given yourself a particularly bad case of gamer's thumb, or a Guitar Hero strain?

Have you ever injured yourself building a PC?

Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.

(Image credit: Future)

Jacob Ridley: All the time. Mostly it's because I'm rushing a PC build or benchmarking for work purposes, and I'll just grab a part by the razor-sharp heatsink or soldered pins, slicing a finger up in the process. The worst time, however, and really the only time I've done any lasting damage, was my first hard-tube liquid cooling loop. Lucky for you lot, I documented the whole experience down in this here article for all to enjoy.

And I have to say: I loved building that PC and I'd do it all over again if I could—blood and all.

Alan Dexter: Countless times. Pretty much every build demands a sacrifice. I've also enjoyed the particular horrors of stripping down dream machines for Maximum PC, which resulted in plenty of cuts and bruises along with the added entertainment of trying to drain multiple water cooling loops filled with red dye. After everything was (mostly) back to its constituent parts I looked like I'd spend the day in an abattoir. The workbench I'd been dismantling it on didn't look much better. I must be getting better at this though because the last few builds (including the $400 budget build) haven't taken chunks out of my fingers or arms. Maybe the gods have had their fill?

(Image credit: Bossa Studios)

Graeme Meredith: Not PC-related, but the inspiration for this question—I sliced my finger recently removing some Sanwa buttons during an arcade stick mod. The best way to remove the "quick release" wires attached to arcade buttons is to place a small, flat head screwdriver under the metal connectors and give it a little twist. It's incredibly easy and it feels satisfying when the metal caps pop away, but you can cut yourself if you take the "quick release" name too literally and try to speed mod your arcade controller. Screwdrivers are sharp. Who knew?

From our forum

(Image credit: Sad Panda)

JCgames: I refuse to answer the first due to my building a new computer as I type this, are you trying to jinx me? On another note, does a sore index finger from playing "Crush Crush" count? Thank the maker for Catara, my finger thanks you my auto click girl.

XoRn: Every time I go into play VR it's like my house turns into an Escherian castle. I punch walls that wern't there, fall down steps we don't have, and stumble into angry people who sound suspiciously like my wife. I come out looking like I dated Chris Brown.

Colif: Considering how badly cases used to be made, its a surprise I have any hands left but I don't recall any bad cuts. I only bought one cheap case, ever since when I make a PC its had cases that won't cut me to shreds.

(Image credit: The Irregular Corporation)

Brian Boru: No serious injuries to flesh or electronics while building. Worst were a couple of cuts from cases in the 00s—I think some of them were banged together from discarded butchers' knives! I was a bit of a DIY guy in those days, so I knew the basics of handling tools and wrestling with stubborn bits.

Also in 00s I did get RSI from general PC use incl gaming, so I had to switch mouse hand—luckily I'm fairly ambidextrous so it was an easy switch. It did start my use of wrist rests though, haven't had any recurrence.

mainer: No injuries, but I did body slam a mouse once (back in my younger years when I had a bit of a temper) onto my desk, which then disintegrated into various parts (the mouse, not the desk). So it was more of a mental injury when I realized that I'd just destroyed 30-40 dollars for loosing my temper. Lesson learned.

Hitobat: I've definitely got small cuts on my hands building my own PCs over the years. Especially on the corners of e.g. a motherboard or graphics card, when trying to thread cables around in a small case.

That said, I don't think I've done that for several years now. It feels like cases have improved a lot over time, they're way more modular than they used to be with more removable pieces. But also I guess I have more money to spend as I age so maybe I can afford better quality cases?

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.