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Your PC deserves the sweet kiss of a magnetic screwdriver

screwdriver deal
(Image credit: SATA)

Earlier this year I made the mistake of moving across the country during the pandemic. This rookie move inevitably led me to spend the next month and a half building bookshelves, standing desks, kitchen islands, garage storage, and endless furniture, all things that hunger for damned screws.

I regret embarking on this journey without the help of a magnetic screwdriver. I feel sort of like Frodo who ran off to Mordor without trusty Sting. Let my failure benefit you, dear reader: get a magnetic screwdriver if you regularly open your PC.

We've all experienced the third least-enjoyable thing about building a PC: dropping screws into your case, only to have them roll behind the motherboard or some other metallic crevice. There they remain, marooned, until you nudge them back into the light—but only for a moment, because ugh, you dropped the screw again.

Consider these Black Friday drivers, all of which are discounted 20% or more right now:

ORIA Precision Screwdriver Kit with 56 Bits $16

ORIA Precision Screwdriver Kit with 56 Bits $16 $12.23 at Amazon
Save a few bucks on this electronics-friendly kit that features a [checks notes] flexible shaft, perfect for bending your way around corners like Neo and/or Gumby (see artistic rendering below) to nail those hard-to-reach corners inside a PC case. Comes in a few different colors.

Told you it was flexible. (Image credit: OVIN)
KER ratcheting magnetic screwdriver and 10-bit set $16.30

KER ratcheting magnetic screwdriver and 10-bit set $16.30 $9.13 at Amazon
Upgrade your screwing with this 7.4-inch, bendable driver. Screws cling to each of its tips, and with the alloy steel tips stored in the handle of the screw you won't lose them, either. This sucker tightens and, as a special bonus, also loosens screws, so there's no need to buy two.

SATA 6-piece stubby ratcheting screwdriver $19

SATA 6-piece stubby ratcheting screwdriver $19 $14.98 at Amazon
A good all-purpose driver if you intend to screw inside and outside of your computer. Note that this one is not magnetic, but it includes a magnetic telescoping wand. Try to resist the urge to use it for evil.

Another piece of advice: building your PC with a power drill is never a good idea. Over-tightening certain screws, especially anything on the motherboard, can not only make them harder to remove when you need to do maintenance or replace something, a screw that's driven too hard can crack or damage fragile PC components. You're better off doing it manually.

Evan Lahti

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.