Tools one should have to begin case modding
**First and foremost, above all else, get a pair of Safety Glasses (or Goggles)! A pair of these will set you back a couple bucks and shelling out a few dollars is better than getting a hot metal shaving in the eye, isn't it?**
1. A Dremel or other rotary tool. These are invaluable for both cutting and grinding.
2. A variable-speed drill. Used to drill (and cut) holes in cases.
3. A 3" hole saw. Either buy separately or in a kit. Works wonders for cutting blowholes for 80mm fans.
4. A center punch. Used to make small dents or pilot holes for drilling so you don't go skittering across your case with the bit and wreck your finish.
5. A set of drill bits that are rated for drilling through metal. You'll need at least a 3/16" bit to drill holes for case screws. The smaller ones can be used to punch holes for wires through the metal as needed.
6. A jigsaw and metal-cutting blades. Excellent for long, straight cuts and/or gentle curves.
7. A set of files (or grinding wheels for the Dremel). Used to take the burrs off of the metal you've just cut apart. No sense in slashing your fingers open and bleeding all over your work, right?
8. Masking tape. A must-have for masking off the cutting areas so as not to mar the finish on your case.
9. A CD blank (or one that your burner screwed up). The best template for a 120mm blowhole you'll ever find.
10. Sharpie markers (or pencils, or something else that will mark on your case surface). Used to mark out where the cuts/holes will be.
11. Extra fan grates (various sizes). The best template for figuring out where the holes for the mounting screws should go.
12. Leather Gloves. A nice heavy-duty pair will make handling the metal you just cut a lot easier and will save your fingers from getting shredded on the edges while you are working.
13. A Nibbler. The hand-held models are good for taking small areas out of thinner metal, but don't try to use it for any extended length of time without the aforementioned pair of leather gloves.
14. A Multimeter. A must-have tool for anyone who does a lot of circuit-creation or for checking the rails on your power supply.
15. A pencil type soldering tool and small diameter rosin core solder .. good for LEDs, wiring, and the afore mentioned circuit creation
16. A variety of wet and dry sandpaper, in several grits: 80, 100, 200, 800, 1500 and 2000
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These are just some basic tools that you should try to accumulate before diving in to the hobby of modding. Remember, when modding anything goes, so the best tool you can use is your mind!
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This list is by no means comprehensive, and is in fact a living document. Feel free to throw in what you feel should be in every modder's basic toolkit, and I'll try to get it added to the list!