How to ground yourself before touching a CPU

With delicate electrical components such as RAM, graphics cards and CPUs, caution and delicate handling are always watchwords. CPUs in particular can get fried very easily by errant static electricity. However, avoiding this potentially expensive disaster is a simple matter of properly grounding yourself before handling any components. Read on to find out how. For more CPU guides, check out our guide on how to monitor CPU temperature, or our comparison of AMD vs Intel: which processor is best?

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU: Step One

The first thing to remember when dealing with electrical safety is preparation. You can help ensure the security of your components by making sure you store them in anti-static bags to negate any static electricity they may encounter.

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU: Step Two

Another key tip is to avoid wool like the plague. We’ve all seen the childhood trick of rubbing a balloon on your jumper and then sticking it to stuff, and that’s made possible by static electricity coming off your woolen jumper.

A good habit to get into is ensuring that you’re always making any PC modifications on non-carpeted floor, with shoes on and no jumper. This should ensure that you’re carrying as little static as possible.

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU: Step Three

However, sometimes a little static electricity is unavoidable. This is easy to circumvent, however; you can buy anti-static wristband from Amazon for as little as £1. These small accessories feature a wristband with a wire and crocodile clip.

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU

This clip is then attached to a grounded source, such as a radiator or any plugged-in electrical product with a metal ground pin, which prevents the build-up of any static electricity. If you want to be extra sure, place your hand on a metal object such as your PC case every so often to dissipate any excess.

How to ground yourself before touching a CPU: Step Four

Finally, when handling CPUs, make sure to only hold them by the edge. Avoiding touching the exposed pins, circuitry or metal top will go a long way towards ensuring the health of your components.