I just bought an ESD mat for my workbench. ESD mat is great when working with sensitive electronics components as it safely dissipates any charge built-up to the ground via its dissipative surface through the attached grounding wire.

For cost conscientious hobbyists though, ESD mat is not strictly required as long as sufficient care is taken. For instance, the working surface of the workbench should not allow significant charge build up. Generally speaking, wood surface should be good enough to avoid charge buildup. Also, maintaining a certain level of humidity (e.g. RH 40% to 60%) would greatly reduce triboelectric charging effect. Try not to touch the exposed pins of any semiconductor devices when handling. For added protection, a properly attached wrist strap would also greatly reduce the chance of accidental ESD damaging sensitive and expensive components.

In the video below, let us a detailed look.

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