While replacing a mainboard in a desktop machine (see related question), I did something stupid. I inserted the CPU into the new mainboard, but didn't check for the right position. When it didn't immediately lock in, I pressed slightly before realizing what was wrong. The result was a number of bent pins.
I tried every tutorial that popped up when Googling "CPU bent pins" - using credit cards, sewing needles, and a hunting knife to get the pins back into position - but to no avail: For every pin I get straightened out, two others are bent.
I have no problem getting individual pins straightened out, but my many attempts have led to many pins being slightly askew - enough for the CPU not to fit into the socket (An AMD X3 one). Maybe I just lack the motoric finesse. What I would need is some sort of a grid to fix all pins at once.
It's a €50 processor so the loss is not catastrophic. But I thought before I go buy a new one, I thought I'd check here whether anybody knows some magic trick, or a cheap generally-available tool to fix this.
Update: it turned out that the CPU was beyond salvaging: A pin broke off in the end, which made me give up. I bought a new CPU. Still, thanks a lot for the great input, and I think this is a useful reference for future generations.