Top Electrical Tools List
- Screwdrivers and nut drivers
- Wire strippers
- Utility Knife
- Fishing tools
- Measuring devices
- Labeling machines
- Power drills and drivers, hammer/drills
- Power saws
- Voltage Detectors/ Multimeter
Every electrician needs basic hand tools to perform everyday tasks. Fortunately, today’s basics are better than older models, providing more comfort and safety than their predecessors. Manufacturers have made tools more ‘ergonomically correct,’ and improved designs help cut down on hand and wrist injuries often caused by repetitive movement. Plus, they make it easier to perform the same motion over and over because the tools just feel more comfortable. While today’s designs may provide more safety and comfort, they’re still the basic hand tools electricians have been using for years.
Two of the most common tools an electrician can’t work without are side-cutting pliers and long-nose or needle-nose pliers.
Klein is the most recognized hand tool name in the electrical industry. Top sellers include classic models such as the high-leverage side-cutting pliers for heavy-duty cutting and connector crimping, and six-inch long-nose pliers. Klein’s ergonomic Journeyman series pliers are also quite popular. These tools have contoured and cushioned handles that feature a pliable outer surface and hard, black inner material providing a more comfortable grip without sacrificing tool strength and durability. They also have a contoured thumb area and a flared thumb rest that further improves their feel and gripping power.
Screwdrivers and nut drivers
Electricians need several screwdrivers and nut drivers to work with various types of fasteners and applications. For electricians who want one tool that adapts to many uses, Klein’s 10-in-1 screwdriver/nut driver set with numbers 1 and 2 Phillips; 1/4-inch, 3/16-inch slotted, 5/16-inch and 1/4-inch nut drivers; numbers 10 and 15 TORX; and numbers 1 and 2 square-recess bits. Everything fits into the same chrome-plated, heat-treated shaft with a comfortable cushion-grip handle. Replacement bits are available.
In this category, Ideal Industries’ T-Stripper line of wire strippers is a top seller.
They have been an industry standard for almost 50 years. Best sellers are the Reflex wire stripper and the T-Stripper. The Kinetic Reflex T-Stripper is a strong new addition to the line.
Ergonomic designs are one reason for their popularity. Curved handles are designed to fit an electrician’s natural grip and reduce repetitive motion fatigue. Non-slip Santoprene textured grips provide more control. A thumb guide promotes comfort while focusing kinetic energy for faster wire stripping.
Razor Blade Knife (Utility Knife)
Although some people use utility knifes for things they shouldn’t, like stripping their Romex wiring, these tools do come in handy. You will find you use this tool quite a bit during your wiring project, even if it’s just to open boxes.
Fish tapes and poles
Fish tapes: The Ideal Tuff-Grip line of fish tapes is a strong seller at Graybar.
Handles on impact-resistant cases are large and comfortable, so a secure grip can be maintained, even when wearing work gloves. Tape materials are suited to any type of job.
Fish tapes are used more for conduit/commercial applications. Not all residential wiring project will require a fish tape.
Fish poles: Fish pole wire-installation tools facilitate wire pulling in drop ceilings, down walls or under raised floors. There are several Greenlee models, including the 12- and 24-foot Fish Stix kits and the new 15-foot Glo Stix that glows for better visibility in dark environments. The lightweight design makes them easier to use than heavier models.
Again, a fish pole is not required for all wiring projects. For a DIYer, keep in mind this tool is available if you get into a situation where it is needed.
Laser measuring tools are becoming more popular, but no electrician’s tool belt is without a basic tape for simple measurements. Those with rare earth magnetic tips that stick to iron and steel surfaces permit fast, one-person measurements. Most folks already have a tape measure but if not you can pick one up at any hardware store or online.
Properly labeling work at installation saves time when making the final connections. Labeling wires including electrical, Ethernet, and coax as you install the wire makes the final panel connections much quicker. A labeling machine can be used to label these wires. It can also be used to create labels for your electrical panel which is very handy.
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