Any craftsman will tell you that they are only as good as their tools. This is especially true when dealing with electrical services. Due to the voltage carried by live wires, having the right electrical tools not only means getting the job done well, but also ensures the safety of the individual who is completing the job. If you are new to the electrical industry, the experts at The Wire Doctors have detailed the electrical tools which are must haves for any electrician to not only get the job done right, but also to stay safe in the process.
Electrician’s Safety Equipment
- Non-Conductive Boots
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Staying safe on the job should be one of the main concerns for an electrician. The first step to maintaining safety is having the correct safety equipment. Safety basics like glasses, a hardhat and non-conductive boots and necessities when beginning in the electrical industry.
Electrician’s Hand Tools
- Allen Key Set (One Insulated Set is Priced from $59 on Amazon)
- Complete Set of Screwdrivers
- Wire Strippers
- Linesman Pliers
- Voltage Meter
Before addressing the power tools and miscellaneous tools which are needed for electricians, we should first review the hand tools which are most commonly used by an electrical technician. As far as your typical hand tools, an electrician should have a saw, allen keyset and complete set of screwdrivers. The last thing any electrician wants is to work themselves into a tight space and begin working only to find out that they do not have the right allen key or screwdriver for the task at hand. Not only does this waste your time, but can come off as unprofessional to service managers and customers alike.
In addition to the common hand tools listed above, wire strippers, linesman pliers and a voltage meter are three electrical tools which are absolute necessities for electricians to own and keep on their person. Linemans’ pliers, otherwise known as side cutters, are valuable for their ability to easily cut through Romex wire and single conductor cable (up to 4 gauge). The flat jaws also make it a great tool for grabbing and holding anything which may be required. Wire strippers are a valuable tool which enable an electrician to remove the insulation from copper wire. Different strippers may be necessary depending on the gauge of the copper wire and having a good pair is essential for an electrician.
Perhaps the most important tool for an electrician is the voltage meter. You can not see an electrical current, so how do you know one is there? The answer is simple; a voltage meter. This makes it easy for an experienced electrician to determine whether a current is flowing through a wire and what voltage is flowing through said wire. For obvious reasons, this greatly improves safety for the electrician and helps to avoid costly mistakes when the work is completed.
Electrician’s Power Tools
- Battery Operated Screw Gun
- Power Drill
There are a number of power tools which can be useful when completing electrical services. In this case we have the two most important and commonly used power tools for an electrician. Having a battery operated screw gun, not only saves time but can make your life as an electrician a whole lot easier. On top of the time saved by not manually turning screws; a battery operated screw gun can be invaluable in tight spaces where the physical act of turning a screwdriver may be restricted.
Of course, a power drill is also a tool which is commonly used by an electrician. Purchasing a good power drill can return dividends in the long run. As a commonly used tool, spending extra for a power drill which has extended battery life can be a lifesaver for those times when you forget to charge the battery! After all, how useful is a power tool if it has no power?
Miscellaneous Electrical Tools
- Sturdy Tool Bag/Box
- Tool Belt (This tool belt from Milwaukee is great for beginners and Milwaukee makes it easy to find where the tool belt is in stock)
The above miscellaneous electrical tools are not specific to the electrical industry, but are crucial tools for nearly any craftsman to utilize. Having a flashlight is absolutely essential for an electrician. Especially when dealing in cramped spaces, or without power, visibility can be extremely difficult making it hard to see what you are completing. Keeping a flashlight handy helps to avoid this. An even better step would be to get a headlamp for additional handless light!
Having a tool bag and box may seem like a luxury to the beginning apprentice, however; the savings of time and the professionalism it provides can be invaluable. Customers and service managers can become frustrated if service takes longer than expected. By having tools organized and readily available, you can save time and present yourself more professionally by knowing exactly where everything you need is located at.