While there is some crossover between different professions, every trade has a list of essential tools needed to do jobs. That applies to electricians, just like it applies to carpenters and plumbers.
Exactly what is required may vary based on the preferences of the individual. One electrician may rely on a specific tool while another may not. However, certain core tools are a necessity to do the job safely and efficiently. What tools do electricians use the most when they work on your home or business?
- Pliers – Electricians need a quality pair of pliers with comfortable grips. They should open and close easily and smoothly. A professional should own a set of different sizes to ensure that they can accommodate different jobs.
Along with traditional pliers, electricians should also own needle-nose, tongue and groove, and side-cutting pliers.
- Screwdrivers and Nut Drivers – Every electrician should at least have a flathead and Philips head screwdriver on hand. These are needed to remove or install switches, outlets, and cover plates. Some models are manufactured for electrical work, while others are for general use.
- Circuit Finders – Electrical work can present challenges, like figuring out which outlet is connected to which directory. Circuit finders make it possible to trace a circuit and find the answer quickly and safely.
- Wire Strippers – Wire strippers remove insulation from electrical wires. Electricians need their tool to contain a variety of holes designed for different wire sizes. These should also have a comfortable grip for ease of use. Some even include cutting teeth to trim wire ends with the same tool.
- Voltage Testers – Electricity can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know which wires are live and which are not. A voltage tester makes it possible to see if any voltage is in a wire or device. These are a must-have item for electricians.
Non-contact voltage testers are preferred because they can be used without handling the outlet or wire.
- Multimeters – Analog and digital multimeters are available. This tool is used to measure several electrical properties that include resistance, current, voltage, and DC current. Older models can get the job done, but newer multimeters include helpful extras like thermal imaging and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Tape Measures – Tape measures may be basic, but they are something every electrician should own. It’s necessary to plan projects and estimate material needs. Different styles are available, including bulkier, heavy-duty tape measures, and those designed with a compact shape.
- Fish Tape – Fish tape lets electricians route wiring through walls and more. It consists of a slim band of spring steel and can be guided through confined spaces. It retracts into a reel, making it easier to store and carry when not in use.
- Hammers – Hammers are another basic item that is a necessity for electricians and anyone else doing construction work. A claw hammer can add or remove nails and wooden boards.
- Levels – A level will tell you if a structure is plumb before continuing or finishing a job. An uneven surface can cause serious problems later. In other situations, it could be an aesthetic issue. Either way, a professional should always make sure their work is level before they finish or move on.
- Torches – An electrician needs to be able to see what they are doing, even if they are working in a basement, attic, or confined space. A bright torch is needed and should always be accessible, even when working on a job during daylight hours.
This list includes essential items, however additional tools may be needed. Talk to an electrician or check out our other articles to learn more.