Assembling and maintaining an electrical tool kit with the proper tools and gear is one of your main responsibilities as an electrician. With increasingly diverse electrical components, making sure you have the right tools in your kit is essential.
Many new electricians may feel that they need to buy top of the line tools, but if your tools are sturdy and in good working condition you don’t have to spend a fortune. Most employers will provide a list of hand tools, while some may even provide you with a basic starter kit. In either case, the following list will give any new electrician a good starting point.
Common Tools For Wide Usage
Heavy-duty pliers for general use in cutting and twisting wires. They are ideal for twisting solid wires when splicing with wire nuts or for twisting off Ty-Rap ends. Sometimes called the “Electrician’s Hammer”, they can also cut small gauge steel wire.
Used to cut smaller gauge wires, they are also great for cutting in hard to reach areas. Next to the Linesman’s pliers, this will be one of your most-used tools, so spending a little extra on a high-quality tool will go a long way.
More powerful than regular pliers used to cut large conductors and smaller cable. Be sure to use these only on copper and aluminium. Also known as “eagle beaks”.
Needle Nose Pliers
Used for gripping in tight spaces, I find these work best when the pliers are rough at the end. Again, the cheapest tool you can find will work just as well as the expensive brands and having a few different styles can come in handy.
Alan Keys / Hex Keys
Used to tighten electrical termination lugs, look for a set that has a variety of sizes. A cheap set will work fine, so consider getting both standard and metric sizes.
You will tighten thousands of screws during your career, so having a high-quality tool that lasts longer and strips screws less frequently is important. A multi-head driver is perfect for new workers on a budget, but the quality of the tips is not as good as the separate drivers.
There are many other tools and accessories that may be required at some point during an electrician’s service. Items such as tape measures, hammers and more will be helpful in some situations, so be sure to invest in tools that may be assumed to be used for other sectors.