From the very first tool that was invented in Stone Age; humans have developed and used wide variety of tools for every task. From simple screw drivers to complex cutting edge tools used in space missions. Electricians are not exception and there are many tools they need in their everyday tasks to provide them with efficiency, accuracy, comfort and safety in order to keep homes and offices wired and industries and institutions running.
Tools an electrician needs depend on some factors:
An electrician apprentice needs more basic hand tools compared with a master electrician that requires very advanced tools in her/his arsenal.
The type of the industry also demands some specialty tools. Industrial electrical services require more heavy duty set of tools compared to residential electrical services or even commercial electrical services. Construction jobs also have more specialty needs and institutional electricians may have tools unique to their institution. Emerging green energy sources also have tools specifically designed for them.
Design is also important. Other than being appealing, correct design provides comfort and safety for your hand and wrist while featuring high quality materials for strength and durability.
Budget is another factor when it comes to choosing electrician tools but keep in mind that high quality tools last much longer and provide more comfort and safety.
No mater why you are looking for electrician tools, buying them for the very first time or replacing the old and worn ones, in this article we will introduce essential tools that every electrician needs. By the end of this article you can make an informed decision without spending on unnecessary tools.
No matter you are an apprentice, a journeyman or a master electrician, basic hand tools are used by all for everyday tasks which are often repetitive movements that can cause fatigue and injury; therefore, comfort and safety are essential features in order to protect your hand. They are available in pre-assembled tool sets or you can pick and build your own tool set but generally pre-assembled tool sets are more economic which makes them ideal for first year apprentice training. Basic hand tools include the followings:
Pliers are the most commonly used tools by electricians to do just about every task. most common type of pliers include side-cutting, needle-nose and tongue and groove which come in different models for individual purposes but having cushioned handle provides more comfortable grip accompanied with contoured thumb resting place to enhance griping power.
Screwdrivers come in wide variety of sizes as there are different fasteners but there are some designs that integrate all the sizes in one tool which are really smart and take less space in your tool belt.
Nut drivers have the same variety and features of screwdrivers.
Wire stripers require ergonomic design with curved handles and non-slippery materials in order to be efficient and comfortable to cut wires and provide more control and speed.
Hammer is a must for construction jobs but claw hammers can always be handy for any job to remove nails.
Fish tape is a useful tool on a reel to pull and push solid wire through conduit.
Utility knife can be a pocket knife or a razor knife depending on your preference.
Tool belt holds all your basic hand tools while you are working and moving. They are made with different materials but canvas is the most common while leather is the more costly but durable one. Tool belts are better be used with suspender to distribute the heavy weigh properly in order to protect your back.
Measurement is crucial in delivering safe and efficient electrical services and there are tones of tools to help you with measurement but the main ones are:
Tape in basic form has been used by electricians for years but laser measuring tools are becoming more available and popular. Tapes come in different length and double-sided and two-step lock control are among the most used tapes which the former facilitate taking measurement from below while the later gives you more control over blade retraction and placement. Magnetic tip tapes are suitable for single-person measurement because they stick to metal surfaces.
Level is needed to deliver a well-leveled job over to the customer!
Multimeter is used to measure electrical properties such as voltage, resistance and current. They are available in analog or digital form with Bluetooth and thermal imaging camera features.
Circuit finder is designed to trace a circuit because finding the circuit is not always easy. You just have to plug the transmitter into the outlet so the detector can find the matching directory.
Voltage tester is crucial for safety because you need to recognize a ‘live’ wire without touching it.
Labeling makes your measurements and movements easier and faster and there are many tools for that:
Label printer makes barcodes and graphics and PC-compatible versions make labeling wires, cables, racks, panels and facilities with tough surface easily possible.
Pencils and markers are needed for measurements and placements.
Power tools used to be bulky and heavy but thanks to modern ergonomic designs and compact materials, they come in smaller sizes and weights while providing more power. Removing cords and relying on high tech chargeable batteries make them even more convenient. The most commonly used power tools are:
Drills differ depending on the surface and application. Other than drilling a hole, they are used for fastening which requires lower voltage and power while drilling a hole on a hard surface like concrete should be done with high voltage corded heavy duty drill. There are also multipurpose drills that save space in your tool box.
Saws have also different types as well depending on the job but the most common are handheld reciprocating, cut-off, spiral, portable band and hole saws.
Tools the electrician needs are essential to the quality and safety of the service therefore proper storage and handling of electrical tools are important and cost effective. Keeping your tools away from humidity and clearing dust and grease after each use guarantees their durability.