The Top 10 Tools for Every Electrician

Every electrician requires some basic tools, especially when starting out. These essential tools are the ones you will generally use everyday and likely on every job. Having said that, you will also grow your tool collection the longer you remain in the profession.

The Electrician’s Tool Belt

Your tool belt is the first essential piece you will need, as you will wear it on every job and it holds your other essential tools. As your tool inventory grows, you can plan on not only filling this tool belt to the brim, but also expanding with a toolbox containing the less frequently-used but still important larger tools.

Your tool belt itself is not something you should skimp on. A high-quality belt should last the majority of your years in the trade. One great option is the DEWALT Electricians Tool Belt, complete with a roller buckle, padded waist belt, and comes with two pouches to start. This belt is expandable to accommodate a growing collection.

Essential Tools for Every Electrician

  1. Pliers

    An essential tool, pliers will be used on every job. There are several styles, based on the job at hand:

    • Klein Pliers – These are the most versatile pliers. Whether you are twisting wires together, pulling “Fish” tape, or tightening B-caps, these pliers are a must in your tool belt.
    • Klein Diagonal Side Cutting Pliers – These are the best pliers to use when cutting wire to length for terminating jobs.
    • Klein Needle Nose Pliers/Klein Needle Nose Pliers – Whether you are retrieving small screws in a tight space or using them to hold screws for drilling, these are a must have.
    • Klein Wire Strippers – Designed to be comfortable during use, these are spring-assisted for quick and easy wire stripping. They have 10-32 and 6-32 hole slots, and come with holes for wire terminations at receptacles.
  2. Channel Locks

    Having a couple of pairs of channel locks will give you even more versatility. It’s best to start out with these two:

    • 2-1/4” Capacity – These are used when working with rigid conduit and tightening locking nuts on connectors, and are best used for conduit 2” and under.
    • 5-1/5” Capacity – When it comes to working with pipe and conduit over 2” in diameter, you’ll want these in your tool belt.
  3. Screwdrivers

    Ideally, you’ll ultimately have all sizes of flat-head and Phillips head screwdrivers to meet any need you have in the field. However, it is best to start out with a small selection of sizes, as well as a screwdriver kit with multiple size bits in flat and Phillips heads.

  4. Utility Knife

    The best type of utility knife is the folding kind with easily replaceable blades. Not only is it convenient to be able to replace the blade at a moment’s notice, but a folding utility knife can be worn on your belt without posing a danger to you.

  5. Pipe Reamer

    If you work with conduit, this is a must-have. When you cut conduit, you leave sharp pieces on the ends of the pipe. The reamer will remove all of these sharp edges.

  6. Electrician’s Level

    An electrician’s level will come with rare earth magnets for ease of use wherever you set it, and is normally covered with impact-resistant plastic, should you drop it.

  7. Voltage Detector

    You will always want to use a voltage detector to make sure the power is off(or has been turned back on) for the circuit you are working on.

  8. Small Sheet Rock Saw

    No matter which job you are on, you will ultimately need to cut in a new box for an outlet. This small but effective saw can be used to also cut holes for recessed lighting.

  9. Professional Knee Pads

    You may not have expected these as a “must-have,” but you will find yourself kneeling or spending an extended amount of time on your knees when performing electrical work. Save your knees and your back by investing in a pair of professional kneepads.

  10. Circuit Breaker Finder

    If you’re working alone, there’s nothing more frustrating than going back and forth between the circuit panel and the receptacle you are working on to make sure you’ve shut off the right circuit breaker. A circuit breaker finder is worth its weight in gold as an addition to your basic set of tools.

If you’re working alone, there’s nothing more frustrating than going back and forth between the circuit panel and the receptacle you are working on to make sure you’ve shut off the right circuit breaker. A circuit breaker finder is worth its weight in gold as an addition to your basic set of tools.

At All Star Electrical, we continue to spend time training and supporting our certified electricians, making sure they are always equipped with the right tools to perform any job they are headed to. To learn more about our services in the Colorado Front Range and greater Denver area, call us at 303-399-7420.

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