Perfect Electrical Tool Kit For New Electricians
Someone once said that you should at all times treat Your new electrical tool kit like how a lady would treat her purse. Be always knowledgeable on where it is and give care to its contents even when lending some.” Apprentices like some skilled professionals can leave tools behind, and if they move from one location to another, never get their tools back.
Your tool belt and pouch will keep the tools organized, easy to find, and allow You to reach the tool You need at particular moment. You should have another pouch on Your belt that is for holding screws and other parts. Try to have one with at least three pockets.
Currently the best offer (in terms of price and quality) in the market is:
This Klein 28 tool kit includes:
- one side-cutting pliers
- one diagonal-cutting pliers
- one long-nose pliers
- one pump pliers
- one adjustable wrench
- two keystone-tip screwdrivers
- two cabinet-tip screwdrivers
- one wire-bending screwdriver
- one square-recess tip screwdriver
- one Rapi-Driv screwdriver
- one conduit-fitting & reaming screwdriver
- seven nut drivers
- one power-return rule
- one torpedo level
- one crimper/cutting tool
- one wire stripper/cutter
- one utility knife
- one protective eyewear
- one canvas zipper bag
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Read more on specific electrician tools:
ELECTRICIAN TOOLS LIST
Electrician Testing Tools
With the ever changing variety of tools available, it might be difficult to decide which ones You need for Your specific duties.
Electricians specialize in electrical wiring, either in residential, commercial or industrial buildings. No matter what is Your specialization, everything You install or repair must be tested for safety and functionality beforehand. In other words, this means that You must have a full suite of electrical testing tools to complete Your job. Job completion is just one side of this necessity – because testing testing circuits and wires can also save Your life. For instance, accidental contact with a hot wire might result not only with a little jolt, but also with a severe one – You could very well be electrocuted. Testing wires and equipment before You start Your work is just as important as testing it after You have finished.
#1 Clamp Meters
Clamp meter, also referred to as current meter, allows You to measure the current without disconnecting the device or the circuit. It is designed to be attached around the conductor, enabling You to measure the current or amperage of a particular cable or wire.
Clamp meters are also used to measure voltage and resistance, so it is definitely a tool You need to have with You at all times. Testing everything You are going to touch before You touch is a big part of safety in the workplace.
#2 Non-contact Voltage Detector
The non-contact voltage detector might be the simplest, yet most crucial electrical testing tool to have on hand. It can save you from quite a jolt. It is designed to light up or buzz whenever a hot lead is detected.
Hold it up to a power outlet and You will immediately determine whether or not you’ve tripped the right breaker to disconnect the power. When repairing or replacing a ceiling fan, the volt detector will let You know if all of the power is out or if there may be another hot lead from a different circuit.
The tool is quite cheap, thus the price should not be an obstacle not to get one, even if the closest You get to do working with electricity is changing a light bulb.
When shopping for this tool, look for one with an alarm, rather than just a light. That way You will not have to keep an eye out for the warning light. And, in addition, the light is sometimes hard to see, especially in bright sunlight.
#3 Fork Meters
This tool is similar to a clamp meter. The fork design makes it perfect for working in electrical boxes and other confined spaces where it is easier to slip in a fork type prong, rather than a larger clamp
The inexpensive models are fine for most jobs. When you need a more precise reading with tight perimeters, You may need a more accurate, and expensive version. Your mentor/boss will able to tell You which type is more suitable for Your type of work.
#4 Digital Volt Meter
For a professional electrician, the only ones really worth buying are known as “true RMS” meters. This is because a true RSM meter does much more than the simple versions – it measures the current and voltage, even in less than perfect conditions. This comes in quite handy, especially when dealing with electrical motors.
Other variations include the low bandwidth oscilloscope, the auto polarity, the sample and hold type.
#5 Circuit and Receptacle Testers
#6 Circuit Analyzers
Circuit analyzer is an upgraded version of a circuit tester – it has additional features that you may require in certain situations. Hence, these devices generally cost more, but the added benefits are well worth the money, for instance, if You are dealing with a lot of installation works in new buildings or rewiring existing systems.
#7 Watt Meters
Although a watt meter is not technically a professional tool (unless You are in the business of measuring the efficiency of appliances), it is an electrical testing tool. For instance, You can measure how much a security system or fire detector system consumes over a particular period (watt meters measure what is known as watt hours). This tool can be quite useful for homeowners, to depict, if one suspects an appliance is using more power than he/she feels it should, just test its usage and see if maybe that old power hog should be replaced with a more efficient model.
Wire Pulling Tools
Electrical wire pulling tools are an essential part of every electrician (as well as electrician apprentice) tool arsenal. Whatever type of wiring situation You might come across, there is a very good chance that job will require pulling some wire with pulling tools. It is simply basis of the job – whether You are working on a complicated repair in tight quarters or a new building with plenty of room to work.
The biggest challenge is often selecting the right tools for the job (and their quality, because cheaper versions might rise additional problems). This is where your training comes in. When You know exactly which tools work best in which situations, the job will go much easier.
Types of Electrical Wire Pulling Tools
This instrument is crucial for every electrician. Whether you are pulling electrical wire or low voltage cable, this tool can be a lifesaver. Characteristics of a good electrical tools include – they are crafted from non-conductive materials such as fiberglass, and have an adjustable nose pin that can be easily and effectively adapted to your needs. When you search for a draw tape, make sure to get one long enough for different sorts of jobs. Get one with a stable, solid reel that is not likely to bind. When working with longer conduit or heavier wires, join the rope to the end of the tape. Despite the fact that the tape is a tough and adaptable electrical wire pulling tool, it is not a good idea to pull an excessively heavy load.
When attaching the wire to the end of the tape, strip off the external insulation first. Thread the bare wire through the end and cover the whole connection with an electrical tape.
This may appear like a ton of extra work, but losing your wire half way through the conduit will be much terrible.
Lubricating the wire with special electrical lubricant will make it much easier to slip the wire through.
To draw the wire through, have one man stand by the box feeding the wire into the conduit, while You pull at the other end with the electrical wire pulling instrument.
Verify that the person feeding the wire does not allow the wires to become tangled.
In best case scenario, he would lubricate the wires with one hand while feeding them into the conduit and pull the wire off the reel with the other.
Pull the wires slowly, approximately 2 to 3 feet at a time. Periodically verify with the person on the other end that pulling rate is good for him. If the rate is too fast, wires can get kinked, or even worse – You can harm helpers hand. Space your pulls to guarantee that Your helper has enough time to lubricate the wires and pull off enough new wire to keep feeding the conduit.
Wire Pulling Rods
These rods are usually three to six feet long. You can get various connection heads, allowing to complete a number of jobs like running cable TV wires, telephone lines, thermostat wiring and many more.
The most important portion of pulling wires is to keep the wires kink free, and do not lose the wire inside the conduit. In case the wire is lost, it must be pulled back and process must be started from the beginning. This, like unexpected kinks, is very time-consuming, so check that the wire is attached securely in the first place.
For small scale jobs, you may be able to simply thread the wires through without any help. But such cases are very rare. In most cases, You will not ba able to do everything yourself. Doing the job without the proper equipment will almost certainly result in in kinked or stuck wires.
Below are shown some examples of electrical wire pulling tools You will most likely have to use in electrician trade.
Draw Tape (also known as Fish Tape)
This is a great tool used primarily to pull wires through electrical conduits. The draw tape is a thin, flat piece of steel wire, coiled in a plastic box and available in several different lengths.
Wire Pulling Lubricant
This is used to help the conductors slide better through conduit or EMT. This type of lubricant will not deteriorate the conductor insulation, do not use STL as lubricant.
Fibreglass Fish Rod
This is a great tool, Used to assist the installation of wires above ceilings, through walls and other hard to get to places. They are flexible and very strong at same time.
Fish Rod Accessory Set
This accessory set has the attachments that help grab and retrieve wires or other objects that are out of reach in those hard to get places.
Electrician Conduit Benders
Electricians frequently need conduit benders and other bending tools to perform tasks like – form electrical conduit and to make pipe to fit where it is needed. When instruments are used properly, they make precise and consistent bends without damaging the conduit.
There are a wide range of benders available today – from hand operated tools to bulk benders used to form electrical metallic tubing, intermediate electrical conduit, rigid piping and PVC conduit. The type You need largely depends on the size and type of conduit you are working with and how much bending needs to be done.
EMT, IMC and rigid piping needs a bender with a bending shoe. There is a groove in the bending shoe that matches the external diameter of the conduit and supports the inner radius and outer wall as the bend is created. For PVC conduit, on the other hand, You need a bender with a heating component to soften the plastic so it can be shaped the necessary way. Hand operated benders are the simplest in design and have faced almost no alterations over the years.
It is basically a shoe and a handle that rolls the conduit between the floor and the device, slowly expanding the bend as it rolls. Shoes for hand benders are available in sizes from 0.5 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Hand operated conduit benders include Gardner style and Benfield style models. Both models have identical work fundaments, but, while Benfield models are made of iron and are marked with bend angle reference points, Gardner models are manufactured of die cast aluminum and have built in spirit levels to indicate 45 and 90 degree angles.
Mechanical Conduit Benders
Particular type of bender is a step up from hand bender. It still requiresmanual force to create the bend, however, they do have several features that make them more convenient. The unit is mounted to a tiny carriage that You can easily move to wherever You need it and it has a platform at a comfortable height.
Few models have a removable frame so You can mount it to Your workbench or truck bed. There are several interchangeable shoes to accommodate various types and sizes of conduit. Majority of mechanical benders can withstand 0.5 to 2 inch IMC, EMT, rigid piping and PVC coated conduit.
Electric models are handy for high production conduit bending. These types can handle the same types and sizes of conduit as the hand operated and mechanical models, but work much faster. They can make a single bend in second.
Some electric models can bend several sizes of IMC, rigid aluminum and rigid piping without adding or changing shoes. Other types of pipe require different shoes.
You can program an electric bender to make the same bends over and over and it is able to calculate layout measurements for numerous bends before work is started.
When You have rigid electrical conduit from 2.5 to 5 inches, you need a hydraulic bender. Electric benders cannotmake smooth bends on pipes this large without squeezing, splitting or bulging the conduit. Particular type of bender is powered by a manual or electric hydraulic pump. Compact models for pipes 1 to 2 inches in diameter are also available. Hydraulic conduit benders can be adjusted for conduit coated with PVC.
PVC Conduit Benders
PVC must be softened before it can be curved. Once softened, You utilize a guide device and hand gauge to form elbows, bends and offsets. Heating devices most commonly used to heat the PVC include tubes, blankets and boxes. You can place the conduit inside a heating box until it is soft enough. Blanket heaters are often used on conduit that is already installed and/or for custom bends.
How to Bend Conduit?
In addition to the conduit bender, there are handful other tools you will need for professional, up to code results:
- tape measue
- A shoe that fits the conduit
- Conduit threader
- Conduit reamer
- Small level
First of all, it is necessary to define how how long the bend needs to be. To depict, say You are running a 0.75 inch pipe down the wall and need to run it into a box 12 inches away from the wall. From the start arrow to the back of the bending shoe there is a 6 inch take up, so You need to measure 6 inches from the end of the pipe and mark the point with your pencil. These 6 inches plus the 6 inch take up will give you the 12 inches You need.
On the front, right side of the bender shoe, You will noticean arrow. Line this arrow up with the line You made on the pipe. Before bending is started, check to see if the floor is level (a level floor makes the process much more easy). Take hold of the handle and pull it back towards Yourself. While pulling, apply pressure on the heel of the bender shoe with foot. On the side of the shoe you will see 30, 60 and 90 degree markings. Once your bender reaches the 90 degree mark, the bend is finished.
When using conduit benders, always make sure to retain firm pressure on the back of the shoe. If you fail to do so, it can slip on the pipe and Your measurement will be way off.
Tools required to bend, cut, thread and ream out conduit
Used to bend 1/2″ Conduit/EMT to desired angles, make sure to get the appropiate size for your conduit bending
Makes nice straight cut so threads are not angled, works much better than a hacksaw for cutting pipe
Pipe Threader Set
Threads different general sizes of conduit 1/2-Inch to 1-1/4-Inch
Smooths sharp edges on the inside of the conduit so wire insulation does not get damaged
Greenlee Conduit bending Guide
Lots of bending information for fast accurate bending calculations. Help on bending stub offsets, saddles and more!
Guide on wiring methods
Make sure you are up to date with wiring methods.
Hole Saw Kit
There may be various situations where hole saw kit is required to fulfill Your duty as an electrician, for instance, light fixture, security system or simply electricity swithc must be installed. This basically means You have to access the main wiring behind the walls.
With a hole saw you can create a clean hole without damaging the rest of the wall. You can do it manually using keysaw, however, power hole saw would be much more viser choice as the job gets done in half the time. Power hole saw is not only faster, but also safer – You will not have to worry as much about accidentally cutting into live wires.
Electricians Hole Saw Kit Mostly Includes:
- Drills in the most commonly used sizes such as 1/2″, 3/4″, 1”, 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”,1-3/4”, 2”, 2-1/2”
- Small and large easy change mandrel
- Extra battery
- Replacement parts
You can buy a decent quality carbon steel electrician hole saw set for approximately $65. If You are ready to pay extra $35, bi-metal hole saw set that can cut wood, as well as metal and last much longer could be Yours.
For around $100, You can get a, and will last much longer as well comes with more sizes.
A hole saw usually mounts to an arbor that has sort of guidance functio for the blade. A high quality arbor will cost around $35. It has 2 pins. You slide into the holes at the bottom of the hole saw to lock it into place. When purchasing an arbor, make sure to get one that fits Your drill and matches with Your saws. Most arbors are designed for drills with a 0.5 inch chuck.
Essentials While Working With an Electrical Hole Saw
To avoid unpleasent and unnecessary injuries here are some tips You should bear in mind while working with a whole saw:
- Keep the drill straight at all times
- Do not wear anything that might get caught up in the saw like loose clothing or jewelry
- Wear proper coveralls, PPE, safety glasses and gloves
- Be aware of the speed ock-on trigger to make sure you do not accidentally push it while drilling
- Securely clamp small pieces with at least 2 clamps so that they can not spin out of control
Choosing the Applicable Drill
An electricians hole saw kit is essentially a bits capable of cutting a perfect hole in eiher drywall, wood, fiberglass, or metal, plastic and acrylic. The bit can not do much by itself, it requires power and rotation from a hand-held drill to cut a gap. Choosing the most suitable drill is very important – You need one with sufficient amount of power to do the job.You ought to get one with at least 14 volts of power, however, one with 18 volts is more recommended.
The Importance of a Pilot Bit
The pilot bit directs the hole saw and then keeps the blade on course until the gap is through. Without a pilot bit, the blade would spin and wobble, leaving a shocking wreckage rather than a decent round opening. The pilot bit is fully centered in the hole saw and extends slightly past the edge of the saw’s teeth. In order to make a perfect hole is to drill the pilot bit into the exact center of where you need the hole to be. The pilot bit anchors the blade to the object being cut and provides the saw direction and stability. Never drill the pilot hole with the saw on the arbor, this will break your arbor bit.
When you must make an existing hole bigger, the pilot bit will not be any help to you at all. The pilot bit does nothave anything to hold on to anchor the saw blade. This makes amplifying a hole much trickier than drilling a new one.
You can solve this problem with a piece of scrap plywood and a clamp. Simply clamp the scrap plywood over the hole. Accurately mark the exact center of the hole. Set the pilot bit on the center mark and cut the hole as usual. Usually You will not be sawing through a door, but if You are, clamp another piece of scrap plywood to the other side to prevent the wood from splintering.
Likewise all saws, a hole saw can become clogged with sawdust or drywall dust. When this occurs, Your drill could overheat as well as even burn out. To prevent Yourself from such situation, slow down Your drilling and draw the blade out every so often to allow the saw to cool down a bit and let the dust fall off the blade.
Despite the first investments You will have to make before receiving Your first electrician salary, this will definitely pay off. Take good care of the equipment and it will last you for a very long time!
One of the basic tasks that a typical electrician training include is a requirement to cut thick gauged wires with a pair of electrician scissors. These scissors are engineered to be able to cut thicknesses up to 12 AWG stranded wires and up to 16 AWG solid wire. Outter design includes a serrated surface on the back of the blade to clean wires and a stripping notch to help quickly strip wires when such need appears. They are perfectly fit for phone wires and other electrical service applications.
How Electrician Scissors Are Made
Electrician scissors are manufactured from high quality carbon steel and put through a special hardening process to make them more durable. Afterwards they are then nickel plated to give them a clean, professional look. The scrubber and file on the back, along with the serrated edge, helps user to clean up wires. The scissors hold the edge, even when cutting fiber and kevlar cables.This is a special electrician tool featuring an ergonomically designed ring to provide additional power and reduce fatigue and strain on wrist. The scissors fit comfortably in the power part of your hand to produce a cleaner, quicker cut with a minimum amount of effort. The bottom of the blade is serrated from end to end to aid in gripping cables and wires.
Electrician’s scissors are tough and cut through pretty much anything, however they are not generally designed to be resharpened. In other words, once they get dull, You have to get replaced them. This may sound unreasonable, but the time one may spend on wire cutting with dull scissors is more valuable than spending couple of dollars on a new pair of scissors. Some of the more expensive brands hold up better, thus it might be a good investment if Your job requires plenty of cutting.
Aside from the blades, the pivot takes the biggest beating, especially when positioning the wires close to the center, which You will most likely do quite a bit. Putting the wire close to the pivot gives user more cutting power, that is why most people, not just apprentices and experienced electricians, generally place difficult to cut materials as far up to the middle as possible. Too much wear on the pivot will most likely to cause the electrician scissors to loosen and eventually fall apart. One might think it would be wiser for scissor producers to make the pivot with a screw that can be tightened, however, it sound very good in theory. Practically, tool user would spend more time tightening the screw than the scissors are worth. In addition, the more screws are tightened, the faster it will become stripped until one can not tighten it all.
From time to time the blades may become a bit sticky,once it happens, simply clean the blades with adhesive remover. As a preventive measure You can occasionally oil Your pair of scissors.
In the case of dings in the blade, just file he flat side of the blade until the ding is gone. If this does not help, blade must be sharpened.Because of the angle of the blade, dings are quite uncommon under ordinary working conditions.
The Selling Point
Unfortunately, so far one tool that is perfect for every situation has not yet been invented. That is what makes a well stocked electrician tool pouch so cruical You will often find yourself switching between electricians tools more often than You may like.