Tool Vest for Electricians: Buyer's Guide

A complete tool vest carrying system is great because an electrician needs to have his tools at hand. This vest is loaded with pockets and holders so you can take all of the tools you need with you wherever you go.

A vest is more comfortable than a bulky belt, especially in tight situations. With the quick clip-on design, you can add more pouches or remove the ones you don’t need.

The knife pocket comes with a special pocket shield for sharp knives or chisels. Everything about an electrician’s tool vest is specifically designed with the commercial electrician in mind.

The pockets and holders are designed to be hand tool-specific, so you have just what you need within easy reach. You can organize your tools for faster and more ergonomic retrieval. Plus, the vest is designed in a way that evenly distributes the weight of the tools, giving you more freedom of movement.

What to Expect From a Tool Vest

With the extra bags removed you can easily fit into tight areas for trim-out jobs, or other jobs where extra bags aren’t needed.

A high quality electrician’s tool vest features:

  • Comfortable way to carry all of the tools you need for a specific job.
  • Tools right at your fingertips, organized in a way so that you know instantly where a specific tool is without looking.
  • Versatile clip-on and off bags so you have just the right tools you need, without rearranging your vest before each job.
  • Easy to slip on and off.
  • Fully adjustable for comfort and to fit just about any body size.
  • Breathable fabric for extra comfort.
  • Up to 47 pockets and holders.
  • Weighs less than 7 pounds.
  • Special notepad pocket, because an electrician often needs to jot things down in a hurry.

Tools you will likely need to have with you at all times include:

  • Pliers in various sizes, including needle-nose, diagonal and tongue & groove pliers.
  • Wire cutters and wire strippers.
  • Screwdrivers in various sizes, including Phillips, Robertson (square heads), flat heads and hex keys.
  • A hammer, level and measuring tape.
  • Cordless power drill and drill bits.
  • Hack saw.
  • Adjustable wrenches.
  • Circuit testers and volt meters.
  • Heavy duty cable cutters.
  • Utility knives.

A tool vest comes down to your waist, so if you need to wear a belt to carry additional tools the vest will not interfere with your access to tools in your belt.

In many situations, a vest is much more comfortable, and with the add-on bags, you won’t need a belt. It is much more convenient than lugging a tool box.

When you are up on a pole, there is no place to put a tool box. With all of your tools neatly arranged in your vest and add-on bags, you will be able to work faster and in a safer manner.

Be Prepared For Anything

An electrician needs to be prepared for all sorts of problems, especially a maintenance electrician. In many instances you can’t diagnose the problem from the ground.

You won’t really know what you are up against until you reach the problem area. Once you are up that ladder, or down in that tight space behind some big machinery, it is a big hassle to climb down or exit because you don’t have the right tools.

An electrician cannot waste time. The longer that machine is out of order, the more money the company loses.

An electrician must diagnose and repair problems in the shortest time possible. This will put a lot of pressure you, so if you want to be an electrician, you must be able to handle stress.

Experience Counts

The more experience you have, the faster you will be able to accomplish any task at hand. That is why an electrician has to complete at least three years of an apprenticeship program before being allowed to work unsupervised.

Electrician’s tools and a high quality electrician’s tool vest are expensive, but these are essential to your job. Many companies will split the cost with you, and you may qualify for tax breaks to help offset some of the cost. And you don’t have to buy everything at once.

During your apprenticeship you can use the tools of your master electrician and buy a few of your own along the way. By the time your apprenticeship is complete, you can be quite well set with most of the tools you need to work on your own.

If you think you can save money by buying a tool belt instead of a vest, you might want to reconsider. An electrician’s tool belt costs about the same as a tool vest, but a vest is much more versatile and comfortable.

A complete electrician’s tool vest, with all of the extra bags and holders will cost you about $220 and a tool belt, with less carrying capacity and less versatility, costs about $250.


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Industrial Electrician Dusten Huebner
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