Electrician Tools a Good Workman is Never Without
Electrician tools are the extension of his skills. Owning and properly maintaining the right tools is a vital part of an electrician’s career. Use the right tool for a proper job.
An electrician may be employed to install new electrical components or to maintain existing electrical infrastructures. Electricians may be specialized in wiring aircraft, ships, oil rigs and other mobile platforms.
They are not usually allowed to perform work for the public unless under the employment of an electrical contractor.
In most countries, an electrician has to be licensed and fully trained. The trade is regulated for safety reasons, due to the hazards of working with electricity. Licensing of electricians is controlled through government and/or professional societies.
Restricted electrical licenses are also issued for specializations such as HVAC installation, motor winder, audio/visual installation, appliance repair and similar jobs.
Electrician Tools List
As an electrician, you will require a variety of hand tools, power tools and special testing instruments. Safety regulations recommend you have your own tools and NEVER borrow a tool from anyone. (Needle-nose pliers and wire strippers may be the exception to the rule.)
Quality tools are expensive, but the good news is that they last and you can write the expense off on your tax return. Bigger, more expensive power tools or special instruments may be provided by your employer.
Common Electrician Tools
The tools listed below would be carried around in your electrical tool kit.
- Lineman’s Pliers
Heavy duty pliers for general use in bending, cutting, crimping, pulling wire and twisting off tie wraps.
- Side Cutters
Used to cut smaller gauge wires or to cut off tie wraps.
- Cable Cutters
More powerful than regular pliers used to cut large conductors and smaller cable. Make certain to use these only on copper and aluminum. Also known as “eagle beaks”.
- Crimping Pliers
Used to install butt splices and Sta-Kons. Make certain to get a pair that has the insulated and non-insulated option. If you don’t know what this means please ask!
- Needle Nose Pliers
Used for gabbing items in tight spaces, I find these work best when the pliers are rough at the end. This helps to hold the item in the pliers without them slipping.
Comes in handy as an extra support, especially when working alone. Also good for holding something in place while drilling through it, like tray or strut.
- Wire Strippers
Available in many different sizes, used to strip the insulation from the wire without damaging the wire as long as the proper size is selected. Do not cheap out on this tool or it will cause you lots of grief in the field.
- Hex Keys Metric
Used to tighten electrical termination lugs. Some lugs are metric and some are imperial sizes so be sure to have both.
- Electrician Scissors
Used for cutting thick gauged wire. Some brands also have crimping abilities.
- Tape Measure
Used for measuring strut, conduit and tray and many other things. A 25-foot tape measure should be sufficient for any task. If you need to measure something longer do some math.
- Electrician Hammer
Hammer/pry nails and to pound stuff. The hammers handle is constructed with an insulated fiberglass and a rubber-coated grip.
- Crescent Wrench
Handy when nut size isn’t known, this specific wrench has a good set of jaws that won’t lock up.
- Hack Saw
Used to cut strut, conduit and cable.
- Torpedo Level
When mounting strut, tray or junction boxes use a level. This one is magnetized for convenience and accurate readings.
Used to make accurate cut lines for a straight edge or a 45-degree angle.
- Tin Snips
Used to cut straight edge in sheet metal. Works really well for cutting banding on strapped items.
Used to tighten conduit, conduit fittings, gang boxes and connectors. Get three different sizes.
- Wrench Set
Speed wrenches are well worth it, most commonly used 7/16, 1/2, 9/16.
- Nut Drivers
Used where a wrench can’t reach, most common sizes 1/4, 5/16, 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16.
- Variable Screwdriver
Used for various types of screws and terminals.
- Socket Set
Most commonly used sizes are 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16
- Skinning Knife
Used to strip cable and conductor insulation.
Helps to see in dark places.
- Centre Punch
This tool is great for drilling accurate holes. Use the punch on your mark where you want to drill a hole. The punch will leave a dent for the drill bit to stay in while drilling.
Can test volts AC/DC, Amps, and resistance. (Note this may not be required until 3rd year but is very handy to have even as a 1st year.)
More Electrician Tools:
These tools listed will be required if you are a contract journeyman electrician or will be supplied by the company you work for.
- Power Tool Kit, this tool kit is the exact kit I use. The 20v systems adds extra power for those tough projects. Comes with skill saw, drill, impact, sawsall and a light.
- Conduit bender, used to bend conduit raceways to desired angles. This particular one is for 3/4” rigid conduit and 1” EMT.
- Rotosplit, this brand name is so commonly used that the tool has become known just by that name. It is designed to assist in splitting MC cable, metallic-jacketed cable.
- Insulation Resistance Tester, nicknamed “Megger”. These testers can apply up to 1000V to conductors to determine the insulation resistance value. Modern insulation resistance testers usually have an ohm meter and are often included as a feature of a multimeter.
This is just a partial list. Depending on the particular work you are doing, you may need a laserline cable, wire pulling guide, pipe chase housing, various conduit and conductor sizes, infrared heat seeker.
Lock Out Your Equipment: You'll Need Tagout and Lockout Supplies
Don't forget your lockout/tagout supplies.
Tags are identifiers. On a busy industrial work site, there may be dozens or hundreds of workers moving around, building, repairing, plumbing and wiring. Keeping track of who is where is vital to workplace safety.
Getting All These Electrician Tools to the Job Site
As a journeyman you will need the use of a 3/4-ton truck or van, tool box/pouch and belts to carry all this stuff around.
One thing is for sure, an industrial electrician does not want to show up at the job site without the proper electrician tools.