7 Essential Tools All Electricians Must Have

A tradesman’s tools are important. Without them, a skilledlaborer is not going to be of much use to anyone, much less actually able toperform his trade. This goes double for an electrician, as not only do his toolsallow him to work well, but also to work safely. He is, after all, interactingwith electricity – an invisible element that is essential in our lives but alsohazardous and even deadly if mishandled.

With that said, here are the 7 essential tools that all goodelectricians must have in their toolbox.

1. Multimeter. One of the most commontools in any electrician’s repertoire, the digitalor analog multimeter measures multiple electrical properties over severalranges, hence the ‘multi’ in its name. Typical multimeters usually just measurethree specific properties, namely voltage, current, and resistance—although newerand more sophisticated models measure more than just those three. Examples of theseother properties are capacitance, conductance, frequency, and even temperature.

2. Circuit Finder. This particular toolallows an electrician to accurately map the working circuits in a house orbuilding—that is, if a certain socket does actually deliver electricity toanything plugged into it, or if it’s just a dead socket with nothing connectedto it. Conversely, it can also be used to detect faulty wiring.

3.Voltage tester. For an electrician,it’s a matter of life and death to know if a circuit or wire is ‘live’ – thatis, if it has electricity running through it. The voltage tester is a handytool that answers that very same question for the electrician, sparing him fromthe possibly fatal threat of being electrocuted.

4.Pliers. Electricians work with a lot ofwiring and cabling in their day-to-day jobs, so it’s only natural that they’dfind pliers handy. It’s a tool that is designed not only to grip and manipulatewith but also to cut into tough material with relative ease. With a pair ofpliers, electricians can not only prune and strip wiring but also twist, pull,and bend them around corners, even in tight and hard-to-reach places.

5. Screwdriver. Screwdrivers do exactlywhat they’re supposed to—drive or unscrew screws. In their line of work,electricians will have to deal with a lot of screws all the time in order to dothings such as detach fuses from the fuse box, repair a breaker, or fix acircuit. Owing to the potentially-hazardous nature of their job, however, somemanufacturers have made specific electrician-friendly variants, likescrewdrivers with insulated handles.

6. Fish tape. No, it’s not some sort ofwaterproof tape, but rather a non-conductive and retractable wire thatelectricians can use to thread wires through walls and conduits.  This is especially handy when setting up anew circuit grid in a newly-built home or office.

7. Power tools. While the function ofpower tools can be replicated with their non-powered and less-expensivecounterparts, it’s worth noting that they do make life a bit easier for anytradesman. For electricians, power drills usually see the most use, as theyoften have to drill holes into walls for wires and cables to pass through. 

There you have it, seven essential tools that everyelectrician should have. While many electricians today—if not all of them—definitelyhave more than just seven tools in their toolboxes, these are what we considerto be the bare minimum necessary for safe electric grid work. You can add toyour own toolbox as necessary, building your own collection of tools asrequired by your current and future projects.

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Michael Vicente
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