Keep these basic electrical tools on deck.
Picture this: A client needs their lights turned back on, but you arrive without fish tape in your electrical tools set. Now, you’re stuck going back tomorrow (and rescheduling other jobs) to finish up a simple fix. With a few essential tools, you can fly through jobs and prevent hours wasted and money lost.
Double-check if these basic electrical tools are in your bag to fine-tune your job performance and increase your hourly earnings.
Small hand tools
- Pliers: Of course, you’ve never cut a wire uneven… but just in case, knife-and-anvil style pliers should be on your electrical tools list to avoid misaligned ends and poor connection issues.
- Insulated screwdriver: A screwdriver is one of the most basic electrical tools. An insulated one takes you to the next level with a non-conductive coating that protects you from electric shock.
- Wire strippers: Make sure your electrical tools set has a pair of compact, narrow-nosed wire strippers. They’ll accurately strip the casing without cutting off the wire strands.
- Fish tape: Do you work in tight, awkward spaces? Instead of struggling with cables, put durable fish tape on your electrical tools list. It’s great at pushing and pulling new wiring under carpets and through walls.
- Hammer: Electricians often need length to drive nails or reach into a junction box. A long-handled hammer is just the answer.
- Folding pocketknife: Keep this basic electrical tool handy to save a trip to your bag. In a pinch, it fits neatly in your pocket, and it can even replace your wire stripper!
- High-tension hacksaw: A cheap $5 hacksaw from the hardware store will give in on you when you need it most. Instead, invest in a hacksaw with 50,000 psi for fast, straight cuts.
- Roto split: If you’re worried about cutting into wires with your hacksaw, carry a roto split in your electrical tools set to cut lengthwise across the cable.
Measuring and calculation tools
- Tape measure: We love the industry-leading 25-inch Stanley FATMAX tape measure; its tough casing protects the tape against damage.
- Multimeter: Having the correct voltage, current, or resistance from this basic electrical tool helps you get the job done right and minimizes setbacks.
- Calculation apps: Prefer a multimeter on your phone? Download the best electrician apps for accurate wire size and voltage drop calculations.
- Power drills: Having a cordless drill in your electrical tools set makes all the difference between awkwardness and pro status. Your movement won’t be restricted, and you won’t have to worry about tripping over the cord.
- Torch: There will inevitably come a time when you’ll have to solder off wires or pipes. Some electricians use a lighter, but a micro torch won’t run out of fuel as quickly.
- Gloves: No basic electrical tool list is complete without protective gloves. The right gloves are insulated, and dielectric to prevent electric shock and are a medium thickness to fit both light and heavy-duty work.
- Headlamp: A headlamp makes working in dark spaces or at night a picnic. Unlike a handheld flashlight, it frees up your hands to multitask better.
- Safety goggles: Kill two birds with one stone. Put goggles with built-in bifocal lenses in your electrical tools set. Never strain your eyesight working with tiny parts!
- Toolbelt: Take the time to research the best electrical tool belts for your environment; your choice determines how fast you can go up and down a ladder as well as how much pressure it puts on your lower back.
Business software tools for electricians
Equipped with all the best physical tools, there’s only one more thing you need to monitor your time and earn more hourly: dependable scheduling and client management software.
- Job scheduling: Running late? How long do you think customers will wait before they cancel the job? Let’s never find out. Instead, send triggered alerts via email or SMS to let clients know you’re behind schedule and reassure them.
- Client management: Ever make an appointment, only to have your dispatcher phone in to tell a customer that you don’t service their area? Keep track of client information (including addresses) and never make this careless mistake for your customers.