Even more importantly, better designed and more ergonomic tools have emerged to address issues related to operator fatigue and carpal tunnel syndrome, which results from repetitive movement and muscle strain.
All these changes also mean better results for the customer. Happy customers mean repeat business and new business (after they spread your name around the neighborhood). What could be better?
It all begins with the tools. Below is a list of 15 essential electrician tools to make your life easier. While buying tools can be expensive, the investment is well worth it.
15 Essential tools for electricians
1. Wire strippers
The right wire stripper easily removes the plastic coating/insulation from the wire without damaging it. Some wire strippers can also strip sheath and insulation from twin and earth cables.
Klein’s wire stripper has an adjustable stopper to control the length of the core strip and a tensioning thumb wheel enabling more precise stripping of smaller gauge wire. It also includes a wire cutter in the handle as well as grooved grips for more comfortable handling.
2. Electrical wire pliers
This nifty tool helps you pull wires from junction boxes and push them back in without damaging the wire.
The Voltclaw will make your life much easier when it comes to precise wire forming inside branch circuit controllers or for panel makeup. It also works for bigger wires. It’s super lightweight and can easily be carried in your tool vest.
3. Multi-functional tester
Every electrician needs one of these to view readings and to confirm the installation was done correctly. These days, you can go high-tech.
Complete with Bluetooth and a mobile app, you can view readings from a safe distance on your smartphone. You can even modify meter settings remotely.
4. Knockout punch set
This is one of those tools that make an electrician’s job much easier. The knockout punch tool has one single purpose: to make clean, round conduit-size holes in electrical boxes and panels.
You can’t go wrong with Klein Tools (unless you’re on a very limited budget). This knockout punch set includes six different knockout punches and dies, two draw studs, and a ratcheting box-end wrench.
5. Conduit bender
Electric conduit benders enable electricians to bend conduit pipes into different angles and shapes.
Klein’s unique design reduces the rippling and ovaling of the conduit. It can perform common bends such as stub-ups, offsets, and back-to-back and saddle bends. It’s comfortable to use, and the markings are accurate.
6. Insulated screwdrivers
Insulated screwdrivers protect you from electrical shock. Because electrical work can vary daily, it’s important to carry around different sizes.
With their soft outer cushion grip, these screwdrivers have 40% more torque than conventional handles. Each tool is certified to handle 1,000 volts, although they were tested up to 10,000 volts.
7. Rechargeable screwdriver
With more power, a rechargeable screwdriver just gets the job done faster.
Small enough to carry in the palm of your hand, the Hammerhead is designed with ergonomics in mind and a light to illuminate your workspace.
8. Hole saw kit
Hole saw kits are used for cutting into wooden studs and joists, metal studs, electrical boxes, cabinets, and drywall. The most common saw sizes are ⅞ inch, 1⅛ inches, and 2⅓ inches for wires and conduits.
The optimized tooth design on this model cuts through metal easily. Known for its durability, this hole saw kit would outlast cheaper models.
9. Fish tape
The fish tape is used to run a wire from one electrical component to another through conduit piping. When the tape arrives at the other end, new wiring can be attached and snaked through.
Southwire’s fish tape is rust-free, unbreakable, and effective in either filled or empty conduit. It also comes with either a flexible 360 swiveling metal leader (589 lbs. strength) or a non-conductive glow-in-the-dark leader (389 lbs. strength).
10. Fluorescent light tester
If you work in commercial or industrial settings where fluorescent lighting is more common, a lamp tester will help you troubleshoot much faster: is it the bulb or the ballast?
You can perform 5 light tests (lamp test, ballast test, non-contact voltage test, pin continuity test, and ballast-type test) in less than 30 seconds to locate any issues. With an extendable test rod, you don’t need to climb a ladder to access most ceiling lights.
11. Cordless cable and wire cutter
Power tools get the job done faster when you’re out in the field dealing with larger-diameter cables as well as when you’re slicing a variety of smaller, more common wires.
This cordless cable cutter slices cable like it’s butter. It will save you the muscle strain that challenges you with other cutters. While the price is high, the long-term investment is worth every penny.
12. Circuit breaker finder
Rather than test each circuit to determine which one is dead, this tool allows you to identify receiver circuits and fuses in a panel.
Without interrupting service, this ingenious little tool helps you easily locate circuit breakers and fuses so you can map out and label a full panel with ease.
13. Self-leveling laser
You can use this tool effectively when installing indoor or outdoor light fixtures. When it’s difficult to get an accurate measurement, the self-leveling laser locates a mark for you on ceilings or other surfaces.
With laser accuracy of ¼ inch at 100 ft., this focused laser beam keeps the dot size small over longer distances.
14. Chain pliers
Chain pliers allow you to quickly open and close links on lighting fixtures without damaging the finish.
These chain pliers are easy to use and help accomplish this simple task.
15. Terminal block
A terminal block safely connects two or more wires together by using a clamping component and conducting strip to organize connecting wires.
These terminal barrier strips are ideal for indoor use and enable you to connect wires to different sources cleanly. They also come with fitted plastic covers that make the terminals finger-proof.
The bonus tool
While not a physical tool, electrical contractor software has also become one of the most important and essential tools for electricians. In fact, electrical contractors who incorporated a scheduling and business management software solution like Workiz achieved a 22% increase in revenue. Why?
Electrical contractor software provides one platform to perform multiple tasks like:
- Scheduling and dispatching
- Invoicing and online payments
- Automated customer alerts, updates, and reminders
- Online and chatbot booking
- Employee tracking
- In-app service phone system
- Route planning
- Inventory management
- Back-office accounting and systems integration
Many of the above features enable busy electricians to accomplish the pesky tasks they often forget while running from one job to another. Yet accomplishing these important tasks can make the difference between running a profitable electrical business and falling behind.
In short, electrical contractor software simplifies business management and enables electricians to not only run their businesses effectively but to scale them as well.
Simplifying business for electricians
Essential electrician tools are determined by your specialty and the scope of your work. But wherever you perform your work, the newest tools on the market will certainly make your job easier and more comfortable.