If you’re a professional electrician you’re probably on the lookout for the latest and greatest tools that can provide great results fast for all your electrical jobs. Most tools are easily available, but if you’re in the electrical trade, you know that there are some top quality branded tools that can last for decades and other cheaper tools commonly known as ‘throw away tools’ that need to be replaced over and over again.
More often than not quality always prevails over price and choosing the right tools wisely, even if you’re just starting out or want to build an electrical kit for home use will save you much time and headache in the long run. In this post we’ll help you select some of the top tools that every home user, beginner or pro electrician needs in their tool-bag:
1. Tape Measure
A must-have for beginners and pro electricians alike, a tape measure is essential for measuring heights for switch and outlet placement, centering lighting fixtures and so much more. For under $15 we recommend Lufkin self-centering tape, clear-coated blade protection for more durable markings and designed to fit comfortably in hand.
Checking voltages and current is critical to any electrical job. A multimeter is an important all-in-one tester used to measure voltages, current and resistance in an electrical circuit and can help you locate power fluctuation causes like shoddy wiring. Klein Tools offers some budget and pro multimeters to suit your needs. For serious electricians we recommend the Klein Tools MM5000 Electrician’s TRMS Multimeter.
3. Wire Stripper
A handy tool to strip or cut off the insulation on wires. A good quality wire stripper will do a clean job every time and is designed with a cutoff portion and various sized cutting teeth for different sized wires or cable. Top models include ergonomically designed handles requiring less hand force and curved cutting blades to ensure cleaner, precise cuts. We offer many quality wire stripper options you can choose from starting as low as $10.
4. Fish tape
Also known as draw wire/tape, fish tape is used by electricians to route new wiring through walls, metal, electrical and PVC conduit. We recommend Wide Steel Fish Tape by Klein Tools – available in different lengths along with Klein cable lube to assist in guiding the tape through narrow spaces.
5. Non-contact Voltage Detector
There’ll be many times you’ll need to do a quick safety check to see if there is a current present or a circuit is indeed live. A voltage detector is either automatic or has an on/off switch. Pick the one that suits your budget and needs. We recommend the Klein voltage tester; a durable tester that will provide accurate test readings and a long service life on the job-site, in the shop and at home. At under $20 we recommend the Klein Tools NCVT-2 Dual Range Non-Contact Voltage Tester.
Pliers come in many types depending on what needs to done. For example, side-cutting or diagonal pliers are specially designed for wire cutting. Their cutting edge goes to the tip of the pliers and comes in handy to trim wires in tight spaces. You’ll also need a quality set of do-it-all pliers. These can cut wire, twist wires together using their squared off tip and grip and pull wire. We carry a wide range of pliers for any job at hand.
A great installation starts with getting the basics right. A level is used to make sure all your work is level including straight outlet covers, wall plates and switches. For just over $5 the hands-free magnetic Torpedo level is a steal. Lightweight and compact, it provides accurate readings, including horizontal, vertical and at 45-degree angles.
Any pro electrician will tell you that proper lighting is key to any electrical job, and that you should never try and reach into a panel without proper lighting. When lighting conditions on the job site are not the best, a good flashlight or work light can save the day. We offer over 50 types of flashlights to fulfill any lighting need in any space.
9. Wire Crimper
Electrical issues are often difficult to trace down and quite often the issue might be intermittent and the result of a poor connection. A wire crimp tool is one of the best ways to repair wires causing faulty circuit connections. Investing in a good quality crimp tool ensures a long-lasting seal and will give you decades of reliable use.
A quality set of screwdrivers can last forever. You’ll need different types like the Phillips screwdriver for Phillips head screws, and a set of straight blade screwdrivers. There are a ton of options available including electronic screwdrivers, magnetic screwdrivers for better grip, mutli-tip screwdrivers with interchangeable tips, precision screwdriver sets, pocket clip-style screwdrivers and more.