Common electrician tools can accomplish most of the simple and general electrical wiring and installation projects. However, some manufacturer may design some complex or delicate equipment that requires special tools to prevent unauthorized people from opening them.
Investing in the right tools at all levels is critical in ensuring safe and long lasting electrical connections. These also helps in protecting the technician against electrical shocks and injuries. However, the presence of a good tool shouldn’t replace the need to take care when carrying out the electrical work. Since having the common electrician tools is not a guarantee that the work will be successful, the technician must closely follow the best practices and safety regulations.
Types of common electrical tools
In order to perform a successful electrical wiring project, you require having the right tools. The common electrician tools include the functional, safety and diagnostic tools. These range from screwdrivers and pliers to wire testers and cable tracers. Having diagnostic tools is necessary when fixing installation problems or carrying out the repair and maintenance of faulty systems.
The diagnostic tools include the wire testers, millimeters to test continuity and voltage levels, and more. In addition to the physical tests, the electrician can use these tools to accurately identify a problem and location. For example, if a cable is broken somewhere along a particular length, the continuity test will show that there is a problem between two points of a cable length.
List of basic electrical tools
Below is a list of the common electrician tools that can handle most of the electrical installation tasks in a safe and timely manner.
- A set of screwdrivers
- Wire Strippers
- Utility Knife
- Tape Measure
- Power Drill
- Conduit Bender
- Non-contact voltage tester
- Wire Tester
- Multimeter or ohmmeter and voltmeter
- Cable Tracer
The above list is not conclusive, but comprises the tools that can accomplish almost any electrical job. These can further be categorized according to the functions as explained below.
These are the common electrician tools that allow a technician to prepare the cables and determine where to fit the conduits, electrical boxes, and fixtures. In addition, the hand tools help in fitting the electrical parts as well as remodeling them to fit in on the wall and ceilings. Typical tools include;
- A set of screwdrivers and nut drivers to handle various types and sizes of fasteners. A screwdriver is one of the most common electrician tools for driving in screws in the fixtures and boxes.
- Pliers: – the two must haves are the side-cutting and long-nose pliers
- Wire strippers: – For removing the insulation from cables without damaging the wires.
- Tape Measure: For centering lighting fixture and marking the correct height for the electrical sockets and switches.
- Level: To ensure that conduits and electrical cabinets and boxes are level and aligned properly horizontally
- A Fish tape: For pulling solid or stranded wires through the conduits
Other hand tools include the conduit benders, a wrench, hammer, wire knife, and more.
Diagnostic and safety tools
The electrical testing and cable tracing tools allow the electricians to locate cables, identify faults and hence enable them to carry out any repairs or upgrades. Testing tools include
- Non-Contact Voltage Testers: Also referred to as wire testers, these are used to identify or check for live conductors and wires, hence increasing the safety. This helps to prevent electric shocks and also determine if the power is reaching a particular point. It can be used in conjunction with the voltmeter to confirm the amount of voltage.
- Ohmmeter: To test the resistance of the wires and components
- Voltmeter: to measure the amount of voltage
- Cable tracers: To identify or locate a particular cable in a bundle of unlabeled wires or check the route of those buried under the floor or wall. Can be useful for troubleshooting or when there is a need to drill without interfering or damaging invisible buried cables. Most of these will produce an audible alarm once it finds a match and helps in tracing the cables without tearing apart the floors or walls. Some testers can even pinpoint the exact location, so that the electrician doesn’t have to remove all the cable, but instead go directly to where there is a problem.
These are either mains or battery powered and make it easier for the electrician to work on the walls and electrical parts where manual methods would not work efficiently. The power tools include the drilling machine and power saws to drill and cut or remodel the plastic and metal conduits and raceways.
Considerations when purchasing electrical tools
Due to a variety of tools available it is important to go for the known and reliable brands. In addition, select the tools that are comfortable, safe and easy to use.
Today’s tools are better than their predecessors. These are more comfortable and safer with better agronomical designs that help to prevent injuries to the hand or wrist which may happen due to repetitive movements.
For the diagnostic tools, the technician must ensure that the test tool has the correct rating and is safe to use in all the intended applications. The tool should have the capacity to handle the voltages and currents in a residential or commercial installation.
Performing electrical installation, wiring, maintenance, and repair work just requires the use of basic tools. For the general wiring, the common electrician tools are adequate, but some complex machines may require special tools to prevent anybody from opening them up.
However, acquiring the right tools does not replace the need for observing the standard safety codes and regulations. In addition to using the best tools, technicians should follow the best practices to ensure safe and reliable electrical systems.