Most electrician might agree that investing in expensive electrician tools is both extravagant and expensive, particularly those who are self-employed. The truth is that buying the right types of quality electrician tools can ultimately help you get the job done quicker, allowing you to move onto the next customer more efficiently.
Although expensive, higher-end electrician tools are definitely worth the investment. They’re better quality and longer lasting.
Of course, you also need to stay safe. Which is why we have also outlined some essential safety equipment you’ll also require.
Essential Electrician Tools You’ll Need in Your Van
All electrician need the absolute basics, like a hammer, tape measure or spirit level. However, if the same types of tasks are done repeatedly, it’s wise to invest in something a bit more expensive.
So that electricians can save space in their toolbox, they should consider buying a multi-screwdriver or cordless screwdriver with lots of different attachments. You might find that you need some regular screwdrivers as well. A large flat blade, cabinet tip flat blade, number one and two Philips and number two square tips are all recommended. You might also benefit from a Robertson screwdriver if you work heavily in commercial work and frequently open electrical panels. Similarly, precision screwdrivers are handy for tight spaces. Above all, buy screwdrivers that are insulated. The last thing you want is to experience an electrical shock when you’re in the middle of an important job.
Electricians should never be without a battery drill along with a large range of drill bits in different sizes suited to drilling most common materials. Another great little toolbox item is a multi-tool which can cut most types of materials. If you’re looking for a quicker way for cable installation, or always install conduit, an electrical wall chaser or power conduit reamer save loads of time. A reciprocating saw or joist and stud drill are also worthwhile investments if you’re continually cutting through drywall or stud walling.
Pliers and Cutters
For electricians, one pair of pliers won’t suffice. There are at least three different types you’ll need.
- Lineman’s Pliers. Used to bend, grip, cut or twist cables or wires together.
- Needle Nose Pliers. Featuring thin ends so that wires can easily be held and fed.
- Slip Joint Pliers are pliers that contain an adjustable pivot joint for a larger size range.
For added versatility, electricians might want to invest in a pair of side cutter pliers which enable wires to be cut in awkward places. Chain pliers can also come in handy to reduce or increase the number of chain links on light fittings.
In some cases, you’ll need to cut in tight spots or around pipes. For this, a conduit cutter is worth its weight in gold. Spin around the pipe, then snap apart and the job is done!
Sockets, Wrenches and Drivers
Regardless of whether you’re domestic or commercial, there are several electrician tools needed in this category. Firstly, an adjustable wrench between 8 and 11” which can be used for fuse boards, and a 10” pipe wrench. A range of Allen Wrenches can also come in handy from time to time for electricians. If you’re more on the commercial side, you’ll want to buy a decent socket set, along with a nut driver, where you should buy a selection of sizes between ¼ and 7/16.
As you may already realise, being an electrician can be a dangerous profession if you’re not adequately protected, which is why you should invest in a range of safety gear to protect the biggest asset of your business: you. As far as the basics go, buy a pair of insulated gloves to prevent accidental shock along with some safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust or even sparks from overheated wires. A head torch can also be convenient for electricians when working in dark spaces like under stairs cupboards. If you work in commercial electrics, a hard hat and electrical hazard boots are also necessary.
Essential Electrician Tools
Electricians can never be without a hammer, tape measure and magnetic levels. These are essential electrician tools you’ll require to get the job done. A utility knife can also be a handy extra to an electrician’s toolbox, while wire strippers save loads of time. Metal files and sheetrock saws are also worth buying, and they’re relatively cheap. Some other tools may be worth investing in, and while being expensive, make your life much easier. These include a conduit bender, and fish tape or rids, which are otherwise known as ‘electricians snakes’ or ‘draw wires’. They make the process of drawing cables and wires through walls, ceilings and conduit a breeze
Electricians need three types of testing devices in their toolboxes, which include:
- Multi-Function Tester. To make sure installations are safe and meet IET regulations.
- Approved Voltage Indicator. To detect AC power on a variety of outlets, ensuring they’re not energised while electric work takes place.
- Circuit Breaker Finder. Checks if the circuit you’re working on has been isolated correctly.
You need all these tools to make your job easier.
In this post, we have outlined many of the more expensive tools you may choose to invest in to make your job as an electrician easier.
Of course, you’ll also need some essential electrician tools, including:
- A hammer, tape measure and magnetic level
- A range of insulated screwdrivers
- A battery-powered drill, drill bits and a multi-tool
- Lineman, needle nose and slip joint pliers
- A selection of Allen wrenches and an adjustable wrench
- Safety glasses and insulated gloves
- A multi-function tester approved voltage indicator and circuit breaker finder