Best Electricians Tools
Welcome to Wonkee Donkee Tools guide for the best electrician tools.
Electrical work can only be completed by using the right tools. But, as technology has improved and there are increasingly more specialised apparatus on the market, the list of must-have electrician tools is longer than ever. How do you decide which to choose?
Fortunately, our team has thought long and hard about the best electrician tools – taking into consideration that electrical contractors are required to tackle a variety of jobs with efficiency and ease. We suggest having a mix of hand and power tools in your van to ensure you’re well-equipped. And to help, we have compiled a list of the essential electrician tools – including pliers, cutters and screwdriver sets to name just a few.
Whether you’re investing in tools for the first time or replacing well-worn favourites, these are (in our opinion) the best electrician tools you can buy and will help you to work smarter.
Retractable Trimming Knife
A retractable trimming knife (sometimes known as a Stanley knife) has numerous applications and uses with varying types of blades available. A trimming knife can, for example, cut rope, cable, carpet, vinyl, card, plastic, plasterboard, used to remove cable insulation and can even be used to remove burrs from aluminium. Fits snugly inside a pocket for easy access. The blades can be replaced, retracted for safety, and can usually be stored within the handle.
All electricians’ pliers should be insulated against electricity. Investing in good quality VDE tools is well advised. Look out for the VDE mark along with the rated voltage – usually 1000V (they are tested to 10 times this). Plastic or rubber handled pliers may look the part but you may be shocked by their insulation properties!
Side Cutting Pliers
Long Nose Pliers
A good quality set of screwdrivers is worth its weight in gold. Include a range of head types in your set as well as a range of shaft lengths. Stubby screwdrivers will help you get into those awkward places, long screwdrivers will not only help you get those hard to reach screws but will actually help to undo stubborn, tight screws.
The long shaft helps to store up torque. You will need two sets – Insulated VDE screwdrivers for making electrical connections, and a good quality general set for non-electrical work such as fixing your KO boxes at fist fix. Not using your electrical screwdrivers for general work will help to keep them in tip-top condition.
Voltage Tester Screwdriver
The voltage tester screwdriver (or mains tester) has a neon lamp fitted into the handle which will indicate when the tip is in contact with a live current. Although its use is not recommended by the authorities because it encourages the flow of electricity to pass through the user (albeit small and safe), used correctly, it still has its place in the electrician’s toolbox. The voltage tester can not tell you what the actual voltage is, and we recommend that you always check its operation against a known source before taking any confidence in it.
The voltage detector is a great piece of kit. The tip contains a neon lamp that will light up in the presence of mains voltage. No contact is required. You can easily check for the presence of mains electricity in cables, sockets, light fittings, behind plaster walls – all without having to dismantle anything. A voltage detector also allows you to trace live cables and wires to quickly and easily to find any breaks. Finally, you can also use it to check for a blown fuse without removing the plug! Always test on a cable known to be live before using.
Cordless Combi Drill
The cordless combi drill has multiple functions and applications. You can drive screws as well as drill holes. It has the advantage of being cordless so it can be used anywhere. The drill bits are interchangeable and the battery is rechargeable. Perhaps more practical than an angle grinder.
Open-Ended Spanner Set
Mole grips (also called locking pliers) are particularly versatile and should have a special place in every electrician’s toolbox. They can be used to grip and turn nuts, bolts and screws. Their locking mechanism allows you to clamp securely on to a workpiece leaving you free to work with both hands. Their toothed jaws are ideal for gripping rounded bolts and headless screws.
Wire strippers can save you time and money by speeding up, and accurately stripping cables, avoiding damage to the wire underneath. Many are self-adjusting, whilst others are manually adjusted to suit the cable and are particularly suited when working on the same size cable. For multi-conductor cable work, for example, alarms and security systems, or when stripping many single conductors, you’ll find the Automatic wire strippers invaluable. Different wire stripper types are available for different types of cable.
A circuit tester is a simple handy device for checking circuits for continuity. Circuit testers are important to test circuits before work to ensure there is no electrical current as well as afterwards to ensure circuits are working upon completion. A circuit tester includes a series of lights which provides easy to read results for electricians.
Most tape measures extend up to 5 metres in length, though there are longer models. Accuracy is key with any kind of measurement, so making sure the “hook” on the end is securely attached is important. The tape will extend stiff and straight for ease of use and will coil up into a pocket-sized box. Easily clips to a tool belt.
A stud finder allows you to locate any metal nails, screws or studs in a piece of timber prior to cutting. There’s nothing worse than ruining your power tools on an unexpected nail or hidden screw. You can learn more about best stud finder at Republic Lab.
The hand-held angle grinder is a supremely powerful tool that has a plethora of applications and attachments. This beast can cut, grind, buff, sand, polish, and remove excess material from any workpiece in a matter of seconds. An indispensable tool that every professional or DIYer should have in their collection.