Best electrician's tools

     
   

1. Retractable trimming knife

 
 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 aluminum. Fits snugly inside a pocket for easy access. The blades can be replaced, retracted for safety, and can usually be stored within the handle.

 
     
   

2. Insulated pliers

 
 insulated pliers 

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!  

 
     
   

3. Crimping pliers

 
 crimping pliers 

These  crimping pliers have adjustable tension and are used for yellow, blue and red electrical crimp connectors, interlocking connectors and cord end terminals.

 
     
   

4. Cable cutters

 
 cable cutters 

Cable cuttershave rounded jaws and slightly longer handles which give them greater leverage and power, allowing you to cut through large conductors and cables.

 
     
   

5. Side cutting pliers

 
 side cutting pliers 

Side cutters are used to cut wires. Their cutting edge runs from the base of the jaws to the tip. The advantage of this is that you can get into tight areas to snip wires. There are some models available that have live wire detection capabilities built in.

 
     
   

6. Long nose pliers

 
 needle nose pliers 

Long nose pliers are ideal to have on standby for an electrician. They are great for many tasks in confined spaces - from retrieving small screws to helping to insert wires into terminals. Because of their slimline design, they are ideal for getting into tight crevices and cavities.

 
     
   

7. Screwdriver set

 
 screwdriver set 

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. 

 
     
   

8. Voltage tester screwdriver

 
 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 it's use is not recommended by the authorities because it encourages the flow of electricty to pass through the user (albeit small and safe), used correctly, it still has its place in the electricians 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.

 
     
   

9. Voltage detector

 
 Voltage Detector 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. Trace the live quickly and easily to find breaks in a cable or wire. Check for a blown fuse without removing the plug! Always test on a cable known to be live before using. 
     
   

10. Mole grips

 
 mole grips 

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.

 
     
   

11. Wire strippers

 
 wire strippers 

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.

 
     
   

12. Adjustable spanner

 
 

adjustable spanner

 

An adjustable spanner will see a lot of action over the years so investing in a good quality one is advised. Works like a normal spanner but has adjustable jaws so that it is like having hundred spanners in one. Especially useful for undoing difficult fuse boards.

 
     
   

13. Torpedo level

 
 torpedo level 

The torpedo level works just like a short spirit level except that it has the added bonus of being magnetised. This means that it can be attached to a metallic surface and used hands-free. Ideal for setting your wall sockets level.

 
     
   

14. Open ended spanner set

 
 open ended spanner set 

The open ended spanner set might seem more at home in a plumber's tool kit but, as an electrician, you'll still need to loosen plenty of nuts and bolts. Investing in a good quality spanner set will provide you with years of service. 

 
     
   

15. Multi meter

 
 multi meter 

A multi meter will test the continuity of your circuits and can also perform voltage checks. 

 
     
     
   

16. Circuit tester

 
 voltage tester 

A circuit tester is a simple handy device for checking circuits for continuity.

 
     
   

17. Tape measure

 
 tape measure 

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.

 
     
   

18. Drywall saw

 
 drywall saw 

The serated blade of the drywall saw will make light work of a drywall and its razor sharp point can stab through plasterboard with ease, giving you quick access to wall cavities. 

 
     
   

19. Extension ladder

 
 extension ladder 

A good quality extension ladder is a must. Typically made up of two or more lengths that can be kept together for compact storage or can slide apart for full extension. Aluminium varieties are strong and lightweight. Can be easily stored when in a compact position. 

 
     
   

20. Stud finder

 
 stud finder 

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

 
     
   

21. Hack saw

 
 hack saw 

This versitile hand saw can cut through, nuts, bolts, timber, plastic and metal. In fact, it can cut through pretty much anything you want.

 
     
   

22. Cordless combi drill

 
 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 interchangable and the battery is rechargeable. 

 
     
   

23. SDS drill

 
 SDS drill 

The SDS (special direct system) drill is a powerful tool. Cordless drills are fine for general use, but if you want a drill that can perform well with tougher jobs, a corded, mains supplied power drill is essential.

 
     
   

24. Head torch

 
 head torch lamp 

As an electrician you will have to work in some cramped spaces and tight crevices that may be without a decent lightsource. Be prepared for any eventuality with this handy head torch

 
     
   

25. Angle grinder

 
 hand angle grinder 

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.

 
     
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