Electrical Tool Kit Necessities
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 21, 2015)
Have you ever started to work on an electrical project, only to find out that you don't have the proper tools? Well, instead of wasting time and money by running around at the last minute, use this list of electrical tool kit necessities to ensure that you are ready. This way you can avoid wasting time, while also saving yourself a lot of unnecessary frustration.
- Drywall saw. A small handheld saw, with a pointed tip, that you can use to cut through drywall. Useful for cutting out areas for new outlets and other electrical boxes, as well as running wiring.
- Hacksaw. Another small handheld saw, that you can use to either cut large areas of drywall out, or for find tuning your cuts.
- Adjustable wrench. This tool can help you tighten bolts, as well as bend items, that may need it.
- Long-nose pliers. Pliers with long, tapered noses that you can use to help wrap wiring.
- Side-cutting pliers. Also called wire cutters, this tool is used to cut wiring down to its proper size. Best tool possible for larger wires that you can't cut with other kinds of pliers.
- Lineman's pliers. Lineman's pliers are also called combination pliers. These pliers are typically a hybrid of long-nose and side-cutting pliers. While not as adept at performing each of those individual tools tasks, it can adequately perform both.
- Water-pump pliers. Similar in appearance to channel lock pliers, these are the perfect tool to use to help tighten difficult nuts and bolts. These pliers are adjustable to be able to fit a variety of nuts and bolts.
- Rubber-grip screwdrivers. Preferably, you should have a set of both straight edged, and Philips screwdrivers that have a rubberized grip. With a rubberized grip, you will have a little more protection against accidental shockings.
- Wire-bending screwdriver. A screwdriver that has a small stud or hole that you can use to help bend and attach wires to terminals.
- Rotary screwdriver. Screwdriver that has a particularly long shaft, which has two bends in it. Used to help attach switch plates, light fixtures, and has been designed to operate using only one hand.
- Utility knife. Standard heavy duty knife that you can use in a variety of way, from stripping wires to cutting open packages.
- Flat pry bar. Particularly useful for large tasks, where you will need to remove trimming or other items that may get in your way.
- Hammer. Used to drive nails that will hold electrical boxes, replace trim, and generally hammer nails into things.
- Stapler. Hand held stapler that is used to attach wiring to walls, as well as in other creative ways for your electrical projects.
- Power drill. Power drills can be used in a variety of ways for electrical projects. The can be used for everything from screwing cover plates in place, to attaching electrical boxes, to even cutting out openings in your drywall. The best kind to use will have a 3/8 inch chuck.
- Spade bit. Drill bit used to drill through wood joists.
- Magnetic sleeve and bit. Tool which attaches to drill, which will create a magnetic force which will hold screws in place so you can work one handed.
- Saber saw. Powered saw which you can use to cut out large sections of drywall, or other materials, that need to be removed.
- Spiral cutting saw. Another type of cutting implement that you can use with great precision, and in tight areas.
- Hole saw. Attach to a power drill, which will allow you to cut a perfectly round hole for light cans, or round electrical boxes.
- Conduit reamer. A tool that can be either by itself, or attached to a screwdriver, which will allow you to create a smooth hole for any conduit.
- Nut driver. Tool that you can use to tighten nuts and bolts, generally handheld, and operates in much the same way as a ratchet. Typically looks like a screwdriver.
- Fishing bit. A long flexible drill attachment that makes fishing, and running, electrical wires much easier.
- Levels. Tool used to make sure that you install your electrical boxes, light switches, and so on square, flush and level to pre-existing construction.
- Tape measure. Always useful to help ensure you cut things to their proper length.
- Wire stripper/cutter. Tool used to strip and cut wiring.
- Combination stripper. Tool used to strip a wide variety of electrical wiring gauges.
- Coaxial stripper. Similar to a wire stripper, but designed to work on coaxial cables.
- Coaxial crimper. Used to attach the coaxial wiring to connectors.
- Armored cable cutter. Tool used to cut through armored, reinforced cables.
- GFCI receptacle analyzer. Tool used to test electrical receptacles, and determine whether they work or not.
- Voltage detector. Tool utilized to determine whether wiring has any voltage going through it.
- Digital multitester. Also known as a digital multimeter, this tool is used to take measurements of electrical currents.
- Continuity tester. Tool or item that is used to test whether a electrical path can be established between two points.
- Fish tape. Used to help route new wiring through walls or electrical conduits, usually metallic in nature.
- Electrical tape. Tape that is used to help prevent any electricity from escaping from a live wire. Helps prevent burns or fires.
- Fiberglass ladder. Ladders are helpful for reaching areas such as a ceiling, and if made of fiberglass it will not conduct any electricity.
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