Have you recently expressed interest to your friends in becoming a professional electrician? Okay, so maybe you do not want to be a career electrician, but surely you wouldn’t argue with the fact that it would be nice to do some simple electric work around the home. Before you begin this new foray into the electrical world, there are a few basic things you should know. One of the important tidbits of information you should be aware of is the essential tools that all electricians equip their belts with. After reading the following sections, you will be able to detail the essential tools and some of the specialized tools that no electrician should be without.
The following tools will be absolutely essential if you plan on performing electrical work of any type. The tools described are readily available at any local hardware or home improvement shop. Pliers may be one of the most often used tools in an electrician’s selection. Needle-nosed pliers enable the user to bend small and fragile wires through the numerous small holes that you will encounter in electrical boxes. Lineman’s pliers enable an electrician to twist and weave wires together in a neat, organized manner. Side cutters are another type of pliers that an electrician will find a significant use of in nearly every project. This tool enables the user to strip the plastic sheath off the wires and cut wires that are in difficult to reach locations.
If one of the project objectives is to strip plastic sheathing off wires, you will discover that adjustable wire strippers, combination tools, or cable rippers will fit the occasion. These three tools allow the user to crimp, cut and sheath wires. The cable ripper, as its name indicates, is also a great tool for removing sheathing from cable without damaging bundled wires. A beaded chain will assist you in the otherwise frustrating job of pulling thin wire through walls. To avoid the risk of being electrocuted, a neon tester is an absolute must. Usually, through the use of sound and light, the neon tester indicates whether or not an outlet, fixture, or other wire is live. This is one of the few electricians’ tools that you will come across where it wise to choose a very high-quality product. The reasoning for this is that a poorly performing device may result in electrocution.
In addition to the tools listed above, there are a few other tools that you may need that are likely to already be found in your own garage or tool shed. Some of these tools include screwdrivers, tape measures, levels and a utility knife. An electric drill with a spade bit will be useful in making holes for cable and wires to pass through. A keyhole saw can assist in cutting drywall while a hacksaw can be used to cut a metal-sheathed cable.
This section will describe tools that are not considered to be essential for the average person but are heavily used by electricians in a variety of projects. If local building codes require you to solder wires, you will need a soldering gun and a spool of lead-free rosin-core solder. A fuse puller will make any job safer by preventing you from having to yank various fuses by hand. Conduits can be cleanly sliced by using a tubing cutter and then bent into proper shape through the use of a conduit bender. Tongue-and-groove pliers are used for tightening connections and a BX Cutter easily slices through any size of metal-sheathed cable.
Additionally, there are several tools that an electrician commonly uses to test electrical connections. Similarly to the neon tester, you should not skimp on these purchases for safety reasons. When the power is off, a continuity tester analyzes the functionality of fuses, switches, and sockets. A voltmeter reads the voltage in an outlet regardless of whether the power is on or off. A receptacle analyzer alerts you if your connections are grounded, polarized, or faulty.
As you delve into an electrical project, make certain that you at least have the essential tools that are described above. Moreover, the specialized tools that are heavily used by professional electricians are great for the home fixer-upper in you too!