Electricians are tradesmen who specialize in electrical wiring of equipment, stationary machines, transmission lines, and buildings. They also install new electrical components while repairing, replacing or maintaining existing electrical infrastructure.
While electricians use a set of tools, there are some tools that are absolutely essential to ensure their job is effectively and safely carried out.
Here are five tools every electrician needs to excel at their job:
Five Must-Have Tools
Pliers are a must for electricians, particularly apprentice electricians. Pliers are used to twist and manipulate wires. Pliers that are preferred are those that have insulated handles, are easy to grip, open and close seamlessly and can be used for a long time.
As not all pliers are suited for all types of electrical work, electricians need to have multiple pliers handy in their toolkit so that they can be prepared for various jobs they need to handle. Experienced electricians name needle-nose pliers and side-cutting pliers as the top two types of pliers without which they cannot function.
Some types of pliers electricians need include:
Side-cutting pliers: These types of pliers are ideal for cutting wires to the right size. When choosing side cutting pliers, make sure they feature a specifically hardened head that is designed for cutting.
Needle nose pliers: These pliers are perfectly suited for holding small objects, reaching out in narrow/ cramped spaces and manipulating wires.
Side cutting pliers are also used for heavy-duty cutting as well as connector crimping, while six-inch-long needle nose pliers also find numerous applications.
Also available are ergonomic pliers with cushioned and contoured handles with black, hard inner material and pliable outer surface that offer comfortable grip while not compromising tool durability and strength. These ergonomic pliers also feature flared thumb rest and a contoured thumb area that enhance gripping power and feel.
Although not specific to electricians’ toolkit, screwdrivers are one of the most important tools that help make your job as an electrician smooth and hassle free. Whether unscrewing panels, opening up electronics or installing cover plates, electricians use screwdrivers on a regular basis.
Screwdriver bits are slim metal components that are detachable while being interchangeable. These are designed to fit into the screwdrivers’ chuck end.
Many screwdriver bits are available in wide ranging sizes, attachments, shapes and accessories as they are explicitly manufactured to extract and drive screws.
As with pliers, you will need to have different sizes and types of screwdrivers and screwdriver bits ready in your toolkit to handle any kind of applications and fasteners.
Henry Phillips designs the most important and commonly used screwdriver types, the Phillips screwdriver bits resemble a cross and are available in different sizes ranging from 000,00, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 while the most commonly used one is 2.
The Pozidrive screwdriver has additional contact points which makes them improvised versions of the screwdriver bits from Phillips. There are different sizes as well that are designed for specific applications such as one-fourth inch, 5/16 inch and 3/16 inch. You can also find a screwdriver that can adapt to multiple uses.
Comfortable grip and appropriate insulation are the crucial features to look out for when selecting the screwdriver.
Electrician jobs can be dangerous as they work with live wires. Having safety tools in the toolbox is vital to ensure safety at the job. The voltage tester is a crucial safety tool and is used to find out if electricity is running through a wire.
There are various styles of voltmeters available for electricians in Australia ranging from simple to complex ones. There are easy to carry pen-like tools while voltmeters with multiple options are also available.
A non-contact tester is the safest type of voltmeter to have for electricians as it can identify live wires without the need for you to touch the wires. New clamp meters with testing leads are popular types of testers thanks to hands-free operation and easily readable displays.
A multimeter is also called a multitester or volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM) and as an electronic measuring instrument, combines multiple measurement functions into a single unit. A typical multimeter measures many properties of electricity including current, voltage, and resistance. Analog multimeters feature a microammeter with a pointer that displays readings.
As multimeters are utilized for debugging and safety, it is recommended to use digital multimeters that are easier to read and more accurate. Clamp-on multimeters are ideal for apprentice electricians. The latest multimeters have sophisticated features such as thermal imaging and Bluetooth.
Wire strippers are also must haves for both apprentice electricians and experienced professionals. Electricians use these tools to cut and strip off insulation from wires or the plastic coating without damaging the wire and are typically the ones used the most in the tool collection.
As they are frequently used, they can wear out faster than other tools. This is why it is important to buy wire strippers of reputed brands while selecting different sizes ranging from #10 to #6.
Protection Against Risks
While these tools enable electricians to carry out their day to day functions, electricity related accidents and injuries can occur. Even when trained electricians follow basic safety precautions, at times, loose protective gear, a faulty tool or other unexpected factors can cause electrical injuries to customers or can damage their property.
One of the most common non-fatal shock related injuries are electrical burns that occur when someone touches or makes contact with energized electrical equipment or wiring. While as an electrician you visit the client’s house to carry out certain electrical repairs and the homeowner trips over an electrical cord that you are using, they can sustain injuries.
Public liability insurance provides protection from risks to your business. This type of insurance offers electricians the complete peace of mind they need to focus on building their business and reputation.