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The 10 tools every electrician needs

December 09, 2022

These are the ten basic tools needed for electrical work. This list is especially handy for homeowners or electricians performing light, basic electrician duties.

The 10 tools every electrician needs


Electrician's Belt/Bag

The best quality electrician's bags are made of leather and are both durable and comfortable. The bag needs to be able to carry a variety of tools around the electrician's waist and be easily accessible while working. A belt and a bag should be sufficient to carry all the necessities for electrical repair and maintenance.



Any basic frame hammer will do. You will need a straight claw hammer to pry open electrical boxes that are difficult to open if they are metal or have been closed for a long time.



You will definitely need dedicated Philips #1 and #2 screwdrivers, or a combination Philips and flathead screwdriver set. Screwdrivers with interchangeable Philips/flat heads are the most versatile, and you only need to carry one handle instead of two separate screwdrivers.


Utility knife

A multi-purpose hobby knife is suitable for general cutting purposes on hand. A hobby knife with an interchangeable blade is preferred. Extra blades are either kept in their own hard plastic case, small enough to fit in a tool belt/pouch, or stored in the handle. Utility knives are used for cutting wire, insulation, slate and other types of cuts.


Specialized Wire Stripping Tools

Specialized wire stripping tools are one of the most commonly used tools in the electrician's tool supply. You want a wire stripping tool that has an insulated handle to protect you from electric shock and the ability to strip all different sizes of wire. You also want a tool with a cutting tool that can cut and form fishhook bends in the wire when necessary.


Electrician's Pliers

Electricians need electrician's pliers for heavier cutting and nail pulling operations, or for any type of operation that is too small or too deep for your fingers to grip. Electrician's pliers are especially handy if you're wearing gloves; they'll increase your grip and dexterity when you need them.


Carpenter's pencils and markers

Sometimes you need to mark your work location, or mark dimensions when you need to drill or cut. A pencil will make a temporary mark, while a Sharpie may be needed to better show on a painted surface or on the wire itself. It's handy to have both.



Also known as miter pliers, Dikes are used for general purposes when cutting and slicing heavier wire and surrounding materials.


Tape Measure

A 12' tape measure is usually long enough for most electrical work.


Current Checkers and Fault Indicators

Before working with wire, you need a way to make sure there is no current, or that power is not passing through the circuit. The indicator light on this tool indicates whether the circuit is open or closed and is critical for safe electrical work. Fault indicators are carried by building inspectors. This is another way to check your work. Plug it into any outlet to check for proper wiring.


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