Every trade has its preferred tools. While many trades primarily use "general purposes" tools such as saws and drills, professional electricians have some favorite tools. These tools are specifically tailored to the job. That's because they have to measure the invisible, the units that are difficult for the layman to understand, and the quantities that can be completely deadly. Sounds like fun, right? Well, most electricians will certainly find the work rewarding. It's amazing when you consider the skills required to harness and distribute raw power. So, we've put together a list of the top 10 tools every electrician needs.
Perhaps the most iconic tool in the electrical industry is the digital multimeter. As the name implies, it can measure a wide range of electrical characteristics across multiple ranges. Older multimeters have an analog interface where a physical pointer indicates the electrical characteristics being tested. Newer multimeters use a digital interface. They also include increasingly sophisticated features, such as work lights, Bluetooth connectivity, and even thermal imaging cameras.
While many do not have current clamps, you will notice that some are clamp-on meters with jaws on top designed to measure current without touching or breaking the circuit. Others can measure current with a clamp-on test line. Both meters have their advantages and disadvantages, but both do their job reliably.
Must know if and when the line is "charged" (with current flowing through it). Failure to verify the voltage in the line can have dangerous consequences. The voltage tester is a handy little safety tool that beeps when there is voltage on the line. It also allows this operation to be performed without physical contact. Some multimeters include this feature, but a dedicated NCVT like the Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester is smaller and more convenient.
Ideally, an electrician would open the home's service panel and find an accurate, clear circuit directory on the inside of the door. But those times seem few and far apart. Many homes do a poor job of matching service panels to their complementary circuit breakers. Or sometimes remodelers just need to trace the circuit. By plugging a transmitter into an outlet, an electrician can use the detector on the service panel to create a circuit directory.
The wire needs to be cut and there is no way to bypass it. You will need some diagonal pliers or dikes to do the job. It is a mistake to choose a long handle for added leverage.
Other types of pliers are side-cutting pliers or Lineman pliers. These can grip, twist, pull, bend and cut. Klein Tool's Lineman pliers are synonymous with side-cutting pliers, so they are often referred to as "Kleins". This means a lot to a company that has been around for 160 years. Some versions also have wire stripping and screw-cutting capabilities.
For those tight spaces where your fingers can't reach, or to bend wires around screws, long-nose pliers come in handy. Many can also cut, and some can even expand the hole conduit.
To make connections, the protective insulation must be stripped to expose the bare wire. Several tools can help electricians do this, such as knives or strippers on some Lineman pliers. However, wire strippers remain the exclusive tool for this job. Of course, we know you use NCVT to make sure the line is disconnected!
No, this is not something you use to make sure the fish is long enough, nor is it the old VHS that got away. it is a tool for pushing wires in and out of conduit using leads. Electricians also use fish rods or glow rods. These are flexible, segmented rods that hook together for pulling shorter distances and in wall cavities. fish Tape comes on a reel that can be unrolled and retracted as needed.
Most electricians carry some kind of blade for general use and in a pinch to strip wire. Some of the newer small folding knives are tailor-made for the industry. Some are insulated and some are not. Not necessary because you know the line to be cut into is not electrically charged, right? Correct.
Screwdrivers and nut drivers may not seem like industry-specific tools. In many ways, they're not. But that hasn't stopped power tool manufacturers from innovating in ways that are appropriate for the industry. From multi-head screwdrivers and ratchet short sections to wrench-assisted nut drivers, there's a driver for every electrical job.
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