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Most Common Tools Used by Modern Electricians

The modern electrician can meet customer needs effectively by having the right tools on hand. Quality tools and equipment are essential for electricians like EMG Electrical to complete tasks efficiently and safely. From specialized pieces to basic hand tools, having the appropriate tools is crucial to any electrician’s profession. In this guide, we list the most used tools by the modern electrician.

Wire Strippers

A wire stripper is a plier-like tool used to remove the insulating outer sheath from a cable to attach connectors or thermals to the central core via soldering or crimping. Some wire strippers will allow an electrician to cut right through the conduit or copper in a cable or wire.

Types of wire strippers

There are so many models and designs available including:

  1.  Sheath stripper
  2.  Adjustable strippers
  3. Manual wire strippers
  4. Triple-action wire strippers
  5. Automatic wire strippers
  6. Wire stripper wires

Insulated Screwdrivers

The most common and traditional tool an electrician would use is a screwdriver. Most electricians require access frequently to electrical containers sealed with screws. There are so many shapes and sizes available for compatibility with the abundance of screw designs. Screwdrivers function by applying torque, or rotational force, to turn screws when the head of the screwdriver is inserted into the screw slot. Electrician’s screwdrivers have specially designed insulated handles to provide electrical resistance and ensure safety. These insulated handles are typically VDE-approved, indicating they meet strict safety standards for working with electrical systems. There are many driver tips the most common include Philips screwdrivers, slotted screwdrivers, and Pozidriv screwdrivers.

Insulated Pliers

Pliers are essential for gripping, twisting, bending, and cutting wires. There are several types of pliers used by electricians:

  1. Needle-nose Pliers: These have a long, pointed end, allowing electricians to reach into tight spaces.
  2. Lineman’s Pliers: These are robust and are primarily used for cutting and twisting wires.
  3. Diagonal Cutting Pliers: Also known as side cutters, these are designed for cutting wire and small pins in confined areas.
  4. Water pump Pliers: Also known as slip joint pliers, tongue-and-groove pliers, and adjustable pliers, feature a movable lower jaw that allows the span of the grip to be adjusted. This adjustability makes them ideal for gripping and turning nuts, bolts, and other fasteners, providing versatility in a range of applications.


Voltage Testers and Multimeters

Voltage testers and multimeters are critical for diagnosing electrical issues.

  1. Voltage Testers: These are simple tools used to check if a wire or outlet is live. They come in various forms, including non-contact testers that detect voltage without direct contact.
  2. Multimeters: These are more advanced tools that can measure voltage, current, resistance, and continuity. Digital multimeters provide precise readings and are indispensable for troubleshooting electrical problems.

Fish Tape

Fish tape, or draw wire, is used to pull wire through conduits and wall cavities. It is a long, flat, coiled strip of metal or fiberglass that can navigate through narrow and complicated pathways, simplifying the process of wiring in finished buildings.

Conduit Benders

Conduit benders are used to shape conduits or pipes to fit the specific layout of a building. These tools help electricians route wiring neatly and securely through buildings. Benders come in different sizes to accommodate various conduit diameters.

Cable Pullers

Cable pullers, or wire pullers, are used to pull cables through long distances, such as between rooms or floors in a building. They make the job of moving heavy and thick cables much easier and faster.

Drills and Hole Saws

Electricians often need to create holes in walls, floors, or other surfaces to run cables and install boxes or fixtures.

  1. Cordless Drills: These provide portability and convenience, especially in areas without readily available power sources.
  2. Hole Saws: These are attachments for drills used to cut larger holes for outlets, light fixtures, and other installations.

Circuit Testers

Circuit testers, such as continuity testers and receptacle testers, are used to ensure that circuits are complete and that outlets are wired correctly. These tools help identify wiring faults, ensuring that installations are safe and functional.

Wire Crimpers

Wire crimpers are used to join wires together or to attach connectors to the ends of wires. They ensure a secure and reliable connection, which is crucial for maintaining electrical integrity and safety.

Insulation Resistance Testers

Insulation resistance testers measure the resistance of electrical insulation. These tools are important for ensuring that insulation is effective and that there are no leaks or faults in the insulation, which could lead to short circuits or electrical fires.

Tool Belts and Pouches

While not a tool per se, tool belts and pouches are essential for keeping tools organized and easily accessible. They allow electricians to carry multiple tools at once, increasing efficiency and convenience.

Labeling Machines

Labeling machines are used to label wires, cables, and electrical panels. Proper labeling is important for safety, maintenance, and troubleshooting, as it helps identify circuits and
connections quickly.

Headlamps and Work Lights

Good lighting is crucial for electricians according to NFC Energy, especially when working in dark or poorly lit areas. Headlamps and portable work lights provide the necessary illumination to perform tasks safely and accurately.

Modern electricians utilize a wide array of tools to ensure the safety, efficiency, and reliability of electrical installations and repairs. From basic hand tools like pliers and screwdrivers to advanced diagnostic equipment like multimeters and insulation resistance testers, each tool plays a specific role in the electrician’s toolkit. The continual evolution of these tools, incorporating better materials and technology, enhances the capabilities of electricians, allowing them to perform their tasks with greater precision and safety.

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