10 Best Tools For An Electrician in 2020

Last updated: August 25, 2020
Published 12:17 pm

Dewalt DPG59-115C Reinforcer Rx-Bifocal safety glasses

Klein Tools 33532-INS Electrical Insulated Screwdriver

Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter

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An ancient proverb attributes success to a skilled worker. As beautiful and encouraging as that may sound, skill alone is, however, not enough to carry out excellent work. Good tools are necessary. Electricians deal with several electrical jobs from time to time. And this calls for using excellent and appropriate tools to carry out tasks easily and to avoid dangers that accompany this line of work.

This buying guide will look into essential and must-have tools for an electrician in 2020. Additionally, each tool to be examined will be of superior quality since a “good tool” goes beyond functionality and includes durability.

The Ten Best Tools For An Electrician Are Reviewed Below


1

Dewalt DPG59-115C Reinforcer Rx-Bifocal safety glasses

One of the essential tools for every electrician is a protective pair of glasses. Without the eyes, electrical work would be impossible. It would be like a blind man driving. The Dewalt bi-focal protective eyeglasses the eyes from spark, debris, and the ray of light, which may, over time, affect visibility. It’s a two in one product- an eye shield and reading glasses to protect the eyes and also make it possible to read the inscription on products or anything relating to instructions on electrical appliances. Electricians sometimes climb onto an elevated position or platform. They may have to look down to read or work on somethings, to avoid a situation whereby the glasses may fall off due to looking down, the handles of the glasses are similar to that of a handgrip. It’s of rubber materials with patterned ripples to make it stay firm on both sides of the face.

For extra stability and comfort, the Dewalt comes with a non-slip nose grip. The grip allows the glasses to stay firm on the face without coming off. The lens is a hard coat and meets the ANSI Z27.1+ standards. What is more, the lens is distortion-free and colorless.

Key Features:

  • Rubber handle
  • Hard coat lens
  • Magnification diopter

Specification:

  • Brand: Dewalt
  • Model: Safety glasses
  • Color: Black/Yellow
  • Gender: Unisex
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Anti-scratch
Cons
  • Not anti-fog

2

Klein Tools 33532-INS Electrical Insulated Screwdriver

A screwdriver is a necessary tool for every electrician. The functions of the screwdriver exceed loosen and tighten screws. The Klein screwdriver is ideal and one of the best tools for an electrician. It’s well-insulated against shock with two thick layers that can reduce the impact of up 1000 volts. One way of ensuring good grip and comfort while an electrician works with a screwdriver is through an excellent handle. The handle of the Klein is electrically insulated and well-cushioned to feel soft and full.

The handle is not magnetic and adequately meets the IEC 60900 and ASTM F1505 standards of an insulated tool. The steel part that runs into a screwdriver is made of high-dielectric inner coating for durability. The Klein screwdriver set includes 1/4-Inch Cabinet-Tip 602-4-INS and Phillips-Tip 603-4-INS. The tips of both screwdrivers are non-magnetic and work precisely.

Key Features:

  • Insulated handle
  • High-dielectric coating
  • Non-magnetic tip

Specification:

  • Brand: Klein
  • Model: 33532-INS
  • Color: Orange Shank, Black, Yellow
Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Comfortable to hold
Cons
  • Non-magnetic tip

3

Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter

Fluke millimeter is no fluke, funny as the name sounds. The functionality is top grade. It’s an essential electrician tool which is must-have. It’s a voltalert for detecting non-contact voltage. Ghost voltage can be quite common, and false reading may result. However, with the low impedance, the energy can be well detected. The display part has a bright backlight that works in poorly lit conditions.

The battery life is impressive with a 400 hours runtime. Although without backlight, the battery life may run longer than when the black light is in use. It can work in a variety of weather and temperature, from minus ten degrees Celsius to plus fifty degrees Celsius. The measurements of the millimeter are accurate, consistent, and reliable. The warranty covers an extended period of use. And it has an excellent ergonomic design for one-handed use.

Fluke RMS is tested to the limit- against humidity and shock. It’s common for tools to drop during use. But the millimeter is durable and well built against drops and also CAT III 600 V safety rated.

Key Features:

  • Low Voltage detection
  • Resistance and capacitance of 10 A and 40 mπ respectively
  • Battery based

Specification:

  • Brand- Fluke
  • Model- FLUKE-117
  • Color- Yellow and Black
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read
Cons
  • Quite costly

4

Stanley Tape Measure

The tape is part of the electrician tool kit list. Every electrician needs a good measuring tape. The Stanley measuring tape is perfect. It can measure as far as 25 feet. The tape blade is coated with bladearmor to ensure durability. Besides, mylar polyester also improves the quality of the tape. The recoil is smooth and doesn’t cause injury to the fingers. The markings on the tape are clear, and measurements are accurate even after years of use. Its numbers are easy to read.

The rubber material housing the tape is non-slip and comfortable to hold. Its soft layers are impact resistance, and the innerspring is heat treated to ensure smooth recoil and stretch. Locking and unlocking are easy to switch when the need arises. The case is not solely rubber. There is a combination of soft, durable plastic for easy hold and durability due to moisture.

Overall, the tape can be used both for minor home repairs and major construction site jobs. Both the tape blade and the casing is well made to withstand various conditions and environmental factors.

Key Features:

  • Mylar polyester tape blade
  • Rubber grip
  • Bladearmor coating

Specification:

  • Brand- Stanley
  • Model: 33-725 measuring tape
  • Color: Yellow/ Black
Pros
  • Easy to read
  • Easy lock switch
  • Durable
Cons
  • None

5

Gastorback pro-comfort support belt

The electrician belt is an important part of the electrician tool list. It serves as a bag for all other tools an electrician carries around. The Gastorback belt is buckled around the waist and comes with several pockets to keep screwdrivers, pliers, and a couple of other things. The belt is breathable, allowing good inflow of air and curbs discomfort that may result from heat. It holds well and for long. The material of the belt is made of Dyratek nylon- a heavy-duty 1250 specification.

A common mistake which the manufacturers of this belt improved on, is sagging. Pockets sag when the heavy object within stretches the cloth material used for the pocket. However, this particular belt uses plastic linings in the pocket to prevent sagging. Plus, the shape is a box design that allows easy access to tools. It’s firm around the waist and will last for years.

As part of the features of the belt, the memory foam cushioning used gives it a comforting and soft grip around the waist. Furthermore, the pockets have an extra lining to curb wear and tear due to frequent use. In a bid to give the belt further strengthening, leather is introduced in the holes such that ripping won’t result. If the belt is not worn around the waist, there are alternative handles with good stitches to prevent tear and facilitate easy carry.

Key Features:

  • Metal suspender
  • Handles for carrying
  • Box pocket design

Specification:

  • Brand: Contractor Pro
  • Model: Gastorback
  • Color: Black
Pros
  • Thick and sturdy
  • Comfortable and firm
  • Breathe able
Cons

6

Klein Wire Stripper

Stripping and cutting wires are common in an electrician’s line of work. The Klein cutter is a standard wire cutter and stripper that should be on an electrician tools list. It’s one of the best tools for an electrician not just because of its importance, but due to its ergonomic design. Klein is a trusted manufacturer of essential electrical tools. The serrated nose build of this cutter makes it easy for bending and pulling wires and also for shaping if the need arises.

For both 10-18 AWG wire types and the 12-20 stranded types, the Klein cutter handles them well. The curve of the handle is well shaped to fit conveniently into the hands and for the spring to unlock for quick and easy opening.

Markings on it are easy to read, and the handle is insulated to prevent shock and to allow for a good grip. It’s lightweight and easy to carry about in any compartment of an electrician’s belt. As a plus, the metal part and spring are well coated to avoid rust.

Key Features:

  • Wire bending holes
  • Serrated nose

Specification:

  • Brand: Klein
  • Model: 11055KLE
  • Color: Blue
Pros
  • Good grip
  • Precise cuts
  • Simple to use
Cons
  • A bit expensive

7

Sperry Adjustable Non-Contact

The voltage sensor is vital to electricians, and when Sperry makes a tool, the quality can be fully trusted. Sperry voltage sensor is life guaranteed as evidence of its durability and superior quality build. Its design is simple- making it easy to hold, put in a pocket or as common, in an electrician’s belt.

A voltage sensor isn’t a disposable item that is discarded after every use. Similar to most tools of an electrician, the use of the item is continuous. To this end, the outer covering of the sensor is made of the modern ABS plastic, which is highly resistant to impact and environmental elements. The upper surface is of soft grippy leather material, which gives a firm hold while in use.

With audio and visible indicators, the adjustable non-contact sensor can detect between 12 to 1000 v AC. It’s entirely insulated to eliminate the chances of injury. Negative readings are avoided with the installation of the patented battery check features. Sherry voltage sensor functions on a AA battery, and it’s CAT III 1000V/IV 600V rated. A perfect tool for detecting the hot terminals and the presence of voltage at the circuit breaker.

Key Features:

  • None contact sensitivity
  • Audio indicator
  • ABS covering

Specification:

  • Brand: Sperry
  • Model: VD6505
  • Color: Yellow/ Black
Pros
  • Accurate reading and detection
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to use
Cons
  • The non-contact sensitivity may misbehave

8

Southwire Fishtape

What will an electrician tool kit list look like without fish tape? The southwire fish tape gives off a non-conductive glow in the dark, making it easy to use in a poorly lit place. The fish tape is useable in a filled and empty conduit of up to two inches. Many a time, there may be no platform available to place a tape after use, and as such, it may drop frequently. To prevent damage, the material of the fish tape is designed to withstand impact.

Pulling and rolling the fish tape is very much easy due to the low resistance in the conduit. It rolls and winds up without bending or turning wrongly. What is more, the tape doest rust, and no matter how much it bends, it won’t break. It’s foldable up to 90 degrees conveniently. In width and thickness, it’s about 45mm while measuring 125 inches in length.

Despite the strength of its case, another added advantage is the durability that ensures the tape is not damaged when exposed to external factors. Also, the case features a design that makes keeping in an electrician belt possible.

Key Features:

  • Faster pull
  • Double metal leader
  • String protective case

Specification:

  • Brand: Southwire
  • Model: 59896940
  • Color: Green and Yellow
Pros
  • Flexible tape
  • Unbreakable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Quite big

9

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Long Nose Plier

A 6-inch long plier is also a basic tool for electricians. The nose of the plier features strong nickel-chromium steel, which resistant to damaging elements and easy to clean. Its steel nose runs up to the handle where a rubber covers it to provide insulation. A useful characteristic of an electrician’s plier is the strength and sharpness of the serrated teeth. It must cut sharply and precisely. Irwin is well designed to grip firmly to wire and strong enough to do minimal hitting of nails or tucking things in place. The teeth of the plier are serrated, and the edges are well sharpened such that it won’t go blunt in a short time.

The handle is the next brilliant design of the Irwin plier. With the ergonomic and comfortable design, the handle is fantastic. Generally, the design of a plier should be easy to extend and clip onto an object using little strength. The fingers should comfortably control it without hindrance. The plier uses a protouch handle. A protouch handle is grippy and firm to touch. It’s insulated to prevent damage and in accordance with the ANSI requirement.

Due to its length and slim design, it can be used in a confined space with relative ease. It cuts wires and strings with no fuss and neatly. Irwin is among the best electrician tool, and it’s affordable.

Key Features:

  • Sharp grip
  • Protouch handle
  • Insulated handle

Specification:

  • Brand: IRWIN
  • Model: 2078216
  • Color: Blue / Yellow
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy design
Cons
  • None

10

Dewalt Insulated Glove

Gloves are a must-have for electricians. The use of bare hands to handle any type of electrical work is not encouraged; it’s not allowed. Additionally, not every glove is suitable for use. Only insulated gloves are ideal for electricians. Safety is key when it comes to electricity. When the bare hands touch electric current, shock and possibly death may result. And in some cases, severe injuries. The Dewalt glove is insulated to prevent electrical shock and designed to be flexible.

Dewalt glove is the right blend of acrylic and nylon. The outer layer is of nylon material and helps to resist moisture. Also, it prevents the glove from soaking water or any form of liquid. Thermal lining in the glove regulates the temperature in any kind of weather. And the palm surface up to the fingers gives a good grip. Slippery boxes can be held firmly without slipping off.

It has good protection against abrasion. It’s durable and comfortable to the skin. The pair fits for both hands with fuss. Dewalt makes a couple of excellent electrical tools, and this glove is one best tool for an electrician.

Key Features:

  • 70% Nylon
  • 30% Acrylic lining

Specification:

  • Brand: Dewalt
  • Model: DPG737L thermal insulated grip
  • Color: Black
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Excellent grip
Cons
  • When used in a cold environment, the cold may sip in.

Buying Guide Questions

The buying guide section focuses on nine possible questions electricians may have. As you would notice, as the article goes on, some products in the upper section will be pointed to in this section. As you read on, pay attention to possible questions and suggestions that will further enhance your work.

What tools should every electrician have?

Electricians will continue to need a variety of tools as they progress in their field. Some electrical projects may require few tools, while some bigger jobs may involve the use of different types of tools. An electrician tool kit list must contain some power tools and hand tools. Each category of tools has various functions that make them essential to every electrician. Some examples of hand tools include Pliers, wire strippers, crimps, screwdriver set, square tip screwdriver, stubby screwdriver, tape measure. Power Tools include Power Drill, drill bits. Other safety tools are Headlight, safety glasses, insulated gloves, electrician belt.

It’s important to note that the above tools are essential for every electrician to carry out an excellent job successfully. Of course, not all tools are mentioned, and that is due to the fact that not all tools are necessary and easy to carry around. However, safety tools are usually part of every electrician tool kit list. Safety tools are essential due to the dangers associated with electrical works. Majorly most tools in this category are insulated to prevent electric shock.

How much do electricians spend on tools?

Electricians do not need to spend a fortune to get tools. Of course, every electrician must keep in mind that some amount of money will be required to purchase the necessary tools. The good news is that an electrician doesn’t need to buy every tool before getting on with projects. The need to get a variety of tools will present itself due to the requirements of each job as time goes by.

From the list of top ten essential tools above, one can deduce the average amount an electrician can spend to get important tools. The tools above are not expensive but, at the same time, not cheap. The best way to make tools purchase is to get the ones that fall into the less expensive category and, importantly, with good reviews from past users. An insulated screwdriver may cost around 30 dollars or more. And the same amount may apply to gloves and voltage sensors.

Overall, the average amount that top important tools may cost can total up to about 200 dollars.

Note: Don’t go for cheap tools. Cheap may seem affordable, but the result will be disappointing. Cheap tools will require constant replacement. Stay on the safe side, and purchase good quality tools.

What drills do electricians use?

Drills are essential in some types of electrical works. There are instances where the need to drill holes may be necessary, and using a drill will be appropriate. However, not all electrical jobs require a drill. Drills can be quite expensive in comparison to other electrical tools. Electrical power tools like a drill are quite many on the market. Many prefer the cordless Dewalt DWD112, this drill is indeed very expensive but worth the money. It gives value for money and has a brilliant design. One significant advantage of this drill over many others is some of its unique features. For example, if it’s to be used in a poorly lit or dark place, the drill comes with a led light. It’s also durable and runs a battery. These two drills are the common types used due to their efficiency and ergonomic design.

Do electricians use hammers? Is knipex better than Klein?

Electricians use hammers for quite a number of reasons. The hammer may look similar to a carpentry hammer, but several differences set them apart. One primary difference is the insulated handle and the use of fiberglass in a bid to prevent electrical shock from live wires for an electrical hammer.

Hammers serve as an instrument to drive in nails on electric boxes. Some electrical boxes are fitted into tight concealed areas, and for such boxes to be removed or put in place, the claw of the hammer will be used to pull it out. At the same time, the heavy head of the hammer will quickly put boxes back in place with just a few hits due to its heaviness.

Knipex better than Klein?

Both Knipex and Klein are great brands manufacturing safe electrical tools. In terms of hammers, only Klein manufactures hammers, but Knipex exclusively specializes in pliers of different shapes and sizes. Overall, Klein makes numerous electrical tools that are of top quality and well-rated among electricians. Knipex also does excellently in producing superior quality pliers. Klein is ideal for assembling an electrician’s toolset as an apprentice.

Are electricians essential services?

Essential services are regarded as occupations that are mandated to always be available due to their importance in society. Examples of crucial activities are health services, electrical services, water supply, and law enforcement agencies.

As shown above, electricians are also categorized under occupations that must render essential services. Due to this, electrician cannot legally go on strike or any labor protest that would cripple the services they render. Asides issues related to labor, other situations that may require many businesses to close down may not affect electricians. And this is so since just like food, water, and healthcare services, electricity is equally important to get many activities done. Especially during harsh weather conditions like winter, many people would require the use of electricity to keep warm. Getting information critical to the survival of people across to them also involves the use of electricity.

How do you insulate tools?

Insulating tools should be with care and precision. There are some methods of insulating tools which are common. It’s essential to keep mind that the best way to insulate tools is purchasing factory-made and tested types. However, sometimes the need to personally insulate tools may arise. Many use electrical tape, liquid paints, and a few other methods.Watch this video to see firsthand the processes and precautions to take.

Are insulated electrical tools worth it?

The fundamental purpose of insulating electrical tools is to avoid injuries or possible death that may result from electrical shock. Insulated electrical tools are worth it. They reduce the risk of injuries. From the tip of these tools to the handles, the materials used are to prevent electrical shock.

Furthermore, the use of insulated electrical tools is mandatory for electricians in the United States and many other counties in the world. Insulated tools must meet a certain standard, such as the ASTM F1505 standards. As a plus, electricians as required to get insulated gloves when getting a set of the best electrician tools for carrying out their jobs. The insulated glove serves as extra protection. It doesn’t excuse the use of other insulated tools because when it comes to electrical works, one cannot err on the side of caution. Safety is foremost.

At what voltage must Workers use insulated tools

All essential electrician tools are to be well insulated. Anything from 50 voltage will require workers to use insulated tools. At 50V up to 1000V, an insulated electrical tool must be able to work on such a circuit. Even on live circuits, an insulated tool must be able to work on it without exposing the electrician to any danger. Insulated tools must comply with the ASTM F1505 standards as well as that of the IEC 60900.

All insulated tools are required to go through third-party testing to ascertain their level of safety and quality. Other perks of using insulated electrical tools are the handles that come with them. The ergonomic design of the insulated handles gives excellent grip, less fatigue when in use, and no bruises despite the length of time of usage. Apart from the de-energizing capabilities of these tools, they are also built to withstand harsh conditions such as flames or high temperatures.

Can you touch a live wire with a screwdriver?

You can touch a live wire with a well-insulated screwdriver. Live wire can cause shock. So, if a poorly insulated screwdriver is used to touch a live wire, it can be damaging. Another thing to avoid is touching the metal part of a screwdriver. The metal part can also result in shock. Always hold a screw by the handle to prevent electrical shock.

Several people die yearly due to electrocution, and some are even electricians who neglected some precautions. It’s vital always to get a well-insulated screwdriver with a rubber handle to work on a live wire. Alternatively, when it comes to detecting if a cable is live, a voltage sensor will also work perfectly. Voltage sensors are well insulated with a good indication system. A voltage sensor can detect live wires. It runs on batteries and uses a light indicator to signify the presence of electricity in a wire or outlet.

Conclusion

The best tools for an electrician have been well-reviewed alongside answers to essential questions. Overall, every electrician does well to remember that each tool can be procured gradually. Most importantly, the basic ones like the glove, plier, wire stripper, measuring tape, voltage sensor, and millimeter should be of top priority.

Each electrical tool considered in this buying guide is tested and trusted by many electricians. Many of the brands manufacturing these tools are reputable and recognized. What is more, the brands follow the standard regulations guiding the materials used in the production of electrical tools. Carefully look through and make your decision to purchase the best sets of electrician tool kits.