Being an electrician isn’t simple. It’s a job where safety, precision, and efficiency are hugely important, so having the right tools at your disposal is a must, just remember to keep them safe from theft.
Building a great tool kit is a big investment for any tradesperson. You need high-quality, functional tools that you can depend on to last the hard yards. Although it might seem like a fair chunk of change and a big commitment, splurging slightly extra on the right tools will help you to be a good electrician.
Our top 10 best tools for electricians
- 1. Voltage Tester
- 2. Spanner
- 3. Hacksaw
- 4. Electrical tape
- 5. Cable cutters
- 6. Insulated screwdriver
- 7. Wire strippers
- 8. Insulated pliers
- 9. Safety knife
- 10. Circuit Finder
1. Voltage Tester
A voltage tester ensures that your equipment is working properly and checks whether it’s safe to work on a circuit. Health and safety regulations require electricians to check there is no voltage present before working with switches, cabling, junction boxes, or other areas where a live current may be present. This tool will light up when there is a current – signalling that you need to turn it off.
With 50-1000-volt AC, a CAT IV 1000 safety compliance, and a two-year warranty, the Klein NCVT-1 Non-Contact Voltage Tester is the most reliable and safe option available. Klein is a hugely popular brand of safe electrical tools, and the price is reasonable compared to other brands.
A spanner is one of the most useful and versatile tools in this list. It’s common for electrical work that involves loosening or tightening nuts and bolts, but it can also be used as a clamp, grips, or even a lever if you're in a pinch.
If you’re not looking break the bank on your tool kit just yet, the RS Pro Adjustable Spanner is a safe option. It's versatile, sturdy, and affordable.
A good hacksaw is a must-have for any electrician — a hand-powered, small-tooth saw with an adjustable frame and grip handle to cut through metal conduits.
We love the Lenox High Tension Hacksaw 12-inch, which uses an I-beam construction that handles tension up to 50,000 psi — in other words, it’s strong enough to handle those high-impact jobs!
4. Electrical tape
Used to insulate wires, electrical tape is an essential for cable management. It comes in a variety of colours, each with a different purpose. Black is used for insulation, red for low voltage, orange for high voltage, and so on. While black is the most commonly used colour, it’s great to have the full rainbow for your kit.
We recommend making sure the electrical tape is RoHS compliant, water and heat resistant, self-adhesive, and flame retardant. The Advance Tapes ATV Assorted ticks all these boxes.
5. Cable cutters
Cable cutters don’t just cut cable, they also bend, hold, twist, or strip small gauge wires and are made to be very precise.
It’s best to work with a fully insulated cable cutter – it’ll keep you safe when working with high voltage wiring. You’ll also want an ergonomic grip for easy handling. These RS PRO 114mm Electric Cutters from Klein are reliable and long-lasting.
6. Insulated screwdriver
Insulated screwdrivers feature a specially designed plastic handle cover that’s thick and non-conductive, protecting you from any unexpected live currents. It also helps to protect delicate electrical parts that may be damaged if an electrical short occurs.
The highest quality insulated screwdrivers are made by Wiha. They have a two-level construction for extra protection and easy handling. You’ll need a range of sizes so we recommend buying the set, Wiha Slotted and Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set (1000 volt, 13 piece).
7. Wire strippers
Used regularly in electrical work, wire strippers remove insulation from electric wires to connect, replace, or repair the wire.
Our favourite brand is the IRWIN VISE-GRIP 2078309 Wire Stripper, because it’s a four-in-one: wire stripper, wire crimper, wire cutter, and pliers. It’s safe and versatile with most wire sizes between 10 and 22 AWG.
8. Insulated pliers
You’ll find yourself using these often. Insulated pliers are versatile for all sorts of fiddly electrical tasks like torquing wires. Your pliers need to be insulated to keep you safe, so it’s best to invest in a quality brand that will last.
You’ll need a few sizes for various tasks so we recommend a set such as the Industrial Multi-Pliers Set.
9. Safety knife
As an electrician, you’ll be cutting wire often. And because the surface you’re cutting is small and moves easily, the chance of the blade slipping is high. A safety knife has a small blade that is more dexterous for this task.
This Klein Lockback knife ticks all the boxes.
10. Circuit Finder
Just plug the transmitter into any outlet and you’ll be able to detect a circuit through the service panel. Most homes don’t have an accurate reader, so this tool will save you a few headaches – no need to guess or throw switches randomly to find the right circuit.
Our top pick for a quick and accurate read is the Klein Circuit Breaker Finder which will always find the circuit breaker that you’re looking for.
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