A good electrician has a toolbox that contains tools that cover every eventuality. Tool manufacturers create smart new tools for specific situations, but it is not necessary to buy every new device that comes onto the market.
What follows is a selection of tools that will cover the majority of eventualities.
Testers and Meters – sometimes referred to as multi-meters or multi-testers these smart tools can help to troubleshoot all of the problems that are likely to occur in a domestic situation. They are small devices that can be held in one hand leaving the other free to test connectivity and other electrical qualities. They will measure volts, resistance and amps and more modern Ones can measure conductance and capacitance. Essential kit – don’t leave home without one.
Electricians screwdriver – an essential safety item, they come with Phillips or flat head and in a variety of sizes. The insulated handle keeps the electrician safe at all times. They are best purchased in sets, one flat head and one Phillips in a range of sizes. They are available in a variety of colours, but the tone is generally only cosmetic.
Electricians knives – needed for scoring insulation and trimming cables. For many people, a Stanley knife is the perfect tool but be mindful of the UK laws on carrying knives. While it is unlikely that you will fall foul of the law for taking a Stanley Knife you are even less likely to run into trouble if you carry an electrician’s knife. They also have the bonus of being designed with safety in mind.
Insulation tape – the familiar black PVC tape is now available in a range of colours that can help an electrician colour code their work.
Socket tools – a type of ratchet wrench that is useful for removing holding nuts and bolts. The ratchet mechanism is a must-have feature because it does make undoing nuts and bolts in confined spaces much more comfortable. Wrenches have been used for delivering torque to tighten up a nut for centuries, but the ratchet mechanism is a relatively recent e innovation. Fist seen in 1863 having been created by an America, J. J Richardson. A set of ratchets can be purchased in a range of sizes with between 16 and 100 additional pieces.
Cable tools – there is a variety of devices that Are designed for handing cables. Cutting, crimping and stripping are made much more comfortable with tools of this type. They can range from lightweight plastic tools to more large gauge cutters and crimpers. The specific tools that are needed will depend entirely on the type of electrical work being undertaken. Experience will soon tell you which cable tools you need to carry.
Pliers – the most basic but essential tool on the list. Pliers are used for handling things that are too small or fiddly to be dealt with by fingers without being dropped. They are also useful for applying extra force to smaller items. Pliers also come with a variety of jaws that are designed for use in specific circumstances such as long-nosed pliers and bull nose pliers.
Mains testers – a mains tester is a valuable safety tool used to see if a socket is live or isolated. They come in a range of sizes, but it is recommended that the most robust one possible is purchased. Care should be taken to avoid cheaper models that are aimed at the DIY market and are not robust enough for professional use.
Immersion heater wrenches – these are round or hexagonal wrenches designed to help remove an immersion heater. You will probably need one of each, and you should look around before you purchase because of therre4 area variety of different designs.
Wire strippers – used, as the name suggests for removing the PVC coverings on electric cables so that the copper can be appropriately connected. A good pair of wire strippers will make your work easier and much quicker so really should be in the top ten tools list.