Tradespeople rely on their tool for accuracy, for resilience, for craftsmanship, for comfort, and for safety. This includes the electricians who keep our homes illuminated, connected, and energy efficient. Below, we take a look at just some of the most tried-and-true tools you can find on the modern electrician's belt.
Pliers are a stable of any toolbox, but they're especially critical for electricians who regularly manipulate and cut wire. Any prepared electrician probably has an array of pliers on their belt or truck, but most commonly works with needle-nose pliers, side-cutting pliers, and reaming pliers.
Another toolbox staple, electricians are always armed with a variety of screwdrivers for loosening and fastening various pieces of hardware. Many professionals now carry versatile, adaptable screwdrivers with interchangeable bits so they're never stuck without the tool they need.
When working with wiring, it's essential to know how what lengths to work when you're cutting and stripping. A simple retractable tape measure does the trick, but there models out there with magnetic tips, multi-step locks, and other features to make this process easier.
Electricians regularly install new lighting fixtures or need disassemble installed hardware to access wiring and other electrical components. A handheld electric drill with various bits can help expedite these tasks—and allow professionals to affix specialty bits (like the reaming bit, see below) for industry-specific purposes.
When you're installing light fixtures, finding precise points for placement is key. A standard level helps electricians make sure that fixtures, screws, and other installations are where they need to be.
Professional electricians regularly to have to strip the plastic coating on wires to expose the copper and make customized connections with other wiring or components. There are many, many wire stripper types and models out there and it's likely that the prepared electrician has various versions ready to use at their next job.
Fish tape is used to run wiring between gang boxes (or other electrical components) through conduit piping. Fish tape is housed in a retractable coil and can bet fed through installed conduit piping. Once the end of the fish tape appears on the opposite side, wiring can be hooked to the tape and the tape can be retracted—pulling the wire along the conduit.
Electrical work cannot safely commence until power has been cut off in key segments of the property (usually via the circuit breaker). A handheld voltage tester allows electricians to test to see if outlets are active and, conversely, when power has been properly restored for the homeowner.
Installing new conduits (or replacing old ones) means connecting different segments of piping together to create a wiring route between electrical components. A reaming bit attaches to an electric drill and can widen the opening on one end of the piping, allowing it to connect to another segment of piping and complete a secure conduit.
When determining a wiring route, it's common to plan to run wiring along the corner of the wall or other variations in the architecture. Conduit benders allow electricians to curve conduit piping to accommodate these routes and ensure that the conduits remain nonintrusive and efficiently placed in the customer’s home.
As an electrician, sooner or later you'll have no resort but to work in the dark. That is why trusted electricians always carry with them various flashlights or other work lights and lanterns in their truck.
Because of the possibility of electrocution, electricians need to take precautions. Prepared, safe professionals will have insulated gloves on them for every job. There are various kinds and styles out there so electricians can search and find gloves they are comfortable with and will not get in the way of getting work done.
Flame Retardant Work Shirt
Electricians are trained to take precautions against dangerous arc flashes, electrocutions, and fires. Part of this means making sure that their shirt material will resist fire-starting sparks and prevent serious burn injuries.
Whether an electrician is closely examining wiring or operating power tools, they're going to need to protect their eyes. Apprentices and seasoned veterans alike should have a pair of safety glasses on hand at every job site.
Rescue rods (or hooks) are used to remove large items or unconscious people that have been electrocuted from a hazardous area. Because a dangerous current may be still running through these items or people, a professional on the scene must use the rescue rod to pull them away from the electrical source without getting electrocuted themselves.
High Tech Solutions
Circuit analyzers are digital handheld tools that give electricians unprecedented, virtually instant information about the circuit connected to an individual outlet. In seconds, these devices can measure voltage, polarity, line voltage, reversals, and more. There are various circuit analyzers for professionals on the market, so electricians should look into the capabilities of each to ensure they go with the device that best fits their needs.
It can be sometimes difficult to know which outlets are connected to which circuit in a house. Modern electricians now use circuit finders that incorporate two main components: a handheld digital transmitter and small receivers that plug into outlets around the home. When the transmitter is held up to circuits in the breaker, a signal is sent to the receiver, indicating which circuit the outlet belongs to.
Cloud-Based Business Software
The days of hauling a clipboard around and burdening homeowners with crinkled, scribbled-on estimates and invoices are over... or at least they should be. With a comprehensive, cloud-based software solution, electricians are arriving to jobs armed with a tablet and various, intuitive features that make customer service, sales opportunities, paperwork, and even getting paid easier.
ServiceTitan in the #1 electrical contractor software for the home service industry. Thousands of field service companies have modernized the way they do business with ServiceTitan—and increased revenue an average of 25% in their first year with us. For more information on our completely comprehensive, cloud-based platform, contact our ServiceTitan team to request a demo today!