For an electrician, the right tools can mean the difference between a serious issue and a job well done. Electricians constantly operate in potentially hazardous environments, making the need for sufficient tools an absolute must.
Specific tools used by electricians will understandably vary according to the electrician’s status: a journeyman electrician might use an entirely different toolset than an apprentice, or an electrician who specializes in certain fixtures or environments. Just like license requirements for electricians vary by state, individual tool sets vary according to an electrician’s needs, tool preferences, and setting.
The below information will serve as a comprehensive guide for electricians seeking to find the right tools for a wide variety of electrical needs.
Electrical Apprentice Tool List
Even apprentice electricians with limited overall experience need a defined tool list, one that allows them to learn and execute on the job without issue. This list can include — but is not limited to — the following tools:
- Tape measure;
- Hack saw;
- Razor knife;
- Adjustable pliers;
- Flat-blade screwdriver;
- Flat-blade stubby screwdriver;
- Side cutters;
- Wire cutters;
- Steel-toed boots.
This list isn’t meant to serve as a complete record of all tools a professional electrician or contractor might need; instead, it’s a starting point that allows electrical apprentices to build necessary skills and fulfill onsite job duties.
Electrician Hand Tools
Hand tools help electricians fulfill foundational duties around the job site, tasks that typically require a steady hand and a precise instrument. The hand tools below represent some of the optimal options for electricians. Quality features make for a tool that lasts long and performs to standard.
The best hammers balance precision and power, without sacrificing comfort. This is what the FatMax Xtreme Nail Hammer offers, together with a patented grip that helps electricians reduce the effects of physical use on hands and elbows.
It’s even equipped with a magnetic nail feature to help you start hammering in the right place with minimal nail movement. As one of the best hammer options for electricians, it offers a one-piece design for increased strength, with less movement required on your part.
At more than 13 inches in total length, this hammer is a full-size option for residential and commercial use. While it might overpower smaller nails, it provides a superior option for virtually all of the nailing work an electrician will need to fulfill while on the job.
Best Screwdriver Set
An optimal screwdriver set can make an electrician’s job so much easier once the day begins. That’s exactly what you have in the Milwaukee 10 Piece 1000V Insulated Screwdriver set, an ideal option for any screwdriver application.
Outfitted with all of the most popular screwdriver sizes an electrician will need, including 1-by-3-inch, 2-by-4-inch, and 3-by-6-inch shafts, these screwdrivers meet the OSHA Insulated Tool Standard, and are impact resistant for added comfort. Offering some of the best screwdrivers for electricians, this set comes with a foam-fitted zipper carrying case, for easy movement from one site to the next.
Despite their status as one of the simplest tools in an electrician’s belt, an effective pair of pliers can make a huge difference to the success of a job. That’s why these 9-inch Lineman’s Pliers offer a steady, rubberized grip and high leverage.
Given how frequently an electrician needs to use pliers, this pair — featuring a rounded nose for easy gripping and movement — is entirely worth the affordable price tag. This is one of the best plier options for electricians on the market today.
Best Tape Measure
We can’t overstress the importance of a reliable tape measure. Especially since inexpensive tape measures simply don’t last, whether because of flimsy materials or faulty retraction, investing in a high-quality tape measure is an absolute must for any serious electrician. Fortunately, that issue is solved by this 25-foot Milwaukee magnetic tape measure.
Impact-resistant and coated with anti-tear protection for its first 6 feet, this magnetic tape measure delivers improved tape retraction control that you simply won’t find from its competitors. The attached magnet is powerful enough to hold steel studs, keeping your hands free and clear when in the middle of a job. Measurements are printed on both sides of the tape measure itself, allowing you to clearly read the numbers from any angle.
In the world of levels, bigger is often better. And when it comes to levels already ideal for electrical use, the Milwaukee 48” Redstick Box Level provides the industry-leading excellence you’re looking for. Equipped with magnets that secure its position for a stronger hold and more accurate readings, this level comes protected by the most durable frame you’ll find among any comparable level options.
Since it comes with a lifetime guarantee, you’ll be able to use this level confidently for years. It’s easily readable from a distance. It features left- and right-side vertical levels for additional clarity, and for moments when you need to vertically align the level itself. With the most options and the strongest frame, this tool is a no-brainer necessity for an electrician in the market for a new level.
When visibility is paramount, you’ll want a flashlight that renders darkness a non-issue. The Focusing LED Flashlight does just that. It offers three light levels — from 33 lumens to 300 lumens — to optimize visibility according to your environment.
Featuring light beams available on-demand that can carry as far as 636 total feet, the Focusing LED Flashlight is your solution for visibility in any construction or contracting environment. The flashlight itself is both impact-resistant and protected by a stainless steel core, meaning you can use it anywhere without fear of damage. Batteries are even included, so you can put your device to work immediately.
Best Nut Driver
This 4-Piece Nut Driver Set can help you make quick work of even the most complicated stacked circuit boards or long bolt applications. The set makes it easy to identify the nut driver hex, and twist-resistant handles ensure minimal slippage and comfortable grips.
The set offers 1/4″, 5/16”, 3/8″, and 9/16” nut driver options, to satisfy a wide range of popular electrical applications. Each handle is color-coded to help electricians pair the right driver with the nut.
Electricians also need to be able to trust the tools they use to directly manipulate electrical wires. The serious nature of many electrical job sites means that wiring tools do help keep electricians safe. The below wiring tools represent some of the best wiring instruments available industry-wide. These tools are preferable for electricians who want to do the job the right way.
Best Wire Stripper/Cutter
The best wire strippers/cutters will do more than just trim wires to appropriate lengths. They will also improve the efficiency of an electrician’s tasks, especially when repetitive wire cutting is necessary.
A precise pair of wire strippers or cutters are versatile, allowing an electrician to manipulate 10-18 AWG solid and 12-20 AWG stranded wire in tight positions. This is exactly what the Klein-Kurve® Wire Stripper/Cutter offers to electricians: better movements and precision cuts on the materials they work with every day.
Given how frequently wire stripper/cutter tools can be used by an electrician, you’ll want to find a pair that lasts. Coil springs in the Klein-Kurve® model — one of the best wire stripper/cutter tools available for electricians today — help take the stress off of your hands. The handle grips are double-dipped in a rubberized coating for long-lasting comfort and all-day use.
Best Fuse Puller
Useful for removing electrical fuses in a residential or commercial setting, fuse pullers quickly prove their worth after a few uses. Specifically, the Cooper Bussman Fuse Puller helps expedite fuse manipulation across virtually any job site. It allows electricians to install and remove fuses in any residential or commercial construction setting.
Power tools help electricians save time on the job site without compromising on safety standards. Reference the selections below for some of the best power tool options available to electricians today.
Best Voltage Meter
Electricians commonly measure voltage and install wiring, a task made easier with the Milwaukee Voltage Detector & LED Light, which provides accurate voltage readings and lighting to sufficiently illuminate any job site.
Electricians can easily store and retrieve this device from their pocket whenever necessary for easy voltage detection without actually making contact with any potentially harmful or charged surfaces.
Licensed as safe for a variety of industrial applications, the Milwaukee Voltage Detector & LED Light helps you identify whether there’s any voltage present so you can correct any issues before wiring goes live.
Best Circuit Tracker
As one of the industry’s best circuit trackers, the Sperry Circuit Tracker/Breaker Locator & GFCI Tester helps electricians correctly trace circuits to corresponding breakers. You need to be able to identify the right breaker behind electrical flow every time, which makes this circuit tracker option an absolute must on the job.
This circuit tracker also does an excellent job of alerting you — via LED lights and corresponding sounds — when the correct breaker is identified. Operating from a single battery, the tracker’s patented design helps electricians locate breakers quickly, saving time and eliminating potential hazards.
Best Power Drill
When it comes to saving time, power drills are key on any job site, not only for electricians but, really, for anyone. One certified winner in the power-drill field is the M18 Hm Drill Impact Kit from Milwaukee, a comprehensive solution for all of your drilling needs.
You can only buy the M18 Hm Drill Impact Kit via PayPal. That said, it is more than worth the investment. With this kit, you’ll enjoy the versatility of both a hammer drill driver and a hex compact impact driver. The kit also includes multiple lithium batteries, so that you can swap out power sources without having to pause your daily work.
For the moments when electricians need to make cuts into walls or other surfaces, there aren’t many solutions better than a reliable sawzall. In particular, the Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw offers electricians a quality sawzall option, with a gear-protecting clutch for extended motor life. According to Hardware World, the sawzall maintains the “highest overload protection in the industry,” keeping electricians safer than ever during work hours.
Look for a sawzall that comes with a carrying case — like the above option — as well as overload protection, to promote continually safe working conditions. Adjustable clamps and dial speed control help to further separate some of the industry’s best sawzalls from the rest.
For larger necessary cuts, a jigsaw offers effective cutting capabilities that work especially well along jagged or uneven lines. Given how frequently this function is required in a construction setting, jigsaws like the Chevron-SKIL 20v Jigsaw Kit are quickly becoming essential to the industry.
The Chevron-SKIL 20v Jigsaw Kit comes with blades specifically for cutting metal and wood. This model comes with a particularly powerful lithium battery and charger, with a variable switch that offers maximum control to all users.
Best Hole Hawg
For the moments when electricians need to consistently drill between studs and joints, a hole hawg is the ideal tool. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hole Hawg 1/2″ Right Angle Drill helps electricians create precise holes at tough right angles.
The lightest right-angle drill on the market, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hole Hawg 1/2″ Right Angle Drill helps to simultaneously make fast rough-ins and guard against overloads, heating concerns, and over-discharge. It comes with a comfortable, ergonomic handle that promotes comfort over extended periods of use, and is compatible with all M18 batteries.
Electrician Safety Gear and Work Clothes
Electricians also benefit from appropriate work gear while at a job site. Even the simplest safety gear choices can help foster confidence at work, while at the same time guarding against serious hazards. Check out the best protective gear and safety clothing for electricians below.
Gloves are essential in protecting your hands from the various physical threats that a job site can offer. This is why Caterpillar Split Leather Gloves are so important to any electrician: they help stop physical threats, with knuckle wraps for extra comfort and protection.
Identifiable by the CAT logo in the center of the product, Caterpillar Split Leather Gloves help electricians conform to standard safety procedures that can help save lives. The Gunn cut design looks great, and the wrists feature elastic adjusters to promote all-day comfort. Sometimes, improving safety at your worksite is as simple as wearing the appropriate gloves.
Best Hard Hat
Especially around active construction sites, hard hats are an absolute must for electricians. The Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat is an excellent option for electricians, one that allows you to keep the elements out of your eyes while protecting against aerial hazards. A shell built with ABS materials is supported by ratchet suspension, so that users can adjust the form and fit of the hat itself to the individual shape of their head.
From exposed electrical wires to falling debris, hard hats cover a comprehensive range of unforeseen danger. As one of the best hard hat options for electricians, this hard hat model also features custom imprinting, allowing you to represent your contracting business while at work.
Best Eye Wear
Often forgotten when considering safety gear, eye wear helps prevent debris of all sizes from interfering with vision quality and from compromising your eye health while on the job. The best eye wear promotes a focus on safety, much like the 3M Performance Safety Glasses, which have high-end materials and a sporty finish.
The 3M Performance Safety Glasses successfully filter 99.9% of UV sunlight, contouring to fit an electrician’s face with a wraparound fit that doesn’t allow any room for potential hazards. Both nose and ear pieces have soft-touch features, to prevent chafing and promote lasting comfort after extended use.
Best Tool Belt
The best tool belts for electricians help keep all necessary tools and resources within arm’s reach. Without restricting movement, a tool belt should be sufficiently large to carry hammers, screwdrivers, and other previously mentioned must-have tools, without weighing you down around the job site.
Built with durable nylon that keeps tools by your side while you work, the Milwaukee Electrician’s Work Belt offers a long-term solution for electricians with a wide range of tools.A puncture-resistant build and stable base keep the tool belt well protected, with a pouch that can even stand up on its own when not worn. A verifiable must-have for any efficiency-minded electrician, the Milwaukee Electrician’s Tool Belt helps you save time and promote safety in any residential or industrial environment.