What to Put in Your Electrical Tool Kit: A Beginner’s Guide

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A well-put-together electrical tool kit is every electrician’s best friend! This guide will help you pack one for yourself. 

Every job you can possibly think of needs a certain set of tools; for a regular desk job you need a computer, in order to be a nail technician you need to have nail drills and UV lamps—the list goes on. Similarly, any good electrician should carry an electrical tool kit that holds everything for their day-to-day appointments. 

In the beginning, it may seem near impossible to put together a kit filled with only the essentials. From personal experience, the main problem in this case (regardless of what kit you’re making) is that everything seems important. However, after you read through this guide, you will be able to discern which fundamental tools are worth carrying. 

A Smart Tool Kit 

As time passes, electronics are becoming more complex. This means that repairing and maintaining electrical appliances requires the use of newer, smarter tools. 

Before, you would probably need three different tools to do one job, but now carrying one tool is enough. Part of having a good electrical tooling starter kit is throwing in some smart tools such as a three-in-one, multifunctional items, or a screwdriver with an interchangeable tip. I won’t lie—some of these things may look gimmicky, but I suggest you try them out yourself. Also, I should mention that your tool kit doesn’t necessarily have to have expensive tools. An affordable kit can be just as effective as a high-end one! All you have to do is make it work.

A Pouch to Put Your Tools In

The first step to making your personalized electrical tool kit is to have a pouch to put your tools in. You can’t be carrying all those things around in your hands now, can you? 

Most of the time, you’ll be working in environments that can easily damage your pack, so make sure to get something very durable. It should also contain a lot of slots to allow you to smartly organize your tools inside. 

If packs won’t do, get yourself a tool belt. Tool belts are great for when ladders are involved. 

Insulated Rubber Gloves

Working with electricity is extremely dangerous. Proper precautions must be taken in order to ensure your safety. Keeping a pair of well-insulated rubber gloves will for sure come in handy. 

Voltage Tester

When buying a voltage tester, opt for one that is contactless. You can use it to check whether the current is passing through a wire. It’s a sure way to understand if there’s a problem with the circuit behind a socket. Even with the breakers down, the current might still be flowing, which obviously points towards a fault in the circuit system. 

Different Cutters 

Electrical work requires a lot of cutting, for which you will need a collection of different pliers and cutters. 

  • A good pair of wire cutters will save your life in a number of situations. An electrician’s job doesn’t always involve a lot of wire cutting, but that certainly doesn’t mean you won’t need to. In some homes, the insulation around wires is tough and only a trusty pair of wire cutters will get rid of this obstacle. 
  • Next to wire cutters are wire strippers. These tools are used to peel off the insulation around wires. As I said before, you don’t need anything that’s too expensive. A good affordable choice will do the job. 
  • Side cutters are for when you need to cut wires that are small and are in difficult-to-reach positions.
  • Some other tools you can pack with you are Lineman’s pliers, needle nose pliers, and cable cutters.  Lineman’s pliers are the tougher pliers needed to cut and twist wires. If used with care, it will last you a lifetime and will serve you just as well as it did on the first day you used it. Needle nose pliers can be used to reach wires in narrow and cramped spaces; you’ll come across a lot of those in your line of work so might as well be prepared for it. Cable cutters in contrast to regular pliers can be used to cut bigger wires so this is also a great tool to have in hand.

Electrical Tape

I cannot stress the importance of electrical tape. This is probably the most inexpensive item on the guide, but you can get so many uses out of it!

  • Use electrical tape to repair small damages on wires. It’s not possible or practical to opt for a new layer of insulation around such wires, so you can just slap on a piece of electrical tape and call it a day. This is just a quick fix though; you can come back again for a proper fixing job later. 
  • Electrical tape comes in a variety of colors which can be used as indicators. You can wrap a piece of electrical tape around your tools to make them more conspicuous—you don’t want anyone stepping on your tools while you’re working. 

Wrenches and Screwdrivers

Wrenches and screwdrivers are must-haves for when you’re installing lights or other home appliances. 

  • Instead of buying wrenches separately, get a set of wrenches. There are multiple set options out there that include both speed and crescent wrenches. Although this might not be the most affordable, it’ll still save you a lot of money in the long run. This way you don’t have to go fishing for separate sets for each type and you also won’t have to worry about the correct sizes; these sets usually have everything you’ll need. 
  • You will be using screwdrivers for the entirety of your career to take apart a number of appliances and circuits. You can buy separate screwdrivers for different screws and screw sizes, but the smarter option would be to get one with a replaceable magnetic tip. You aren’t paying for extra tools and it comes with many tips (even ones you didn’t know you needed). The added bonus here is the magnet. It’s extremely annoying to have screws rolling away from you. Sometimes they are really small and are a pain to pick up. In such cases, your magnetic screwdriver will definitely make your job easier. 

Hex Keys 

Hex keys are used to tighten or drive bolts and screws which have hexagonal sockets. Like all the other tools mentioned, these come in large sets. Again, you don’t need to spend a fortune on these. Look for a pack with a wide range of sizes and you should be good to go. 

Tool Kit For the Right Purpose

When you’re finally packing your tool kit, make sure to keep in mind what you’ll be using it for. Sometimes it’s easier to have dedicated kits for different jobs. For example, you might have a kit for fixing and installing home appliances and another one for a different job. So whenever you get a call from your client, you’ll know exactly which kit to take with you. 

Sophie Turner
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