Basic Hand Tools for the DIY Electrician

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 24th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1jtvya7o/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>DIY>Tools

Buy the highest quality tools that your budget will allow. Quality hand tools will last a lifetime and are a joy to work with. Cheap tools will cost you more in the end because you will have to replace them periodically. The tools that I will describe in this article are the bare minimum that you will need to complete most home wiring projects.

Tool Pouch and Tool Belt

Perhaps a tool pouch and belt does not qualify as hand tools but they need to be your first purchase. A quality tool pouch and belt not only allows you to keep your electrician’s hand tools close at hand when working on a ladder or in some tight space, they provide a means of storing your tools safely when you are not using them. A tool pouch also has other feature that you will find invaluable, like a chain for carrying a number of rolls of electrical tape.

Screwdrivers and Nut Drivers

Starting out you will need a:
• #1 Phillips screwdriver
• #2 Phillips Screwdriver
• 1/4” slotted screwdriver
• 3/8” slotted screwdriver
• T10 Torx screwdriver
• T15 Torx screwdriver
• #1 square recess screwdriver
• #2 Square recess screwdriver
• 3/8” nut driver
• 5/16” nut driver
• 1/4” nut driver

Professionals and most experienced DIY electricians prefer to buy individual tools because they are easier to use, however all these individual drivers are available as a single multipurpose tool, such as the Klein Tools 32500 11-in-1 Screwdriver/Nut Driver with Cushion Grip. This tool contains all the tools I listed above as interchangeable tips that store in the tools handle. A multipurpose tool will be considerably less expensive than individual tool, so if you are on a tight budget, go with the multipurpose tool, but I recommend Kline brand tools either way and they are available at most major home centers.

Pliers

You will need the following pliers starting out:
• 9-Inch High Leverage Side Cutting Plier (Klein Tools D213-9NE)
• 8-Inch Diagonal Cutting Pliers (Klein J2000-48)
• 8-Inch Long Nose Pliers (Klein J203-8N)
• Crimping/Cutting tool (Klein J1005)
• Klein-Kurve Dual NM Cable Stripper/Cutter (Klein K1210)

Other Hand Tools

• 35-foot tape measure
• Razor knife
• Straight claw hammer
• Torpedo Level
• 6-inch jab saw

If you will be installing main breaker panels, sub-panels, and meter bases you will need to purchase the following hand tools as well.
• 9-1/2-Inch High Leverage Cable Cutter (Klein Tools 63050)
• 4-1/4-Inch Folding TORX Key Set (Klein 70586)
• 5-1/4-Inch Folding Hex-Key Set with 5-Inch Sizes (Klein 70579)

I have listed all Klein brand tools because they are professional quality tools but there are less expensive tools of equal quality that you may opt for, such as Craftsman or Cobalt brand tools.

These are the basic hand tools that you will need, next time I will talk about the basic test equipment that you will need to get started out as a DIY electrician.

Tags

Basic Hand Tools, Diy Electician, Electrician Hand Tools, Hand Tools, Tools, Tools To Get Started

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar shannonfarlouis
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Hand tools are great, the old fashioned ones especially. But the power tools of the modern world are really so very dangerous that you would not believe it until something bad happens. My boyfriend was accidentally shot in the heart with a power air nail gun. The nail struck the left atrium of his heart. It was a miracle he lived!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Shannon. I'm really sorry to hear about your boyfriend's accident. What happened to your boyfriend should not have happened because all nail guns have a built in safety device that keeps them from being fired unless they are being pressed firmly against the wood being nailed. The only way that accident could have happened is either the safety feature had been deliberately disabled or had become disabled through improper maintenance of the tool. As for your boyfriend's surviving being shot in the heart, that was the hand of God at work.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

A really informative guide Jerry, and a great Star page too.. An invaluable article my friend. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

A really informative guide Jerry, and a great Star page too.. An invaluable article my friend. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

A really informative guide Jerry, and a great Star page too.. An invaluable article my friend. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening Songbird B. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. It's always nice to see your smiling face and hear your sweet voice.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Whenever we have a mystery gift exchange at work I always bring new tools, even the women will fight over them I have found - perhaps because it is a farming community, I don't know but I think you can never have too many good tools.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Howdy Mark. I really don't think it has anything to do with you living and working in a farming community. Having and using tools is no longer a man thing, it is now a woman thing as well. There was a time when finding a woman as a member of a trades union was a rare thing, but today women are present in all the trades unions and are just as accomplished in their chosen trades as most men.

Reply to this comment

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Jerry - I am my father's daughter. He did not know the right end of the screw driver - my mother did - thank heavens someone did. However, with internet directions, I have tackled a few things that surprised me, and you are right - get the best tool you can, the others break. Good advice. ~Marilyn

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening Marilyn. Women of my generation and earlier generations were raised to believe that tools were a man thing and using them effectively was beyond their abilities, fortunately today women no longer believe that lie. There was a time when men fought to keep women out of the trades unions and did everything that they could to make them feel unwanted and unwelcome on construction crews, today they welcome--judged on the craftsmanship, not on their sex.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice post!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern.

Reply to this comment

author avatar joyalariwo
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting as always Jerry ... I just my husband would keep his tools in the right places, he never knows where to find the nuts or screws despite him having a tool box!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning Joy. Yeah, I know what you mean. That was one of the things that use to bug me about my son, he would borrow tools and then never put them back where I had them when he finished using them. A place for everything and everything in its place, that's my policy, especially where my tools are concerned.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Teila
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good to know!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks Teila.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password