You may be a keen DIY’er or just curious about what tools it takes to make the magic happen. But here in this guide we tell you the tools that you will need to start a career in electrical services or be ready for any of your home electrical needs. Remember that just because you have the correct tools, doesn’t mean that you can undertake just any electrical works. If you are not a qualified electrician always check to see what works you are allowed to undertake and what works you are not.
The keen DIY’er or apprentice electrician only needs a limited range of tools to make electrical connections, but an extensive general-purpose tool kit is required for making cable runs and mounting electrical accessories.
Electrical tools include:
A terminal screwdriver has a long, slim cylindrical shaft that is ground to a flat tip. For turning screw terminals in sockets and larger appliances, buy a screwdriver with a plastic handle and a plastic insulating purpose version that can both strip the sleeve on its shaft. Use a smaller screwdriver insulation and crop conductors to length with a very slim shaft to work on ceiling roses or to tighten plastic terminal blocks in small fittings.
Diagonal cutters will crop thick conductors more effectively than electrician’s pliers, but you may need a junior hacksaw to cut meter leads. They also help you to cut small pins easily. Available in a plethora of sizes try to buy a nice pair that are multi-functional and comfortable. Padded handles are a must.
A Craft Knife
A knife with sharp disposable blades is best for slitting and peeling the sheathing encasing cable and flex.
These are engineer’s pliers with insulating sleeves shrunk onto their handles. You can use pliers to crop circuit conductors.
To remove the insulation from cable and flex, use a a pair of wire strippers with jaws shaped to cut through the covering without damaging the wire core. There is a multi-purpose version that can both strip the insulation and crop conductors to length. A wire stripper is often considered the most important tool for professional electricians and other related personnel.
A cordless power drill is ideal for boring cable holes through timbers an wall plug fixings. As well as standard masonry bits for wall fixings, you will need a much longer bit for boring through brick walls and clearing access channels behind skirting boards. If you shorten the shaft of a wide-tipped spade bit between floor joists.
Keep a torch handy for checking your consumer unit when a fuse blows on a lighting circuit. You may also need to provide light when working on connections in the loft or below floorboards. A torch that stands unsupported is particularly helpful.
You can buy reliable testers without having to spend a great deal of money. Most good DIY outlets stock a range of them.
Mains testers are designed to tell you whether a circuit is completely ‘dead after you have turned off the power at the consumer unit. that’s intended for use with mains voltage similar devices are sold in auto shops for testing 12V car wiring only.
An electrician needs a multimeter, for measuring insulation resistance and covering continuity. There are digital instruments that give readings on an LCD screen, and there are analogue ones with a needle that moves across a scale on a dial. With some meters, you can select an audible signal to tell you when there is continuity.
A simple plug-in device can be used to test the connections inside a 13amp socket outlet without having to turn off the power or expose internal wiring.
General purpose tools
Every electrician needs tools for lifting floorboards, cutting cables and fitting mounting boxes.
- Club hammer and cold chisel – for cutting channels in plaster and brickwork in order to bury cables or mounting boxes
- Claw hammer – for nailing cable clips to walls and timbers.
- Cabinet Screwdriver – for fixing mounting boxes to walls.
- Spirit level – for checking that mounting are fixed horizontally.
- Plasterer’s trowel or filling knife – for covering concealed cable with plaster or other kinds of filler.
- Bolster chisel – for levering up floor boards
- Wood chisels – for notching floor joists
- Padsaw or power jigsaw – for cutting through floorboards close to skirting boards.
- A floorboard saw – it is the best tool for cutting through tongued and grooved floorboards.
- A small spanner – is needed for making some earth connections
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our definitive guide to electricians tools. Remember, if you are not a qualified electrician you may not be allowed to undertake certain types of electrical work. Always check the regulations and if in doubt check with your BCO.
Thanks for reading Colchester Castle Electrician.