Electricians are specialist tradespeople who are responsible for the safe inspection, testing and repairing of electrical systems, units and components. As with many specialist trades, electricians face a variety of unique challenges and hazards in their day-to-day role. As such, an electrician’s tool kit comprises a range of tools as well as safety equipment. So, what are some of the basic tools and equipment used by an electrician?
Electricians regularly replace or install wiring and cables, meaning they often must strip wires of the insulating outer sheath to connect them. Wire strippers usually also offer the ability to cut wire too, making them a versatile and irreplaceable tool for an electrician.
Screwdrivers are commonly found in toolkits across a wide range of trades. Many electrical units such as home appliances are secured with screws meaning screwdrivers are often required to get to the electrical wiring. Insulated screwdrivers provide protection against electrical shock because of their non-conductive handle material.
Pliers are another common tool found in toolkits for a variety of trades. Insulated pliers help electricians to grip, twist and clip wires and other components without the risk of an electric shock. They come in many variations, including combination and long-nose pliers.
Similarly, spanners help electricians to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. Adjustable spanners are a handy tool to have in the toolkit to tackle a number of jobs and situations.
Again, a staple of every toolkit – the utility knife is a versatile cutting tool that is useful for a range of tasks.
Safety items and equipment
Lockout devices are an essential safety measure that allow electricians to work safely on electrical units and systems. Lockouts are fitted once all energy sources have been disconnected to mitigate the risk of residual electricity in the circuit and prevent harm to the electrician.
Voltage testing equipment is again vital for the safety of an electrician. These kits are used to test for the presence of live current in certain wires or components, allowing the electrician to shut off any live current before starting electrical work.
Torches are an important item for electricians who often have to work in unlit or poorly lit environments, such as in the event of power cuts and overloaded circuits. Clear visibility of wiring and components is absolutely essential to avoid any mistakes or accidents.
Electrical tape is a fundamental item for electricians, primarily used for insulating wire or other conductors. Electrical tape comes in a number of variations, with different colours being used for different points and elements in an electrical system.
These are most of the basic tools and equipment used by electricians in their day-to-day tasks. Some jobs will require more specialist tools and equipment, but these are the fundamentals that new and trainee electricians will have to get to grips with.