What Tools Do Electricians Use – Ultimate Guide For Beginners

What tools do electricians use?”- a question that gives you a splitting headache because of the numerous professional electrician tools out there.

So, what exactly are those? Has there been any change on the list over the years? This article aims at providing the ultimate answer to your wonder.

Electrical Testing Tools

To begin with, let’s check out the all basic electrical tools and their uses:





A multimeter is needed to measure multiple electrical parameters, including current, voltage, and resistance. It is available in either digital or analog design.

Some new models even feature sophisticated whistles and bells, such as Bluetooth connection or thermal cameras.

Clamp Meter

A clamp meter is a combination of a digital multimeter and a current sensor. It includes clamps to measure current and probes to measure voltage.

It also comes with an integrated jaw, enabling electricians to clamp around wires, cables, or other conductors to measure current without de-energizing it.

Though it was designed to measure current-voltage only, some modern devices offer more specialized functions with better accuracy. They can even replace the digital multimeters in some cases.

Non-Contact Voltage Tester

Working with electrical devices requires you to determine whether a circuit is “live” or not. Otherwise, you might face dangerous consequences.

That is why a non-contact voltage tester is among the essential tools for electrical workers. They use this tester to detect and make sure that there is no electricity running through a component without physically touching it.

Circuit Analyzer

A circuit analyzer is a digital tool that provides instant parameters and information of a circuit connected to a socket or an outlet. It might include the reversals, polarity, voltage, line voltage, and more.

Handheld Mechanical Tools For Electricians

Insulating Screwdriver

Unlike standard screwdrivers with bare metal bars, an insulating screwdriver has a non-conductive coating over its handle and bar. The only part exposed is the screwdriver’s tip, whose design protects electricians from accidentally touching metal parts of circuits.

It is also safer for you to hold an insulating screwdriver, thanks to the plastic cover. Moreover, it can prevent any unwanted damage to electrical parts caused by a short circuit.


Pliers are one of the must-have tools of every electrician. They come in various shapes, sizes, and types, but tongue-and-groove pliers, long-nose pliers, linesman pliers, and diagonal cutting pliers are among the most popular.

Tongue-and-groove Pliers

The groove joint is effective in securing cable clamps, detaching knockouts, and adjusting expansion-type boxes. That is why people use it for both plumbing and electrical work.

Long-nose Pliers Or Needle-nose Pliers

Long-nose pliers come in handy in much detailed work with a long and narrow tip, such as making screw terminals, twisting, and trimming wires.

Linesman Pliers

Linesman pliers are also good at twisting and trimming wires together, thanks to the squared-off and central cutting blades.

Diagonal Cutting Pliers

As the name suggests, diagonal cutting pliers are specifically designed to cut wires. The cutting edge going down the tip allows electricians to reach small areas and trim wires.

Fish Tapes And Poles

A fish tape or a draw tape is needed to pull solid conductors or new wirings through an electrical conduit. You might utilize it when doing wiring improvements, such as adding or extending circuits.

Meanwhile, a fish pole with a small hook is used to facilitate wires in down walls, raised floors, or drop ceilings.

Tape Measure

Electricians use tape measures for various necessary measurements at work. They may include marking cutout surfaces, centering fixture boxes, and marking heights for switches and outlets.

They also use them to correctly measure the certain area where they install the wires before cutting them.


If you want to secure an electrical box with a nail-on bracket, you might need a hammer to steer wire staples while fastening new cables to the frame. A claw hammer is also helpful to you when removing nails on wood pieces in the construction zone.

Electric Drill

For electricians, an electric drill is essential to install lighting fixture boxes or disassemble installed hardware.

However, the required power will vary, depending on the different materials that need to be drilled. For example, a low-voltage model is enough for light and simple work, while a high-voltage one is a must to drill harder materials like concrete.

Torpedo Level

A torpedo level is a small tool that can easily fit in a pouch. Electricians use it to ensure their work is completely plumb and level. Therefore, you can commonly find it in every standard toolkit, as it is used for various purposes, not limited to electrical tasks only.

Utility Knife

A utility knife also called a box cutter, is an essential tool to cut electrical tapes, non-metallic/Romex sheathed cables and more.

Hex Set

When it comes to securing hex head screws, a Hex set or an Allen Wrench set is indispensable.

These screws are popular in light fixtures, ceiling fans, and other household appliances. Thus, both homeowners and electricians should get one in their toolbox. Either a standard or a metric set is fine.

Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are familiar to most electricians since they often need to strip wires’ coating and connect with other components.

They come with various gauged holes that allow electricians to work with wires of different sizes and a comfortable handle to grip and hold firmly. Some models even have cutting jaws so that you can trim their ends easily.

Wire Crimpers

Wire Crimpers

Wire crimper is a  great assistant when crimping lugs and connection terminals. Some electricians even make use of it for stripping wire insulation. It is not an essential tool for periodical circuit repairs; however, it comes in handy for fixing electronics or appliances.

If you are a DIYer, a wire crimper might not be a must as some other common tools might fulfill its functions quite well. Nonetheless, if you usually work with electric appliances, it might be useful and more convenient to own one.


Being an electrician means that you frequently work in the darkness or places with limited light sources, such as attics, walls, basements, or ceilings. In this case, a flashlight might be a life-saver.

Not only does it help you see components to install, fix, or replace, but it also ensures your safety during work.

Electrical Safety Tools

Besides electrical testing tools and handheld mechanical tools, you also should pay attention to the electrician tools list for safety reasons.

Safety Glasses

One of the essential safety tools is safety glasses. Every electrician, either apprentice or seasoned veteran, must wear safety glasses to protect their eyes during work.

That is because their job usually requires them to work closely with electrical wirings, components, or operate power tools.

Insulated Gloves

Electrocution is such a potential danger that every electrician must be precautious and protect themselves from.

Resistant gloves are a great option, as they give an additional protective layer from electric exposure. They are available in different styles and sizes so that you can choose ones that fit and bring you the most comfort.

Insulating Boots

With the insulating ability, insulating boots protect you from the risks of electrical shocks. They are useful in live power systems where currents can produce serious and fatal burns to electricians.

That might happen while you drill, shovel, mole, or dig buried underground cables. Some boots are even waterproof with rubber pads for better slip resistance under wet conditions.

Personal Protective Equipment

Wearing proper personal protective equipment is the first step to protect electricians, workers, and technicians in job sites, though many people might complain that it causes inconvenience during work.

A basic set of protective electrical equipment includes cotton clothing with long sleeves, a helmet, goggles, gloves, footwear, and hearing protectors.

How To Maintain Electrical Tools And Equipment?

What tools do electricians use is not the only thing beginners should keep in mind as if you want to use your tools for a long time, you have to maintain them properly. Here are some small tips for you:

Clean After Every Use

You might hear that over and over again, but cleaning is the most effective rule to maintain your basic electrician tools. Establish a habit of wiping them with a towel to remove all the dust, debris, and grease before putting them back in the storage box.

During cleaning, you should check your tools for any defect, crack, or break. Pay more attention to metal parts as they are more vulnerable to rust and corrosion. Early detection and replacement is another way to protect your electrical tools.

Do not forget to wear your safety gloves while cleaning sharp tools and wear your safety goggles while removing rust with a brush.

Do not risk yourself with broken tools that need replacement or repair. Inappropriate use might damage the tools and injure yourself as well as others.

Get A Proper Storage

A toolbox is good initial storage for your electrical tools. But once you get more tools, it might serve as a convenient transporting box to your worksite instead of proper storage for long-term use.

In this case, you might look for a larger area, such as a pegboard for your tools. The board allows you to make use of your spacious wall space and see all the tools simultaneously. It no longer takes hours to find a specific tool.

Another advantage of a pegboard is that it still works for limited wall space. In this case, installing a sliding or hinged pegboard system might be a good alternative idea.

The Bottom Line

So, the article about “what tools do electricians use” is coming to an end. We have summarized all necessary specialized tools and indicate the best way to maintain their high performance.

Hopefully, if you used to have no idea in this field, this list is useful for you to some extent.

Thank you for reading!

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