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Nine Essential Tools for Electricians

Working as an electrician is a highly lucrative career path in the US. This is partially due to the shortage of skilled trade workers that continues to impact the country, but is also true even in good times for the nation. As such, you could be set for life simply for expressing an interest in working in the trade. There’s lots to learn about working as an electrician, though; here, let’s start with the tools of the trade. What are nine essential tools for electricians?

1. Digital Multimeter

The digital multimeter, or DMM, is an indispensable tool in any electrician’s toolset. It can be used for a variety of diagnostic purposes and in all manner of work capacities. Engineers use them to troubleshoot smaller circuits, while electricians can use them to measure voltages and establish continuity in domestic systems.

2. Electrical Tester

An electrical tester is effectively a wire locator, which detects mains electricity. It can be used against a stud wall to identify where – or if – electricity is flowing; it can also be used to ascertain which wires are live when working at a terminal or breakout box.

3. Soldering Iron

Electricians-by-name will make electrical connections mechanically, using hand tools, connectors and terminals. For electrical engineers, working with circuitry and circuit boards, a soldering iron is a fundamentally necessary tool. Soldering irons create solid electrical connections by melting and flowing solder around a joint.

4. Soldering Gun

Soldering guns are more heavy-duty versions of the soldering iron, often featuring a self-feeding mechanism and bridging the gap between soldering and welding. They are used for larger gauges of wire and for making connections where larger currents flow (such as commercial installs).

5. Screwdrivers

As mentioned earlier, most domestic and commercial electricians make mechanical connections when connecting wires in mains systems. This makes the screwdriver one of the electrician’s closest friends. The humble screwdriver is also often used for discharging capacitors, when electrical engineers cannot be bothered to use a resistor.

6. Safety Boots

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is just as important as any active tool in an electrician’s arsenal. An electrician’s safety boots are rubber soled, to lift them from the ground and prevent them from making a solid circuit if they come into contact with electricity.

7. Wire Strippers

Speaking of contact, most of an electrician’s job is hooking up wires to connectors – which makes the manipulation of wires a major part of any average day. Wire strippers remove the shielding from around the conductor, enabling mechanical or solder connections.

8. Conduit Bender

Wires are often run through conduits in order to protect them from the elements, or from accidental encounters. Metal conduits are pipes, which need to be bent into shape to fit bespoke installs; conduit benders are levers that enable this.

9. Crimper

Last but not least, we come to the crimping tool. This is, quite simply, another hand tool that enables mechanical connections to be made; it crimps wire connectors and terminals into place with force.


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