If you are interested in starting your career off as an apprentice electrician then it’s important to make sure that you’ve got all the right tools for the task. There are a large number of different tools and devices you will need to use in your capacity as an electrician.
As a new electrician, let’s cover the basics of what you should bring to every site. Remember, it’s very important to keep track of your tools and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Not only is it unprofessional and unproductive to lose your gear, but it can also cause safety concerns if you leave your kit lying around.
This list is more of a basic guideline for the tools and equipment you will likely need on site. Your employer may need you to carry additional tools and safety equipment.
If you’re looking to get a good quality tool set then it’s a good idea to invest in the Klein 28-Piece Electrician Tool Set or the Klein 41-Piece Journeyman Tool Set. Klein generally makes great tools and the price is well worth it.
Basic Electrician Tool List
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective Equipment or PPEs are equipment you wear that is designed to keep you safe on the site. It’s important that you properly utilize your PPE and always wear them.
- Hard Hat - Very important. Really protects your head from falling debris, which is quite common on construction sites. Always wear your hard hat while on a job site.
- Steel Toed Boots – Protects for feet from dropped objects and punctures.
- Safety Glasses/Goggles – You won’t be doing many electrical installations if you get hit in the eye while working. Always wear these while hammering or drilling or while cutting, etc.
These are what you’ll be doing the majority of your work with. With that in mind it’s often better to not cheap out when buying your first set of tools. They will last you longer and will perform better for you. Also, remember not to buy tools that are too small which is a common mistake among new electricians.
This is just a basic list of tools. You will eventually need to purchase more as you begin to perform more complex tasks but if you get these you should be good initially.
- 9″ Pliers – You will be using these for everything. Be sure to get a pair that are actually 9 inches long. Shorter pliers just don’t provide the same leverage and thus make your tasks much more difficult.
- Other Pliers – You will also need needle-nose and diagonal cutting pliers. These won’t get as much use as the nine but they’re still good to have.
- Wire Strippers – Used for removing the plastic/rubber covering from wires so that they can be worked on. Be sure that the strippers you buy are meant for standard wire.
- Screw Drivers - You’ll need a variety of screw drivers but there are a couple that will be used more than most. Be sure to get a couple of No. 2 Phillips Straight screw drivers, a No. 2 Phillips Offset or Twisty screwdriver, a No. 2 Slotted Screwdriver, and a 6″ No. 2 Slotted screwdriver. I would recommend just investing in a basic screwdriver set. It’s also a good idea to have a multi-bit screwdriver handy.
- Magnetic Level – Needed for ensuring that whatever you’re installing is nice and level.
- Plug/Outlet Tester – This checks to see if an outlet is properly wired and working correctly.
- Voltage Detector – Needed for checking equipment to see if there is any electric voltage present.
- Hammer – Used for hammering. Go with a minimum of 16 oz.
- Retractable Utility Knife – Very useful and great for cutting which is common on a job.
- Cordless Drill & Bits – These are very useful and save a lot of time and energy that would be spend doing it by hand. Check with your employer to see if you’re expected to have one as they may provide one to you.
- Tool Belt and Pouches – You’re going to want to invest in a comfortable padded tool belt and a couple of well sized pouches for carrying around all of your gear. Hammer loop may be separate. Make sure that it’s comfortable and will accommodate all of your tools because you’ll be spending a lot of time wearing it. Make sure it’s decent.
Remember that this is just a basic list of the tools you may need as an trainee electrician. Be sure to ask your employer what tools and equipment they will require you to bring as it may be different from the list provided here.