There are a lot of tools you need as an apprentice electrician, but it can be difficult to know what tools you need if you’re new to the job. You will need some tools right off the bat, while others you can gather as you gain more clients.
If you are just starting out as an apprentice electrician, then you might need someone to tell you exactly what you should buy from the get-go. For this reason, we have compiled this list of 30 tools every apprentice electrician should own. Consult this list to figure out what you need to buy and what you can leave out.
Let’s get started.
30 Tools Every Apprentice Electrician Should Own
Pliers are multipurpose tools that can be used for gripping, bending, and cutting. You absolutely need a variety of pliers if you want to make it as an electrician.
1. Nine-Inch Pliers
Nine-inch pliers are often a go-to tool. As their name suggests, nine-inch pliers are known for their nine-inch handles. This handle length gives you maximum leverage. Most electricians recommend having two sets on hand.
2. Adjustable Pliers
During some jobs, you’ll find that you need a wide wrench to get a good hold of different materials. Adjustable pliers can be heaven-sent in these situations since they can be adjusted to extend for both smaller pieces and larger pieces.
3. Needle-Nose Pliers
One of the hardest parts of being an electrician is working in really small spaces. Make your job a little easier by investing in needle-nose pliers. These pliers are designed so they can get into small places or hold small objects.
Wrenches help you get a good grip and apply force to tightly fastened objects. As an electrician, you will use wrenches all the time. Here are a few wrenches to consider adding to your collection.
4. Adjustable Wrenches
Like adjustable pliers, adjustable wrenches allow you to fit the wrench to almost any size you need. This is invaluable if you find yourself in a situation with a non-standard size object.
5. Allen Wrenches
You can never be without Allen wrenches, which makes it one of our personal favorites. These wrenches have a small, L-shaped design that helps you loosen and tighten hexagon-shaped settings.
6. Pipe Wrenches
Pipe wrenches allow you to grip and turn soft pipes or fittings. These wrenches are absolutely necessary for almost any trade job.
If you are an apprentice electrician, then you probably already own a variety of screwdrivers. Nevertheless, here are the most important screwdrivers to make sure you have on hand:
7. Phillips Head Screwdrivers
The Phillips head screwdriver is by far the most common screwdriver type. Assume you will use this on almost every job. We recommend carrying two or more on hand to make sure that you have it whenever needed.
8. Multi-Tip Screwdriver
On the job, you will occasionally find a weird sized screw. Make sure you have what you need by putting a multi-tip screwdriver in your kit. This will allow you to still work even on nonstandard screws.
9. Flat-Head Screwdrivers
Another highly popular screwdriver that you will use constantly is a flat-head screwdriver. You will need an entire kit of these, ranging in a variety of sizes. To save some money, look for a screwdriver kit that includes both Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers in various sizes.
10. Stubby Flat-Head Screwdrivers
A stubby flat-head screwdriver is like a regular flat-head screwdriver but with a square blade tip. This allows it to reach incredibly tight spaces that other screwdriver simply can’t reach.
11. Conduit Reamer
Although a conduit reamer isn’t exactly a screwdriver, it works similarly. It fits into power drill chucks and quick release adapters, reducing time and wrist fatigue for jobs with a lot of conduit runs.
Cutters and Saws
You will often find yourself needing to cut drywall, wood, metal, plastic, etc. on the job. Get yourself a variety of cutters and saws to make the process easy and simple.
12. Side Cutters
Here’s another tool you probably already have. As an electrician, you need to cut wires. Side cutters allow you to snip wires easily and efficiently.
13. Jab Saw/Rock Saw
A jab saw is a great way to make small cuts in drywall. You will especially find this useful when installing electrical boxes in a finished wall.
Laying wire often requires you to cut different types of materials, ranging from wood to metal. Put a hacksaw in your kit to make sure you can cut through any material that may be in your way.
15. Reciprocating Saw
In case your hacksaw is not big enough to get the job done, keep a reciprocating saw in your kit or utility truck. This will come in handy when you need to cut through bigger wood, plastic, metal, etc.
16. Utility Knife
Utility knives are those with retractable blades. This provides a very safe knife that also creates super precise cuts. Always have a utility knife on hand because you never know when you will need one.
17. Wire Strippers
You’re guaranteed to run into a lot of wire insulation. Easily strip off this insulation by using durable and long-lasting wire strippers.
18. Cable Cutter
Electricians need some of the most powerful cutting devices possible. Get a cable cutter so you can cut through copper and aluminum electrical wire easily and safely.
Since you work with electricity, you will need to test currents and continuity. Here are 2 similar tools to add to your kit:
19. Voltage/OHM Multimeter
Be able to determine the continuity of wires or an electrical current by using a voltage/OHM multimeter. If you don’t already have one, definitely get a dependable model. They are pretty easy to use, but they are a staple in the electrician’s tool belt.
20. Receptacle Tester
A receptacle tester is similar to a multimeter, except it is designed for receptacle outlets specifically. This will be a super easy way to check sockets and lights on the job.
Here are a variety of other necessary tools to keep on hand:
21. Nut Drivers
Nut drivers tighten nuts and bolts. They are more effective than pliers and wrenches since they are actually shaped like the nut. Save yourself some time by screwing nuts with a nut driver, instead of pliers.
22. Claw Hammer
Almost everyone who owns their own home or rents an apartment has a claw hammer, but don’t let the commonality of this tool fool you. As an apprentice electrician, you will use a claw hammer to remove nails on a regular basis.
23. Pipe Reamer
Frayed conduit edges are dangerous and unsightly. Smooth yours down by using a dependable pipe reamer. It is best to keep a reamer on you at all times.
24. Tape Measure
Here is another highly common tool that an electrician can’t live without. A tape measure will ensure that you get all your wiring and construction correct, allowing you to become the most professional and dependable electrician possible. Never forget to bring your tape measure with you to your job site.
25. Torpedo Level
Torpedo levels help to establish whether or not a surface is level, but they are designed with small places in mind. With the torpedo level, you will be able to fit it anywhere that is 6 to 12 inches in size. As an electrician, you will work in small places. So, make sure your level fits into them by purchasing a torpedo level.
26. Cordless Drill & Bits
You often find that you need to drill holes, requiring the need for a drill. Instead of worrying about where your drill can plug into, get a cordless drill instead. A cordless drill will provide enough power for the job, but it will be much more portable and lightweight.
27. Channel Locks
Channel locks can make installing conduit much easier. Consider getting 2 ¼ inch channel locks for conduit that is two inches or less in diameter and 5 ½ for conduit larger than 2 inches.
A crimp connector is normally used to terminate stranded wire. This will allow you to create gas-tight products that are safer and more professional.
Arguably one of the most important tools to keep on hand is a pair of high dexterity gloves. Since you will be working with your hands, protect them when you can. Wear gloves if you are working with dangerous or sharp materials, which is often for an electrician.
30. Tool Belt
Finally, you’re going to need a place where you can store all of these tools. Get a tool belt so all of your needed materials are on hand. The last thing you want is to interrupt your work by having to go to or from a tool box for your needed items. Simply place them on your tool belt, and you’re good to go!
How to Care for Your Tools
After you spend the time and money to purchase the best tools for your career, you need to take care of them. This prevents you from wasting money on rebuying them down the line. Here are some key tips to take care of your electrician tools.
Keep Them Clean
The number one rule to caring for your tools is to keep them clean. Obviously, your tools are destined to get dirty when you’re working, but don’t store them dirty. This will allow them to decay or rust. Always wipe off dirt, dust, or any other debris that may be covering them on the outside.
Store Them in a Dry Environment
Tools are tough, but they are not indestructible. Place all tools, whether they be hand tools or power tools, in a dry storage area. You might want to consider a tool chest, safety box, or any other device that will keep your tools dry and safe from the elements.
Never leave your tools in an environment that is humid or wet. Moisture is the number one way to damage your tools.
Inspect and Perfect
After every use, inspect your tools for any damage received during the job. Make sure to be safe and careful when doing this since inspecting a tool up close can potentially harm you. After you inspect your tools, either store them or fix them if you saw a problem.
With power tools, follow the first three steps, but you will need to go a step further. Lubricate any moving parts on a regular basis to keep everything functioning properly. Also, check up on the batteries to make sure they are constantly working. You don’t want your battery to die on the job.
Finding the right tools is the first step to becoming an apprentice electrician. Don’t look inexperienced on the job by having all the tools you need from the beginning. Once you get your tools, make sure to properly maintain them so they can last you a lifetime.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.