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Electrician Tools and Equipment; Licensed Electrical Worker Tools of the Trade

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Electrician Tools and Equipment; Licensed Electrical Worker Tools of the Trade

Having professional electrician tools and equipment is a top priority for any licensed electrical worker. In fact, acquiring the essentials for a journeyman electrician tool kit is the first thing most aspiring journeyman electrician trainees do once they are accepted into an electrician apprenticeship program.

An apprentice trainee serious about a career as a journeyman electrician or electrical contractor will know that a good journeyman electrician tool kit is essential. The right electrician tool kit and proficient use of each piece of equipment can make or break a novice journeymen electrician.

A licensed electrical worker will usually wear a tool belt bag to hold the various electrician tools and equipment needed. But what are basic electrician tools required by an apprentice journeyman electrician?

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What Are Basic Electrician Tools? Building a Proper Apprentice Electrician Tool List

While the electrician tools and equipment list is extensive, electricians hired by an employer do not usually supply the more costly power tools or equipment. They do, however, frequently utilize their own tool belt bag and hand-held professional electrician tools most commonly used.

So, what are basic electrician tools? An apprentice electrician tool list should begin with a professional quality electrician pliers set. The type of pliers most commonly found in a basic electrician tools and equipment kit are general use electrician pliers (also known as lineman's pliers), diagonal electrician pliers (also known as side cutters), and needle-nose pliers. This trio of hand-held tools makes up the basic electrician pliers set:

  • General use slip joint / lineman's electrician pliers — for general use cutting, bending, crimping, and wire pulling.
  • Diagonal / side cutting electrician pliers — for smaller gauge wires, sometimes also used as a gripping tool for nail and staple removal.
  • Needle-nose electrician pliers — have a long, tapered gripping nose, for smaller, finer work. Some needle-nose electrician pliers have an integrated cutter.

Of course, the question What are basic electrician tools used by a licensed electrical worker really begins and ends with a pipe and tube /conduit bender, for bending conduit. Bender tools that use a smarter electrician tool design feature a precision scale with an easy-to-read reference chart, for easier and more uniform conduit bends. A professional electrician tools kit will generally consist of multiple benders, for various size conduit used for electricity applications.

In addition to a quality electrician pliers set and pipe and tube benders, the following basic electrician tools and equipment constitute a good journeyman electrician tool kit:

  • Wire strippers — part of an electrician tool kit similar to electrician pliers, but with unique blades to cut and strip wire insulation without harming the conductor wire inside. Wire strippers are multiple functional; some designs have cable strippers, for removing the outer cable jacket.
  • Cable cutters — no journeyman electrician tool kit would be complete without electrician cable cutters; high-leverage, high-performance pliers used to cut large cable.
  • Multimeter — at the top of every apprentice electrician tool list, a multimeter assists in electricity troubleshooting. Multimeters are handheld digital or analog battery-powered professional electrician tools used for fault finding; to measure voltage, resistance, current, and other types of electrical measurement.
  • Step-bit — a metal-cutting drill bit commonly used by a licensed electrical worker. It usually has 1/8-inch step-diameter cutting edges, and is used for creating custom knockouts (holes); in a breaker panel or electrical junction box, for instance.
  • Fish tape — a common part of every journeyman electrician tool kit, used to route wire through walls and conduit. Also known as draw wire or draw tape.
  • Crimping tools — no basic electrician tools and equipment kit would be complete without crimping tools. Whether hand or hydraulic powered, crimping tools are used by a journeyman electrician to bend, cut, strip, and crimp wire; most usually, insulated wire.
  • Rotosplit — a highly-specialized part of the electrician tool kit. A Rotosplit features a guide to hold cable secure, and plier-like action to cut across the metal casing on power cable. It is commonly used by a licensed electrical worker to facilitate the stripping process.
  • Insulation resistance tester — also referred to as an ohmmeter. A specialized journeyman electrician tool kit component used to measure electrical resistance (the opposite of electricity current). Micro-ohmmeters make low resistance measurements, a megohmmeter or Megger™ measures large values of resistance. Some units offer multimeter functions.
  • Knockout punch — to punch holes into metal sheets, to run wires or conduit through.
  • Ground fault tester — a common journeyman electrician tool used to check the operation of a ground fault protected wall receptacle.
  • Test light circuit tester — another common electrician tool kit device used to check the continuity of an electrical circuit.

Other common electrician tools and equipment on an apprentice electrician tool list include screwdrivers, hammers, drills, chisels, and flashlights. And don't forget one of the key items on every apprentice electrician tool list. Specially designed rubber insulated gloves that should be worn every licensed electrical worker, as well as leather protective-cover electrician gloves. Available in different classes; low and high voltage.

Professional Electrician Tools; How to Make Smart Journeyman Electrician Tool Kit Selections

The tools of any licensed electrical worker, regardless whether an apprenticeship in training, a journeyman electrician, electrical contractor, or master electrician, should be high-quality. Specialty professional electrician tools manufactured with the licensed electrical worker in mind.

Make smart electrical tool kit selections. Look for heavy-duty electrician tools and equipment, made from high quality materials that endure high-use. Drop-forged professional electrician tools that are heat treated for added strength. Professional electrician tools will usually consist of high-carbon steel construction. Tip: look for laser-hardened blades on electrician pliers.

A good electrician pliers set and other hand-held electrician tools should have comfortable, easy to grip handles. In the very least, coated using a material that is textured and/or slip resistant. Optimal electrician pliers have ergonomic handles. They usually represent the best tool choice for a journeyman electrician for comfortable all day use, with less chance of stress or injury when using.

In addition to the above, what are basic electrician tools that represent the best option? Consider the following licensed electrical worker tool features:

  • When selecting electrician tools and equipment, choose pipe benders with a deeply serrated step, to prevent slippage when in use. A design with raised or engraved, easy-to-read markings and a precision-degree scale for uniform conduit bends. Lightweight aluminum benders are easier to handle. But make sure your electrician tool choice has been heat-treated for added strength.
  • When selecting your electrician pliers set, long nose electrician pliers with serrated jaws will provide a surer grip. Look for electrician pliers with a reinforced flange. An electrician pliers set with a high-leverage pivot design requires less force and are easier to use.
  • Professional electrician tools and equipment such as cable cutters should be precision ground, with hardened cutting edges for more accurate, cleaner cuts.
  • A journeyman electrician tool kit consisting of electrician tools with color-coded handles add convenience; they are quicker to locate when needed.

Finally, an electrician wire stripper with hardened knife-type blades is more accurate for stripping, and could be your smartest choice for a journeyman electrician tool kit. Opt for a wire stripper with laser-etched wire gage markings for easier referral. And a spring loaded, kinetic-energy design, and extra cushioning along the thumb and fingers. For the optimum in electrician tools and equipment, fit for any licensed electrical worker!

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