Have you recently needed to hammer some nails into a wall? Did you find it hard to cut an electrical wire without the right tool? Maybe you needed a specific tool to fix a power board but didn’t have it on hand. As a homeowner, you realize how essential those tools are for many types of repairs. You may have some basic tools, such as tape measure, flathead screwdriver, and a hammer, but often these tools aren’t enough.
You need to level-up your game for your home’s electrical tasks, which requires some advanced tools, including but not limited to wire strippers, linesman pliers, voltage testers, and so on.
This useful article will share a list of ten essential electrical tools every homeowner must be equipped with to resolve any problems at hand. We’ll look at these basic but handy tools below.
1. Multimeter or Voltmeter
A voltmeter is one of the most crucial electrical tools you should have as a homeowner. A voltmeter is useful in reading voltage levels, and it detects whether a circuit is dead or alive.
Don’t mix a voltmeter with a voltage tester because the former deals with reading how much voltage flows through the circuit. Hence, you can be on guard with the necessary tools to work on a circuit board.
An alternative and advanced form of a voltmeter is a multimeter, which reads resistance, amperage, DC voltage, etc., apart from voltage levels. You can use multimeter to test outlets to ensure safe electrical work at home.
Remember, professional electricians mainly use these tools in more sophisticated tasks, so be sure to have sufficient training on these two electrical tools before putting them to use at home.
2. Wire Strippers
One of the most essential electrical tools for homeowners is a nice pair of wire strippers. Why are these tools necessary?
Wire strippers are used to strip various sizes of wire, so you’ll find them handy when cutting and stripping the insulation from wires. Usually, wire strippers consist of cutting jaws, which are necessary to trim the wire ends. You’ll also find other types with tools to crimp wires. Investing in a pair of high-quality wire strippers can enrich your specialty electrical toolbox at home.
3. Voltage Tester
Some homeowners and even certified electricians consider a voltage tester the most crucial electrical tool in their tool’s lineup. A voltage tester is a lifesaver for anyone who attempts repair on an electrical wire or device, as it advises you beforehand whether electricity flows through that device or wire.
A voltage tester is run by batteries. It’s also known as a non-contact tester since you can simply detect the current of electricity near a power outlet or wire it without being in contact. Since it’s a tool for preventive measures, you must keep a voltage tester for all kinds of electrical tasks at home.
4. Electrical Hammer
A hammer is a common tool that’s found in almost every house for driving and pick nails from walls. However, an electrical hammer – which closely resembles a claw hammer — can be used in electrical work. An electrical hammer is made with an insulated fiberglass handle. It further consists of a rubber-coated grip, protecting your hands from contact with any current.
You can use one to secure electrical boxes fixed in nail-on brackets. Besides, you can utilize one for driving wire staples, installing or uprooting electrical outlets, levering out cable clips, etc.
There are instances when you might’ve struggled to fix an electrical box in the attic due to dimness. Here, a flashlight is essential.
Flashlights come in various sizes and shapes, and they assist a great deal in getting the electrical work done efficiently. Carrying a quality flashlight is necessary if your house has multiple dark places where electrical fixes and repairs might be needed.
Besides illuminating your workspace, a flashlight will also ensure safety. If you want an addition to your DIY electrical toolbox, buy a rechargeable LED torch, magnetic flashlights, headlamps, etc., to ensure seamless electrical repairs at home.
You can’t go without a screwdriver at home, especially if you need to repair electrical outlets on occasion. A popular screwdriver most electricians carry is a Philips screwdriver or crosshead screwdriver, which is very useful in installing or removing switches, cover plates, outlets, etc. Philips screwdrivers come in sizes ranging from size zero to four. Make sure you use the of the right size, or your electrical task may get ‘screwed.’
Apart from the Philips or crosshead screwdriver, you should keep a straight-blade or flat-head screwdriver. Occasionally, you’ll need to use this to remove or install screws with linear intrusion across the head. Keep both types of screwdrivers in your DIY toolbox to cover all needs.
7. Tape Measure
There are no special electrician secrets in measuring the spaces for fixing or repairing. A simple yet very useful tool they use for this purpose is a tape measure.
A tape measure works by measuring the spaces of electrical outlets, switchboards, light fixtures, and others, so it’s something a must-have for any homeowner. If you’re about to install a new electrical outlet in your home or fix something, a tape measure will be useful.
8. Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
You might know about this specialty electrical tool but by different names. Some call it tongue-and-groove pliers, some know it as straight-jaw pliers and some by groove-joint or channel-lock.
Whatever the name is, tongue-and-groove pliers are an essential electrical tool for residential electrical works. The pliers can remove knockouts from metal electrical boxes or adjust expansion-type ceiling fan boxes.
Its other regular uses are turning nuts and bolts. Besides, you can grip irregularly shaped objects with this tool.
9. Wire Crimpers
Another essential electrical tool a homeowner must keep is a wire crimper. This amazing tool is used to crimp connection terminals or lugs onto wires.
Basically, you may not have to use this tool more often unless there’s a task with electronics or appliances.
Also, there are basic electrical tools that can replace its necessity. However, a wire crimper will be useful if you are often tasked with home electrical appliances.
10. Allen Wrench Set
Also known as hex sets, Allen wrenches are popular among electricians for tightening hex-head screws.
As a responsible homeowner, you may need to work with ceiling fans, electrical appliances, light fixtures, or furniture. If you need to turn or tighten hexagonal screws, nuts, or bolts in these appliances, the Allen wrenches are your go-to tools.
These are the ten essential tools you should keep as a homeowner to meet various electrical repair needs. This list isn’t the ultimate one, as there are many other tools to know about. However, using various electrical tools depends on the complexity of the task and the level of training you have with those tools.
Even so, those mentioned here should be enough for your regular DIY electrical fixes and repairs. Make sure to always maintain safety while working with these tools. Read their manuals or ask professionals if you’re unfamiliar with them.