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Basic Tools Every Licensed Electrician Should Have

Essential pliers for every electrician

You need to have the right tools to get things done right. Every licensed electrician needs a set of tools that are just right for the job. Passionate electricians start to collect tools as soon as they enroll for their apprenticeship.

An electrician who is serious about their job knows how essential a complete toolkit is for their job. Sure, you can use a single set of pliers as a wire cutter, a wire stripper, and a gripping tool. But for a professional electrician, all these are three different tools.

Basic Electrical Tools

Most employers do not supply their electricians with advanced power tools. With so many electrical tools in the market, here are some that every electrician needs to have in their toolbox or on their tool belt.

Electricians Pliers

The first tool that every electrician, whether experienced or an apprentice, needs to have is a set of high-quality pliers. You will notice that all electricians carry a set of:

  • Slip-joint pliers: These are used for various purposes, but their primary role is to provide additional grip. An electrician can use them for pulling wires, bending, crimping, cutting, and the list goes on. They are also called lineman’s pliers.
  • Diagonal pliers: They are also known as side-cutters. They are used to cut and strip small gauge wires. With their sharp cutting edges, these pliers can remove staples and nails.
  • Needle nose pliers: These pliers work like slip joint pliers, but they can access places where fingers or other tools cannot reach with their narrow noses. They are also suitable for precision work. For instance, if an electrician needs to grip a wire running between tens of others, needle nose pliers are an excellent choice.

Insulated Screwdrivers

Electricians encounter screws than they expect. From electrical containers to wall-sockets, connection boxes, breakers, and nearly everything else are bound to contain at least a screw or two. Failing to have a set of good-quality insulated screwdrivers can spell disaster for an electrician.

Screwdrivers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But the most common ones are the flat head and the Phillips screwdrivers. Every electrician needs to have a set of different sizes of these screwdrivers.  

Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are equipped with special blades designed to cut through the insulating material on wires and not damage the conductor underneath. There are multiple types of wire strippers available. Some electricians use a standard wire stripper for all their work, while others have different wire strippers for different jobs.

  • Adjustable Wire Stripper: It comes with a stop screw, which lets the user set the pliers according to the thickness of the wire they are working on. They can be tricky to work with and require a lot of trial and error if you are working with different thickness wires.
  • Gauged Wire Stripper: This stripper has preset slots for different gauge wires. The holes and the blades are designed to strip the most common wire sizes.
  • Self-Adjusting Stripper: These automatically adjust to the thickness of the wire. For electricians who work with multiple-sized wires, these are great at saving time and effort.

Cable Cutters

No licensed electrician’s toolkit is complete without a high-quality cable cutter. Using side cutters to cut thick cables can be tiresome and will often not give any good results. Cable cutters are designed to wrap around multi-wire, thick cables and cut them in one quick go.


A multimeter is one of the essential tools in the electrician’s toolbox. It makes troubleshooting issues significantly easier. They come with an analog or digital display and let the electrician measure the circuit’s current, voltage, resistance, and continuity.

Ground Fault Tester

A ground fault is a short circuit that causes an unwanted connection between an energized phase and the ground. They are very common in electrical circuits and can occur due to accidental grounding or failure of insulation.

Ground fault testers monitor the current going from the phase into the circuit and how much is coming from the other phase or the neutral wire. If current goes in on the phase and comes back via the ground wire, there is undoubtedly a fault that has occurred. Ground fault testers detect such faults and make troubleshooting jobs easier.

Last Few Words

Every licensed electrician needs to carry a set of high-quality electrical tools that make doing their job easier. Using improper tools for a specific task will not only make the task more difficult but can also be a safety threat.

As an electrician, it is essential to make intelligent choices when building your toolkit. Before you even begin to select your tools, identify the type of jobs you work on the most, and then opt for specialized tools in addition to the essential tools discussed.

At Golden Electrical Service, our teams of licensed electricians are equipped with all the necessary tools and experience to provide the best solutions for all your electrical needs. Our experts are always ready to assist you with fault finding, electrical repairs, and fresh installations. Please get in touch with us at

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