Basic Electrical Tools | Things You Should Know Before Buying

​Like any other repair or improvement project around the house, electrical work does require tools. Not only do these tools increase efficiency but they also provide safety to the user. Let’s talk about how picking the right tools can help improve proficiency.

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This blog will discuss the most important electrical tools and equipment used in Engineering and Manufacturing Industries. Following are the details of the tools you should know before buying:

Electrical Pliers

​Pliers are one of the most important electrical tools. All types of pliers have one thing in common; they are used to hold objects or bend, compress, cut, or twist wires. The most common types of pliers are side-cutting pliers and long nose pliers. Following considerations will guide you to find the best plier for both commercial and residential use:

  • The grips of pliers should be insulated.
  • They should have the ability to cut wires neatly with ease.
  • They should have grips of good quality material to ensure better handling.
  • The jaws of pliers should have the capability of handling pressure and shape, minimizing slipping with an increased inefficiency.

Electric Tape Measure

​There have been different inventions with the advancement in technology. There are digital-monitor tapes, lasers, and other advanced innovations to help measure lengths easily. Out of all those, the tape measure is one of the cheapest options to date. Not only is it used for electrical purposes but also hanging frames, posters, and paintings on the wall. Here are a few suggestions to consider before you head out to hunt for a durable tape measure:

  • If you find difficulty in reading the linear measurement lines, you can always choose a digital measurement display. An analog measurement tape would be recommended for beginners though.
  • The tape should be made with a rugged high-quality plastic for better rigidity and durability.
  • Avoid purchasing one with a magnetic tip as it tends to break easily.
  • A coat of Mylar polyester film or any good material is recommended for durability.

Electric Screwdriver

​A screwdriver is a basic tool for fastening and loosening various tools of hardware. Almost every electrician is armed with a variety of screwdrivers at work. Although it is a very basic tool considering the different types, quality, and functionalities, picking the right screwdriver might be a task for some electricians. Considering the range of different screwdrivers, we hope our suggestions will help in identifying the requirements while keeping the budget in mind as well:

  • A medium-sized screwdriver in your kit will suit most of the projects in general.
  • Ensure insulated handles for better safety.
  • If you require to work with tiny screws daily, we suggest you use a smart powered Screwdriver as it will save the most valuable time.
  • Make sure Screwdriver toggle between forward and reverse with ease.
  • For a powered Screwdriver, we suggest lithium-ion battery, so you do not have to face downtime while working.
  • Make sure it is durable and light-weighted.

Flash light

​A torch is a portal hand-held electric light. It is very important in electrical projects due to the reason that most projects require flashlights because repairing work involves a lot of dark places like the inside of electrical boxes. A flashlight can be used in homes, cars, or even in your garage. So, it a must-have electrical tool. A flashlight consists of an LED (Light-emitting diode) mounted in a reflector and a transparent cover to protect the light source and reflector. The flashlight has a battery and switch due to its portable usability. With consideration of budget and your requirements here are some suggestions you can re-think before buying a torch.

  • You should first figure out your requirements for the brightness of an LED, if you are having a hard time to figure it out then you always have the option of light with modes of 5 different type that is switchable. This is important for long term usage.
  • Some torches get hot after continuous usage and due to any once personal requirement, their work could extend from 3 to 5+ hours thus it is important to check if the torch can handle the extended working hours.
  • Depending on one’s work, you can consider an IP rating to use touches in critical weather situations.
  • You can also check its life span of intense brightness in one charge.
  • You should prefer USB charging cable in flashlights as its easily available and replaceable.
  • The flashlight should be light weighted and durable for a long time daily usage like aluminum alloy.

Hello there! On a related topic, we previously wrote a blog about The Top 6 Causes of Electrical Fires and how to prevent them . If this peaks your interest, check it out and let us know what you think.

Voltage Tester

By Dmitry G — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

​Voltage Tester is essential for safety and used in almost every electrical project or repairing work. A voltage tester is basically a test light used to determine the presence of an electrical current between two points in a circuit. A Digital Voltage Tester consists of batteries, a probe, and a cord or another probe on the other end.

  • A Tester must detect voltage accurately in cables, cords, etc.
  • A simple pocket clip is convenient for storage and quick access.
  • The batteries used in digital tester should be re-chargeable or easily available.
  • You should always check the maximum voltage it can measure before buying it.

Wire Crimping Tool

By Shatton8111 — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Most of the electrical issues arise in power systems because of poor wire connections. Crimping is a type of connection that is done without soldering. Wire crimper is a tool usually used to connect a wire to the terminal, connector, lug, etc. It connects wire to a metallic part or any two metallic parts to each other by deforming both parts to be connected or at least one of them. Following points should be checked before purchasing a wire crimper:

  • The connection made through wire crimper should be able to tolerate 90 degrees of bend in any direction without damaging the insulation or crimping.
  • Pull test can be done by hanging weight to the crimped wire to check whether the connection can afford pull effects or not.


​The multimeter is an electrical measuring instrument that can measure multiple quantities i.e. voltage, current, and resistance by rotating the knob to the labeled mark of the quantity that is to be measured. It can also be used for checking continuity of an electrical circuit by placing both probes at the two ends between which continuity is required to be observed. Some multimeters are also installed with a temperature measuring system. Modern multimeters also contain feature of DC measurement, means they can measure DC voltage and current too along with AC voltage and current.

Click to see which things we should keep in mind “when looking for a multimeter”.

Soldering Iron

​Soldering is a technique used to connect different types of metals. Usually, it is used for making connections to electrical/electronic circuits. The tools which are required for soldering are soldering iron, de-soldering pump, holder, and soldering wire. Following points should be kept in mind when picking up soldering tools:

  • The wattage of soldering iron must be checked according to the type of circuit in which it will be used.
  • The soldering iron should not take a lot of time to heat up.
  • Desoldering pump should be able to remove soldering quickly and easily.
  • Holder must withstand the weight of soldering iron.

Electric Drill

​An electric drill is a tool used for making holes in metallic sheets or other surfaces. In electrical systems, it is used during the construction of various electrical equipment. It is driven by an electric motor. There is a need to consider the following points before selecting a drill:

  • There should be a wide range of speeds for drill.
  • Texture and contour of the drill should be such that it is easy to grip.
  • The drill should be of enough rating to work comfortably with voltage s of the working area.

Important note:

It is good to ensure all electrical tools are in good working condition and comfortable to use. It will make installation, repair, maintenance, etc. of electrical systems easier and quicker.

About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.

Leaders in Industrial & Commercial Power Systems Engineering