Best Tool Brands for Electricians: 10 Popular Brands Compared (2023)
Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Klein, Fluke, Knipex, and Stanley. Electricians have a seemingly endless stream of tool brands at their disposal. Since the late 1890s, when electricians first became recognized as a “real job” in the United States, the electrical trade has seen dramatic advances in technology.. and yes, tools. Most people, who have ever visited their local hardware store to buy tools would likely agree that selecting a brand can be a confusing task.
But which tool brands are the best for electricians and electrical work? This is what I’ll cover in this article. Since I’ve worked with a wide array of tool brands during my time as an electrician, I will also discuss electrical tool brands in relation to how they apply to the specific tasks electricians perform on a daily basis. The following are the tool brands which I will discuss in further detail.
|Type of tool||Best Tool brands|
|Power tools for electricians||Milwaukee, Makita, Hilti, and Bosch|
|Hand tools for electricians||Knipex, Wera, Klein, and Bahco|
|Testing tools for electricians||Elma Instruments, and Fluke|
As a general preface, it is essential to note that most obviously electricians have preferred brands. Many factors contribute to how they came to like their preferred tool brands. The geographical location is one of them (European, British or American). Others’ favorite brands will be determined primarily (as in my case) by their first employer and the tools introduced by the journeymen.
What Are the Best Tool Brands for Electricians? (A Head-To-Head Comparison)
As an electrician, I’ve worked with a variety of different tool brands. Some of which I’ve grown to appreciate, while others, well, not so much (not mentioning any names). In this section, I will give you my honest opinion on which tool brands I believe are best suited for a variety of specific job tasks for electricians and electrical work in general.
Best Power Tool Brands for Electricians
In this post, I’ll go over each tool category used by electricians. In this first section, we will look at the most commonly used power tools as well as the brands that I believe are best suited for specific electrical tasks.
Milwaukee as a tool manufacturer has been on the market since 1924. They have especially been developing and improving tools for electricians, and their success is largely due to their line of M12 and M18 batteries, which you can read more about in this article.
Many electricians consider Milwaukee power tools the gold standard of power tools, including drills, hammer drills, oscillating multitools, impact drivers, and reciprocating saws. As an electrician, I use a Milwaukee wireless drill on a daily basis. The great thing about Milwaukee (as it is with most power tool brands) is that the battery technology allows you to charge quickly so you can keep on working until your hands fall off (or it is time to punch the clock).
Makita, in my opinion, is also a market leader in the manufacturing of power tools. While I use Milwaukee power tools professionally as an electrician, I use Makita power tools at home when working on private projects. To be completely honest, I started using Makita because of a fire sale that I took advantage of. The Makita DHP483 Drill was the first power tool I purchased from Makita. You can read my review of this drill right here.
Also read: Best Makita drill for home use
Ignoring the fact that I purchased power tools from Makita for home use primarily because of a fire sale, I have grown very fond of this particular power tool brand. While I use Milwaukee power tools at work because of the variety of tools available, I prefer Makita in my home for the comfort and ease of use.
Even though I haven’t delved into this particular power tool brand as thoroughly as I would have liked, there is one tool that I believe is worth mentioning. The Bosch PS31 drill is a useful power tool that I use on occasion when I have a lot of similar drilling tasks to complete in a day. Many drills and drill drivers on the market today are large and, to be honest, difficult to handle. The Bosch PS31 is a nice little power tool that fits in most work pockets and simplifies a lot of electrical installations.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home with a sore shoulder from installing electrical components in ceilings with a heavy, difficult-to-maneuver drill. As a result, I believe the PS31 will allow me to simplify my work tasks while also allowing me to continue working as an electrician for many years to come.
As electricians, we are increasingly working with concrete. The vast majority of new construction is made of concrete, and using a standard drill to install electrical components is no longer an option. As a result, electricians must have a rotary hammer drill at their disposal in order to work quickly, efficiently, and precisely.
Also read: 6 essential power tools every electrician needs
I’ve had extensive experience with a variety of rotary hammer drills while working on construction sites. I started with a battery-powered Milwaukee hammer drill that comes with a vacuum extension. While the cordless capabilities are convenient, you will quickly grow tired of constantly charging and changing batteries on an hourly basis.
As a result, I’ve grown to appreciate the Hilti corded hammer drill, which I now use whenever I know there will be extensive drilling operations on construction sites to manage. I particularly like the Hilti TE-70-AVR corded rotary hammer drills with SDS drill bits. Another advantageous feature of this corded rotary hammer drill is its lightweight and precise trigger function.
Best Hand Tool Brands for Electricians
As an electrician, you will use a variety of hand tools on a daily basis. Depending on the job, you may need to use anything from a simple screwdriver to more specialized and complex tools. No matter what, you will always need to carry a good quality tool box with you. Here are some examples of hand tools that every electrician uses:
Screwdrivers: Every electrician needs at least one or two screwdrivers on them at all times. A good Phillips head and flathead screwdriver should do the trick.
Wire Cutters: These are absolutely essential for any electrician. Wire cutters come in handy when dealing with electrical wires, obviously.
Pliers: Pliers are another tool that every electrician needs on them at all times. These come in handy for gripping and pulling wires and other small objects.
Wrenches: Wrenches are essential for working with nuts and bolts. A good set of wrenches will make your life a lot easier as an electrician.
Cable strippers: Cable strippers enable you to cleanly and quickly strip the insulation from electrical wires.
Utility Knife: A good utility knife is useful for cutting plastic conduit and for general utility use, such as opening packages.
Electricians know that having a dependable and reliable set of hand tools is essential to getting the job done right. But with so many brands on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best. In this section, I’ll share with you some of the best hand tool brands for electricians.
Knipex is popular because it has a good reputation for being strong and durable. Electricians trust Knipex because it performs well under constant pressure and stress from their hands.
In addition, many electricians like the ergonomic design of Knipex since it fits comfortably in their hand while working without causing strain or fatigue on their wrist or fingers. This makes working with Knipex safe and comfortable without contributing fatigue towards the task at hand— a bonus for professional electricians!
I particularly enjoy working with the knipex ergostrip wirestripper, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. Having used many different types of wirestrippers as an electrician, I’ve discovered that this particular tool works well in almost any situation. Apart from that, because of its comfortable grip and insulation capabilities, I also use the knipex long nose plier.
Wera produced some of the more specialised tools, which I mostly use on rare occasions. They do, however, come in handy when I need to use their screwdrivers for specific electrical tasks. What I also appreciate about Wera is the professional appearance and feel of their specialized hand tools. You simply cannot pick up a screwdriver and NOT feel like a professional tradesman, whether you are one or not.
Wera is particularly well-known for their Kraftform series (Kraftfrom Micro Series, Kraftform Stainless Series and Kraftform Kompakt Selection). If you had to choose just one brand for your screwdrivers, a Kraftform Kompakt option would get you a long way. This way, you’d always have the right chuck and bits. The case also functions well as a sturdy belt pouch.
Klein Tools has been manufacturing hand tools in the United States since 1857. The company’s products are used by electricians, linemen, and other tradesmen. Klein Tools is a respected brand in the hand tool industry, and its products are known for their quality and durability.
Also read: Why do electricians use Klein Tools?
Klein Tools is primarily used by electricians in the United States and is widely recognized as the primary hand tool brand. With many years of production, their extensive range of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and other tools has also stood the test of time. However, many electricians, not just in the US, prefer to use this well-known tool brand.
When you’re tired of using an adjustable wrench to install cable trays and other electrical equipment, you’ll appreciate what Bahco has to offer. Every week, I reach for my Bahco tool box, which contains a of combination wrenches and square drive sockets. Throughout my vocation as an electrician, Bahco has been my go-to tool brand for a variety of jobs requiring the loosening and tightening of knots and bolts. They have many different sizes of tool soptions, but I would recommend just getting the essentials included in this Bahco tool bag.
Best Tool Brands for Electrical Testers
The most important “hand tools” that every electrician must know – and be comfortable with – are those for testing. Testing tools are essential for all professionals working with electricity because we want to ensure that we are in a safe environment when dealing with potentially dangerous currents.
If you’ve ever come into contact with a live current, you know how critical it is to ALWAYS test your electrical components and installations. As apprentices we learn the difference between AC, DC, and resistance (for continuity). In combination with this knowledge we also learn how to measure the right things in the right circumstances. In my experience, you have to choose the testing tools you are comfortable with and stick to it. I have used to different testers which I will describe in the following section.
My go-to voltage tester is the Elma X One, which I also addressed in this blog post. An electrician can use this voltage tester to measure voltage, amps, and resistance. What I like best about the Elma X One is its easy-to-use display and self-detecting measurement technology. I use this tool frequently on a daily basis, and by using the Elma X one (properly), I can ensure that I am always working safely around electricity.
The Fluke tester is also a simple electrical current tester that many electricians use every day. If I don’t have my Elma X One tester with me, I’ll happily use a fluke to do the job. The most noticeable difference between current Fluke and Elma testers, in my opinion, is the Elma X One’s self-detecting capabilities.
Some Honorable Mentions of Other Tool Brands for Electricians
I would’nt want to end this blog post without having some honorable mentions about other known tool brands for electricians. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, all electricians have their preferred tool brands. Added to this, our experience as electricians (and apprentices) shapes our practices and how we get the job done on a daily basis.
Also read: What ladders do electricians use?
Stanley: Stanley tools is a well-known hand tools brand among many electricians. In my experience I do not have anything negative to say, however, I haven’t been using this particular tool brand enough to make any assumptions.
Dewalt: I know what you’re thinking: how dare I mention Dewalt in a blog post about the best tool brands for electricians? However, if we take a deep breath and relax, I don’t want to leave this tool brand out of the picture. Dewalt will get the job done (as will most other known brands), and in my experience, it is as good a power tool brand as many others. What it probably comes down to is electricians’ perception anda somewhat culturally created stance on different tool brands. Dewalt is a good power tool brand, and it is also less expensive than many other tool brands for electricians.