If you’re interested in becoming an electrician, it’s crucial to have a solid grasp of the basic and essential tools of the electrical trade. Not only will this knowledge enable you to assist a seasoned electrician more effectively, but it will also instill the confidence you need to thrive on the job.
As an aspiring electrical apprentice, there are a number of must-have tools you need. When I first began my own electrical apprenticeship, I quickly had to become proficient with a variety of electrical tools and instruments. While some of these tools were more essential than others, it was critical for me (as it’s now going to be for you too) to understand their functions and purposes.
Below is the list of my recommendations for the most essential tools that a new electrical apprentice should know and have at their disposal on their first day at work:
- Voltage tester
- Wire stripping tool
- Wire- and cable cutter tool
- Insulated diagonal cutter
- Insulated needle-nose plier
- Insulated screwdriver set
- Magnetic Level measurement tool
- Measuring tool
- Long-lasting pencil
- Construction marker
- Utility knife
- Electrical tape
This is a helpful reminder that the tools mentioned are just the basics and that there are many other tools available that can help make an electrician’s job easier and more efficient.
Electrician Apprentice Tool List (+ PDF Download)
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In this section, I aim to provide an overview of the essential tools that any apprentice electrician must be acquainted with. I will explain their typical functions and importance, as well as their relevance in the broader context of an electrical project. By mastering the basics of these tools, you will be better prepared to grasp and work with more advanced equipment as you progress through your apprenticeship.
As a newcomer to the field of electrical work, there are various tools that you will require to embark on your journey. These tools are vital for any electrical task and will aid you in completing your assignments with safety and efficiency. Below are some of the tools you should focus on mastering:
Voltage tester: This tool is the real MVP (and actual lifesaver) when testing voltage, amps, or resistance in a circuit. It’s essential to use this tool before starting any electrical work to ensure that the circuit is de-energized and safe to work on. There are many types of voltage testers and options, however due to the ease-of-use and auto-detection capabilities, I’d highly recommend getting the Elma X One.
A Handy Drill: When it comes to electrical work, there are certain tools that you just can’t do without. One of the most important is a drill. A good drill can make all the difference when you’re trying to drill precise holes into walls, ceilings, or floors without damaging any wires or other components. Look for a drill that has variable speed and a depth stop, and is specifically designed for electrical work. I’d highly recommend acquiring the handy Bosch PS31-2A.
Wire stripping tool: This tool is your go-to for removing the insulation from the ends of wires. It’s essential to use this tool to ensure that the wire is not damaged during the stripping process, which could lead to a short circuit. Plus, it just makes the job so much easier! Here, I’ll recommend the Knipex Ergostrip.
Cable cutter tool: Another essential tool is a cable cutter. These are specially designed for cutting through thick electrical cables quickly and cleanly. You want a cable cutter that is sharp and has a high cutting force to get the job done efficiently. When working with thick cables, a good cable cutter can be a lifesaver. This simple 63215 cable cutter from Klein Tools will do the job.
Insulated Diagonal Cutter: To protect yourself from a potential electric shock, you need a pair of insulated diagonal cutters. These pliers are designed to cut through wires and other components while providing insulation and protection. Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to insulated diagonal cutters; a good pair can make electrical work much safer and more comfortable. Getting this 80 08 160 SBA diagonal cutter from Knipex will enable you to handle all heavy duty jobs on the site.
Insulated Needle-Nose Plier: These types of pliers are designed to provide additional insulation and protection from electric shock. They’re essential for any electrical work where there is a risk of electric shock – especially around maintenance in electrical panels. Trust me; you’ll thank yourself for investing in a good pair of insulated pliers (as I should have done so myself a long time ago). This needle-nose plier 98 62 02 from Knipex will provide that extra safety.
Insulated screwdriver set: These screwdrivers are a must-have for any electrical work where there is a potential risk of electric shock. The insulated handles and shafts protect you from electric shock, making it a safe and comfortable experience. Wera is known for manufacturing complete screwdriver sets, that in my opinion are the best. Coming as no surprise I’d recommend getting this 14 piece 1000V insulated screwdriver set from Wera.
Magnetic level measurement tool: This tool is essential for measuring the length of wires and other components during installation. It’s important to use the correct measurements to ensure that the components fit correctly. No need for spending crazy money on this, so I’d simply recommend getting this magnetic level from Dowell.
Measuring tool: This tool is essential for measuring the length of your installation and other components during the day. It’s important to use the correct measurements to ensure that the components fit correctly. I prefer using a folding ruler and would therefore recommend getting this folding ruler from Klein Tools.
Long-lasting pencil: You will be writing in one way or another everyday – and I’d therefore recommend getting a long lasting pencil especially developed for the trades like this 3030 automatic pencil from PICA.
Construction marker: When it comes to marking measurements and other information on components and installation materials, a fine point marker is a must-have. Look for one that has a fine point and is visible on different types of surfaces to ensure your markings are clear and easy to read. For a simple solution, just get this Milwaukee 48-22-3100 fine point marker 12-pack.
Utility knife: A utility knife is a versatile tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again. Use it for cutting wires, insulation, and other materials during installation. Look for a utility knife that is sharp and has a retractable blade to ensure clean, accurate cuts. The Milwaukee 6-7/8″ folding utility knife is my preferred knife and has been for the last 4 years.
Electrical tape: This tape is used in all sorts of different ways. It’s important to use the correct type of electrical tape for the application to ensure that it provides adequate insulation and protection. You don’t want to skimp on electrical tape because it can save you a lot of headaches in the long run! Getting this 5-piece electrical tape set in different colors is a great start.
As an electrical apprentice, it’s essential to start with the basics and build your skills and knowledge from there. Over time, as you gain experience and work on different projects, you’ll learn which tools work best for you and your specific needs. This might include specialized tools for specific tasks or tools with advanced features that can help you work more quickly and accurately.
Also read: 6 essential power tools electricians need
But for now, it’s important to focus on mastering the basics and ensuring that you have the essential tools needed to get started as an electrician. And of course, safety should always be a top priority when working with electrical equipment and tools.
Starting out as an electrician’s apprentice can be an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your success in this field is to focus on mastering the essential tools of the trade. Building a strong foundation of knowledge and skill with basic tools will prepare you to tackle whatever challenges come your way in your career as an electrician.