I’ve been in the electrical industry for over 33 years. And I have to say that there are some good tools and some bad tools. Don’t let anyone fool you saying that a certain type of tool is the one and only tool that you need.
When it comes the linesman’s pliers I’ve had them all, different manufacturers some good and some bad and what I’ve come to the conclusion is that whatever type you use should be the most comfortable and effective for you.
I’ve had probably 20 or 30 different types of wire strippers, they all basically do the same function. The one thing that I do however really like when using a pair of wire strippers is the screw cutting portion that is usually attached to the body of the wire stripper. Comes in handy when you’re trimming so you don’t have to search for the specific size length of screw.
Oh screwdrivers,I can’t begin to tell you how many screwdrivers and screwdriver sets that I’ve had over the years. I’ve had 10-in- ones, 11- in-ones, 21- in- one’s, Philips standard, torques, hex head, ratchet the list goes on and on. Once again I feel when you find a set of screwdrivers that you really like and they are comfortable and suit your needs according to the work that you’re doing, you’ll soon be set in your own ways on which type of screwdriver that you will use. I’ve recently settled on the seven and one Ideal ratchet screwdriver which has #2 Philips, standard, quarter and 5/16 nut drivers that rachets and built into the handle wire nut twister. This pretty much the only screwdriver that I carry on a daily basis, although I do have others.
Battery drills, oh what a controversial topic. If you’re just starting out in the electrical industry choose the drill that’s most economically effective for you. Don’t go out and buy the biggest and best hammer drill set that the is available.I currently have three different types of drills that I use,one is a heavyweight for driving long screws and doing minor masonry anchoring, one specifically for drilling holes, and one for trimming.
Tape measures is another one of those items that will be chosen to suit your work style. I have three or four tape measures with the blade width varying from a quarter inch to 1 inch. Some have fractions, some have centerlines and some have numbers on both the front and the back. Then there’s the ones that have the magnetic ends that you could reach out and attach the end of the tape measure with the magnet and stretch it out,helps hold it up over length of say a 10 foot run of conduit.
Conduit benders, for most electricians 1/2″ through 1″ sufficient. A lot of electrical contractors will provide you with larger sized benders and/or half through one-inch benders.I prefer to have my own.
It’s totally up to you but leave the big stuff to the employer such as wire pullers,wire racks, wire stands, hole hogs.These are some of the larger tools that you may be using in the industry. I’ve had all that stuff, I’ve used all that stuff and when it comes down to it you’re paying a lot of money for tools that somebody else can use and possibly damage it, it’s just my opinion, but that’s employer’s responsibility for providing such expensive items.
Let me know how you feel about your tools and the types of tools that you use, all opinions are welcome.