Tools Every Electrician Should Have

Being prepared with the necessary tools and equipment allows an electrician to carry out jobs easily, efficiently and safely.

Tools Every Electrician Should Have

No two days are ever quite the same for an electrician, and that means making sure to always carry the right tools for the job.

Commercial electricians may be called upon for routine tasks such as PAT testing and lighting installation, or more complex projects which would require them to complete the design and build element for the electrical installation.

Being prepared with the necessary tools and equipment allows an electrician to carry out jobs easily, efficiently and safely.

Let’s take a look at the essential tools that every electrician should have in their toolbox.


First of all, a well stocked electrician’s toolbox should contain a few essential tools that you’ll likely find in any tradesperson’s arsenal:

○ ECS qualification card

○ Pencil or marker

○ Tape measure

○ Stripping cutters

○ Wire strippers

○ Array of screwdrivers

○ Array of pliers

○ Voltage tester

○ Hacksaw

○ Hammer

○ Spirit level

○ Utility knife

○ Torch

○ Power drill

○ Power saw

○ Multi tool

○ High vis jacket

○ Hard hat

○ Safety gloves


Of course, an electrician would struggle to perform their job with these tools alone.

Let’s look at some electrician-specific tools that you need to have either on hand in your toolbox or easily accessible in your van.

Screwdrivers and nut drivers

Screwdrivers and nut drivers are essential for any tradesperson’s toolkit, but not all of them are suitable for electrical work. It’s absolutely essential that an electrician’s screw and nut drivers are insulated to prevent shocks should they come into contact with live electricity.

While most normal screwdrivers feature a non-conductive rubber or plastic handle, electrician’s screwdrivers are rated for electrical shocks and arcing up to a certain voltage. They also include an insulated shank, providing shock protection along the entire length of the tool.

An electrician needs lots of different types of screwdrivers and nut drivers in various sizes, so one with interchangeable heads might seem tempting to reduce costs and save space in your toolbox. However, changing the heads can be fiddly and time consuming, and they can easily be dropped inside the equipment you’re working on. It’s better to have a variety of different-sized Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers on your toolbelt or in your kit so you can just grab them as needed.

Wire strippers

Wire strippers are an essential tool for just about any electrical job, from minor repairs to complete rewiring. They are designed to remove a wire’s insulation so it can be attached to a terminal, connector, or another wire.

Like any tool, there are various different types of wire stripper available, though the general principle is the same. Basic wire strippers feature a single notch that the wire is inserted into before squeezing the handles together and rotating them around the wire. This cuts through the insulation, which can then be slid off and discarded.

Some wire strippers feature different-sized holes for different gauges of wire, which allows you to select the appropriate size for the wire. This prevents improper cutting of the insulation, or squeezing too tightly, which can damage the wire inside. You can even buy automatic wire strippers, which detect the size of the wire and adjust to the right gauge.

You should never try to strip a wire with a knife or a pair of pliers. It’s much easier and safer to use proper wire strippers to avoid damaging the wire or injuring yourself.

Wire crimpers

Wire crimpers are more of a specialty tool for working with appliances and electronics, so you won’t find them in a standard DIY kit.

They are used to connect wires to terminals and lugs with a quick and reliable join, and can be used with many different types of connectors, such as spade, ring and bullet connectors.

Wire crimpers work by squeezing the wire and the connector together, creating microscopic welds between them. As crimp connectors come in various sizes, it’s important to use the right one to be able to accommodate the wire and ensure a tight seal. Some connectors may have a heat shrink sleeve that is sealed with a heat gun, providing extra protection.


Also known as a multifunctional tester or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter), a multimeter is an essential addition to any electrician’s toolbox.

As the name suggests, it combines the functionality of several different measuring devices in one unit. A standard multimeter includes a DC voltmeter, AC voltmeter, ammeter, and ohmmeter, allowing you to measure the voltage, current and resistance of a circuit. The meter measures and displays the readings so you know how much voltage the circuit is carrying.

All electrical installations must meet the requirements of the IET regulations BS 7671, and electricians use a multimeter to check that the wiring is safe and adheres to these standards.

Voltage tester

A voltage tester or voltmeter is used to check whether or not a circuit is live. While the multimeter described above will show you the voltage of the circuit, a voltage tester provides a simple yes or no.

It’s extremely important to test whether an electrical device or wire is carrying voltage before working on it. Forgetting to kill a circuit is an easy mistake that can have deadly consequences, and even when an appliance is off, a residual charge can remain. This handy tool is an absolute essential for electrical jobs of all sizes.

There are different types of voltmeters available, and it’s worth having a couple of different types in your toolkit so you can easily test circuits in different applications. The standard voltage tester uses two prongs, one of which is touched to a neutral or ground contact, while the other touches the wire, screw terminal or outlet to be tested. A light will come on if a voltage is present, but it won’t tell you what the voltage is.

Battery-powered non-contact voltage testers are a great option for your toolkit, as they are able to detect electricity simply by being close to the source or touching the outside of the cable. This helps you to stay safe, as it is not necessary to create contact with potentially live metal components.

Circuit breaker finder

Figuring out which circuit breaker controls which outlet, switch or light fixture is extremely important to ensure that you cut the electricity to the correct one before starting work. It can be difficult to track down the relevant circuit breaker when the equipment or outlet is quite far away, especially in large commercial or industrial premises.

Instead of requiring two people at opposite ends of the circuit, or unnecessarily walking back and forth, a circuit finder makes this job much quicker and easier. It uses a transmitter, which is plugged into the outlet you’re trying to identify, and a receiver, which is used on the fuse box and will flash when passed over the circuit breaker carrying the signal from the receiver.

Wall chaser

A wall chaser is a special tool for cutting thin channels and grooves into walls. This allows an electrician to install cables and conduit into the wall, creating a clean, flush surface and no messy wires.

This job was previously done with hammers and chisels, which may still be necessary in tight spaces. However, the tough blades of a handheld electric wall chaser make easy work of all types of masonry, including brick, stone and concrete. Some wall chasers come with vacuum attachments to suck up dust as soon as it is created, minimising airborne particles and making cleanup much easier.

Fish tape

Fish tape, also known as draw wire or electricians snake, is used to run new wiring through walls and electrical conduit.

It is a narrow tape or wire often made from steel, fiberglass or nylon that is stored on a reel, much like a tape measure. The rigidness and slight curve of the tape allows it to be guided through wall cavities, and the end usually has a hook, loop or specialised fastener to pull the cable across ceilings and down walls.

Fish tape is often used for extending circuits, improving existing wiring, or putting in completely new electrical installations.


Once you’ve got your kit together, don’t forget to invest in a high-quality toolbox to keep everything in one place.

Portable tool boxes are great for carrying around your essential electrician’s tools. Remember that the bigger your toolbox and the more tools you store in it, the heavier it will be. It’s worth opting for a couple of smaller toolboxes instead of one large one with everything in it so you’re not carrying around tools you don’t need for the job at hand.

Tool belts are the perfect solution for keeping essentials like screwdrivers, tape measures and spirit levels close at hand. Keep those everyday tools that you find yourself always reaching for right by your side.

For larger equipment like power tools and ladders, you’ll want to keep these secure in your van. Make sure that each tool is properly packed away in its case to prevent damage and to keep all the parts together and easily accessible. Battery-operated tools are a great way to ensure that you can always bring the tool to the job at hand, and they’re easy to carry around and store.


Looking after your tools is hugely important. If they are properly maintained, they should last a long time, saving you money on repairs and replacements. Never use a tool for an unintended use, as this can damage the tool, as well as the components you’re working on.

Carry out thorough inspections of your equipment before and after each use. Noticing wear and tear early on can prevent a much more serious problem further down the line. Repair tools as an when needed, and completely replace any that are beyond saving.

Always clean your tools at the end of the day before putting them away. You can do this quickly and easily by wiping them with a clean cloth to remove sawdust and grease.

Careful storage of your tools will help to keep them in good condition. Tools that are left lying around are more likely to get damaged or lost. Store them in tool bags and boxes, place them on a shelf, or hang them on a peg board. Wherever you store your tools, make sure to keep them away from moisture and humidity, which can cause them to rust, and keep your tool shed or van locked.


Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous, so it’s important to take precautions to ensure a safer working environment. Commercial electricians work on site in unfamiliar locations, and paying attention to the surroundings could prevent a fatal situation.

The main hazards of working with electricity include electric shock caused by contact with live parts, and fire from faulty equipment. It’s also important to remember that electric shocks can lead to other injuries, such as a fall from height, which could be fatal even if the shock was minor.

Here are some tips to create a safer working environment as an electrician:

○ Check the surrounding area for potential hazards

○ Keep work areas clear of tools, clutter and equipment

○ Only use equipment that meets relevant safety standards

○ Follow correct procedures for working at height

○ Avoid working in awkward positions and confined spaces for long periods of time

○ Use adequate PPE, including non-conductive gloves and shoes with insulated soles


If you’re looking for highly qualified electricians with the tools and knowledge for your commercial electrical requirements, speak to the experts at Fusion.

We supply electrical services with enthusiasm, expertise and excellence, helping businesses to ensure that they are safe, efficient and compliant. From one-off repairs and regular maintenance to complete electrical design and installation services, you can count on Fusion for all your electrical needs.

Subscribe to be kept up to date with the latest news.