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Basic Electrical Tools

Every Do-It-Yourselfer Should Have

Knowing how to perform minor electrical repairs can save you a lot of money over time. Having the proper electrical tools will make your electrical repairs easier and quicker. Here’s a list of basic electrical tools you should have in your tool box.

Electrical pliers – Also known as wire strippers/cutters, this multi-functional tool is mandatory for electrical repairs. It has wire strippers, screw cutters, terminal crimpers, and a wire cutter all in one tool. It is easy to learn how to use every part of the tool, and this one tool will simplify most electrical jobs that you will encounter.

Screwdrivers – You will need both standard and Phillips head screwdrivers. A ratchet screwdriver or battery powered screwdriver with interchangeable tips will allow you to tackle most electrical repairs.

Pliers — Standard and needle-nose pliers, a set of channel locks or adjustable pliers, and side cutting pliers

Utility Knife — A sharp knife is required to split the outer insulation of electrical wire to expose the individual wires.

Electrical Meter— You can get by with an inexpensive volt-ohm meter. But a meter that measures amps in addition to volts and ohms will make some electrical repair jobs easier. A simple circuit tester is also handy to have, but your volt-ohm meter will do the same job.

Wire Nuts — Not technically a tool, having an assortment of wire nuts in your tool box will save you a trip to the hardware store when you are making electrical repairs in your home.

Other Helpful Tools

There are several other electrical tools that will make your electrical jobs easier to finish.

Fish tape — This stiff, yet flexible wire makes running electrical wire through holes or behind walls much easier when you are rewiring an existing house.

Battery powered drill — Drilling holes to run new wire is much easier with a cordless drill, though you can survive with a standard electric drill. (Unless your electricity is out)

Rotozip or Saber saw — When you are installing electrical boxes, cutting through drywall is a snap with either of these tools. The drawback is that both tools will create a lot of dust.

Shop Vac — Most electrical repairs will make a mess, having a vacuum with you will make clean-up less of a chore.

Other Handy Hardware

In addition to these basic electrical tools, if you have a small assortment of electrical parts on hand, such as: wire staples, electrical tape, switches, outlets, cover screws, and drywall screws; you can handle about 90% of electrical problems you will typically encounter.

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