What's in My Electrician's Tool Bag?
Have you ever wondered what electricians carry in their tool bag? Here’s what I carry on a day-to-day basis and the essential tools that every electrician needs.
I try and keep all my similar tools all together.
-I have my wire strippers.
These are a very generic set. I get through a couple of pairs a year because I drop them off my ladders for starters or they just fail because they get so much use, but these are great I always come back and buy more.
-My heavy duty pliers.
These have seen some action as you can see just for the colour of them and they're quite old.
-These are my old snips.
I keep them because they're handy they've had a few chips taken out of them over the years, so I don't mind using them for things that I’m not sure about or if I’ve got to cut through something that's a little bit on the tough side. Knowing these are already knackered, it doesn't matter if I damage them anymore.
-My ”proper” snips. These things are great, they'll cut anything up to 6mm and will do 10mm if you do it in chunks. They’re also spring loaded so if you're doing repetitive work, changing a consumer unit for example, just flip the spring over for auto opening. An especially useful tool to have.
-And my “big wire” snips. They'll cut straight through 10mm twin and earth and meter cables.
-Utility knife otherwise known as a Stanley blade very useful thing to have.
-The Marksman, if you haven't come across these, I recommend you go out and look for them, it's a chalk loaded air canister. It shoots green chalk out and gives you a very
accurate marking position. They also do a black chalk version.
-Tiny level fantastic for sockets black boxes
-A pack of fuses, because quite often you come across something that's got a 13-amp fuse in it that shouldn't have a 13-amp using it
-The multi-key is great because it has the gas and electricity boxes on it.
-Multi-tool screwdriver with its various different bit attachments all in the back. It's also magnetic
-The ‘bodge it’ screwdriver for all those jobs you wouldn't use a screwdriver for and spare volt stick/no contact tester.
-Long nose pliers.
-Bent nose pliers.
-I have two sets of spanners, a tiny set, and
a small set which open to 20mm, but also have a 10mm spanner in the handle.
-A selection of punches.
-Tape measure: every electrician needs one of these.
-Small laser measure.
-I always carry a dust mask too. It's always good to have it in your bag.
-Very basic 13-amp test plug
-Every electrician needs a screwdriver set whether it's this one which comes in a fold out pack or
whether you've got individual ones, this one for me is fantastic because it's all got separate blades.
They're all in order size and type whether it's a torque or a cross head or even a flat head and there's two handles with them so you don't always have to keep interchanging the blades all the time it has a normal what I call the normal small handle these are so ergonomically well designed as well there's another reason why I love them and but it means if I’m climbing up steps or ladders or crawling around it means I haven't got loads of big screwdrivers hanging in my pocket I can just take a few blades out which I know I’m going to need and I can just sort them over clip them in also they could use the stubbies because sometimes a full size screwdriver is too long to get into the area that you're trying to get to, but with these, you can take the handle off and loose two inches.
There is a gear system within the larger handle. You push the button in the back to engage it. This will turn the screwdriver blade here four times for each rotation as opposed to when it's locked, it'll work as a normal screwdriver. (Wera Turbo Driver).
These are great for a second fix, you can get around the property, put sockets and switches on a lot quicker, but I do not recommend using these on metal or shiny face sockets because with the speed it moves, it can and will scratch the face plate if it slips.
-Hammer. We all know what it's for; nails, lifting floorboards etc, actually I probably lift more floorboards than I do with hitting in nails.
-A level, everybody needs one of these, for obvious reasons. I have a few of these in various different sizes.
-A Pad saw, an easy tool for cutting out plaster for dry liner pattresses or enlarging holes for down lights.
-One of the best tools that I have, my wife bought me… The backbox template. It has a level in the top or on the bottom depending which way up you have it, a double size or 2 gang and a single or 1 gang. An invaluable piece of kit.
There're many different versions on the market, some even fold.
However sometimes can be a bit difficult to use if you get really in close to the wall or skirting, but you can always get one or two sides and then you can just flip it over or you can fill the rest in with you with your metal rule which incidentally is another tool I carry.
-A tiny hammer.
Ever tried to get those cable clips in-between joist? This is what I use when the bigger one can't quite get the swing.
-My SWA cutters.
Check out my video here for more information.
I also carry a couple of short adjustable spanners which open up to about 32mm, these are perfect for armoured cable glands.
-The usual PVC tape; earth, brown and a blue. You don't really need any more than that.
Super glue, a carpenter’s square, I’ve got a couple of crimping tools, just a generic crimp tool
that I used for extending cables occasionally. Not used so much these days not now that I’ve come across the Ideal and Wago connectors.
-This is for my ferrules.
If you're using flexible cable if you're wiring a caravan or a shepherd's hut for example, all of those things should be wired and flexible cable and now it's recommended by bs7671 that you put a ferrule on the end of all of the flexible cables.
-Related to the hammer because it quite often gets used at the same time it's my baby crowbar.
Great for lift ups floorboards you can get that it's very sharp along the uh on the edge here so they can get in between narrower floorboards just enough to give it a lever that can get the hammer crow underneath and just leave it up it's also got a nail remover on the other end.
-My very cheap electrical tester.
This is not calibrated; I only actually use it for testing if I’m not sure of something and if I’ve left my proper Kewtech tester in the van because they can be a bit big and bulky. This one is fairly small and will do the basics; basic continuity and it'll tell me if something's live or not. It's just a double check because sometimes the volt sticks pick up on static giving a false reading that something's live when it's not.
Check out my full video on YouTube: