The reason people run for shelter during a thunderstorm isn't because of the thunder. You hide because a lightning strike often proves fatal to anyone on the receiving end. Electricians are equally wary of getting shocked, which is why they rely on insulated tools.
An insulated tool is more than equipment with extra rubber on the handles. They're specifically designed to handle electric shocks up to 1000 V ac and 1500 V dc. Building a specialty insulated tool kit can save your life if things go wrong.
Here are some of the best tools to carry in your electrician's tool kit and why you need them.
The most common type of wrench used by electricians is the Allen wrench. However, you can also find open-end ones, box ends, adjustable wrenches, and ratchet wrenches.
These wrenches can be purchased completely insulated for your protection. They're heavy-dipped in insulation and can handle live currents up to 1000V AC.
Open-end wrenches come in sizes ranging from 7 MM to 24 MM and lengths 88 MM to 237 MM. Alternatively, you can opt for an adjustable wrench with a maximum jaw opening size ranging from 24 MM to 38 MM.
Sockets allow electricians to tighten or loosen fasteners as well as certain screws. However, those fasteners can still carry a charge, so you need insulated sockets.
You can find insulated sockets for metric hexagonal head screws in sizes 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". You can also find insulated hex bits sockets in the same sizes.
Any insulated sockets you purchase should be rated for up to 1000V. The entire body is insulated for maximum protection. You often find these included in insulated tool kits in various sizes and shapes.
Electrician scissors can cut all kinds of electrical communication wire, cable, and cordage. Some are also made with notches that let you strip the wire. Since these cables and cords carry electrical currents, you must use insulated tools.
These insulated scissors are made to handle live equipment up to 1500v DC and 1000v AC. They're built with a slip guard design for improved safety and an insulated handle.
You can purchase them without a stripping notch or with one, either small or big. Feel safe handling whatever wires you need to cut without worrying about getting shocked.
The other way to cut through cables and wires is with a cable knife.
The main difference between one and a standard knife is that cable knives are generally made with protective insulation. They're also sharp enough to handle the job with a high-carbon steel blade.
Cable knives are often much shorter than other knives. Some have wire stripping notches on the blade. Others come in the form of pocket knives.
If you're looking for a new one, ensure it's been 100% VDE tested and manufactured according to European standards.
An electrician uses pliers to straighten, cut, twist, and pull wire. They can also be used to pull staples and nails out. In particular, you'll need side-cutting pliers and needle-nose pliers.
Most electricians use a separate tool to cut through the wire—despite their utility. Doing so regularly with your pliers may cause the jaws to distort. In addition, jaw misalignment will affect their ability to crimp when attaching connectors.
Insulated combination pliers should have induction-hardened cutting edges and serrated gripping surfaces. The insulation materials should cover the entire handle up to the head of the tool.
Screwdrivers are an essential electrical trade tool, whether building a table or working with control systems. An insulated screwdriver is necessary, so you don't get electrocuted if the tip contacts a live current.
Most of these come with two layers of insulation in different colors. They should comply with VDE safety standards and protect you from up to 1,000 volts of electricity.
You can purchase insulated screwdrivers in various options, including Phillips, Torx, slotted, and Pozi.
There are also acetate handle screwdrivers with a soft cushion grip for extra comfort. However, the entire length of the tool isn't insulated like with other options.
Wire strippers are a staple item in every electrician's tool kit. It can remove insulation and expose the wire so you can make electrical connections. However, it may also put you directly in contact with a live current if you're not careful.
A good cable stripping tool will save you a lot of time and effort when working on more significant projects. It's much more effective than trying to do the job with a pair of pliers.
A crimping tool deforms the wire material to create a connection. It's the tool you'll use after stripping the wire and exposing it. If you fail to crimp the connection properly, its purity will be compromised.
You'll want these tools insulated since they must touch the wire to function. They come in various options, including multi-modular plug crimping tools, hand crimping tools, and Kh-16 hand crimping tools. Always ensure they're tested and can handle the voltage you usually work with.
Fish tape allows you to pull electrical wires through conduits. You can also use it to pull wire through holes in studs and between different floors.
Although you can't insulate fish tape, you can purchase non-conductive fiberglass options for more safety. You should also turn off electric circuits in the area you're working.
Working as an electrician doesn't have to be dangerous. You use insulated tools to eliminate all the extra risk, even when you've done everything else right. Electrician tools are also designed specifically with your job in mind.
HTI has all the tools you'll need, whether you work as an electrician, auto mechanic, or simply love to garden. We provide a complete service from sourcing requests to hand tool production to shipment consolidation.
Check out our stock online, or contact us if you have any questions.