To succeed as an electrician in 2021, it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest tools and technologies.
Sometimes, the classics are best—like a trusty set of pliers—but newer pieces can seriously speed up your work and take your efficiency to new heights. Luckily, you can purchase old and new tools at any reputable supplier, for example, RS Components.
Let’s chat about the top tools all electricians need in 2021 and beyond.
When you ask someone to name a tool, pliers usually come to mind first. But for electricians specifically, insulated pliers are the way to go.
Most modern pliers are made from steel, providing exceptional strength and grip. You can use pliers to accomplish an enormous range of tasks, including twisting, gripping, and clipping wire.
You’ll find many plier types on today’s market, suited for different purposes. Options include:
- Combination pliers, for cutting wire and stripping insulation
- Side-cutting pliers, for cutting wire
- Locking pliers, for metalwork
- Water pump or tongue-and-groove pliers, for twisting nuts and bolts
- Needle-nose pliers, for gripping small objects and bending wire
- Fencing pliers, for hammering and gripping staples
A multimeter or voltage indicator is a specialised handheld device designed for identifying live current. These tools are vital for staying safe while working with electricity.
Most multimeters will indicate the presence of voltage via a light-emitting diode. When the light glows, you’ll know to shut down the current before you begin work.
Under Australian health and safety legislation, all electricians must use voltage testers before beginning work.
A splice connector is a device designed for making quick connections or splices. They’re also known as tap splicers or splice tap connectors.
These devices feature a sharp metal inset that cuts safely through two wires’ plastic insulating jackets and crimps them. You’ll then close the connector, holding the connections together securely.
There are various types of splice connectors, including:
- Crimp closed-end terminals
- Push-wire terminals
- Crimp barrel foil terminals
- Crimp butt splice terminals
Electrical tape—commonly known as electrical insulation tape or simply insulation tape—is another essential for today’s electricians. You’ll use this versatile tool for insulating wires and other conductive items.
This type of tape is self-adhesive and sensitive to pressure. It will resist heat, liquid, and abrasion well, protecting the conducting core within an electrical wire.
Insulation tape comes in different forms made from various materials, including:
- Copper foil
- Glass cloth
You’ll also find a variety of sizes, colours, thicknesses, and strengths, suitable for different applications. The colour options will help you choose the right type of tape and allow you to colour-code your wires.
A cable cutter is a crucial tool designed for just that—cutting through cables. Thanks to its strong, steel blades, a cable cutter can slice through wiring with ease.
There’s also a stronger variety—known as cable shears—designed to cut through thick, durable cabling. You can also use cable cutters or shears to crimp wires together or strip away insulation.
By investing in the above equipment, you’ll set yourself up for success as an electrician in 2021. Keep cable cutters, electrical tape, splice connectors, voltage testers, and insulated pliers in your tool kit and you’ll be ready to tackle any job.