These are 5 great gift ideas for a home improvement DIY electrician or a starting electrical tool set that you buy for yourself!
These are tools that over the years I have used over and over when changing light switches, replacing electrical outlets, installing ceiling fans, putting in recessed lighting, etc.. basically any electrical home improvement thing I do, I won’t start unless I have these tools on hand. I’m not even joking, I once lost my vise grip self adjusting wire strippers and before I would install some new lighting in a bathroom, I had to order a new one, I later found my first wire strippers.. I now have two self adjusting wire strippers.
Each of these tools should cost around or under $20, they are a cheap gift that will bring years of usefulness.
1. Non-Contact Voltage Tester
This is the first tool on this list since it is the first tool I use on any electrical home improvement project. With this tool I test the wires I am going to be working, this tool will tell me if I’ve turned off the power at the right breaker or if there is power in the wires I will be working with.
I use the Klein tools Dual Voltage Non-Contact Voltage Tester http://amzn.to/2yCd1G3 The Dual Voltage refers to the tools ability to test low voltage electrical like cars and high voltage like residential electrical.
2. Linesman's Pliers
Linesman’s Pliers are the essential tool for any electrician. A good Linesman Pliers will last you a lifetime and are purpose made for electrical work. They have a large flat gripping area to grab and twist wire and they have a sharp cutting are to cut romex, bare wire and small screws. I’ve found that 8″ linesman pliers are the right size for home electrical work. The 8″ refers to the length of the handle from the pivot point to the end of the handle. Here is a set of Linesman pliers like the ones I use: http://amzn.to/2zGsB7d
The powerful gripping ability of Linesman’s Pliers make them a great tool for many home improvement jobs, not just electrical.
3. Self Adjusting Wire Strippers
This is a tool that is one of the best additions to my electrical tool box. Self adjusting wire strippers are my favorite electrical specialty tool. These are the wire strippers I use: http://amzn.to/2zJ4z9z
These wire strippers make the job of stripping wire very easy and super fast and will speed up any electrical wiring project.
Any electrical job that requires stripping insulator off of wire, I MUST have these self adjusting wire strippers. They will speed up the the task and make it a pleasure to strip wire. I will not strip wire without them!
4. Assorted Wire Nuts
After you have cut the wire and stripped the wire you need wire nuts to connect the wires! Most light fixtures and ceiling fans will come with wire connectors but I find that may times they are the wrong size for my particular installation so I like to keep an assortment of different size wire nuts ready just in case. When I am done with an electrical project I will put any left over wire nuts into my jug and have them ready in case i need them on the next project.
I use this container to hold all my wire nuts and I spend a little more time looking for the right size, it may be better if you get a divided container that will keep the wire nut sizes separated: http://amzn.to/2hzZBaf
5. GFCI Receptacle Test
When the job is done and you’ve installed a new electrical outlet, you need to test it. A GFCI Receptacle Tester like this one http://amzn.to/2ALVVHu is what I use. This tester will tell you if you’ve wired an outlet correctly and if you didn’t, it will tell you what is wrong. The GFCI tester has the benefit of testing GFCI outlets.
I hope you found this list of home improvement electrical tools helpful and I’m certain you will find all of the tools indispensable on your next project!