Like any other repair or improvement project around the house, electrical work requires tools. For most residential electrical projects, you’ll use mostly basic hand tools you already own, such as a hammer, tape measure, level, and screwdrivers. There are also some specialty electrical tools that come in handy from time to time, and these are readily available at most home centers, hardware stores, electrical supply stores, and online retailers. As with any tool purchase, you’ll get longer life and better performance from higher-quality tools. Better electrical hand tools, such as wire cutters and linesman pliers, have insulated handles to help guard against shock.
A standard tape measure is used for all kinds of field measurements, such as setting heights for switches and outlets, centering lighting fixture boxes, and marking surfaces for cutouts.
A hammer is used to secure electrical boxes equipped with nail-on brackets to wall studs and other framing members in a home. You’ll also need one to drive wire staples when anchoring new electrical cable to framing members.
A small level, such as a torpedo level, fits easily in a tool pouch and is used to make sure your work is level and plumb. A great installation starts with level boxes and straight switch and outlet covers.
A torpedo level should be part of every homeowner’s standard toolkit; it will have plenty of uses beyond electrical work.
Electrical repair and improvement work involves a lot of dark places, from attics and basements to wall and ceiling cavities, to the insides of electrical boxes. A tactical flashlight is needed as much for safety as it is for convenience. A couple of hand flashlights and a headlamp are good additions to a DIY Electricians Albuquerque toolbox.
A utility knife, or box cutter, is handy for cutting sheathing from non-metallic (Romex) cable, to cut off the electrical tape, and to open cardboard boxes.