Tools & Materials Used in Electrical Installation

Written by timothy sexton
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Tools & Materials Used in Electrical Installation
A simple utility knife can be used for cutting holes in drywall when installing electrical equipment. (a sharp utility knife image by timur1970 from

Electrical work requires some very specialised tools and equipment. Other tools that come in handy may already be in your toolbox. One thing to look for in all tools that are used when dealing with electricity is that the handles are insulated. Always take the utmost precaution when doing electrical installation.

Needle-Nose Pliers

Needle-nose pliers feature long thin blades. They are used for bending bare electrical wire ends before you attach them to screw terminals located on switches, outlets and circuit breakers.

Diagonal Cutters

Diagonal cutters feature jaws that run diagonally to the handle. These particular pliers cut through wires or even small screws. Those with pivot pins situated close to the jaws give you greater leverage and this means more cutting pressure to allow you to more easily cut through thicker grades of wire.


Kneepads can be your best friend when you are doing electrical installation. Since so much electrical wiring and outlets are located near floor-level, padding your knees will allow you to work more comfortably as well as longer.

Continuity Tester

A continuity tester is one of those special tools used in electrical work. This piece of equipment tests for whether current is passing from one terminal to another. A continuity tester becomes very valuable when you are looking for short circuits or improper grounding.

Voltage Tester

A voltage tester can determine whether an electrical circuit is live or not. A bulb illuminates if the terminal is live. If the bulb does not light up, test again by placing the probes between the ground terminal and each of the live terminals as well as the neutral terminals.


Not just any screwdriver should be used all work when dealing with electricity. An ordinary screwdriver is fine for fastening mounting boxes and attaching switch plates. Use a fully insulated screwdriver with a plastic handle and plastic insulating sleeves on the shaft when doing circuitry work.

Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are an elemental part of the electrician's toolbox. Look for wire strippers with jaws that are shaped to cut through the insulation without also damaging the conductor. A multipurpose tool adds jobs like cutting screws in one handy piece of equipment.

Fish Tape

Fish tape is the unusual name given to a piece of equipment that is made up of a flattened spring steel wire. Fish tape needs to be stiff enough so that you can work it through small holes in the wall and between wall studs and floor or ceiling joists. Hook up your electrical wire to the fish tape and begin feeding it through.

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