Monthly Archives: May 2015

Klein Screwdriver Set

Here is a 4 piece screwdriver set, that will fit the need of most professional electricians. It has several of the screwdrivers that electricians use on a daily basis.

First off, they are Klein cushion grip screwdrivers which mean they feel comfortable in your hand and have handles perfectly sized for increased torque.

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The set includes a Klein ¼” Key-stone tip screwdriver with 4″ Heavy Duty square shank. I have this screwdriver on me at all times. I frequently use it to open knock outs on four square boxes. It takes a real beating on the jobsite and holds up.

In the electrical trade the majority of fasteners are Phillips head but I still find enough applications for this screwdriver on the jobsite that justifies me carrying it all day.

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Also included in this set is the Klein 3/16″ Cabinet tip screwdriver with 6″ round shank. This screwdriver is a must for doing trim work. The long round shaft allows you to spin the tool quickly when installing receptacle and switch faceplates.

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Next in the line up is the Klein 5/16″ Key-stone tip screwdriver with a 6″ square shank. This is a large heavy duty screwdriver that will be used often enough to warrant it’s permanent position in an electricians toolbox. I use this screw driver when installing large toggle bolts to hang electrical panels and other large enclosures. I also find that I use it on some panel covers.

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And finally, this set comes with the Klein #2 Phillips screwdriver with a 4″ shank. This screwdriver is another that I have on me at all times. Most devices (ie. plugs and switches) have screws that require this tool. You will also need this for putting rings on 4 square and 4 eleven junction boxes.

Electricians frequently use each screwdriver that comes in this great Klein set. I recommend this set for the professional electrician. Available here from Amazon.

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If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Emilio

 

Channellock Plier Sets

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On more and more jobs the specs call for compression fittings. I guess the argument that compression fittings provide greater longevity for electrical continuity over set screw fittings is winning more and more popularity. As a result every electrician needs a pair of adjustable pliers for tightening compression fittings.

Channellock plier sets are a must have in any electrician’s toolbox. I have used Channellock adjustable pliers for most of the time that I’ve been an electrician and they are truly a sturdy and durable tool.

Even though compression fittings are a real pain to install, I am starting to agree that they provide superior electrical continuity.

I use my Channellocks for a variety of task. Sometimes I have to cut a bolt down to length and my Channies keep my fingers from getting to close to the band saw blade.

I highly recommend that at the very least you have a pair of 440’s in your tool box.

Use a couple of 480’s if you are doing 2½” conduit, anything bigger than that and I recommend strap wrenches or a chain wrench.

Overall, a Channellock plier set is a sound investment for any electrician. You can get a nice set right here at Amazon.

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If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Thanks for reading

Emilio

Carhartt Duck Bib/Overall (Unlined)

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I just don’t feel right unless I have my Carhartt overalls on when I am on the jobsite.

They’re great for keeping you relatively clean, offer protection for your knees, and provide plenty of strong pockets for tools. They’re really popular on jobsites and its no wonder why, they’re durable and tough.

My overalls will probably last me about 18 months. I am pretty hard on them.

The double knees accommodate knee pads and that is a huge selling point for me. I’m planning on putting 30 years into this trade and I need to protect my knees. If I’m doing trim and installing receptacles I find it is faster to drop to a knee and install the receptacle as opposed to carrying around a bucket and sitting on it.

Use knee pads your knees will thank you when you’re older.

I always have my pocket tool caddy, in my back right pocket. In this tool caddy I have a flat head, a Phillips, and a pair of diagonal cutters. The reinforced back pockets have never ripped on any pair of Carhartt overalls that I have ever owned.

It is reassuring to know that the contaminants I am exposed to on the jobsite stay at the jobsite. I ensure this happens by  leaving my overalls at work. When I walk in through the front door at the end of the day and am greeted by my 4 year old I don’t worry about her getting fiber glass, Monokote, or any other dangerous chemical on her when she is hugging my legs.

If you don’t wear overalls on the jobsite you might want to reconsider.

And if you do reconsider, try Carhartt I think you’ll be satisfied. You can get them here at Amazon.

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Any comments are appreciated.

Thanks for reading, be safe.

Emilio

 

Wiss Bulldog Aviation Snips, Cuts Thick Steel

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Commercial electricians require a good pair of airplane shears. Wiss is a well known brand that makes quality tools used by many electricians. The Bulldog model is one of the best.

These snips cut 16 gauge steel. That is pretty thick. When I am on the job I often find myself needing to cut steel studs or other sheet metal. I chose too purchase these snips because of the thickness of steel that these will cut. I’ve even cut fender washers with these.

Another great thing about these snips is the straight cut they make. They won’t turn sideways (spread the blades) under a tough cut. That is super frustrating when you’re trying to cut something.

You can use these to cut studs, slider brackets (TSGB’s), and backing.

I only wish the cutting blades were a little longer. They’re a little too short for my preference.

These snips are tough and durable. I’ve had mine for about 3 years now and they seem to be no worse for the ware. Grant it, I don’t use these every single day but I won’t be without them on the jobsite.

Overall these are in my opinion the best airplane shears an electrician can have in his toolbox. You can get them at Amazon here.

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Any questions or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Emilio

 

Klein Side Cutters HD213-9NE

hd213-9neThese Klein side cutters are the heavy duty version of Klein’s basic side cutting pliers. These are the same as the lower cost version D213-9NE except these have heavy duty, oversized, plastic dipped handles.

Comparing both pairs of  pliers at Home Depot reveals the difference is only a few dollars, in effect you will be paying $3.25 more for the plastic dip. Home Depot has them listed at $32.62 + $6.49 for shipping for a total of $39.11

On Amazon this model of Kleins is $37.75 and that includes shipping.

The best money saver is too buy them from Home Depot and have them shipped for free to a Home Depot store near you. But if you want them now shipped to your house this is the Best Deal.

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Hey every little bit of money saved adds up. Hopefully you are working over time galore and are making a pretty penny. If you don’t have time to make it to the hardware store you can always come here.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Best Brand Hand Tools For Electricians

Making my livelihood as an electrician requires that I make an initial upfront investment into my tools. It is important for me to know what are the best brand of  hand tools for electricians. Money wasted on poor quality tools can add up to significant amounts over the course of a career.

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The Klein brand is one of  the preferred hand tool brands on jobsites by electricians. I have a range of tools manufactured by Klein; Side cutters, diagonal cutters, wire strippers, and screwdrivers. Klein has been manufacturing tools for the electrical industry since 1857 and their tools are made in the U.S.A.

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For adjustable pliers Channel Lock is the brand most electricians are using. I’ve used Channel Lock adjustable pliers for the last 15 years and just recently began using adjustable pliers manufactured by Irwin. I made the change because when it comes to installing compression fittings on EMT, the Irwin adjustable pliers have a groove that grips the collar of the fitting better. Even though I am using adjustable pliers made by Irwin, I am still a big fan of the Channel Lock adjustable pliers as well.

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For Torpedo levels, Checkpoint seems to be the preferred brand. Checkpoint makes several unique torpedo levels excellent for electricians bending conduit. If you are searching for a quality torpedo level you can’t go wrong with a  Checkpoint. I like the rare earth magnets that securely attach the level to the conduit and the greater variety of level vials not typically offered by other manufacturers of levels like the 22½°.

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Knipex is another brand that I used for awhile and still would use again. I had a pair of side cutters made by Knipex and used them for a few years until the cutting blade was nicked. They make a variety of quality tools and I’d be interested trying more of them.

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For aviation snips I use a heavy duty one that cuts 16-Gauge steel made by Wiss. I prefer the straight cut snips. I have used other brands and on one occasion ended up breaking the cutting blade. Wiss is the brand to choose for aviation snips.

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For tape measures I don’t really have a favorite brand. I guess I would choose the Stanley brand, FatMax series. I like how you can extend the tape measure out for quite a ways before the tape folds over. Also this tape measure will last you a long time.

When it comes to electrical testing equipment I believe you will be very hard pressed to find a better brand than Fluke. I use their inductance testers and voltmeter/ammeter. They are the trusted name in electrical testers.

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Fluke may cost more than your average testers but when it comes to life safety I don’t think you should skimp. They are the trusted brand of many electricians.

Recently, Dewalt and Milwaukee have entered into the hand tool market. I actually purchased a Milwaukee pocket knife and Milwaukee wire strippers. I am extremely pleased with the pocket knife but the slide locking mechanism on the wire strippers broke shortly after I purchased the tool. Nonetheless, I feel the hand tools offered by these two companies will be promising. I will be highlighting and offering advice on a number of best brand hand tools commonly used in the trade.

Please leave any comments,

Emilio

Klein Side Cutters D213-9NE, The Base Model

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These are probably the cheapest Klein side cutting pliers that you can get. They are comfortable in the hand and durable.

The Klein side cutting pliers are essential to an electrician. They become an extension of the electrician’s arm and are used throughout the day. I have used the Klein D213-9NE, 9 inch high-leverage side cutting pliers before and was not disappointed.

The tool has a high leverage design that allows me to cut 12/3, m/c cable with relative ease. If I have to cut 12/4 I don’t want to use these, for that task I use my Greenlee loppers.

At one point my Kleins were getting a little rusty around the rivet and I began having to use two hands to open them. A little WD-40 and continually opening and closing them for about five minutes got them back into fighting condition.

I have gone through a few pairs of side cutters in the past 10 years and the pair I have now are going on their fourth year of continual daily use.

I usually have to rid myself of a pair of Kleins because I’ve cut into a live circuit and I blow a hole in them or I foolishly cut a hardened screw and end up nicking the cutting blade. At an average cost of $30 a pair I try hard not to make those mistakes anymore.

I use the tool daily to cut; m/c, ceiling wires, tie wire, and conductors, pull out KO slugs and to twist wires when I’m splicing boxes. I also use them to beat compression fittings onto the ends of EMT.

They have these at Home Depot for $29.37 and they will ship them for free to a store near you. You can also buy them from Amazon and have them delivered to your door for $26.65 plus $3.61 for shipping, right here.

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Klein makes quality tools in the United States. You will not be disappointed with this tool. If you take care of them they could even last your whole career.

Remember the plastic coating on the handles do not protect you from electric shock.

Thanks for reading,

Emilio