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.
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.
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.
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°.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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