Electrical projects are extraordinary in every sense, apart from specific subject knowledge one also needs proper workspace, motive, and tools to accomplish a job. For the regular domestic electrical projects, you can employ the most common tools that are present in every household. However, innovators, designers, thinkers, and engineers fall in a completely different category, they can’t work with regular common tools. They need specialty tools. We have aggregated here a list of top ten essentials that will help all creators in upgrading or completing their toolkit. Take a look.
1 . Pliers: You may have seen normal pliers in your home but the ones meant for electrical projects are slightly different. You will need pliers with narrow tips that can take care of small and minute stuff like resistor leads, copper wires, project dashboards, etc. Start with the lineman plier which is a common domestic tool and then you can move on to the more specific ones. These are versatile and rugged tools and best for bending large-gauge wires, pulling cables through conduits, cutting small bolts, screws, and even hammer screws into initial positions.
Fig. 1: Set of Pliers For Electrical Projects
2. Wire Cutter: The typical wire cutters are good for automotive or home wiring but electrical wiring needs different cutters. The electrical cutters come with blades that can spear through flush over a surface for trimming component leads over a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) as best as possible. Some of these also have built-in retainers that keep the cut wires or leads from flying off here and there. Apart from this flush cutter, you may also want to add up diagonal cutters and end cutters in your kit.
Fig. 2: Image Showing A Typical Diagonal Wire Cutter
3. Wire Strippers: If you want to strip insulation from wire with a pair of diagonal or flush cutters, it may get risky. So, unless you are an expert, it is better to use a wire stripper. There are a few pliers that come with built-in wire stripperss but lack the efficiency of a professional wire stripper. You may also need to set these strippers correctly, only then they will do a good job. Go to any close-by hardware shop and you will find a wide range of wire strippers right from the normal to fancy as well as the automatic wire strippers.
Fig. 3: Wire Stripper
4. Non-Contact Voltage Tester: Voltage testers are used for instant safety checks to ensure that the electrical wires you are working with have no voltage. You must have seen the regular testers in home, but now you can upgrade to the non-contact testers that offer complete safety and simplicity of task. Just bring these close to the outlet slot or the wire and you will be able to detect electricity in it.
Fig. 4: Non-contact Voltage Tester
5. Torpedo Level: The best thing about torpedo levels is that these are easy to fit in tool pouches. A perfect tool when you need to level and plumb your work. Any installation task would need outlet covers, straight switch and level boxes. Make sure you are completely prepared with the best tool in hand.
Fig. 5: A Typical Torpedo Level
6. Socket and Hex Drivers: The most common kind of socket set can be availed from any hardware, home improvement or auto parts store. The regular size of these devices range from .25 inch to ¾ inch. The sizes can increase further but it all depends on the budget you have. Electronics projects have a different need, so along with the regular one you need to own a electronics special socket driver kit. These wouldn’t come with a ratchet rather you will need to plug the tools into a common handle. Every single entity in this set has an integrated handle.
Fig. 6 : A Regular Socket Set
Hex-socket-head bolts and screws will need hex key or hex wrench. Both of these can be availed in ASME/ANSI along with a specific small size set inside a holder. Hex wrenches come with ball-type ends and help wrenches in torque application to a fastener without aligning it with screw or bolt axis. Try to get the hex wrenches and sockets in metric sizes and both ANSI/ASME.
7. Dies and Taps: Tapping refers to cutting of threads in required sized hole. The tool used for this purpose is known as tap. Die, on the other hand, is another tool that assists in cutting threads into blank rods for formation of threaded shafts. Dies are also useful in repairs of damaged bolt threads. A tap and die can come handy any moment.
Fig. 7: Hex Drivers Set
8. Tweezers: A simple but essential set of tools, these will definitely help you sort out a lot of complications. These come handy when you are working with small parts and need something to hold those minute things in place For electronics and electrical purposes, you can get an exclusive set of tweezers in a range of sizes and styles.
Fig. 8: Set of Tweezers for Electrical Projects
9. Small Hand Saws: Small hand saws can be needed for cutting out sheet materials or tubes. For special purposes you can also get the jeweler’s saw that can create some odd-shaped holes in anything. It uses a very narrow blade and would make things sharp without binding. But be very careful because the blade can snap easily if you apply little extra force.
Fig. 9: A Regular Small Hand Saw for Electronics Projects
10. Crimping Tools: Working with connectors with crimped terminals can be a daunting task. A set of crimping tools can be the best help for simplifying such tasks. Crimping tools vary from simple pliers-like equipment to most upgraded aerospace-graded ratcheted devices called dies. The normal price range for these tools goes from $30 to $500. Electronics projects require different kind of crimping tools that can be used with small terminal components present in miniature connectors. Take the one that can strip and cut wires and trim down machine screws.
Fig. 10: A Typical Crimping Tool
This is just a small list that we have assembled here, we know there are many more that need to be added to this. You may also want to include magnifiers, microscopes, soldering tools, drill presses, hammers, metalworking tools, drill bits, grinders and few others. It is imperative to have an extensive tool kit on your side if you plan to keep creating new projects and things. You can check out your closest electronic suppliers, hardware stores, online stores, as well as home improvement stores to get the tools mentioned here. If you look around in your surrounding, you will find a store that can offer all these items at a perfect price.