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(Shopping) tool list for apprentice electrician

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#1 busterblue

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Posted December 01 2009 - 3:17 PM

Hoping some of the electricians in the group can help me. My son is a freshman entering Upper Cape Tech's elec shop and hopefully doing apprentice work come summer. Can you guys give me a list of tools and reliable brands that I can get him.

What's necessary, what's good to have, (what is a waste that I shouldn't let the guys at the store talk me into.)

I got him a dewalt 18v, 1/2 " impact drill ; probably a luxury but it was $100 off last years price and i felt like splurging after I saw he scored a 99/100 his trial week in elec shop.


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#2 thisistheyear

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Posted December 01 2009 - 4:17 PM

His shop instructors will likely give him a list of hand tools he needs for shop. When I was in a voc. electrical program, they loaned us a tool belt with what we needed for year one in school and the expectation was we would buy our own by sophomore year.

For apprentice work good Klein brand hand tools should do. The guy he's working for will have the other stuff. Saws, drills, fish tape, pipe benders all kinda stuff.

9" linesmans pliers
diagonal cutting pliers
good tape measure (when I was in school we were using a 6' folding ruler and found it VERY useful)
romex stripper
wire strippers
#1,2,3 phillips
slotted screwdrivers in 3 or so sizes
"wiggy" voltage tester
good electricians folding knife with a hooked blade
good tool belt to hold it all, one made for an electrician, not a carpenters belt

I think Home Depot is selling Klein tools now but you will find everything you need for sure at an electrical supply house. (let them know what you are buying them for and ask if they can give you a discount)

I finished an Electrical program and it was the best thing I ever did. My career choice was very different and I never worked as an electrician. I did learn much more than wiring in school however. They will teach your son all kinds of great skills and work ethic. He will learn enough carpentry, plumbing and metal working skills to fix anything.

I have never paid anyone to do anything for me. I do my own carpentry, wiring, plumbing, roofing, auto repairs, oil burner work, work safely in the air, welding, cutting. Fix anything. Build anything. Really, all due to what I was taught in school.

It's been a long time, I am sure some guys who work in the field now will have many other ideas too.

#3 ted527

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Posted December 01 2009 - 9:33 PM

safety glasses plus everything in above post.

#4 mybeach

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Posted December 02 2009 - 1:24 AM

you should probably get some electrical tape...

#5 longcaster

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Posted December 02 2009 - 11:04 PM

A copy of the National Electric Code Book.

#6 logeypogey

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Posted December 03 2009 - 12:03 AM

Im a licenced Ma electrical contractor. The biggest thing he needs to make it in the field is a neat appearance and good work habits if he has these he will be all set. However proper tools are essential.

He will need in addition to everything listed above .

Good tight fitting work gloves to protect his hands from lifting sharp and dirty objects they dont have to be insulated for electricity he wont be working with live stuff just yet and if he does he should quit and find a new job because his employer does not care about his safety.

The best pair of work boots money can buy. His feet will be in them 10 hrs a day I go with Red Wing .

A Rotostripper (device used to strip metal covered cable) get the one made by Seateck

A tool bag with a shoulder strap. tool boxes get bounced off customers cars and walls and that just does not work out well and they just dont come back to life as well as a bag when they get left behind the truck.

Klien screwdrivers are nice but no warrenty buy Craftsman screwdrivers because he will break them

A utillity knife is good enough for the trade plus he will lose it

Cheap LED flashlight

2 prs of 10" Chanelock, waterpump, slipjoint pliers ect

Keyhole saw Klien makes a very good one

9" Torpedo level again go with a Craftsman this tool will take a beating and will break

Pencils I must go through a box a week (usually get then from the apprentice)

Leave the cordless drill at home he will use and break the company's. Plus at first he needs learn the fine moter skills of a screwdriver. You would not believe how helpless the kids get when the cordless drill dies.

Good Luck to your son. The trade has been good to me. May it be good to him

#7 specialist

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Posted December 03 2009 - 11:51 AM

HD sells a Commercial Electric, or Greenlee tool kit for electricians. It comes with a tool bag or tool bucket, and all the basic hand tools he will need, and the price can't be beat.

#8 foxfai

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Posted December 03 2009 - 12:06 PM

There is a sale at lowes now on Skil 18-Volt 4-Tool Ni-Cd Combo Kit $59.
It has:
½" 2-Speed drill/driver: high speed drilling, high torque driving
Orbital jigsaw with built-in work light: for more accurate cuts
Multi-finishing sander with quick-change pad system: allows for quick and easy pad changes
Pivoting-head flashlight: lets you direct light where you need it
Includes 1 double ended bit (#2 Philips and slotted), 1 fast cut wood jigsaw blade and 5 pcs sandpaper (2) 60 grit, (3) 120 grit
I don't know how reliable it is, but it's cheap for sure.

#9 NickinMass

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Posted December 03 2009 - 2:33 PM

I second the rotostripper (you can cut the housing on armored cable with a hacksaw, but it is slow and doesn't work anywhere near as well), and would add a decent fish tape, a deburring tool and a tubing cutter if he's going to be working with emt (benders for 1/2" and 3/4" emt would be good too).

#10 JBOF79

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Posted December 03 2009 - 10:21 PM

klien sells tool kits that will cover everything he needs plus it comes with a tool bag you can find them online just do a google search for klien tools

#11 fishaholick

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Posted December 03 2009 - 10:31 PM

Just get him a Home Depot or Lows gift card and he can go get what ever Klein tools he needs. I am in my second year of being a electrician apprentice and I always ask for gift cards so I can go get what I need. Plus its alot easier for you!

#12 hwsmike

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Posted December 04 2009 - 6:37 AM

A couple of items not mentioned that I keep in my bag are retaining screwdrivers, a circuit tracer made by greenlee,and a polarity receptacle tester.

Best of Luck!


#13 shnevdorf

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Posted December 04 2009 - 8:57 PM

The Ugly's electrical reference book has a lot of info and can't hurt to have.

#14 danflytr

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Posted December 05 2009 - 12:56 PM

Yes Home Depot does now have Klein tools and you asked for good brand names Fluke stands out to me as a tester. I would also consider getting him a good tote bag possibly one that wraps around a five gal bucket.

#15 Cool Hand Fluke

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Posted December 06 2009 - 9:24 AM