10 Essential Tools for DIY Electricians

Although you are always better off in the hands of a licensed and professionally trained electrician, there are a handful of DIY electricians out there who have the aptitude and the safety awareness to tackle common electricity-related problems by themselves. They know about the precautions that need to be taken and how their installed products should be tested to ensure that it works in conjunction with the rest of the existing electrical system.

If you are new to becoming a DIY electrician, you are probably wondering about the tools that you need at your disposal. There are so many to pick from, but you don’t need to have every tool at your disposal. Rather, you just need a few fundamental tools that will help you perform most jobs that need to be done.

Here are 10 essential tools that every DIY electrician needs:

Wire Cutters

At some point, you will have to cut wires down to their appropriate length. The cutters should be sharp and the grip should be solid – you don’t want these slipping out of your hands! A good pair of wire cutters will probably cost you anywhere from $20-$30.

Electrical Tape

After you make the necessary connections in your DIY work, you are going to want to wrap them with something for an extra layer of security. You don’t need to go overboard with this – just a layer or two of well-placed tape will be enough to do the job. Now that they come in multiple colors, you can go the extra step and devise a special color scheme for yourself.

Wiring Detector

This is a device that lets you double check if the wiring conditions have been properly set up. All you do is plug it into an outlet, and it will tell you if there is faulty wiring present.

Insulated Screwdrivers

In the process of removing and installing things, there will be a lot of screwing and unscrewing. You are going to want screwdrivers that have insulated shafts and handles. Many people will say that insulated screwdrivers aren’t necessary if you test your voltage carefully, but it is far better to be safe than sorry.


A multimeter contains both an ammeter and a voltmeter, which will allow you to measure the amount of electrical current in a circuit and hence determine if it is live. You ALWAYS want to test if something is live before you touch it.

Tool Belt

Where would you be without a handy dandy belt to hold all your tools? It is far more efficient and safer for a DIY electrician to have their tools available within arm’s reach.

Wire Connectors

These tiny yet handy pieces of equipment are essential for splicing your wires and help you meet the necessary safety codes. It is a direct code violation to twist the wires up and then use tape to keep them together.

 Work Gloves

This is an emergency piece of equipment that you will hopefully never have to use. There are rare cases where you will have to handle live wires, and doing so with bare hands is a guaranteed way to endure a fatal electricity-induced accident. A pair of hot work gloves can handle certain voltages and keep you out of harm’s way.


Sometimes, you are going to have to work in conditions that have less than optimal lighting. In order to conduct your work safely, you need to see exactly what you are doing. This can be a larger lamp that you carry with you or a head lamp that attaches to your head and lets you conduct your work with both hands.


These refer to any type of screws you might need: face plate screws, mounting screws, and more. These are essential in case your installed products don’t come with any (or enough). Rather than stop an installation halfway to purchase screws, you will have them at your disposal.

That’s really all you need! Also, remember that you do not have to break the bank in order to buy reliable tools. A good $100-200 investment is about the maximum you should be spending for all of the tools featured in this article.