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Tools And Materials

Electrical Tool Guide

When you have electrical flaws, it is often easiest to fix the problem yourself rather than call in an electrician. If you plan on DIY electrical home repairs, you'll need to pick up some tools to help you out.

Circuit Testers
Circuit or EMF Testers determine whether the juice is still running through circuits even after the power is shut off. Skipping this step can give you a jolt you don't want to get! You can get a circuit tester for as little as three bucks or so. But truthfully, spending a bit more (about ten dollars) and getting an EMF tester will take so much hassle out of the process, it's worth spending the extra money.

Receptacle Testers
Similarly, a receptacle tester takes the guesswork out of testing outlets and, again, is about ten bucks or less. You'll never regret having them on hand.

As for the rest of this list, you may be able to substitute other tools for some you lack. But remember: any tools you use for electrical work must be insulated with a non-conductive material such as plastic, foam rubber or some other covering that will reduce the risk of shock. Never use metal-handled tools!

What You'll Need
For any electrical repairs, you'll need at least the first four items in this list, all of which are cheap and nice to have around.

  • Circuit or EMF testers
  • Continuity Tester to test switches and sockets
  • Wire Stripper (preferably with attached bolt cutter)
  • Screwdrivers with insulated handles
  • Electrical Tape
  • Plastic Screw-on Wire Connectors
  • Pliers
  • Box Cutter or Exacto blade
  • Electric Drill with assorted spade drill bits for coring out holes. Cordless is best for outdoor projects and much more convenient for indoor ones as well
  • Grounded (3-prong) Extension Cord
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