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#43062 - 10/04/04 10:05 PM What's in your tool box?
jesseh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 2
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone. I have just been hired on as a 1st year apprentice and before i start on Wednesday i want to make sure i'm fully prepared. So tell me, what's in your tool box? What tools do i really need?

Thanks for the help.


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Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#43063 - 10/04/04 11:12 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
What's in my tool box, and what I really need are two different things. The goal in life is to only need a tape measure to use as a pointer, a coffee cup holster would be nice too.

But you can get a good package deal from the supply house of the basics.

Klien tools The 28-piece electrician tool set (Cat. No. 80028) offers the professional or do-it-yourselfer a full assortment of basic screwdrivers, nut drivers and pliers; a double-sided power-return rule; magnetic torpedo level; wire stripper/cutter; crimping tool; adjustable wrench; utility knife and protective eyewear. The set comes with a 16-inch canvas tool bag.

A screw gun maybe... That and a good patient additude. If doing resi, you better just get some good knee pads, you're going to go into small dark holes no one else wants to go in.

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 10-05-2004).]
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#43064 - 10/04/04 11:30 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: kamloops BC Canada

#43065 - 10/04/04 11:42 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Denver, CO USA
There's a pretty basic rule that whatever tools are in your toolbox, they will be the ones you don't need and frequent trips to the truck and the tool store will be required.

#43066 - 10/04/04 11:49 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Welcome to ECN!.
Congratulations on the Apprenticeship.
What's in my toolbox?.
Well, all sorts of nasty things, the last time I looked.
Seriously though, I'd recommend you get a good quality meter for testing circuits to make sure they are de-energised.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#43067 - 10/05/04 03:44 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
Dave55 Offline

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 666
Loc: Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
Your most important tool is your mind. Be Safe! PLEASE read the safety section of this site. In my opinion the next two or three most important tools are non-contact voltage pens, and volt meters to make sure what you're working on is dead so you can enjoy another day of the finest trade around.


#43068 - 10/05/04 04:52 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
You might want to hold off on buying a lot of tools until you work for a few days to see what types of work they expect you to do. IMHO, only buy quality brand name tools (Klien, Ideal, Greenlee). Many tools look the same, but don't perform or last the same.

For your first day, a tool belt, good wire strippers (Ideal t-strippers are cheap, but work great) don't get a multi function stripper, KLIEN linemans pliers, a set of screwdrivers any rand will do if you're on a budget, but you'll want kliens soon. A good tape measure (Fat Max). These will get you through the first few days until you see what they expect of you, they may expect you to master the use of a shovel, in that case a drill would be useless.

#43069 - 10/05/04 06:11 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
cavo148 Offline

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 79
Loc: New Jersey
Let's see,
9" Linesman pliers (also serves as a second hammer in a pinch)
small needle nose pliers
diagonal cutters
good utility knife or equivalent (with extra blades)
tape measure
small assortment of screwdrivers(see as you go)
the Klein 10 in one screwdriver is pretty handy in addition to the traditional screwdrivers as you'll find out.
one (best to have two) pair of channel locks
a hacksaw with extra blades (optional for now probably)
Oh, almost forgot, keep some bandaids in your wallet so you don't get blood on someone's new carpet.
Good luck,

#43070 - 10/05/04 06:25 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
elektrikguy Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 133
Loc: woodstock,ga,usa
My little motto that I remind myself and others.....

"If you need to borrow it......get to the store after work and buy one of your own."

#43071 - 10/06/04 04:25 PM Re: What's in your tool box?
Peter Offline

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 93
Loc: San Diego
How did the first day go?
I was going to suggest a pair of gloves, a bottle of Gatorade and a hardhat. Keep the hardhat in your car. Some job sites won't let you on board without a hard hat. Employers are required to furnish necessary safety equipment but won't always be able to afford it [they say]. So if you need one and they won't give you one, then walk to your car and get it. But if they see you already have one, they won't give you a free one.
As for the tools, it is best to find out what exactly you will be doing before investing in expensive tools you won't likely use or need. I still have a $60 Wiggy I bought when I started and I haven't used it once. Most likely you will be on new construction so there's no live wires involved anyway. But Harbor Freight sells meters for about $10 which will tell you volts, ohms and continuity. The motto of Fluke is: "If it works, it must be a fluke."
A cordless drill in an absolute necessity. You will not need drill bits.
Vices are illegal at construction sites.
The only three quality tools you will need are Klein Linemans Pliers, a Klein 600 screwdriver [square shank], and a good pair of wire stripers. The comination cheap ones don't strip wire well.
For the ChannelLocks, get the GripLock type. [GL 6, 10 or 12] These have V shaped jaws and grip really swell. Bit only one pair. Instead of the other, get a big pair of ViseGrips. I like the LC12 but 10WR will do. This way you only have to concentrate on operating one pair of pliers on your fittings.
As for hacksaws, the Chinese kind will last for one day but that is enough to pay for a genuine Lennox. Use 32 tooth blades.
Hammers--Any but no waffle head. Straight claw is slightly better than curved since you can use it as a pick.
Oh, and some toilet paper.

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