Kleins (linemans pliars). There's a reason why everyone just calls them Kleins. Klein 12? in 1 screwdriver. Few other screw drivers. Wire strippers - Klien with padded grip. Hammer, utility knife, marker, pencil. Stanley fat max tape measure. 6 in 1 tap (klein). Wiggie. Never had much luck with many GB tools. Some greenlee and Ideal is good too.
Re: Basic Tools#52427 05/27/0502:21 AM05/27/0502:21 AM
As Tom said, GBs are OK, but one of the J-men looked at me at one of my first jobs and told me
Throw those things (GB linesmans pliers) in your truck, or use 'em around the house. For this job, buy a real set of pliers (Klein)
+1 for Klein, Ideal, Greenlee. Stick with a brand name - there are a few brands that contract with the "big 3" listed above (many Craftsman electrical hand tools are made by Klein, for example), but generally stick with the known names.
Consider the extra money for the Journeyman series, and the "2000 series" from Klein. The Journeyman feature is composite handles that make squeezin' easier, and the "2000's" are hardened to cut steel (nice when the "wood apes" leave nails sticking into your work area... or you need to cut BX/Greenfield or tracks for can lights). Just my $0.02.
+1 for the Klien 6-in-1 tap and the 10-in-1 screwdriver.
For lighter weight, consider the "reflex" (?) stripper/cutters from Ideal - they're a composite design - very lightweight. Not sure how they'll hold up to long term use, but worth a look.
The one tool most apprentices always seem to lack is ... A PENCIL Can't count the times I find apprentices running conduit , mounting boxes etc with no pencil. I go through pencils and sharpie markers like their free!
Re: Basic Tools#52430 05/29/0504:25 AM05/29/0504:25 AM
Shovel, pipe bender, fish tape, ladders...wait, those are almost always company provided. Work gloves, work boots, hat, hard hat, sunglesses, safety glasses....wait, that's clothing. 10n1, stripper, linesmans w/tape puller, dikes, flashlight, sharpies, tape measure, quality multi-tool, cordless drill, hacksaw....now we're getting somewhere.
Surprised no one has mentioned channel locks. Are you going into residential, commerical, or industrial? if commercial or industrial, you will definately need channel lock pliers, go with their brand, 420 or 422 are the most useful. I've tried to teach my helpers that a good electrician always has his channel locks in his pocket / tool belt.