Brendan Lamothe

Key Takeaways

  • Opt for pro-grade power tools for better durability and performance.
  • Essential tools include drills, saws, and impact drivers.
  • Precision tools improve the quality of your work.

Essential Power Tools for Electricians

Drill: A key tool for any electrician is a reliable drill. An 18-volt drill is recommended over a 12-volt due to its extended battery life and higher power. Brands such as Milwaukee offer excellent options. Look for the Milwaukee Fuel line for professional-grade tools. Features to consider include a hammer drill function.

Impact Driver: Essential for fastening tasks and assembling components. The 18-volt M18 Milwaukee Fuel model is highly recommended for its compact design and high torque. Typically, drill and impact driver kits come with two batteries and a charger.

Sawzall and Hacksaw: Both tools are useful for cutting tasks. The larger Sawzall is ideal for heavy-duty use, whereas the compact hacksaw version offers more maneuverability. Both operate at 3000 strokes per minute and are 18 volts.

Right Angle Drill (Hole Hog): Useful for drilling in tight spaces, this drill can handle large bits and drill through multiple studs. Ideal for jobs that require precision and the ability to work in confined areas.

Circular Saw: A must-have for cutting wood in residential or commercial projects. Options range from full-sized 7 1/4-inch blade saws to compact 4 1/2-inch blade versions, the latter being more practical for smaller, precise cuts.

Jigsaw: Perfect for detailed cutting work. The jigsaw’s adjustable plate allows for bevel cuts. Suitable for cutting various materials such as metal and wood.

Angle Grinder: Useful for cutting metal, masonry, and other tough materials. An angle grinder provides clean, precise cuts and is an invaluable tool for custom work.

Heat Gun: Though simple, a heat gun is indispensable for tasks like bending PVC. While it may seem basic, its utility cannot be overstated for electricians.

Pro Grade Power Tools Explained

When you're an electrician, having the right power tools is non-negotiable. You need reliable, powerful tools that can handle demanding jobs efficiently. Here are some essential pro-grade power tools you should consider:

Pro Grade Drills

  • 18-Volt Drill: Opt for an 18-volt drill instead of a 12-volt one. It offers more power and a longer-lasting battery. Brands like Milwaukee's Fuel line are excellent choices.
  • Hammer Drill Function: Choose a drill with a hammer drill function for drilling through masonry.
  • Impact Driver: An 18-volt impact driver is ideal for tasks requiring more torque. Look for brushless models like the Milwaukee M18 Fuel for top performance.


  • Sawzall and Hacksaw: Both tools, especially with Milwaukee's pro-grade lines, are indispensable. The hacksaw is lighter and easier to handle, while the full-sized sawzall offers more power and torque.
  • Circular Saw: A versatile tool for cutting wood. A 7 1/4 inch blade covers most needs, but a smaller 4 1/2 inch blade can be handy for more portable needs.
  • Jig Saw: Useful for precision cutting. Opt for models with adjustable plates for bevel cuts.

Drills and Grinders

  • Right Angle Drill or Hole Hog: Perfect for drilling in tight spaces or drilling through multiple studs in one go.
  • Angle Grinder: Essential for cutting metal, masonry, or even cement board. While not used daily, it's crucial when needed.

Miscellaneous Power Tools

  • Heat Gun: Though simple, a heat gun is vital for bending PVC or similar materials. It's a handy tool to have in your arsenal.

Brand Recommendations

  • Milwaukee's Fuel Line: Professional-grade tools designed for durability and high performance.
  • DeWalt's XR Line: Another excellent choice for professional use.
  • Rigid's Octane Line: Known for durability and efficient power usage.

Investing in these pro-grade power tools ensures you are well-equipped to tackle a variety of electrical tasks efficiently and effectively.

Recommended Drills and Drivers

Drills: Opt for a good 18-volt drill over a 12-volt one. The 12-volt models are lighter, but their battery life and power don't match the 18-volt models. If you’re a professional, Milwaukee's Fuel line is highly recommended. This pro-grade line ensures durability and reliability. Each drill should have a hammer function, identifiable by a hammer icon on the side, for drilling through masonry.

Impact Drivers: An 18-volt Milwaukee Fuel impact driver is preferred. This tool provides higher torque and fits into smaller spaces compared to regular drills. It's excellent for fastening and assembling tasks. Look for kits that include both a drill and an impact driver with two batteries and a charger.

Recommended Saws

Hacksaw vs. Sawzall

For an electrician, having a versatile saw is crucial. You have two solid options: the hacksaw and the sawzall. Both serve unique purposes, and you might find it beneficial to have both in your toolkit.


  • One-handed operation
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Suitable for tight spaces


  • Requires two hands
  • More torque and power
  • Ideal for rigorous tasks

Circular Saw

A circular saw is another essential tool, especially in environments where you frequently work with wood. There are different types, and your choice may depend on the specific task at hand.

Features to Consider

  • Blade Size: Commonly 7 1/4 inches, but smaller blades like 4 1/2 inches are available for lighter tasks.
  • Handle Placement: Choose between right-handed, left-handed, or worm drive based on your comfort and the task requirements.
  • Weight: Lighter versions can be operated with one hand, useful for quick, less demanding cuts.

Jig Saw

Jig saws are great for precise cuts and intricate tasks. They can handle various materials, depending on the blade you use.

Key Characteristics

  • Adjustable Plate: Allows you to cut bevels.
  • Blade Options: Metal and wood blades are available.
  • Precision: Ideal for detailed, smaller-scale cuts.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder is a versatile tool, perfect for cutting through metal, masonry, and other tough materials. While you might not use it daily, it's invaluable for specific jobs.

Usage Highlights

  • Metal Cutting: Great for stainless steel and other metals.
  • Masonry Work: Efficient in cutting stone or cement board.
  • Custom Tasks: Essential for custom work in homes and businesses.

By considering these recommendations and understanding your needs, you can make informed decisions about which saws to include in your toolkit. Always prioritize your comfort and the specific demands of your tasks to ensure you choose the most effective tools.

Precision and Specific Use Tools

Precision and specific use tools are essential for electricians due to the varied tasks and environments encountered on the job. One indispensable tool is a jig saw, which is highly useful for making precise cuts in wood and metal. The adjustable plate allows for bevel cuts, making it versatile for detailed work.

An angle grinder is another crucial tool for cutting metal, masonry, and even cement board. It's particularly handy in custom jobs, whether for homes or businesses, allowing for clean and precise cuts that other tools might not achieve.

A heat gun might not seem like a power tool at first, but it's invaluable, especially when bending PVC. Simple yet effective, it uses power to achieve tasks that might otherwise be difficult with other tools.

Other Valuable Tools for Electricians

In addition to drills, one crucial tool is the impact driver. An 18-volt M18 Milwaukee Fuel model, specifically a brushless one, is highly recommended. It provides sufficient torque for fastening, making it ideal for working in tight spaces. Often, it pairs well with a hammer drill in a kit, including batteries and a charger.

Next, you should consider a Sawzall. There are full-sized Sawzalls and more compact hacksaws. Both are 18-volt tools with 3000 strokes per minute. A compact hacksaw is easier to manage with one hand, while the full-sized version might require both hands due to its weight and torque.

For confined spaces, a right-angle drill or a hole hog can be very useful. They help you drill holes through studs easily. They come in various sizes, allowing you to manage small or large bits for different drilling tasks.

Another essential tool is the circular saw. Models range from full-sized with a 7 1/4-inch blade to more compact versions with a 4 1/2-inch blade. The smaller ones are lightweight and suitable for precise cuts, especially in a residential setting.

A jigsaw is beneficial for finer, precise cutting tasks. Some models offer adjustable plates for beveled cuts. They can handle various materials, including metal and wood, making them versatile for residential or custom commercial projects.

An angle grinder can be handy for cutting metal, masonry, or other tough materials. Though not used frequently, it proves invaluable for specific tasks requiring precision and clean cuts.

Finally, don't overlook the heat gun. It's essential for tasks like bending PVC. While it may not seem like a power tool at first glance, it is an indispensable device in the electrician's toolkit.