DON'T USE THESE TOOLS!!! Use These Tools Instead If You're an Electrician

Brendan Lamothe

Key Takeaways

  • Choose tape measures with user-friendly retraction and visibility.
  • Select hammers that balance well and absorb vibration to reduce hand fatigue.
  • Opt for tools that combine utility with durable, ergonomic design.

Tape Measures to Avoid

Inferior Thin Tape Measures

  • Durability Issues: Thin tapes can't maintain rigidity, becoming limp at longer distances.
  • Measurement Inaccuracy: They fail to withstand necessary extension when measuring, especially overhead.
  • Short Lifespan: Susceptible to damage, thin tapes often require premature replacement.

Self-Standing Tape Measures

  • Annoyance Factor: Requires manual retraction, hindering efficiency during work.
  • Preference Consideration: A lack of automatic retraction can be a deal-breaker for some electricians.
  • Locking Mechanism: The need to engage a lock to hold the tape measure can be cumbersome.

Bulky Tape Measures

  • Size and Comfort: Oversized tape measures can be unwieldy and uncomfortable in a smaller hand.
  • Portability: Bigger tape measures can be inconvenient to carry and store.
  • Necessity: For most tasks, a standard 25-foot tape measure is sufficient; larger tape measures are unnecessary unless in specific circumstances.

Preferred Tape Measure Features

Compact Design

When selecting a tape measure, consider its size and how it fits in your hand. A tape measure with a compact design will be more manageable and portable, allowing for ease of use in various settings.

  • Form-fitting: Smaller tape measures can be easier to hold and use, especially if you prefer tools that fit snugly in your hand.
  • Size: A 25 feet tape measure is often sufficient for most tasks. It allows for significant reach without the bulkiness of larger tape measures.

Dual-Sided Numbering

Dual-sided numbering on a tape measure can enhance its utility by allowing you to read measurements from either side.

  • Convenience: Having measurements on both sides makes it easier to measure when the tape is flipped or in awkward positions.
  • Efficiency: Increases speed during work, as you won't need to flip the tape to read the measurement.

Magnetic Tip

A magnetic tip on a tape measure can be a powerful feature, particularly when you are working alone or need to stick the tape to metal surfaces.

  • Utility: The magnetic tip can hold onto metal, providing an additional hand when you're measuring.
  • Versatility: It allows for one-handed operation and is especially useful when working at height or in hard-to-reach areas.

Extended Reach

The standout length — how far you can extend the tape before it bends — is a crucial element for usability, especially when working on large projects or when reaching across distances.

  • Standout Length: Look for a tape measure with a long standout, such as 13 feet, to ensure stability and horizontal extension.
  • Durability: A wider and more rigid tape can handle extended use and resist snapping, saving you from frequent replacements.

Hammers to Avoid

Inappropriate Hammers for Professionals

Avoid hammers that make you feel as though you're borrowing from your mom's old toolkit—specifically, those ball peen hammers unsuitable for construction tasks. Professional environments call for tools that will not subject you to ridicule or hinder performance. Moreover, select a hammer with a well-balanced grip and enough heft to ensure efficiency and comfort during extended use.

Poor Choice


Ball Peen Hammers

Not designed for construction tasks. Lacks a claw useful for pulling out nails.

Lightweight Hammers

Might not provide sufficient force for professional tasks.

Focus on finding hammers that have:

  • Robust construction without weak points that could easily break.
  • A claw appropriate for construction tasks, enabling easy prying and nail removal.
  • A large striking face to increase the chance of hitting targets precisely.

Hammers with Wooden Handles

Wooden handle hammers often fail to meet the demands of professional use. They can be top-heavy, lack shock absorption, and risk breaking under strenuous work.

Disadvantages of Wooden Handle Hammers:

  • Vibration: Wooden handles transmit more vibration to your hands, leading to discomfort.
  • Durability: Typically less durable and can break with intense use.
  • Pivot Balance: Often poorly balanced, making precision work more difficult.

Hammer Type




Wooden Handle Hammers




Choose hammers with:

  • Insulated grips that absorb shock and prevent vibrations.
  • Steel handles that withstand heavy use and provide balance and leverage.
  • Ergonomic design for better control and reduced hand fatigue.

Preferred Hammer Features

Balanced and Durable

When selecting a hammer, you'll need one that feels right in your hand—a balanced tool that won't overstrain your wrist. Too top-heavy? It's going to tire you out. Instead, go for a hammer with a pivot point that balances the weight between the handle and head. That way, you can swing with precision rather than brute force.

Insulated Handle

Insulation matters. An uninsulated hammer transfers every bit of vibration from impact right into your hand. Over time, this can lead to discomfort, even injury. To combat this, choose a hammer with a rubber grip. Not only does it provide a comfortable hold, but it also dampens the vibration, allowing you to work longer with less fatigue.

Efficient Claw Design

The design of the claw on a hammer is not something to overlook. For optimal utility, the claw should:

  • Allow you to pry with ease.
  • Enable clawing into objects without awkward wrist angles.
  • Provide versatility for pulling nails or ripping out stubborn fixtures.

Large Striking Face

A hammer's face can make or break a tool's effectiveness—literally. A larger face:

  • Increases hit accuracy. Less chance of missed strikes.
  • Reduces damage to surfaces. A wider impact area spreads the force, minimizing indentations.

Quick Tip: Look for hammers that have a single-piece metal construction as they are less likely to break at critical junctures compared to those with glued heads or wooden handles.

Stiletto Hammers

Considerations When Choosing a Hammer:

  • Weight Balance: Ensure the hammer has a good pivot point for balance. Avoid top-heavy hammers as they can lead to hand fatigue.

  • Vibration Insulation: Steel hammers with vibration-dampening grips are ideal. They reduce the strain on your hand compared to wooden hammers which transfer vibration directly to your hand.

Specific Features to Look for:

  • Claw Angle and Design: A claw that allows easy prying and digging is preferable. Hammers with a flat claw are more functional for construction work.

  • Face Size: A larger face size gives you a better chance of hitting your target effectively.

  • Structure and Durability: Choose hammers with a solid, one-piece construction. Avoid hammers with glued-on heads that can easily break off.

Stiletto Hammer Advantages:

  • Lightweight: Stiletto hammers are made from materials like aluminum, offering a lightweight tool without sacrificing size or durability.

  • Surface Area: Larger surface area on the face for a higher chance of striking accurately.

  • Comfort: The grip on Stiletto hammers provides comfort and minimizes vibration transferred to your hand during use.

Why a Good Hammer Matters for You:

Using the right hammer can make your tasks easier, prevent unnecessary strain, and increase efficiency on the job site. A quality hammer like those offered by Stiletto allows you to work longer without fatigue and with greater precision.