There’s no doubt about it, being an electrician can be a dangerous job. That’s why it’s one of the worst jobs for enthusiastic DIYers to try to do themselves. One wrong move and they can get seriously hurt or risk setting their house afire. When it comes to electricity, you really don’t want to be messing around.
One thing the experts know is that an attitude of safety will protect against most of the hazards you will come up against in your day-to-day work. Why even risk a fire or shock if a few simple tools will protect you? Here are our favorite safety tools for 2020 that will help keep you injury-free for years to come.
Non-contact voltage tester
A voltage tester shouldn’t be a substitute for a multimeter, but they’re handy to have in your pocket when you need to test a wire or outlet quickly.
If you’re looking for a backup voltage tester or just getting started, the Neoteck Non-Contact Voltage Tester is a serviceable option at $12. It will detect voltage from 12 to 1000 volts and will give you a different light level for low, middle, and high voltage. It even comes with a flashlight to help you see in dark spaces. Reviewers’ main concern is that it can be overly sensitive; one person even said it beeps on his dining room table. If you need something quick, this one will do.
If you have a little more money to invest, the Klein Tools NCVT-3R is a great option at just under $30. This voltage tester registers both standard and low-voltage wiring and can tell you the difference. It uses standard AAA batteries and powers off automatically to help conserve power. Reviewers love that it includes a built-in LED light that you can operate independently of the voltage tester to help you work in dark spaces. Reviewers also say the beep is less annoying than some other brands.
Insulated hand tools
Of course, you always take the precautions of shutting off power and testing wires before you start poking your tools around, but it’s a great idea to have a set of insulated tools just in case something slips or you drop a tool.
These ABN Insulated tools come highly recommended by reviewers. You’ll get a pair of lineman’s pliers, diagonal cutting pliers, and long nose pliers for $26. They’re tested to be safe up to 1,000 V.
This RDEER 1000V Insulated Screwdriver Set is also safe for up to 1000 V. At $34, you’ll receive 11 heads that are interchangeable in the insulated handle. The heads are magnetic, although some reviewers say the magnet isn’t really very strong.
If you’re ready to really invest some money in insulated tools, this 80-piece set from Wiha includes everything you could ever need. At $1,575, it’s not cheap, but it comes with a lifetime guarantee for manufacturer defects.
You can’t do much electrical work without your eyes, so make sure you’re protecting them as you work. You might need to shop around to find a pair that’s comfortable on your face, but at less than $9, you can’t go wrong with these 3M Safety Glasses. They have foam gaskets for added comfort, an anti-fog coating, and a wrap-around design to block as little of your vision as possible.
By taking a few simple precautions and using the right safety equipment, you can keep working in the electrical field injury-free for years to come!
We’d love to hear from you. What are some safety items you recommend?