Finding the perfect Christmas gift is always a struggle, but speaking from my personal experience and humble opinion, you can’t go wrong with giving tools!
Even if your special recipient seems to have everything, there is always something that his/her electrical tool kit is missing, or might need replacing or upgrading ….. Sandy …. just sayin’!
Here is my list of the top five tools that every DIY electrician should have. If you are still scratching your head trying to find just the right present for that special someone, I have scoured the Amazon website for you to find some great buys!
A digital multi-meter or at the very least, a good quality voltage tester or plug tester. This is a must have for everything from simply checking for the presence of power to continuity testing, troubleshooting problems, and checking to see how much current is flowing.
However, if all you only want to know is if there is voltage present or not, a decent non-contact tester will do the trick.
Second on the list is a good set of screwdrivers. You can never have too many screwdrivers on hand, but if you are working with electrical wiring and devices, they should be the right tool for the job.
If you want to build a set one or two drivers at a time and you like to have top quality tools, the choice of most electricians would be Klein Tools Screwdrivers. They are more expensive, and do come in sets and will be cheaper per unit by the set.
However, if you just need a decent set to get your projects started, here is a good 7-piece set from Titan Tools.
Wire Stripping Tool
Number three on my list of “must have” electrical tools is a wire stripping tool. Don’t scrimp here; get a quality set, and again, Klein leads the way for the choice of most professional electricians. A cheap choice in stripping tools will cost you more in the long run with the aggravation caused by a low quality set.
Linesman or Bullnose Pliers
Next on the Christmas list, a good set of Linesman Pliers, or bull-nose pliers. Make certain you get them with a minimum of 8” handles, and 9” is better. They should have a wire cutter in the jaw, and a bonus if they include a crimping jaw as well.
Klein leads the way, but if you find a good quality set for cheaper, you can get away with it if you’re not going to be using them every day. Just make sure you test them out. You don’t want any loose play in the hinge joint, but you also don’t want them so tight that it’s hard to open and close with one hand.
Here’s a decent affordable pair from Stanley, a quality name in tools as well, and at a good price!
While the full list of necessary electrical tools is a long one, I’ve only covered five of the important tools for the DIY guy or gal on your Christmas shopping list, and coming in at #5, it’s a last, but not least situation here. A good cordless drill/driver is one of the most used tools in my kit.
I’ve used Dewalt for many years, but recently I have started building up from one full set to three sets of tools. I can’t be hauling tools from Canada to Arizona, and now to Costa Rica, so I’ve left my best set in Arizona, chose a cheaper alternative for Costa Rica (I hope to spend more time on the beach there than I do working with tools!), and a mid-range set for my time in Canada. For Costa Rica I went with Black & Decker, a 20V drill/driver that flew down with me.
For my Canadian tool kit, I went with a kit that included a skill saw, reciprocating saw, flashlight and drill/driver, and I chose Ryobi. What I liked about that is the multiple tools available that all use the same battery. I’ve noticed a quality difference between Ryobi and Dewalt of course, but the cost difference tipped the scale for me given that I have had to triple my tool ownership! This set makes a great gift for your DIYer on your list.
If you want top quality, you can’t go wrong going with one of the industry leaders in cordless tools, DeWalt. Here’s a perfectly good drill/driver at a great price.
Of course you can add on to your cordless tools using this as a start, or jump right in with a combo kit as well. Happy shopping!
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Thank you in advance for your support!
Terry Peterman, The Internet Electrician