Included in this category are all types of hand tools,such as screwdrivers,pliers, wrenches; powered tools such as drills and power hammers; large tools such as conduit threaders and benders; and cable pulling equipment.
A thorough knowledge of tools and equipment used in the installation and maintenance of electrical systems is of paramount importance to electrical people looking to save time, boost productivity, and save money. Such equipment ranges from a tiny screwdriver used to adjust a potentiometer on a circuit board to a large conduit bender used to make intricate yet repetitive bends in large sizes of rigid metallic conduit 6-in. pipe
Since the beginning of the industry, hand tools such as pliers, wrenches, cable skinners, and screwdrivers have been the basic tools of the trade. What has evolved is the safety and shape of some of these. Insulation is almost universally applied to metal tool handles, and plastics are being used as a material of construction for those items where it is practical. Offsets and other strategies are being implemented to make tools fit into tight spaces, to lessen fatigue, and to increase effectiveness. But for the most part, basic tools are easily recognizable.
Specialized tools for telecommunications and data work have made their way into today's tool pouch. Torque screwdrivers and wrenches are now used routinely as more attention is paid to proper tightening of connections. As a result, today's tool pouches are tailored to hold most of the assortment of tools needed by an electrician at the jobsite.
Speeding the process of sizing, installing, and supporting raceway systems and mounting equipment are a wide variety of power tools, such as drills, saws, hole punches, conduit benders, rotary hammers, cable pullers, and many others. The hole punch has many powered variations, including dies for RS232 connectors and others that have become common components installed on electrical projects. Powered crimpers have allowed compression connectors to gain acceptance as an alternative to using bolted ones.
Many times, larger power tools are set up in a trailer, providing a mobile machine shop on the jobsite. This permits batch fabrication of subassemblies, faster installation, and time and cost savings.
Battery-powered tools are very popular because of their portability, increased power, longer battery life, and overall convenience. Cordless drills are particularly effective where work must be done overhead or in hard-to-reach locations. Their weight and size have been reduced as battery technology has advanced.
A relatively new line of equipment is tools needed for the installation of rigid nonmetallic conduit.
Cable pulling tools and equipment
The most diversified tools used by the electrical industry, pulling tools range from vacuums used for blowing in pull lines, to cable pulling eyes, to stands that support cable reels. Depending on the nature of the insulation or jacketing material and the weight of the cable, various types of cable pulling lubricants are available.
When installing long runs of large-diameter cable into cable trays, special rigging and pulling equipment is needed. Payoff devices, sheaves at direction changes, rollers, and dynomometers are required. Similar equipment is required when installing conductors on overhead polelines or in underground duct bank installations.
Cable preparation tools
Depending on the size and voltage of the cable being worked on, various tools for preparation of cable for terminating or splicing are available. They range from sandpaper used to remove the semiconductor film from medium voltage insulation, to high pressure indent equipment for making compression connections and butt splices, to hot air blowers for heat shrink-type tubing installation and stress cone terminations and splices.