Can You Identify This Electrician Equipment?

Ian Fortey

This may be the tastiest-sounding tool in an electrician's kit. What is it?

These fiberglass fish sticks are part of what electricians sometimes call a fishing kit. When you need to run some wires behind a wall already stuffed with insulation, attach them to these sticks and you can pull the wire up just like you're fishing for it.

What is this hole-boring device known as?

When used in conjunction with your handy electric drill, a step bit is a handy tool for an electrician to bore a hole into something like a junction box or a panel. This combination works much faster than a knockout set.

Need an illuminating hands-free device? Try this!

Electricians often need to have a light handy, considering they're going to be working in places without power. A headlamp is a good alternative to a flashlight as it allows you to keep your hands busy elsewhere.

This tool can make a two-person job into a one-person job. Do you recognize it?

Looking for a specific circuit in a panel that isn't labeled can be a pain, but a circuit breaker finder really makes it easier. Rather than randomly flipping circuits while a second person checks to see if the power goes out, a circuit breaker finder allows one person to pinpoint the correct circuit right at the panel.

Can you identify this essential hand-held tool?

Side-cutting pliers are one of the few tools that every electrician is likely to have handy at all times. They're used for cutting wire to size, and it's unlikely an electrician could get much work done without them.

This may be the most basic tool in all of construction. What is it?

A hammer may not be the most obvious tool for an electrician, but it's a necessary part of the toolkit. One example of how an electrician might use a hammer: nailing brackets around an electrical box into place on a support beam.

When you're about to work on an outlet, which tool do you reach for first?

A no-touch voltage tester is an essential tool to use before going to work on an outlet or device to see if it's actually carrying a charge. Hold the tester near the device, and it will detect the presence of electricity so you know how to proceed safely.

What kind of personal protective equipment is this?

An arc-rated shirt is personal protective gear that can protect you from serious harm if you are exposed to an electrical arc. Flame resistant shirts are also available, but while all arc-rated shirts are flame resistant, not all flame resistant shirts are arc-rated.

This tool could save someone else while keeping you safe. Do you know what it's called?

A rescue hook is a pole made from fiberglass. Despite how simple it sounds, this tool could be a lifesaver. Because it's non-conductive, a rescue hook can be used to pull someone away from a live wire without putting yourself at risk of electrocution.

This helpful tool is a standard item for electricians, but what's it called?

Needlenose pliers are surprisingly versatile items that can have any number of uses for an electrician. From holding wires to picking up dropped screws to holding those same screws as you drill them in place, needlenose pliers get the job done.

Do you recognize this essential tool from an electrician's toolkit?

Since electricians obviously need to work with wires, a good wire stripper is essential. This tool can strip the insulation off any standard sized wire. It can be used to cut wires down to size too.

You know what name this elevating piece of equipment goes by, right?

There are any number of occasions when an electrician will need a ladder. Get one that's made of fiberglass if you want it to last a while and still be useful. Fiberglass can stand up to weather and also isn't conductive.

This tool has multiple uses in the field. What's it called?

Tongue-and-groove pliers are also called adjustable pliers, pipe spanners, multi-grips and a few other names. They're useful for tightening cable clamps or yanking out knockouts from electrical boxes.

You can keep everything nice and even with this device. Tell us what it's called.

As with just about any kind of construction work, you need a level to make sure things line up. If you're installing switches or a new electrical box, you want to make sure everything is on the level, right?

This tool can make a job that usually takes a long time go much faster. What do you call it?

A tone generator and probe kit is something of a unique device, but it's also super helpful. if you're dealing with a bunch of wires and want to trace a specific one, attach the tone generator to one end of that wire and the probe will make a sound when it's near the other end of the same wire.

A set of these tools will ensure everything is secure, so tell us what they're called.

A set of nut drivers can be pretty important in the toolkit of an electrician. You can use them for all kinds of things, like installing breakers in an electrical panel or, you know, driving any other nuts you come across.

Sometimes you need to make a hole, and this tool will do it for you. What do you call it?

A sheetrock saw is an indispensable tool for an electrician. When you need to cut in new electrical boxes, this is how the cutting gets done. It's also handy for cutting into a finished ceiling to install recessed lighting.

Name this tool that will help you keep your work organized!

It may sound silly that a labeler is useful to an electrician, but anyone who's ever had to deal with a circuit panel that was not labeled knows that a labeler is 100% necessary for ensuring that work is well organized.

Do you recognize this tool that looks a bit like an adjustable dog leash?

Fish tape is a pretty useful little item when you're wiring a house because it makes the jobs go a little faster. If you need to pull wiring through a pipe, for instance, attaching the wire to the end of the fish tape will allow you to pull it right through lickety-split!

Tell us the name of this super-versatile tool that all electricians need.

Pretty much anyone working in construction is going to need a screwdriver at some point. Electricians can use them for literally dozens of jobs, including securing plates over outlets, screwing down clamps, removing switches and more.

Is the name of this handy tool right on the tip of your tongue?

As you might guess from the name, the wire crimper is a helpful tool for crimping things like terminals onto wires. Once you strip the wire, you insert the metal end into a terminal, and then, on most crimping tools, you can match the color of the terminal to the tool size and squish 'em together.

This unusual tool is helpful when you work with bigger cables. What's it called?

A roto-split is an essential tool for dealing with thick, steel-coated MC cable. Cutting that cable with a pair of normal wire cutters is not impossible, but it's not easy. The roto-split can shear through a cable in no time.

Tell us the name of this equipment that you might find on a skater.

You may not immediately think of kneepads as equipment electricians are going to need, but these can be extremely handy given how much time an electrician may have to spend under things and low to the ground on hard floors.

This tool is a heck of a time-saver, but its name may not ring a bell for everyone.

A hydraulic knockout kit is an interesting time-saver when you need to get a perfectly cut hole in a steel or aluminum box for running wires or setting a fixture. Line up the cutting tool on one side of the surface to be cut with the tool on the other, pump and bang! Hole gets cut.

Tell us the name of this item that will ensure everything is organized and handy for you on the job.

If you're going to use tools, then you should probably have a toolbelt. A toolbelt keeps essentials like your drivers, your cutters, your crimpers and your pliers organized and right at your side.

What name does this multi-use tool that should be in everyone's kit go by?

An electrician's knife is one of those invaluable items that have a multitude of purposes. A proper electrician's knife should have some wire stripping abilities and, of course, should have a non-conductive handle as well.

You can take all kinds of measurements with this device. Do you recognize it?

A multimeter is a useful tool as it's kind of an upgrade to a voltmeter. You can use the multimeter to measure voltage levels, but also amperage levels and resistance, as well as direct currents.

Safety is super important on a job, so you'll want to have these items with you. What are they?

A good pair of rubber-soled boots is a key safety item for anyone working with electricity. Rubber is the best insulator against getting a shock, and you should always have rubber on your feet when working with electricity.

This tool helps to smooth out rough ends. Do you know what it's called?

A pipe reamer is a helpful tool any time you need to cut conduits made from metal that leaves jagged, sharp edges. The reamer can smooth all those sharp edges off and ensure the wire feeds through and no one gets cut.

If you want to know how far it is from outlet to outlet, you'll need this tool, right? Tell us what it is.

Every tradesperson probably has a tape measure because it just makes sense. The spring tape measure as we know it today was patented way back in 1868 by a man named Alvin J. Fellows.

What's the name of this tool that's a triple threat in the hands of an electrician?

A good pair of linesman pliers can really help out in all kinds of situations for an electrician. The flat tips are helpful in grabbing and twisting wire together. There's a cutter for snipping wires and a grip in the middle for pulling wire too.

Sometimes you'll need these for tightening. What's the name these things go by?

Your set of hex keys are pretty important for whenever you run across hex-head screws. A lot of standard screwdriver sets can't manage this type of screw. Hex keys typically come in both standard and metric sizes.

You'll be a lot safer at the end of the day if you use these items. Tell us what they're called.

Like you need boots to protect your feet and goggles to protect your eyes, as an electrician you also need insulated gloves to protect your hands. A good pair of insulated gloves will have rubber liners and some kind of leather on the outside to provide traction and grip.

Any time you're working with other people in the area, it's good to have this handy. What is it?

Reciprocatings aw

Plan on working around a corner? You may need this tool. But can you name it?

To protect wires, you often need to run them through thin metal tubes or conduits. If your conduit needs to bend around a corner in a wall, you need a way to make that happen. That's where a conduit bender comes into play.

This item may seem a little generic, but it's also very versatile. Do you know what it is?

A utility knife or box cutter is pretty standard across different industries. As an electrician, you can use it to cut your electrical tape, strip sheath from non-metallic wire or for any general cutting and slicing of boxes.

When the sparks are flying, you'll be happy you have these handy. What are they?

Safety on the job site is always important, and safety goggles should be worn by anyone working with electricity. An arc or a spark could shoot at your face, and it's wise to protect your eyes when working with drills and other power tools.

Do you recognize this item that can help get things out of your way?

A hole saw can be a lot of help when you need to make a hole from here to there to run wire. They're great for cutting into PVC boxes. Also, if you can't get a hole through with a knockout kit, a hole saw will get the job done.

Power tools are always helpful on a job. Tell us what this one is called.

A reciprocating saw is a key piece of the heavier equipment an electrician might use. Sometimes you really need to bite into materials like struts or conduits. The best way to get this done in a hurry is with a reciprocating saw.

This power tool is key, especially for basement work. What is it called?

A hammer drill can be useful any time, but the hammer function is especially useful for electrical projects if you're working with cement walls and you need to mount anchors for fixtures.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: sturti/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

Like any trade from welding to plumbing to woodworking, electrical work requires a whole host of specialized and unique tools. When working with electricity (which can be incredibly dangerous if you're ill-prepared), you want to make sure you have the right tools and safety equipment for each specific job. Some electrical tools even an amateur could use, but others are incredibly niche and require a bit of training and know-how to use properly. As an electrician, there's a standard set of items you'll probably need every day that will always be right there in your toolbelt. Others will only be required occasionally, but you'll need to know when and how to put them to good use.

A master electrician would be familiar with all the tools and equipment needed for many different kinds of projects. From safety gear to cutting tools to drilling tools and more, there's a heck of a lot to keep track of. So the question is, do you think you have what it takes to recognize all these tools of the electrician's trade? Plug yourself in and take the quiz!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!