16 Electrical Supplies Items You Should Have For Surprise Electrical Work

electrical supplies

Electrical work is usually a surprise, and it strikes without warning. Most of the time, when it happens, we find that we do not have the right electrical supplies to fix the problem. While some electrical work takes special supplies and tools, there are some electrical supplies that can be used interchangeably between jobs and it is best to have them on hand before the unexpected occurs.

We decided to research and find out which electrical supplies every household should have when surprise electrical work occurs. We finally settled on 16 that we feel you cannot live without. We will also tell you where to buy them. So, before your next surprise electrical job hits, be sure to have these electrical supplies available in your household.

Comparison Table

The Importance of Electrical Supplies

assortment electrical equipment table

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Like we said before, electrical work is not usually something you plan. It happens suddenly, and when it happens, you have to fix it as quickly as possible. Having the right electrical supplies on hand can make all the difference in getting things up and running quickly.

Where Can I Get Electrical Supplies?

What Types of Electrical Supplies Are Available From an Electrical Distributor?

Which Electrical Supplies Will I Need Most for Those Surprise Electrical Jobs?

Why Is It Important to Have These Supplies on Hand?

Are Electrical Supplies Expensive?

The 16 Electrical Supplies You Need for Electrical Projects

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We decided on 16 tools, or electrical supplies, that are needed for just about every electrical project. We feel confident that if you will add these to your electrical supplies arsenal, you will be ready for that next job that comes up unexpectedly.


Stanley 33-158 5m/16 x 3/4-Inch PowerLock Tape Rule
  • Stanley - Black & Decker
  • Centimeter graduation
  • High Quality New!!!!!!!
  • Heat treated spring for longer life. 16" and 19.2" stud center markings on blade for framing purposes
  • Easy reach blade remains rigid for 7'

One of the most needed and used tools is a tape measure. These flexible rulers are usually made of metal, cloth, or fiberglass, and come in different lengths. They are used to measure distance, and most electrical projects will require the use of one.


Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer
  • Built for Durability and Comfort
  • Drop Forged Heat Treated 16 ounce Steel Head, Natural Hardwood Polished Handle
  • Curved Claw for Extraction and Demolition
  • Comfortable Contoured Anti-Vibration Handle
  • Overall Dimensions: Length: 13 Inch, Width: 5.25 Inch, Height: 1.25 Inch

Any electrical project that requires securing nails will need a hammer. Whether driving wire staples or nailing electrical boxes to the wall, this is a must-have tool for your toolbox. The claw on the back of the hammer is also necessary to pull nails out and remove the old items that need to be replaced.


Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight, Black
  • Superior quality craftsmanship with weather-resistant seals and anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance. D batteries required (best with Polaroid D batteries)
  • A premium drop resistant and water resistant flashlight renowned for its quality, durability and reliability
  • Advanced lighting instrument made in America with a diamond knurled design and a powerful projecting beam making it suitable for camping, climbing, fishing, hunting, etc.
  • Designed for professionals and consumers alike, the Maglite LED flashlights build on the experience in craftsmanship, engineering, and advanced technology evident in all Mag flashlights
  • Includes a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Water-Resistant: Yes IPX4

Electrical work requires navigating a lot of dark spaces like attics and basements. Also, if the power goes out, the flashlight may be the best tool in your arsenal. You may want to buy more than one.


ORIENTOOLS Utility Knife Box Cutter Razor Auto-Lock 4-Pack Set, Retractable Box Cutter Snap Off Blades Knife, for Office, Home, Arts, Crafts, Red and Yellow
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - The knife body with ABS material is of a certain heat resistance, more harder and durable than the ordinary plastic material. It's lightweight, also convenient to carry.
  • SECURITY BUTTON - To prevent the blade from slipping out, we designed the button with 2 parts. If you want to lock the blade, while holding the top button, press the button down below.
  • 4-SET - 2 small yellow and 2 big red cutter knives. You can use them in different purposes.
  • SUSPENSIBLE - The tail of the knife body with hang rope design, you can hang up the knife on the wall or the tool holder. It's also easy to carry or store in your tool box.
  • MULTI-USE - Perfect for DIY handwork, paper cutting, also great as box cutter, they will be your good helper at home, school and office

Whether opening boxes of electrical supplies, cutting electrical tape, or stripping non-metallic sheathing, a utility knife is used either directly or indirectly in most electrical projects.


Stanley 42-291 8 Inch Magnetic Torpedo Level
  • High impact ABS plastic
  • Top reading feature allows greater visibility
  • One level plumb and 45 vial
  • Magnetic strip
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

If you are putting in boxes, outlets, and covers, or installing anything, this should be the first tool that you reach for to make sure they are level. A torpedo level is the difference between doing a project and doing it right.


Stanley 84-105 6-Inch Diagonal Cutting Plier
  • 6-inch diagonal pliers with long-tempered jaws for hard-to-reach areas
  • Forged-steel construction for durability
  • Rust-resistant finish for greater protection; double-dipped handle for extra comfort
  • Hardened cutting edges and chrome-nickel steel for extra-tough cutting edge
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI standards

Diagonal cutting pliers are sometimes called side snips and are made for cutting wire. They have a cutting edge all the way to the tip that enables the user to get into tight spaces and cut wire. Some types can even detect live wires. You definitely want to add these to your toolbox.


Klein Tools NCVT-1 Non-Contact Voltage Tester with Low Battery Indicator and Auto Shutdown
  • Non-contact detection of voltage in cables, cords, circuit breakers, lighting fixtures, switches, outlets, and wires
  • High intensity, bright green LED indicates the tester is operational and aids in illuminating the workspace
  • When voltage is detected, a high intensity, bright red LED illuminates and a warning tone sounds
  • Discreet digitally controlled ON/OFF power button
  • Auto power-off feature conserves and extends battery life

Perhaps this item should have been #1 on our list. With electricity, safety has to come first, and this handy tool ensures that it is. This tester will detect electricity just by being near to an outlet slot or wire. If it does not read any live electricity, it is safe to proceed with your project.


Tongue and Groove Pliers, 16-1/2 in
  • Steel
  • Country of manufacture: United States
  • Manufacturer: Channellock

Tongue and groove pliers are adjustable and can be used for many projects including turning and holding nuts, tightening cable clamps, and adjusting irregularly shaped objects. These pliers come in handy because they can adjust to different sizes, but the handle stays the same distance for easy handling and leverage.


Wire Stripper/Cutter (10-18 AWG Solid) Klein Tools 11045
  • Cuts, strips, loops and gauges 10-18 AWG solid wire
  • Spring-loaded action for self-opening
  • Easy-to-read wire gauge markings on both sides for stripping in either direction
  • Hardened steel with precision ground stripping holes
  • Wire looping and bending holes

Wire has an electrical insulation that covers the electrical wires, and wire strippers are used to strip this insulation away.  Wire strippers have a variety of holes to allow different gauges of wire to be cut. Once the insulation is cut all the way around, it can be pulled or stripped away easily.


Allen Wrench/Hex Key Set (HUGE SET OF 36 WRENCHES WITH BALL END) Metric & SAE Sizes in Both Long & Short Arm
  • HUGE 36 PIECE SET - Includes 18 Metric Sizes & 18 SAE Sizes in Both Short Arm & Long Arm with Ball Ends
  • SOLID CARBON CONSTRUCTION - Made from Industrial Strength Carbon Steel in a Beautiful Chrome (Metric) and Black Oxide (SAE) Finish
  • SIZE MARKING ON EACH WRENCH & CASE - Sizes are marked on each Hex Key for Easy Selection & Organization. Please Note Our Smallest Wrenches do not have a size marked on the wrench itself due to the small diameter of the wrench
  • PERFECT ADDITION TO ANY GARAGE - Allen Wrenches are a Must Have for any Homeowner. They're perfect for working on Bicycles, Furniture, Motorcycles, RC Cars, Machinery, Vehicles, Guns, and So Much More!
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE - Here at Owl Tools (USA Based Company) we only care about your satisfaction. We try our best to ensure each product is in perfect condition before you get it, but if something is not up to your satisfaction, please contact us for a full refund or replacement.

An Allen wrench set, or Hex set, comes in both standard and metric sizes. Both are needed for electrical projects. Hex head screws, which are used in a lot of electrical installations, require this kind of tool for proper adjustment.


Straight Blade Screwdriver Set, 6 Piece Set | SCR-910.00
  • Ideal for smaller jobs and hard to reach places
  • Tempered blades in a plated handle with swivel head
  • Comes packed in a convenient hard plastic box
  • 6 piece set
  • Screwdrivers include: 1.00, 1.40, 2.00, 2.40, 3.00 and 3.50 millimeters

From removing, to installing; straight-blade screwdrivers are a necessity for electricians and anyone who does DIY projects. When buying straight-blade screwdrivers, it is best to buy a set because they come in different sizes, and it is good to have a variety on hand. If you are choosing just one straight-blade screwdriver, choose a medium-sized one, as this is the most common.


Craftsman 9-47139 Phillips Screwdriver Set, 5 Piece
  • Handles are designed for strength and chemical resistance
  • Alloy steel blades are heat-treated for maximum strength and durability
  • Phillips blade tips are designed to provide tight tolerance and fit
  • #0 x 1-1/2 in., #0 x 2-1/2 in., #1 x 1-1/2 in., #1 x 3 in., #2 x 4 in
  • Made in USA

Phillips screwdrivers come in #1, #2, and #3 tip sizes. They also come in different lengths and are used in just about every electrical project. It is best to have an assortment of these on hand to make sure they cover all the bases. These come in sets just like the straight-blade screwdrivers and are worth buying.


Volmate Digital LCD Voltmeter Ammeter Ohmmeter Multimeter Volt AC DC Tester Meter by Volmate
  • Volmate Digital LCD Voltmeter Ammeter Ohmmeter Multimeter Volt AC DC Tester Meter
  • Toy
  • Volmate

We consider this one a necessity. As with the voltage tester, the voltmeter and the multimeter are extremely important for safety. A voltmeter reads voltage levels and verifies if circuits are live or if they are turned off. Multimeters can also read voltage levels, but they also read current, resistance, DC voltage, and amperage. This should be one of your first purchases.


Crimping Tool For Heat Shrink Connectors - Ratcheting Wire Crimper - Crimping Pliers - Ratchet Terminal Crimper - Wire Crimp Tool by Wirefy
  • PROFESSIONAL CRIMPING TOOL - this hand crimper has efficient ratcheting mechanism and professional grade crimping die for proper rock-solid crimps every time. This crimping tool works best with heat shrink connectors
  • PRECISE RATCHETING MECHANISM - wire connectors are crimped by squeezing the handle through a complete ratcheting cycle until the handle releases automatically. The ratcheting function allows to secure a wire connector while you can insert the wires into the crimp
  • ADJUSTABLE CRIMPING FORCE - The tool has a star wheel that allows to adjust crimping height to ensure the right amount of crimping force depending on your crimping project. A designated quick release lever allows to open the crimper jaws in any position
  • ERGONOMIC COMFORTABLE HANDLES - The ergonomic, cushioned, non-slippery handles were designed to ensure strong grips in any condition. These handles have enough leverage to comfortably crimp AWG 22-10 splices
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Wirefy stands behind the quality of our products. We offer lifetime warranty for our crimping tools. If you have any issues during the lifetime of your crimper, just let us know. Our customer experience team is always here to help

Wire crimpers are a tool used to join two pieces of metal together, either permanently or temporarily. The tool deforms one or both pieces of metal, causing them to hold on to each other. The result of this tool’s work is called a crimp. One example would be attaching a metal connector to exposed wires, then crimping the connector until the wires are inside of it and no longer exposed.


Lineman's Pliers, Combination Pliers with Wire Stripper/Crimper/Cutter Function, Heavy Duty Side Cutting Professional High-Leverage Plier, 8-1/2 inch NEWACALOX
  • Multifunctional: This tool can be used as wire stripper also works as a wire cutter,Pliers. the wire stripper can be loosened with a screwdriver and and adjusted it with your finger if it out of alignment.
  • The handle made by environmental PP+TPR materials, proTouch grips provide extra comfort and reduces hand fatigue.
  • Easy to use ,thicken the metal portion, save your force when you use this tool; tool joint haved reserved reasonable gaps to reduce friction loss.
  • Durable nickel chromium steel construction and Induction hardened cutting edge stays sharper, long service life.
  • Ideal for removing stripped or special screws and bolts of larger sizes, 1 year's guarantee

If these pliers are important for a lineman to use, then every household should have a set for their electrical projects. These pliers can do it all. They will grip wires, twist wires together, and cut wires. The tip is used for twisting wires. There is a cutting blade in the center of the tool, and the handles are used to grip and pull the wire.


Fish Tape 200-Foot is Non-Conductive Fiberglass, Flexible for Conduit Measuring as Pull Line Klein Tools 56014
  • Permanent, laser etched 1-foot increments on the tape allow you to more accurately measure the depth of conduit runs and determine the amount of tape left to pay out
  • Non-conductive, fiberglass fish tape slides easily over existing wires and through multiple bends
  • The lightweight and strong fiberglass tape resists harsh elements and is strength rated up to 500 pulling pounds
  • The 17-Inch case diameter means you can reel in 10-percent more tape in a single revolution vs. a 16-Inch (406 mm) case
  • Durable 7-Inch leader helps push through crowded conduit

A fish tape is a long, thin, flat steel wire that is wound up inside a donut-shaped wheel. It is used to pull wire through an electrical conduit. “Pulling” wire through an electrical conduit is almost impossible without the use of this tool. But, by attaching the steel wire of the fish tape to the wires on the other side, you can “fish” them through the conduit from the other end; hence, the name.

Conclusion

There you have it – the 16 items you should have on hand the next time surprise electrical work comes up. Your local electrical distributor will have these electrical supplies plus everything else you will need to complete your project. If you don’t know your local electrical distributor, you can easily find them in the phone book or on the internet. Remember, it is best to prepare ahead of time, so pick these up today before you actually need them. You will be glad you did.

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