We generally advise against doing electrical projects yourself. But if you decide you want to tackle one or two, here are a few tools you might want to consider.

  1. Non-contact voltage protector. This is a critical tool that can save your life. It senses power without touching wires or terminals. If it detects voltage, it lights up and/or makes noise. So you’ll know if there is power before you begin work.
  2. Circuit tester. A circuit tester can help you identify which wire is hot, if the outlet is wired correctly, and if there is a reliable ground.
  3. Wire strippers. Wire strippers not only strip wire, they can cut wire or cable so you can hook wires for screw terminals, basically acting as pliers. More advanced wire strippers can also slice the outer jacket of cable without damaging the wires inside.
  4. Cable ripper. These remove the plastic outer jacket on electrical cable.
  5. Fish tape. This role of flexible metal ribbon is fed through walls, ceilings or conduit to hook your cable onto the end of the fish tape, and then pull the cable through. A 25-foot version should be sufficient.
  6. Push-in wire connectors. Even though twist-on connectors are standard, push-in connectors are easier and faster to use.
  7. Auger bits. If you are going to drill lots of holes, auger bits are faster and easier than standard bits.
  8. Recessed light hole saw. This is an essential toll is you are installing recessed light cans in a drywall ceiling.
  9. Cordless screwdriver. You’ll need this when you are installing outlets, switches and fixtures. Select one that will allow you to go forward or reverse simply by turning the driver. You should have bits for both a regular screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver.
  10. Tape measure. A tape measure is necessary for a variety of measurements, such as setting heights for switches and outlets, centering light fixture boxes and marking surfaces for cutouts.
  11. Level. This will allow you to make sure outlet covers, switch covers, etc. are level.