Wire Installation Tools Tips

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How can I protect cables?

Plastic grommet

If you have to run your wires through small opening or around sharp curves, or simply want to protect your cables when exiting openings with rough edges, small rubber grommets come in all sizes to fit your application perfectly. Cable grommets are ideal for running large amounts of wire through your home, office or hardware location. Cable grommets come in either rubber or plastic and can accommodate a range of wire sizes and come in varying widths to suit your needs.

How do I select quality hand tools?

Cool Tools for Installing Wiring

A cable caster hand tool is a spring-loaded gun that fires a dart attached to a line. If you need to run cable through hard-to-reach spaces such as suspended ceilings, rafters and sub-floors, shoot the dart across the area to the other side, attach the cable, and reel the dart back in, bringing the cable with it.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Retractable cords and cables

When you are installing electrical equipment, what do you do with excess wires that you don't necessarily want to cut short? Cable Turtle electric wire managers are a great way to keep unsightly electric wire and cable out of sight. Simply wind the excess wire around the open Cable Turtle wire organizer, close the shell, and all unnecessary wires are neatly tucked away!

What is a good way to route cables inexpensively?

Routing cables and cords

Sometimes you don't need a cable raceway, wire loom, or braided sleeve to install wiring. Often a simple set of cable clips will do the job. Our Belkin Cable Clips neatly organize up to twelve wires or cords. Installation takes seconds with the self-adhesive mounting, and ID labels are included for easy cord identification.

How do I select quality hand tools?

Multimeters: Digital vs. Analog

Although most technicians use digital multimeters for testing and troubleshooting, there is still a place for the older analog readout. This is because the needle movement can give you a better sense of how a system is changing than a digital readout does. The model 310 is the favorite hand-held analog VOM in the maintenance and telecommunications field. Features 18 ranges and functions, AC/DC voltage measurement to 1200V, drop resistant, high-impact case, diode overload protected meter, fused resistance ranges and more.

How do I select quality hand tools?

Cool Tools for Installing Wiring

A fish tape is a sturdy hand tool used to pull cables through otherwise difficult areas. The tape is reeled out and pushed through the area where the wire needs to go; the wire is attached to the end from the other side, and the tape is then reeled back in, bringing the wire with it.

What should I look for in a conduit bender?

What To Look For In a Conduit Bender

There are many conduit benders on the market for sale. Some metal bending tools advertise their versatility, while others claim their tool is very lightweight for traveling to jobsites. All of these things can be important, but the most vital asset of the conduit bender is its accuracy and durability. Look for one that can perform rapid, yet accurate 90-degree bends. Also, make sure the metal bending tool is durable, able to handle EMT, IMC, and Rigid conduit. Although there are very lightweight models on the market, some of those are less likely to hold up to the tough task of bending miles of conduit for various jobs.

How can I get an exact bend in my cable conduit?

Conduit Benders Are Helpful Tools

Electricians often employ the use of conduits to enclose wires and cables for protection. Also, conduits are used as a means to run cables along or behind walls. When conduits need to turn a corner, the piping must be somehow bent; that is what a conduit bender is for. Those working in wire management can purchase industrial-strength conduit benders. It is much too hard to find pre-bent conduits that meet your exact specifications. With a conduit bender, you can do the bending on the job, quickly and accurately.

What can protective eyewear do for me?

Protect Your Eyes When Using Tools

When dealing with wire installation tools, it is important to protect yourself. You are mistaken if you think a hand tool cannot bring damage to your face. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) about 1,000 eye injuries happen in American workplaces each day. And about 70 percent of eye injuries on the job are caused by flying particles in which the particles are smaller than a pin head. When tugging on wires there is plenty of opportunity for your eyes to become injured. Make sure you wear eyewear that meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and OSHA requirements so you know you are being well protected. About 90 percent of eye injuries can be avoided with proper eye wear, according to OSHA.

Klein Tools sells special eye wear that meets all ANSI and OSHA requirements. And with the contemporary designs out today, wearing protective eye wear can be stylish, too. Here is what a pair of protective glasses can do for you:

  • Anti-fog coating to keep your lenses from fogging up when you work
  • Anti-scratch coating to prevent scratching on your lenses
  • Protection from UVA and UVB radiation
  • Clear peripheral vision
  • A frame and lens ventilation channel reduces moisture build up and fogging
  • Brow guard for impact energy absorption
  • Unobstructed vision
  • Side shield
  • Universal molded-in nose piece
  • Brown tint for outdoor use
  • Choice of color

What is so great about Klein Tools' Journeyman tools?

Klein Tools' Popular Journeyman Line

Klein Tools is known for its Journeyman premium tools collection. These tools, whether they are pliers or wire cutters or crimping tools, are state-of-the-art with contoured, cushioned handles and a contoured thumb area that make working comfortable. They are also color-coded yellow, dark blue, red or light blue for quick identification of the tool.

The non-slip handle surface of Klein's Journeyman tools provides a firmer grip without sacrificing tool strength or durability. These handles have two facets: a soft handle on the outer surface that is comfortable and provides a good grip, as well as a hard, inner surface that is intended to stand up to harsh work environments.

Journeyman tools also carry a lifetime warranty.

What does induction hardening and hot riveting do for hand tools?

Induction Hardening and Hot Riveting for Tools

Klein Tools takes pride in the extra steps it takes to make high quality hand tools. Two features the company is especially proud of is its use of induction hardening and hot riveting on its tools. Here is an explanation of both:

  • Induction hardening: gives it a longer life
  • Hot riveting: prevents the handle from wobbling and allows for smooth operating
If you're doing some wire management work, consider these tools to help do the job.

What do heavy duty tools do?

Heavy Duty Tools Offer More

Heavy duty tools are made to endure and make your life easier. For example, some Klein electrician tools on the market that are heavy duty include Klein's heavy duty long-nose pliers, heavy duty wire strippers and heavy duty cable shears. There are particular characteristics that make heavy tools unique, especially Klein tools. For example, heavy duty pliers have a heavier design which makes for improved cutting power. Longer handles give the user better reach and leverage. With ergonomical curves, heavy duty wire strippers are also better if they've been double-dipped for comfort. With these strippers, you can cut, clean and loop your wire with one tool. And, heavy duty cable shears cut all types of cable and most hardened wire neatly with no fraying or compression of the ends.

Why buy Klein insulated electric tools?

Klein Insulated Electric Tools

Some Klein electrical tools are insulated. This means they provide added protection against shock from energized sources with voltage up to 1,000 volts. These tools reduce the risk of injury. Know that not all tools with plastic coatings or plastic handles protect against electrical shock. Klein electrical tools with this type of protection are marked with the official international 1,000-volt rating symbol, which is a symbol that has two triangles and reads "1000 V." If there is even a small chance your tools will come into contact with an energized source, you should buy a tool with this symbol. Klein Tools has insulated tool kits, pliers, knives, cable cutters and more.

Klein electrical tools that are insulated:

  • Have bright orange handles to make them easily identifiable
  • Are clearly marked with the 1,000-volt symbol
  • Are made up of two layers -- the high-dielectric white inner layer is a thick, tough base coating bonded to the tool; the outer layer is a flame-resistant bright orange color

What are some types of tool sets Klein offers and how much do they cost?

Klein Tool Sets

Klein tool sets vary in complexity from a basic tool assortment to premium sets with Klein Journeyman pliers that feature state-of-the-art, dual-material handle designs. Whether you need a full-service tool set with more than 40 pieces or a basic tool set of just six pieces, just be prepared to spend a lot more money on the bigger sets. For example, on www.mytoolstore.com, which offers quality tools at discount prices, a six-piece set will run you about $70; a 12-piece set about $170; a 28-piece set nearly $300; and the 41-piece set will set you back more than $500. So you know what you are getting for that kind of money, here is a sampling of what Klein has to offer in the way of tool sets, courtesy of kleintools.com and mytoolstore.com.

The six piece set: a good portable set for electricians on the go. Includes side-cutting pliers, wire stripper, one Phillips-tip screwdriver, one cabinet-tip screwdriver, a four-pocket leather pouch and a lightweight utility belt.

The 12-piece set: great for the professional or the apprentice. Includes a seven-pocket leather tool pouch holds two Phillips-tip screwdrivers, two cabinet-tip screwdrivers, a wire stripper and cutter, diagonal cutting pliers, long-nose pliers, side cutting pliers, pump pliers, power return measuring tape and one web belt.

The 28-piece electrician tool set: offers the professional or do-it-yourselfer a full assortment of basic screwdrivers, nut drivers and pliers, a double-sided power-return rule, magnetic torpedo level, wire stripper/cutter, crimping tool, adjustable wrench, utility knife and protective eye wear. The set comes with a 16-inch canvas tool bag, as well.

The 41-piece Journeyman tool set: offers the professional a comprehensive set of comfortable and durable tools. Includes a premium assortment of tools, including a full array of screwdrivers and nut drivers, Journeyman pliers, strippers/cutters, 120 feet of Speedway flat steel fish tape, a magnetic torpedo level, magnetic-tip power-return rule, and protective eye wear. The set also comes contained in an 18-inch, 10-pocket canvas tool bag with a leather bottom.

How can I protect cables?

EZWIND Extension Cord Organizer

Are you using a long extension cord? Does it kink or tangle easily? The EZWIND Cord Organizer is the perfect tool for managing extension cords and helping to keep them in good condition. Using the EZWIND wire organizer you can easily unwind just the right amount of cord, and it lets you unwind from either end of the cord. EZWIND can add years to the life of your cords because the special center post helps avoid aggravating twists and curls that seem to creep into most extension cords.

How should I treat Klein pliers?

How to Treat Klein Pliers

There are many types of Klein hand tools on the market. If you are shopping specifically for pliers, here are some safety tips to ensure your Klein pliers go a long way, courtesy of Klein Tools:

  • Pliers should not be used for cutting hardened wire unless specifically manufactured for this purpose.
  • Never expose pliers to excessive heat. This may draw the temper and ruin the tool.
  • Don't bend stiff wire with light pliers. Needle nose pliers can be damaged by using the tips to bend too large a wire. Use a sturdier tool.
  • Never use pliers as a hammer nor hammer on the handles. They may crack or break, or edges may be nicked by such abuse.
  • Never extend the length of handles to secure greater leverage. Use a larger pair of pliers or a bolt cutter.
  • Pliers should not be used on nuts or bolts. A wrench will do the job better and with less risk of damage to the fastener.
  • Oil pliers occasionally. A drop of oil at the hinge will lengthen tool life and assure easy operation.
  • Safety glasses or goggles should be worn when cutting wire, etc. to protect eyes.
  • The cushion grips on handles are provided primarily for comfort. Unless specifically specified as "insulated," handles are not intended to give any degree of protection against electric shock and should not be used on live electric circuits.

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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.