Electrical Tool Reviews & Buying Guides

When you talk to electricians, tools become a sort of sacred thing. Everyone has their favorites. Still, we have swayed more than one journeyman by placing a new tool in his hands. Our electrical tool reviews aim to reveal what electricians think about new products coming to market. Those might include a Klein non-contact voltage tester, Southwire RB1000 BendStation, or even hand tools. The new Milwaukee Gen2 combination wire pliers made a particularly big impact with some of our guys. Hands-on Electrical Tool Reviews Our hands-on electrical tool reviews take things like press tools and metal hole saws and find out if they work faster than existing products. Manufacturers are quick to make claims, but testing those claims is what helps Pros and know if a tool can cut it in the field. Our Pro electricians work with us to determine whether or not new tools are accurate, ergonomic, and/or just plain helpful.

Skil 6716 Impact Hammer Drill Preview

Skil Impact Drill 6716 Preview

The Skil 6716 16mm Impact Drill is new and joins the 6002 and 6006 in the company’s lineup of products designed to provide more efficient and powerful drilling into masonry and metals such as steel plate. This new hammer drill extendings the company’s existing range of 10mm and 13mm impact drills. Positioned at the top of Skil’s lineup, the 6716 hammer drill has a powerful and reliable 710 W motor with an all-metal bearing system. It offers the highest rotation speed (up to 3200 rpm) and impact rate (51,200 bpm) in its class for efficient metal and masonry drilling.

Makita Drywall Screwdriver FS6200TP Quick Look

Makita FS6200TP Drywall Screwdriver Preview

Makita’s new drywall screwdriver line comes with an impressive new lightweight design. There are three new models and each features a 6-amp motor, aluminum gear housing, adjustable depth locator, and LED work light. The only difference between models is the maximum speed (which of course begs the question: why not one tool with three settings?). The FS6200 delivers 0-6,000 RPM while the FS4200 delivers 0-4,000 RPM – and both weigh just 2.9 lbs. The FS2200 delivers 0-2,500 RPM and weighs 3.5 lbs. Makita also provides several model options: The FS4200A features a 50 ft. cord and the FS4200TP a 50 ft. twist lock cord. The FS6200TP also features a 50 ft. twist lock power cord.

A.W. Sperry CS550A Circuit Breaker Finder

AW Sperry CS550A Circuit Breaker Finder

When it comes to identifying circuit breakers in an existing home, using a circuit breaker finder may be the easiest way to make a difficult and tedious project as simple as possible. By using a transmitter and receiver, a circuit breaker finder like the A.W. Sperry CS550A quickly and easily identifies individual branch circuits at the panel box without interrupting power. It is quite simply the easiest, if not best way to accurately locate circuit breakers. The system is compact in size and extremely easy to use and locates both AC Breakers and Fuses.

Mastech MS8229 Auto-Range 5-in-1 Digital Multimeter

Mastech MS8229 Auto-Range 5-in-1 Digital Multimeter

Sometimes it’s nice to have a tool that simply does it all… The newly released Mastech MS8229 Digital Multimeter (DMM) is an improved and modified version of the Mastech MS8209 and does it all. It combines a multimeter, a sound level meter, thermometer, luxmeter, and humidity meter all in a single box. The unit has some very handy features. It provides temperature & humidity display and has an audible + LED warning for correct connection of the probes. The back-lit LCD Screen makes for a very easy to read screen, in dark or light rooms.

Ideal Suretest Digital Analyzer 61-165

Ideal Suretest Digital Analyzer 61-165

The IDEAL SureTest Circuit Analyzer 61-165 has two functions. First, it can test the physical structure of the branch circuit. The SureTest Circuit Analyzer calculates Voltage Drop and Percent of Voltage drop at 12, 15, and 20 amp loads in a matter of seconds. With its patented technology, it can perform this test even if there are loads on the circuit, and without tripping a breaker or interrupting the load. The Available Short Circuit Current, and the resistance of each conductor Hot, Neutral, and Ground are also measured and displayed. The second function is that it can test the performance of AFCI/GFCI protection from different points on the branch circuit.

Triplett 9610 Plug-Bug GFCI Receptacle Tester Review

Triplett PlugBug 2 GFCI Receptacle Tester Review

For use on 110~125VAC receptacles, the Triplett 9610 Plug-Bug Receptacle Tester detects common wiring problems in standard and GFCI outlets. There’s not much to say about this product. To test, you simply plug it into any standard 110V-125V AC 15 or 20-amp receptacle and observe the light pattern. Once you rule out any wiring faults, you just push the yellow button to test proper operation of ground fault (GFCI) receptacles.

How High Should I Mount a Light Switch?

How High to Mount a Light Switch?

We covered placement of outlet receptacles in another article, but we were also asked about the location of switches when wiring up a room. While the NEC doesn’t specify the height of switches, it is pretty much standard procedure in most places to put them at 48″ on-center. The exception would be for homes where wheelchair-accessibility is a major concern (in which case you can place them around 40″).

Milwaukee Deep Cut Bandsaws Preview

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation introduces four new Deep Cut Band Saws that deliver industry leading performance, durability, and productivity. The new band saws deliver on the heritage of long-term reliability and performance that make Milwaukee Band Saws the standard in industrial metalworking.

Milwaukee D Handle Drill Right Angle kit

Milwaukee D Handle Drill with Right Angle Drive Review 1107-6

We reviewed the Milwaukee 1107-6 7 amp D-handle drill with the optional right angle drive attachment and were blown away by its powerful torque and drilling capability, especially in tight corners. This is a tool that, bar none, any serious contractor should have in their arsenal. This tool is not for bargain hunters, however as it will set you back quite a bit to benefit from its stellar performance.