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Flashcards in An Electrician's Tools Deck (21):

Leather Work Gloves

Made of cowhide or some equivalent, these are used for handling hot lights or dirty cable and hardware. Clip them onto your belt when not wearing them. Leather gloves protect your hands from heat, abrasion, and grime. They cannot necessarily be counted on to protect you from electrical shock. Although they may provide electrical insulation when clean and dry, typically they are moist with sweat, making them a conductor


Glove Clip

a clip that loops over a belt and provides a small spring clamp to hold gloves.



carry a flathead screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver, or better, a single screwdriver with a reversible tip—flathead on one side, Phillips on the other.


knife with retractable blade

Knives are used for cutting gels, foamcore, rope, and so on.



Small, sharp scissors are often handy for making more careful cuts of gels and the like.


Wire Snips

These are used primarily for cutting wire for practical lamps and making wire splices, but have other important uses (See Box)


Crescent Wrench

An adjustable wrench is used to tighten a pipe clamp, adjust the friction of a bail, and perform countless other jobs. The standard 6-in. crescent wrench has a ½-in. maximum jaw opening that is too small to fit the ⅝in. bolt used on many pipe hangers. You can find 6-in. crescent wrenches with an extra wide jaw, which are ideal, or carry an 8-in. wrench, which is bulky


Speed Wrench

A ratcheted ⅜in. square wrench is used for securing sister-lugs (square-headed setscrews) onto bus bars


needle-nose pliers

used for pulling hot scrims out of a light, small repairs, and so forth


Bates Cable Tool

This tool performs three functions necessary for maintaining Bates connectors. It has a pin-cleaner, pin-straightener, and pin-splitter. It comes in its own pouch


T-handle Allen Wrench

When using lug cable, you’ll need a 3/16-in. Allen wrench with a long insulated T-handle, which is used for tightening the setscrews on sister-lugs inside a spider bo


Voltmeter/continuity tester

used to check line voltage (120, 208, or 240 V), check for voltage drop, and locate broken connections in power cords. A continuity tester tests for burnt-out bulbs and fuses and continuity in wires. Some models have a pushbutton on/off switch, which helps prevent inadvertently running down the batteries.


Circuit Tester

Plugs into an Edison outlet and tells you whether the line is hot. Also indicates whether the polarity and grounding are correct


Line sensor (voltage tick)

This device indicates whether a wire has current flowing through it by sensing the magnetic field.



Electricians frequently find themselves working in the dark. When dealing with electricity, you always need to see what you are doing. Small, rugged, focusable flashlights are easy to carry on your belt



Keep several on your belt. an inverted C-47 (a C-74), which is handy to pull hot scrims out of lights


Permanent Marker

used for labeling gels, fixtures, connectors, cables, and so forth


Ballpoint Pen

used for taking notes, filling out paperwork, taking down phone numbers, and so on


Ground Plug Adaptor

when on location, it is good to keep a couple cheaters in your pouch


Cube Tap

Keep a supply of two or three on you


Gaff Tape

Loop sash cord through the tape and attach it to your belt with a carabiner. If the roll is too bulky, you can make a “tape cube.” Fold about 9 in. of tape onto itself, then continue to wind tape around until about 5 or 6 ft of it is wound onto the strip. The tape cube can go in your back pocket. Also applies to Paper tape