The Benefits of Ideal Handtools at Menards®

An electrical contractor's job cannot be done correctly without the proper tools. Not only do these tools protect you from electrical shock, but they also make your job easier, ensuring you a quicker turnaround time. In fact, all you need is a comprehensive collection of tough, multipurpose and easy-to-use instruments to get the job done; however, due to the growing number of specialized tool choices, it is difficult to decipher which tools are the right tools. Here's a list of some tools that you should have, which will increase your efficiency and reduce your overhead costs.

IDEAL® Tools
Many of today's on-site injuries primarily occur because of poorly made tools. Yet, some manufacturers make tools that are more ergonomically correct with improved designs which help cut down on hand injuries as well as minimize the number of tools used on the job; one such company is IDEAL Industries, Inc. Not only is IDEAL® the #1 recognized supplier in the Electrical Distribution marketplace, but it also produces professional quality electrical wire supplies.

One of the most common hand tools that electrical contractors use on jobs are pliers. Since different types of pliers are designed to handle specific tasks, you will need to have more than one pair of pliers on hand. To meet all of your electrical contracting needs, IDEAL® offers a large selection of highly specialized pliers, which include side-cutting pliers with crimp and fish tape puller (364-7683), diagonal cutting pliers (364-7684) and long nose pliers (364-7685). With a set of these tools, you can cut, twist and crimp electrical wires with ease. Not only are these tools exceptionally durable and easy-to-use, but they also feature Smart-Grip textured Santoprene handle grips for comfortable, all-day use. Using appropriately designed tools on the job will decrease your chance of wrist strain, tendonitis and any other serious injuries that could result from using inadequate tools.

Cable Cutters
Cable cutters are another essential tool that you should have in your toolbox at all times. Unlike most basic handheld tools, a cable cutter is a combination tool that can function as pliers, a wire cable cutter and a wire stripper. Due to its tremendous versatility, you can use this device to cut through bundled, plastic-sheathed electrical cable and reinforce unhardened bolts. With the IDEAL® brand's 9 1/2" Cable Cutter (364-3229), your jobs will be faster and easier; because this cable cutter is versatile , you can achieve multiple tasks with the use of one single tool.

Wire Connectors
Since a typical electrical contractor will make up to 200 wire connections per day when wiring a new home, it is essential for you to have a full supply of wire connectors on hand at all time. Wire connectors act as fasteners which make a tight and proper connection between two or more solid or stranded wires. Ideal Industries, Inc., a leading force in wire termination technology, features a variety of specialized connectors that are easy-to-use, comfortable and dependable. If you're making connections all day on the job, consider investing in Twister® wire connectors (364-7347, 7350, 7498). Each Twister® connector is specially formulated with a corrosion-resistant compound which provides cooler connections, increased conductivity and improved performance in each wire combination.

When you're wiring for industrial, commercial or residential construction projects, you should also have some wire nuts. The design of the wire nut makes it easy to install and remove, saving you time on the job. Each IDEAL brand® American Classic wire nut (364-7402, 7392, 7389, 7363, 7376) contains a patented, expanding square-wire to ensure a quick, simple and secure wire configuration. To properly handle these wire nuts, all you have to do is attach some stripped wires to a wire nut, and twist. For a more secure and longer lasting connection that won't cause finger fatigue, use a 9-in-1 Ratch-A-Nut (364-3252); not only does this screwdriver have a textured Santoprene grip, but it also has a nut driver built into the bottom of the handle so you can entwine wires firmly together without injuring your wrist or fingers.

Fish Tapes
Since installing power, lighting and telecommunication cable on residential and commercial projects is a common occurrence, you will need fish tape. With this indispensible tool, you can route wiring through walls and electrical conduit more quickly and more efficiently. As every professional electrical contractor needs one of these tools, fish tapes come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small coiled cables to larger self-contained models enclosed in a hard-shelled case for easier handling. Despite all of the available options of fish tape, you'll want one that is exceptionally durable and resistant to moisture. The Tuff-Grip Fish Tape (364-3668) is a great choice of fish tape because it is made of special steel that is resistant to both rust and kinks. Complete your electrical jobs faster with an easy reel fish tape that will tolerate tough work environments, as well as survive the occasional fall from the scaffolding deck to the concrete floor.

Conduit Benders
Bending conduit is a basic task of electrical contractors; in order to perform such a task, you will need a conduit bender. Even though there are many kinds of conduit benders on the market today, all of these specialized tools share the same function: to bend conduit at a particular degree so it will fit your electrical installation. Although the initial design of conduit bending tools remains the same, some companies, like Ideal Industries, Inc., have created tools that are more concerned about safety, durability and reliability. While IDEAL® EMT benders (364-3733-3735) continue to use the preferred Benfield bending system, the benders are now reinforced at stress points so your bends will be more consistent. With its curved track, lightweight aluminum handle and various angle markings, an IDEAL® conduit bender allows you to bend conduit quicker and with more accuracy.

Find all the supplies and expertise you need to complete your electrical jobs at Menards®. Come in to Menards® Electrical department to find the right tools for your electrical projects today!