If you’re reading this page on Rack-A-Tiers’ site, chances are you’re an electrician with some amount of experience in the field. Whether you’re a veteran or an apprentice, you’re probably looking to find more convenient solutions to your everyday work challenges. You look for reliable tools, not cheap gimmicks, and you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re looking at the top tools for an electrical rough in.
What is the Electrical Rough In Stage?
In case you’re new, let’s recap what a rough-in is. Every construction site has several phases in the electrical field. Generally, for house wiring, you’ll find three of these phases:
- Trim out
Rough-in is the phase where you pull branch circuits through studs, mount panels and boxes, and wire wall devices. Everyone has their set of tools they pull out just for residential – here are my top choices:
Racky Bit Rough-In Kit
First, I recommend the Racky Bit Rough-In Kit. Electricians know that every rough-in wiring calls for several drill bits. I prefer a Robertson for my devices and breakers, and Phillips for any screws or mounting I need to do. This kit has double-ended shafts making it easy to switch from wiring an outlet to landing home runs in your panel. The Racky Kit also has different Robertson sizes for any kind of screw you use. I’ve used the smaller Robertsons for Phillips screws, and the bigger ones for normal Robertson head screws. I appreciate having all my bits color-coded like these for easy recognition, and you will too.
Check out the Racky Bit Rough-In Kit
Ridgid Gen5x Drill/Impact Combo Set
Next, my drill of choice is the Ridgid Gen5x Drill/Impact combo set. I’ve put many miles into both tools. I have left them outside in the rain, carried them through filthy attics, dropped them from ladders, and burned through countless spade bits (yes, even the impact gets the spade bits). I’ve used my Ridgid set for six years and I’m completely happy, even with higher-end sets available. Ridgid also offers a lifetime guarantee. If there is any defect, or anything breaks you can take your tool and get it replaced. Home Depot makes this process easy, as well. Get yourself a Ridgid drill/Impact combo set, and you’ll be set for many rough-in wirings to come.
Learn More About the Ridgid Combo Set
The next tool I would recommend is one I’m sure you’ve seen on social media: the Cable Chase by Rack-A-Tiers. This device mounts to roof trusses, ceiling joists, or wherever you are pulling your wire. Nine scrape-free holes allow for your most common Romex and low-voltage cable sizes. This is one of my favorite tools because it virtually eliminates the hassle of stapling long homeruns. Save yourself countless hours and busted thumbs, get the Cable Chase. Screw it to whatever wooden framing member you’re using and pull your cable right through. The Cable Chase cuts hours of your residential wiring for a faster turnaround and more houses roughed in.
Simplify Your Homeruns With Cable Chase
The Level Jack is another piece of material that speeds up a common layout for homes. Often, in areas where TVs or computers are present, you need to install an outlet box and low-voltage mud ring on either side of the same stud. It takes time to measure and mark the outlet box, mount it to the center, and then repeat on the other side of the stud. The Level Jack solves this problem. Mount one box, set the Level Jack on the stud lined up with the mounted box and screw it down. You have a built-in mud ring the drywallers can cut out. No more measuring and cutting in low voltage rings and fishing cables through a finished wall. Install the Level Jack and leave your cable hanging out.
Try Level Jack for Your Next Electrical Rough-In
Rack-A-Tiers Auger Bits
One issue I’ve come across during electrical installations is finding reliable bits for drilling through studs and walls. The spade bits I’ve used get dull fast. They also struggle to drill through material consistently. Rack-A-Tiers offers a solution in the form of their Rack-A-Tiers Auger Bits. These bits come in two sizes: 7.5 inches and 18”. For me, the 7.5” bit comes in handy for drilling between studs and ceiling joists. The 18” bit is a great tool for drilling through layers, say through the bottom of a cabinet and floor. These bits are designed to protect the cutting edge from nails and screws, these bits are sure to last a long time.
Experience the NEW Rack-A-Tiers Auger Bits
A go-to tool for any electrical rough in is a multi-screwdriver. My favorite is my Klein Tools 11-in-1. This driver houses all the common bits like dual Phillips, Robertsons, flatheads, and Torx. The 11-in-1 is also durable for even the toughest panel screws. I have used mine on service calls and rough-ins alike and haven’t been let down yet. Klein also offers a long line of other multibit screwdrivers and nut drivers. An honorable mention is the 7-in-1 Impact Flip Socket with Handle. Boasting seven impact hex bits on a shaft made to fit a Klein screwdriver handle, this multi-bit nut driver is the twin to the 10-in-1. Simplify your rough-in loadout with these two tools.
Add the Klein 11-in-1 Screwdriver to Your Toolbag
One of the main complaints I have after work is wrist and forearm pain. Most of the time it comes from screwdrivers and wire nuts. The folks at Rack-A-Tiers have a solution for wire nuts. The Nut Blaster is a neat little tool. A funnel-shaped gadget with a ¼ chuck at the other end, the Nut Blaster saves your wrists and arms when twisting on wire nuts. Two sizes offer a universal fit for any wire nut, and the impact chuck makes a drill your second-best friend.
Save Your Hands, Wrists, & Time With Nut Blaster
Estwing 28 oz. Framing Hammer
Every rough-in installation needs a trusty hammer. My hammer of choice is the Estwing 28 oz. Framing Hammer. My grandfather used it, my dad swore by them, and it’s my favorite hammer brand to this day. I’ve gone through many hammers and none of them beat the quality and durability of the Estwing. Most are knockoffs or have fiberglass necks that like to break or crack, but not Estwing. I even upsized my tool bag to make room for my Estwing. Go get yourself one today.
Check Out This Estwing hammer
Klein Tools Side Cutting Pliers
A classic tool I use for any electrical installation is my Klein Side Cutting Pliers, or Lineman pliers. The first set of pliers to go into my pocket and the universal pair I carry when I run an errand or crawl through an attic. Klein has an undeniable hold on the electrician’s plier market and this set is the reason. These pliers date back 170 years and are the staple of any electrician’s loadout. I swear by my Klein’s, and I’ll stick with Klein for my career.
See the Klein Tools Side Cutting Pliers
Croc’s Needle Nose Wire Strippers
A far newer set of pliers taking the industry is the Croc’s Needle Nose Wire Strippers. Built for ergonomics, you won’t find bulking padding or awkward, uncomfortable curves. These strippers have natural handle curves to allow for a seamless grip. They come with extra functionality too. Wire strippers, screw cutters, and crimpers make these a one-stop shop for terminating a panel or an outlet installation. They also have a blade (bought separately) for stripping NM cable. Boy, let me tell you, when I saw that blade in action the first time, I was amazed. I had to get me one. Find yourself a pair and see for yourself what the hype is about.
Check Out the Croc's Needle Nose Wire Strippers
Rack-A-Tiers Wire Dispenser
Finally, the last tool for rough-ins I swear by is the Rack-A-Tiers Wire Dispenser. This gadget is a two-piece dispenser that snaps together for storage and separates for use. Use it for wire reels up to 34”, as a workbench, sawhorse, pipe vise, and even a seat in a pinch. The lightweight construction and small footprint make this a favorite of mine. Each identical half has a handle and several slots for reel axles and even for carrying conduit. I’ve used these in muddy manholes, clean university classrooms, and dusty house rough-ins. I’ve pulled off 8-10 wire spools from this dispenser, and I’ve even used it for the big reels nearing 34”. I am always relieved whenever I see one of these on my company’s service trucks. Go get one for your truck today.
See the Best Selling Wire Dispenser of All Time
Elevate Your Electrical Rough-In
These are just the start of any successful electrician’s loadout. They’re additions that will make your residential electrical rough in easier and faster. We’ve covered bit sets to pliers and hammers, and each one is a wise investment. Whenever you’re looking to upgrade your toolset, look no further than Rack-A-Tiers. Their range of tools will leave you thinking, “Hey I’ve always wondered if there was a better way to do that and I finally found it!” Rack-A-Tiers specializes in getting common sense inventions made by electricians out to other electricians in the field. Remember, let Rack-A-Tiers help you work smarter, not harder!