5 Tools that Make You Better at Your Job

BY: Christina Hansen


There's plenty to be said for dressing for success, but if you're an electrician, general contractor or carpenter, it all comes down to skill - and the tools you equip yourself with. When time is of the essence and there's no room or budget for error, here are 5 different tools and components that will help knock out tasks quickly and efficiently, and make you look even better at your job.


EZ-Cut™ Template and Level
LSDI Ez-Cut Template and LevelElectrically speaking, there aren't many things that are less impressive than visible gaps and ragged drywall edges peeking out from behind receptacle wall plates. They're ugly, can present electrical hazards, and worst of all, are just plain unprofessional. Maintain the quality of your work, and your good reputation, by making perfectly sized, perfectly level junction box cutouts every time.

Sound tricky? It's easier than you think. All you need is a pencil, a drywall saw, and most importantly, LSD's EZ-Cut Template™ and Level. Designed to guide you through both single and double-gang cutouts, this lightweight template has built-in levels, so you'll know that everything is properly alligned before you even begin tracing. And when you follow the lines, you're guaranteed to cut holes that will be completely concealed by faceplates – the way they're supposed to be.

Eyeballing drywall cutouts? Leave that to the amateurs.

Perfect for: Electrical contractors


Leica D5 Distometer
Leica Disto D5When it comes to ordering building materials, wrong measurements can lead to major delays, wasted money, and high levels of frustration. The timely and accurate completion of your project relies on accurate measurements, and faster you can get those, the more valuable you'll be to your clients.

Fumbling with measuring tapes and calculators may be the way it's always been done, but that method takes up valuable time, and also leaves plenty of opportunities for error. Stay on your feet, save time, and eliminate the chances of human error by using the Leica DISTO™ D5 Distance Meter for instant-read room dimensions and length measurements.

Equipped with a laser, digital point-finder and tilt sensor, this handheld unit lets you obtain ultra-accurate lengths, squares, and volume and trapezium measurements by doing nothing more than standing in one place and pushing a button. It also works both indoors and out, so you won't need to worry about light levels or switching tools – one unit does it all, and you get to take all the credit.

Perfect for: Builders, painters, carpenters, landscapers, and real estate companies


Pro Grabit Stripped Screw Remover
Pro GrabIt Damaged Screw RemoverIt's funny how the smallest things can sometimes cost you the most time. Case in point: stripped and broken screws. There's no way around removing them, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn’t find a faster and easier way to do it. Luckily, we know of a way to speed up this particular chore, and it's called the Pro Grabit Damaged Screw Remover.

Rack-a-Tiers Pro Grabit is an industrial-grade, dual-sided bit that attaches to your power drill and tackles stripped screws in two easy steps. First, the burnishing reamer end cleans out the center of the screw head until it's smooth and free of grooves. Then, you just turn the bit around, keep your drill set on "reverse," and use the remover end to bite into the screw's head and gently draw it out.

Sounds easy, right? Just as it should be. After all, a pro like you has better things to worry about.

Perfect for: Contractors, carpenters, cabinetry installers, and home DIY’ers


Super Wrist Magnet
Super Wrist MagnetNothing says "unprofessional" like the sight of you crawling around on hands and knees, cursing under your breath, as you search for lost nails, screws, and hardware. From now on, keep your cool – and your clients' respect – with a little sanity-saver we like to call the Super Wrist Magnet.

Made up of 6 powerful neodymium ("Rare Earth") magnets and lightweight steel, this must-have wristband can hold up to 6 lbs of small steel hardware components, and is covered in neoprene for comfortable all-day wear. Say goodbye to frustrating hardware searches and time-wasting trips to the store for replacements – from now on, it's all business.

Perfect for: Roofers, furniture assemblers, mechanics, and contractors


Flir i7 Compact Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera
Extech i7 Compact Thermal Imaging Infrared CameraSmall leaks and electrical shorts may not be causing much trouble now, but can do a lot of damage if not taken care of in their early stages. Whether you're remodeling, working on an electrical system, or trying to diagnose mold and moisture problems, it's in the best interest of both you and your clients to locate and resolve all in-wall problems during the same job, so that no nasty surprises turn up down the road.

How are you supposed to see through walls and into the future? With Extech's Flir i7 Compact Infrared Camera, of course. When aimed at walls and ductwork, this handheld infrared imager is able to detect even the slightest variations in temperature, cluing you into pipe and duct leaks, overheated electrical wiring, insulation gaps, water damage and more.

The Flir i7 may reveal unexpected issues that your clients will have to take care of, but that's not a bad thing - when all is said and done, they'll appreciate your thoroughness, and the fact that trouble spots were found before they got out of hand.

Perfect for: Remodeling contractors, plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians, and home inspectors