The Standards for Insulated Tools
Have you seen the sleek design of our brand-new Electrician’s Insulated Tools? The slimmer handle design makes them more comfortable in your hand and easier to store in a tool pouch. Great features, for sure, but when you’re talking about insulated tools, the most important feature should be safety.
Here are a few important guidelines and things to look for when searching for insulated tools.
At a minimum, your insulated tools should have the official International 1000-volt rating symbol printed somewhere on the tool. In order to use this marking, tools must actually be tested up to 10,000 volts!
There are also very strict safety standards for Insulated Tools, as there should be. When you go to buy insulated tools you should make sure they comply with these standards. There are actually three applicable standards that apply to Insulated tools:
- IEC 60900:2012
- ASTM F1505-10
- NFPA 70E
The International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its standards cover dimensions, guards, and more, and also cover test procedures to ensure that tools will actually protect users from incidental contact with voltages up to 1000 VAC. The original standard was written up in the mid-1980’s and was most recently updated in 2012.
ASTM, or the American Society for Testing and Materials issued their own standard in 1994, that pulls a lot of elements from the IEC’s standard, and made minor changes to allow for cultural language interpretation and translation. The current standards were issued in 2010.
The NFPA is the National Fire Protection Association. Their standard focuses on electrical safety in the workplace. The standard for insulated tools covers three different electrical hazard categories: Electric Shock, Arc-Flash, and Arc-Blast.
All Klein Tools Insulated Tools have the International 1000V rating symbol and meet or exceed the three standards listed above.
If you are in Europe or Australia, you should know that Klein’s new Electrician’s Insulated Tools also have the VDE-GS certification symbol. VDE is an independent testing and certification institute in Germany, and with their certification, they have verified that Klein’s Electrician’s Insulated Tools conform to the IEC 60900 standards mentioned earlier.
Though meeting the standards is important, it is just one aspect of ensuring your Insulated Tools are safe. Another big part is using and caring for your tools. Here is a great list of tips for doing just that.
And lastly, it’s extremely important to know when the insulation on your tools has become damaged or compromised in some way. One of our product managers, David Klein, gives a great explanation of how to inspect for damage in this #HowTUESday video: