I want to tackle this question about Greenlee vs Klein Tools when it comes to tool for electricians.

If you like this summary, I encourage you to view my recommended apprentice electrician tools.

Klein is the Leader, Greenlee is Still GREAT..

When I was brand-new to the electrical trade, I started with Greenlee electrician tools. A lot of guys would tease me and tell me I didn’t have “Klein Tools”.. because I was so new to the trade, I seriously didn’t know..

But I want to clearly state, once you start buying professional electrical tools from Klein Tools, Greenlee, or Milwaukee Tool, you are entering reliable tools worth their price.

Greenlee Electrical Tools
Greenlee Makes Great Tools for Electricians.. View on Amazon.

And I want to say, I was VERY happy with the Greenlee Starter Kit for Electricians. (And still am.. the screw drivers and linemans pliers are my favorite to date).

But over time, the molded insulation grips on the pliers started coming off because the glue failed. (I could have glued them back on, but I realized removing the insulation became an amazing beating tool for knockouts LOL!)

Greenlee offers two types of insulation grips I’ve noticed on their hand tools (Klein Tools also offers this with their journeyman series pliers):

Greenlee Lineman's Pliers Dipped Grip
These Greenlee Dipped Insulation Lineman’s Pliers will do the job great. I’ve tried them, but I missed the comfortable Greenlee Molded Grip.

Why Do People Make Fun of Greenlee Electrical Tools?

I’ll tell you what, Greenlee makes some awesome hand tools.

And this is from first-hand experience of using them.

I would agree with most people, though.. I do like many of Klein Tools hand tools more, and not just because Klein is the electrical industry leader for hand tools, but Klein’s tools are usually just so nice to use as an electrician. (They’ve thought about all the little things, which actually are useful features to have, and very reliable and durable).

However, it’s important that you are aware that each company in this electrical world specializes in their own tools.

And Greenlee makes some REALLY cool tools, and they are the industry leader in them.

Those are:

  • Knockout kits + Stud Punchers
  • EMT Benders (hand benders, and electric machine benders).
  • Metal Cutting Bits (Unibit / Step-Bits)
  • Cable Pullers + Fish Tapes + Pulling Accessories
  • Material + Storage (Job boxes, Wire Racks or Carts, Wire Stands)

In my experience, by far, Greenlee is a leader in this areas. I’ve seen these listed tools take a beating, and last for MANY years at a big company..

(Note, for a knockout kit, I’d highly recommend a battery operated knock out kit.. however, sometimes you a big bulky knockout kit doesn’t fit, so Greenlee offers many different styles like a hand-crank or hydraulic pump knockout.)

Klein Tools Specializes in Electrician Hand Tools:

Klein Tools Company Logo
Klein Tools is an industry leader for electrician hand tools to make your life easier.

It took me awhile to start buying Klein hand tools for electricians, but I quickly noticed the quality, durability, and ease-of-use.

I will say, Klein Tools was always a little bit more expensive, but I can promise you that not only will it be a quality tool (for the most part), it was thoroughly thought out by real electricians who like to have things simple and truly effective.

You can see Klein Tools also offers two different style of insulation grips on their pliers:

Klein Tools Hardened Steel 9-Inch Lineman Pliers
These are my favorite Klein Tools pliers. They are nimble, able to cut through screws, and can take a BEATING!
Klein Tools J213-9NE Journeyman Grip Pliers
I’d also definitely recommend the Klein Journeyman Grips Pliers, but I personally liked the Greenlee Molded Grips.. I have used these Klein J2000 pliers, and found them a little bulky.

Now Klein Tools specializes in hand tools for electricians. They do not offer drills at the time of writing.

If you are just getting started up, I HIGHLY recommend a Klein Tools apprentice electrician starter kit.

So, within this industry, you usually can’t just buy everything from one company.. they all specialize in their own niches.

Comparing Greenlee vs. Klein Tools, I don’t think you are going to go wrong with either. Ultimately though, I think you’ll get a better experience Klein Tools as I think they’re the best hand tools for electricians.

Wrapping Up…

Milwaukee Tool Company Logo
Milwaukee Tool makes some VERY innovative construction tools, and have recently jumped into the electrician hand tool world.

Now to be fair, there is also the Milwaukee Tool company in terms of electrical tools.

But after all my years of trying my own tools, or being in situations where you have to try other people’s tools because the time crunch is on, and you’re working together… I’ve always found Milwaukee hand tools sub-par to Klein Tools or Greenlee. (they work fine, but it’s just not the same experience)..

(I really like how innovative Milwaukee Tool is as a company, but I felt when using their tools in a real-world setting, sometimes the innovation pulled away from the main focus of the tool.. By the way.. a Milwaukee tape measure is the only tape measure that has broken in half for me and literally rolled back up inside the tape measure never to be seen again.. it’s just important to note.. I’ve always loved a FATMAX tape measure by Stanley Tools..)

A pair of Klein Tools pliers is second to none in this industry (except for the Greenlee Molded handles I like 😎).. and anything else I’ve tried always felt like it just wasn’t there.

Use the Tool for Its Intended Purpose

I never liked when electricians would say “That company’s tools suck!”..

Once you reach the level of all three companies, Klein Tools, Greenlee, and Milwaukee Tool, you are entering the world of professional electrician hand tools.

Now, out of these three companies, there is pros and cons depending on what tool you are looking at, the performance you’ll get out of it, the price you’ll pay, and the enjoyment/reliability.

So understand there will always be a “fan club” of a brand. I have tried to give you a personal experience overview.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

If you have not bought tools yet, then definitely view my recommended apprentice tools for electricians!