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8 Best Wire

Oct 20, 2023Oct 20, 2023

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Wiring projects are challenging enough—let a wire-pulling tool do the hard part for you.

If you’re tackling a home wiring project, whether it's electrical, HDMI, or phone and data, chances are that you’ll benefit from a wire-pulling tool. These handy products are designed to grab and pull wires through enclosed spaces like interior walls, conduit, ductwork, or underneath flooring so you can get the job done quickly—and, crucially, without creating any unnecessary damage or alterations to finished work. Wire-pulling tools aren't exactly cheap, but if you consider the time and energy they save you, we think they’re worth the investment.

Wire-pulling tools come in a few different types, so make sure that you choose the one most helpful to you and your project.

These tools consist of long lengths of narrow "tape"—made of either steel or fiberglass—coiled inside an enclosed reel. Large handles allow the user to hold the reel with one hand and pull or push the tape with the other. Fish tape is ideal for long wire runs, like conduit, and since it typically has distance markings printed right on it, you’ll know exactly how much has been played out.

Long, thin rods—usually made of fiberglass— are less flexible than tape, and keep their shape better during use. This rigidity makes them easy to use, and better for jobs where fish tape would get bunched up. Rods aren't as long as fish tape though, so they’re best for short distances.

Magnetic options use strong rare-earth magnets to pull wire without needing long tapes or rods. One magnet is attached to the wire inside the wall, and is guided through the space by a second magnet on the other side of the wall. The exterior magnet is usually inside of a roller, which makes it easy for the user to maintain close contact with the wall without damaging it. If you’re dealing with insulation, make sure the interior magnet has a tapered shape to push through it.

Regardless of the type of wire puller you choose, if you’re at all concerned about potential conductivity, make sure to use a fiberglass product instead of metal.

I’ve used several types of wire pulling tools over the years as a contractor, and kept that hands-on experience in mind when assembling this list. We made sure to include models from brands that we’ve come to know and trust, like Klein and Greenlee, and selected others based on user feedback and positive reviews. We also did our best to maintain a useful variety of fish tape, rods, and magnetic options at different price points. Regardless of your budget or type of project, you can find an option here that’ll make your projects easier.

We’re big fans of Klein Tools products, and this fish tape puller is a great example of their quality construction and functional design. Its 100-foot length should be sufficient for the majority of home wiring projects, and the case is specifically designed to allow for smooth and efficient payout.

To make things even easier, a seven-inch spiral steel leader helps to power through conduit that's already occupied. Even though the high-impact case is durable enough for frequent use, it's still light enough to transport and carry around a job site comfortably.

If you’re looking for a reliable wire puller and don't have the budget or need for an expensive model, this Klein Tools fish tape is a great choice. Even though it's priced considerably lower than most options, it still provides a high-quality, durable case and an optimized handle that requires minimal effort from the user.

The laser-etched distance markers don't rub or fade away, and at one-foot increments, show exactly how much tape needs to be rolled out to reach the end of your conduit. The steel tape is rigid enough to allow for easy pushing and pulling, too, and the double-loop tip makes for hassle-free wire connections.

These luminescent fiberglass rods glow in the dark, making them perfectly suited for projects that involve fishing wires in dark or poorly lit spaces. This kit includes three five-foot sections which can be screwed together, allowing you to select the length most convenient for your task.

You also get a bullet tip for pushing through and a J-hook for grabbing and pulling wire back. The rods have a 41⁄4-inch bend radius, which makes them flexible enough to navigate around corners.

This Klein Tools magnetic wire puller features a long, pivoting handle, making it comfortable to maneuver up and down walls. My favorite feature of this tool are the mar-resistant wheels, which help to avoid those frustrating scratches and gouges to finished drywall.

The body of the roller is also designed with marking notches on all four sides, making it useful as a metal stud finder as well. A hard plastic carrying case keeps all the elements organized, and its relatively small size should be easy to store and transport.

This five-piece rod set is packed with features, and can reach up to 30 feet when threaded together. The rods themselves glow in the dark, and also use a special splinter-guard coating that keeps them from shedding those painful and annoying fiberglass splinters.

It also includes a variety of tip options, including an LED-illuminated one for those really dark areas. This illuminated tip also has tapered ends, making it easy to push and pull it through cluttered spaces.

This magnetic puller is rugged enough for professionals, but still easy enough to use for the average DIYer. The ergonomic roller is designed to be comfortable to handle too, and its locking clutch system ensures that the magnet's strength is being used efficiently.

We also appreciate the tapered shape of the bullet, which reduces drag during use, and can even penetrate insulation without damage. The heavy-duty storage case keeps all the pieces organized between wiring jobs, too, making this an especially portable option.

If you’re just starting out, this comprehensive kit will have you prepared to tackle a variety of wire-pulling and conduit projects. It includes two fish tapes: a 25-foot steel option and 50-foot fiberglass, so you can choose which is best suited for your specific task.

A bottle of wire-pulling lubricant ensures that your wires travel quickly and efficiently, and dries into a thin film that won't clog the conduit later on. The heavy-duty, 3/4-inch conduit bender features a serrated step for easy and comfortable use, which will come in handy for all-day jobs.

Although not technically a wire puller, this Greenlee cable puller could be helpful for those dealing with especially heavy loads of wires. It provides 600 pounds of constant pulling force, and the all-metal construction makes it durable enough for heavy-duty use.

The 17-inch rotatable boom can be adjusted to three length positions, so it's easy to customize depending on the job. It's not cheap, but the time and energy saved by not hand-pulling heavy loads could make it worth the investment.

Alex Rennie is a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, Alex uses his hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. His work has also appeared in Business Insider's Insider Picks, and before his writing career, he was a full-time carpenter living in New York City. There, he worked as part of a team designing, building, and installing large furniture pieces, as well as performing a variety of home repair and maintenance projects. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends his free time exploring the beaches and mountains with his fiancé and their dog Louie.

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