i left the auto indusrty, still have all 50k worth of my tools plus another 12k in tool boxes.
i entered the HVAC industry almost ten years ago and have been quite unsatisfied with tools ever since.
at least i enjoy working on my personal vehicles again lol i enjoy holding a quality tool in my hand :)
I will be 68 in a few weeks. I have tools left from when I was in the automotive field. My truck is older than a lot of members here on the forum.
I replaced a lot of my tools and equipment in December, still have a few to go. I remember the fist Tif digitals. I have a low side gauge that still works, not all that accurate but then it never was. I don't know how many sets of gauges I have. Just bought the Testo 570's and so far so good. My research now says I should have gone with the DC's. Don't know if I have another 10 years left, if I do I expect I will have to retool a few more times to keep up with the ever changing industry.
My local Johnston got the Hilmor Swag, flare and bending kits in today, but the pricing is whack.
$430 for the compact hydraulic swag kit, and it is made in China.
The competitions hydraulic swag tools are also made in china, but cost $100 less, and come with more expander heads.
Due to the superior ease of use design, I may pick up the Hilmor set if the price difference comes down a good bit, but am passing on it for now.
Something about the Hilmore just doesn't set right. I have the master cool swage kit, it works great but sometimes it would work better if it was not so bulky. I have all the lever type benders but I like the YJ bender. Next on the list is the reverse attachment. wonder if I will ever use it?
two supply houses stopped by yesterday with sale ads for it with no prices on it but one saying u can get 10% off of any purchase of their tools and one with 5% off of a total invoice over $750 can be materials mixed in with it. One acted like it was the bees nees and said no one else has anything else like what they have i just shook my head and thought about this thread. Most of it is already out in the field just a different color. He said they do have lifetime warranty on all hand tools and i think 3 years on gauges. Alot of hand tools do have lifetime but most people dont keep the receipts or try to deal with the hassle
When I buy something I etch or paint the date on it, the supplier initials also. Then if there is a problem I just take it back to the supplier and have them look it up. Also paint the date on most all new parts replaced. Another thing is to mark the refrigerant in the system. Paint sticks are handy.
My opinion is that the Fieldpiece SMAN4 is the better of the digital gauges. Hilmor has some great features as well.