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  1. #1

    Question Dad needs help for HVAC student son......

    Hello everybody and thanks in advance for your help and recommendations...... To the point; my son has a list of needed tools from his school but I want to get something that will actually be helpful in his choice of fields, commercial HVAC. Two of the items I am not sure about is a good meter for his use and a manifold set. First I must tell you my work has NOT been steady right now so cost is a factor somewhat BUT I am a commercial electrician by trade so safety is a major concern so I will ask you about what I found and you can tell me if it is ok OR that I'm an idiot and send me in the correct direction..... LoL

    For a meter I was looking at the Fieldpiece SC77 for around $175
    For the manifold set I found a Mastercool 96361 4-Way Aluminum Manifold Gauge Set w/ 60" Hoses for about a $165

    Back in the day I think I had Robinaire for my cars and that was supposed to be a very good set, BUT LIKE I stated, "Back In The Day"...

    I am well aware there will probably be a lot of opinions on these two items but I have to defer to you as this is how YOU make your $$$ so I will have to accept your experienced opinions here, later with some real on the job experience my son can decide and buy what he wants......

    Again, THANKS!!

    RICK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    That's more than I got for passing school. I got a set of YJ gauges R-22 with 10" Hoses with low loss fitting's. I also got the low level ampprobe meter its $109.99 at the wholesaler.Begger's can't be chooser's Right? I am still using the same tools 5 years later. I am to cheap to buy a set of digital gauges. I would recomend learning the oldschool way before he goes digital.

    That sounds like more then enough for him to learn the trade with.When he starts making money he can upgrade. I would get him a set of gauges that are R-22 and 410A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Barrie Ontario
    Posts
    318
    Me I would go the other route and buy him a set of digi cool ak900's one time deal that will do 410,22 and much more and the meter isn't a bad choice by any means but I'll let someone else chime in on that as I use a cheaper green lee meter for most stuff cause Im hard on them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,579
    Quote Originally Posted by turkey View Post
    Me I would go the other route and buy him a set of digi cool ak900's one time deal that will do 410,22 and much more and the meter isn't a bad choice by any means but I'll let someone else chime in on that as I use a cheaper green lee meter for most stuff cause Im hard on them

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMech View Post
    That's more than I got for passing school. I got a set of YJ gauges R-22 with 10" Hoses with low loss fitting's. I also got the low level ampprobe meter its $109.99 at the wholesaler.Begger's can't be chooser's Right? I am still using the same tools 5 years later. I am to cheap to buy a set of digital gauges. I would recomend learning the oldschool way before he goes digital.

    That sounds like more then enough for him to learn the trade with.When he starts making money he can upgrade. I would get him a set of gauges that are R-22 and 410A
    NO WORRIES THERE!!! I am a FIRM believer in learning the best way, OLD SCHOOL!!!

    Mastercool 96361 4-Way Aluminum Manifold Gauge Set w/ 60" Hoses

    Features:

    Solid extruded aluminum body
    Stainless steel ball valve design controls flow smoothly and quickly with only a quarter turn
    Extra large sight glass for visual refrigerant check
    Silicone dampened gauges smooth out needle movement
    Gauges can easily recalibrate in the field to maintain accuracy
    Includes 3 - 1/4" SAE B-R-Y hoses with B/Valves and one 3/8" SAE Black vacuum hose
    For use with R410A, R22, R404A Refrigerants

    FIELDPIECE SC77 True RMS Clamp Meter with Temperature, Capacitance and Backlight
    True RMS Clamp Meter with Temperature, Capacitance and Backlight - All-in-one HVAC/R meter

    What's Included:
    True RMS Clamp Meter with Temperature, Capacitance and Backlight - SC77
    Wrap Tab K-Type Thermocouple - ATB1
    Silicone Test Leads - ASLS2
    Large Single Meter Case - ANC7
    9-Volt battery (installed)
    Operator’s manual

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Mn the state where absolutey nothing is allowed
    Posts
    1,351
    your 1/2 right IMHO. fieldpiece- good choice for meter, but if i may , i would suggest a yellow jacket # 41 as a great 1st manifold. tried and true, rock solid and will last. price is nice too.....
    my boss thinks its possible to repeal the laws of physics

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Barrie Ontario
    Posts
    318
    One set of analogue gauges that do both 22 and 410 are a little harder to read and I dont find as accurate cause your gonna sacrifice on reading the 22 or 410. So then your looking at two sets of gauges 330$ or the ak for 299$ plus a set of hoses just food for thought. Plus the ak you get real time superheat and subcooling.

    Again just my two cents

  8. #8
    See now, I would go with the fieldpiece, and actually do the stick meter HS-36, as its expandable in his future. Gauges, analog, low budget till he knows he wants to be in HVAC.... and well if he gives it up, you can always snag the meter for yourself on the hs-36 side....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,846
    Sc77 meter is good, I would go with hs36, manifold I would go with yellow jacket analog gauge w/ 60" hoses that reads r22 and r410a. Best of luck to you and your son

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    27
    i just picked up a set of yellow jacket gauges at johnstone for $79 with 5 ft hoses..... as far as a meter i have a fluke 116 and love it. i do commercial and it works great for me

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,102
    As far as gauges go I agree with most that a cheap set is fine for now. If you are going to spend $165 you should just spend the extra $125 and get the DigiCool ak900. As far as meters go I have the sc77 and it is a good meter but I wish I had the sc56 for a couple of dollars more. You can check out these tools at truetechtools.com or rdholder.com and compare prices. I think there is a discount if you use this site as a coupon code at checkout. Pretty sure free shipping also. Good luck to your son. Just think if he decides this trade is not for him after spending 20 thousand to go to school you will have a cool meter.
    You need to put the phone down and get back to work!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Charleston, Wv.
    Posts
    1,472
    Depends on his age, how dedicated he is to staying in the trade, whether he has any real world experience.........AND, how much respect he has for specialty, precision instruments.

    if he has done some of it, loves it and knows it's gonna be his career, then drop the extra cash for some digital gauges, and a GOOD meter......but don't forget about hand tools, tube benders, swagers, micron gauges, core tools, etc. etc. etc. If he's gonna be doing the work, he's lookin at about $1000.00 in tools to be able to get started and "do it right". That school tool list is a short list to get your foot into the trade.

    Personally, I'd go for "bang for you buck" right now, then have him move up from there.....doing jobs that buy your tools for you makes you have a little more respect for the work, and your equipment.

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