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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Newport News, Virginia
    Posts
    5

    Total Cost of HVAC Tools?

    I ask this question because of what i've heard from my Autotech instructor, by the way I am NOT considering autotech as a career, I choose it so I can build my car for performance applications. Anyways he explained how he had to invest $27,000 in tools when he was an auto technician, which he further explained was nothing. He added on that the tool boxes to hold the tools cost about $20,000. I then researched their salary/wage , how their pay system works and I was appalled, FREE TOOLS wouldn't even convince me working as an automotive technician! At that moment, I had a better chance of joing the military than working as an autotech. These fears of ungodly expensive tools haunted me for months. So the question is how much would all the tools needed for commercial or residential HVAC cost? Total prices of low, mid, and high grade tools would help alot also! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    100
    you should search high and low.....it is very expensive to gather just the basic tools to do this. i do craigslist and eebay and mutual friends getting out of it for the very thing we are discussing. if you are not smart about what to buy and when to buy it you will be scrounging for coffee money every friday. my best advice is to buy quality tools so you hopefully only have to buy them once.... heaven forbid you have to climb back into that attic and find your 50$ flashlight. the conditions of this trade weed out the mass's in quick and no excuses fashion.
    read,learn,grow.....repeat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,856
    It all depends which company you work for too, like with my company, all I bought myself is a basic set of hand tools (wrenches, pliers, screwdriers, nutdrivers) and they provide the service van and provide all the expensive equipment like power tools, gauges, vacuum pump, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Newport News, Virginia
    Posts
    5
    Will it be anywhere near as expensive as autotech?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    100
    prob equal
    read,learn,grow.....repeat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,638
    Quote Originally Posted by samejj View Post
    prob equal
    If you're on your own I can see 50k or more on tools. You've got 20k in the back of your truck? Love to see it. I feel like a bum with 6k
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

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    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    474
    Probably own close to 10K. When I started I had to provide most all the tools. Not so much nowadays.
    I show up at customers door with some 2K in my toolcase
    Fluke multimeter, fluke thermometer, amprobe, digital manometer, digicool gauges and an assortment of handtools.
    Then more come out of the van as needed. Van is a shop on wheels.
    ENJOY THE RIDE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,856
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyBoi757 View Post
    Will it be anywhere near as expensive as autotech?
    i think your instructor might have told you prices for top of the line tools like snap-on, you could probably get by as an auto-tech with less expensive tools for a fraction of what your instructors tools cost.

    As far as being an hvac tech, if you bought basic hand tools, a meter, and a bag to carry them in you could spend $200-$500 or more.

    As I said before, my employer provides everything else. Some companys might not be so nice. If you had to buy power tools like a drill, impact driver, and sawzall; tubing tools like tubing cutters, flaring bar; and more tools to keep in the van like socket sets, pipe wrenches, hammer; my guess would be you'ld have to tack on another thousand, maybe more.

    If you had to buy a gauge manifold, recovery unit, vacuum pump, tourches, and all the other special equipement, that could easily be a few thousand, but unless you are in buisness for yourself, i think almost all employers would provide these items.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,856
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike19 View Post
    i think your instructor might have told you prices for top of the line tools like snap-on, you could probably get by as an auto-tech with less expensive tools for a fraction of what your instructors tools cost.

    As far as being an hvac tech, if you bought basic hand tools, a meter, and a bag to carry them in you could spend $200-$500 or more.

    As I said before, my employer provides everything else. Some companys might not be so nice. If you had to buy power tools like a drill, impact driver, and sawzall; tubing tools like tubing cutters, flaring bar; and more tools to keep in the van like socket sets, pipe wrenches, hammer; my guess would be you'ld have to tack on another thousand, maybe more.

    If you had to buy a gauge manifold, recovery unit, vacuum pump, tourches, and all the other special equipement, that could easily be a few thousand, but unless you are in buisness for yourself, i think almost all employers would provide these items.
    I'm kind of cheap myself, estimates from the other guys are probably more accurate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
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    4,638
    No. Maybe a grand to start. Most shops provide recovery machines vacuum pumps and specialty tools. After that to "Keep up with the Joneses" another 2-3k. I've been in the trade for about 15 years. and probably have 5k-6k in out of pocket tool cost. I like to buy tools that make my job easier.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Gulf Coast
    Posts
    175
    I would say it all depends on what you plan on doing Residential, commercial, chillers, etc etc.
    On my truck as is I have just under $30K and another $10-$15 in a job box ready if needed.
    With the exception of centrifugal work I have most anything I need on my truck.
    When I first started long ago I guess I prob had $600 - $900 out of pocket for doing mid commercial.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,716
    HI, I'm JP and I'm a Tool-Aholic.....


    My daily Veto LC/MB setup and Digital manifold set would set you back over $3k to replace.

    This doesn't count another $14-15k in other tools that I've purchased over the years.

    waltervan nailed it. It depends on what you're doing.

    A residential guy might never need a 1/2" socket wrench setup (shallow and deep well) with an 18" breaker bar and a 20-150ft/lb torque wrench. For a commercial guy, it's almost an everyday thing to grab that.

    Also, as a newbie, you're not going to be expected to put up that kind of investment UP FRONT.

    A fair selection of hand tools, a set of gauges, a thermometer and an electrical meter will get you started.

    You'll add this or that as you go along.


    Before you know it, you'll be going to Tool-Aholics Anonymous meetings.





  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,638
    Now that I think of it, digital thermometers and leak detectors, and the such maybe 8k or so.

    jp, Are the digital manifolds that much better than a $25 Ritchie manifold, a digital thermometer and a PT chart? I just can't seem to pull the trigger. Maybe I'm stubborn
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

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