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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    1,815
    As Norm stated know-how is the most important you need to know what readings to expect and how to use tools before you begin. The good news is you can hang up those safety wire pliers!

    My opinion/experience on one of my favorite subjects:

    Pliers:
    Klien- tried and true choose carefully because they will be around for a while.
    Baco- A Snap-on subsidiary they are great tools comparable or superior to Klien (I know some of you think it’s blasphemy).
    Knipex- their diagonal cutters are amazing. The channel lock type pliers are an improvement over the original.
    Grip-on has a good vice grip style plier you can clamp to a table and use as a mini vice

    Ratchets:
    Snap-on- the best available and they price them accordingly. You and can bet your life on them.
    ProTo (Stanley and Husky) my next choice Husky would be my recommendation for value priced tools when you are first starting out (Home Depot).

    Screw/nut drivers:
    Snap-on- screwdrivers are pretty good they fit the hand nicely
    Klien- makes some great cushioned screwdriver/nut drivers these are a very good bet.
    Rigid- makes decent screwdrivers as well.

    Wrenches:
    Snap-on- Simply the best combination wrenches ever no one even comes close. Their box end offsets are great. The ratcheting boxed end wrenches (dog bones) are worth every penny there is no comparison!
    ProTo- pretty good
    S&K- My second choice after snap-on
    Husky- The polished husky wrenches are a close imitation to snap-on a very sound choice for a beginner.

    Hammers:
    Eastwing- The snap-on of hammers
    Malco-sound hammers and duct tools

    Drills:
    Cordless:
    DeWalt- widely available and rugged higher end of the price range.
    Milwaukee-very rugged replacement parts easily obtainable
    Bosh- pricy but performs well
    Rigid- soon to be a competitor with the big boys I would not feel unarmed with one
    Makita- a little less robust than the others but it makes up for it in longevity.
    Ryobi- great for a beginner very economical and the quality is pretty decent

    Corded:
    Milwaukee- The only corded drill for many I agree. Tough as a tank.
    The others mentioned above same thing here!

    Blades:
    Lennox- tried and true

    Meters:
    Fluke- the best all I’ve used

    Gages:
    Hard to say you will end up with more than one pair if you work on bigger equipment. I was told buy a pair that you won’t cry over when they fall off the roof. You can repair them most wholesalers have parts.
    Refco- makes some robust gages catering to the refrigeration side of the house and they have a vacuum pump that looks like a tank. Their refrigeration tools are nice.

    Tubing/piping
    Rigid- the best tubing cutters reamers all piping tools don’t care for their flare set it does not swage.
    Refco- Flare kit flares and swages


    NOTE:

    I was told along time ago a power tool quality is related to the length of its cord. I find this to be true in almost every case (longer = better).

    When you select a cordless drill consider an impact driver. They out perform a regular drill when shooting screws and eliminate wrist whipping

    Good drill bits (Lawson products etc.) are expensive so get a Drill Dr. or buy cheap ones with disposable intentions.

    Hope that’s enough to chew on.
    Quote
    “Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own." Scott Adams

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
    Albert Einstein

  2. #15
    First , get certified. Some tools are more important than others. You'll need a recovery machine, this is mandatory. Fines for connecting to refrigerant lines without it can be up to $27.000. You'll need gauges for R22 and 410a, mutimeter that checks volts, amps, temps, and checks capacitors. There are many other, some you'll need and some just make the job easier. E-Mail me if you need more info.

  3. #16
    Senior Tech Guest
    Originally posted by NormChris


    Here is the first too you need before you purchase any of the others:

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=49523
    Gee, Thanks Norm....there went that ten grand...

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    16
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by NormChris
    I can recommend several good HVAC books that will be of greater value to you than any tools right now.
    Can you list the books you'd recommend?

  5. #18
    Senior Tech Guest
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by NormChris


    I will sell you a 1997 GMC Savanna van, clean and white with a ladder rack that brings your ladder down to you so you don't have to reach for it, plus a full set of tools to perform residential and commercial service and installations.

    A rolling business ready to go. I don't run service or do installs anymore and don't need it. I just hung onto it because I hated to let it go since I too love tools.

    Even have a full stock of common replacement parts in the bins inside. And, yes it has air conditioning too.

    Norm
    [/QUOT

    Another auction!!! I bid............$1.59

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by pehanlon
    Originally posted by NormChris
    I can recommend several good HVAC books that will be of greater value to you than any tools right now.
    Can you list the books you'd recommend?

    I already did earlier on this thread. See my posts on the first page.

    Norm

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    1,815
    Originally posted by NormChris


    Go here: http://www.lamabooks.com/

    Buy the following two books to start with

    Instruments For HVAC Work

    &

    Basic Electricity for HVAC


    Then work your way through any of the others at that site. They are well written and not expensive at all.


    If anyone recommends you buy the big book "Modern Refrigeration & Air Conditioning" by Althouse, DON'T do it!

    When you are ready for one of the larger HVAC textbooks I will recommend several that are better. Start with the smaller books sold at the LAMA Bookstore I just gave you the link to.

    And, no I do not own that site nor do I profit from the sales of the books at that site. I own a library of several hundred HVAC and related books. The LAMA books are some of the best written and you can buy them one at a time as well as easily carry them with you.

    Norm,

    What larger books do you recommend?
    Quote
    “Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own." Scott Adams

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
    Albert Einstein

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