Okay, so...I have one job offer on the table, and I would start 2 weeks from next Monday, and a very promising second interview at another place early next week.
The first place will be training me, and I'll be doing mostly residential installs in existing structures to start. The second will be installs too, except mostly in new constructions, again I'm a trainee.
The office lady at the place that offered me the job seemed to think that my school dropped a case of tools at my feet when I graduated or something (What? no...) and I had to explain that I was set for hand tools only. I didn't ask what the shop provides themselves, probably should have...but I was at work and didn't need to get caught on my phone.
And me, being a generally frugal guy, working a *VERY* part time job in an economy where I wasn't very sure when/if I'd be finding a job...I wasn't about to stop dropping $$$ on tools when I had no idea when I would be starting work.
Yeah. I'm caught flat-footed with no tools. Should've seen that coming.
More than a decade of driveway grease-monkeying means I've got a big tool chest full of mostly Craftsman hand tools, which I plan to plunder the following from:
* Nut-drivers - full set.
* Crescents - 6" to 12"
* Pliers - Lineman's, slipjoints, Channel-Locks, needlenoses, side-snippers etc.
* 8" to 24" pipe wrenches
* Wire stripper/crimper
* LED 4D Mag and 2AA Mini Mag flashlights (after I've etched my name on them...)
* Screwdrivers - Phillips and Flat, stubby to extra-long. All magnetized.
* Allen and Torx - The brothers in crime.
* Set of box-ends.
* A couple of the Special Universal Fix-Everything Tools
* The cheap Craftsman multi I use for car wiring and setting sensors.
Anything else I should have for basic hand stuff?
And now, for more HVAC-related things I want to buy. My school used all Yellow Jacket and Fluke stuff, which I thought worked pretty well. Their hand tools seemed to be "whatever wouldn't fall apart and was on sale at time of purchase."
I've made a partial list of things that I would want to immediately look into:
1. Soft bag. I'm not carrying a crashbox with me, obviously. I hear a lot about Veto bags...but I was at Home Creepo the other day, and was pretty impressed with the Husky bags, considering their prices.
2. Manifolds and hoses. Yellow Jacket seems like the obvious choice...I had no problem with them at school. That Testo 550 Analyzer keeps appealing to my inner (and outer) nerd with all of it's fancy digital action though...maybe in the future.
3. Sheet metal tools. I figure I'll need a set of tinning shears, reds and greens, a folder/bender, a stretcher, and...? I'm new to this, and will be getting trained on it. Who makes good quality snips?
4. Copper stuff. Cutters, swage/flare set, benders, reamers, etc. Klein? Yellow Jacket?
5. Clamp-on. Used Flukes at school. But I got to mess with a Fieldpiece SC56 not long ago and I think my appreciation of the swivel action bordered on inappropriate. It's that sexy.
6. Service wrenches. Obviously.
7. PVC cutter.
What do you guys think I should add or subtract?
I'm sure I'm missing some things, but that's the basic start I've come up with. Obviously, I'd need a cordless drill and bits (mine is corded...and crap), and I'm sure more meters and other electric stuff would work in eventually if the shops don't provide. I'd hope they keep vac pumps, recovery equipment, etc. on their trucks.
Of course I know my best tools are my eyes, ears, nose, and ass...but I'm sure this stuff will help too.