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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79

    Going to start working soon. I'd like to talk about tools.

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by Andr00 View Post
    ...Of course I know my best tools are my eyes, ears, nose, and ass...but I'm sure this stuff will help too...
    BRAIN. I hope the omission was a slip of the mind.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    BRAIN. I hope the omission was a slip of the mind.
    Brain, ass....same diff, really

  4. #4
    I wish my hires were as eager to tool up on the first day...

    Husky bags are nice, I have one I toss in the car when I have to take off my manager's cap. Wiss snips for me when I was knocking tin, I used a large set of horse hoof clippers as stretchers and mourn their loss to this day, I can find nothing better. Took me a bit to get used to them but I grew to prefer the Vise-Grip flats over the others. I found a mason's hammer perfect for knocking drives over, especially the long duck-billed side for hitting in tight places.

    All the best to you on your new job...
    (The wise men of modern thought) adore a god made of putty or of wax - plastic, effeminate, molluscous, with no masculine faculty about him, and no quality that entitles him to the respect of just and honest men, for a being who cannot be angry at wrongdoing is destitute of one of the essential virtues, and a moral Ruler who is not angry with the wicked, and who refuses to punish crime, is not divine. ---Spurgeon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    Is there a particular retailer for HVAC tools that people like? Online? I've been cruising ebay and the like as well.

    I thought about the local wholesale houses...but I have a hunch their items would be marked up...a lot.

    And thanks for the well-wishes, shaygetz...I'm sure I'll need them!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cal
    Posts
    1,596
    There's an active thread about tool insurance, break in's, responsibility,etc that you may want to read and ponder-maybe clarify with new boss BEFORE you whip out the plastic.

    If you can hold off on some stuff till you get in the field, your coworkers can steer you in the right direction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Seriously, (I could not resist the BRAIN comment.)
    • The bigget wrist and time saver that I didn't see on the list was a variable speed 3/8" cordless drill with torque control, good metal drill set and tools for using it as a power nut driver and screw driver.
    • An assortment of files.
    • Hacksaw and blades
    • Keyhole saw and blades
    • open end wrenches including 1/4" and 5/16th
    • Electronic soldering gun
    • Magnehelic or electronic version for static air pressure readings (hope you know why).
    • Extracter tools for broken bolts.
    • 12" Level
    • 4 foot level
    • IR thermometer gun type
    • 1 testo humidity stick
    • at least 2 dial pocket thermometers
    • Thermocouple thermometer with at least 2 channels
    • 1 glass thermometer for referncing the others.
    • PT chart
    • Psychrometric chart
    • Ductulator tool
    • pully or wheel puller
    • Tool for pulling blower wheels off by securing to the hub
    • fan pitch measuring tool
    • Micrometer (ID and OD)


    The tools in red are worthless without the BRAIN.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    I do plan to call next week and talk about it...go in in person if I can.

    I planned to ask about what's on the truck, insurance, what he suggests I have at what part of my training, etc.

    But, I'm still certain that I'll be buying things at some point and would like to know what the people around here use and where they like to buy. Searching 'Tools' at this board, even in just the general section, ends up a big spam-pile of posts (some of which I have bookmarked already) so I thought I'd make a thread for myself.

    All the help is appreciated though!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    • The bigget wrist and time saver that I didn't see on the list was a variable speed 3/8" cordless drill with torque control, good metal drill set and tools for using it as a power nut driver and screw driver.
      Not on the list, but I mentioned it.
    • An assortment of files. I'll need these.
    • Hacksaw and blades Got em!
    • Keyhole saw and blades Don't got em!
    • open end wrenches including 1/4" and 5/16th Got em!
    • Electronic soldering gun Yeah, I've been meaning to get one of these forever...for non-HVAC purposes even.
    • Magnehelic or electronic version for static air pressure readings (hope you know why). Do know, don't have!
    • Extracter tools for broken bolts. And the cobalt bits to go with.
    • 12" Level I need to get a magnetic one.
    • 4 foot level ...and one of these.
    • IR thermometer gun type This is to put out my eye and then file a claim, right?
    • 1 testo humidity stick Could I just stick to the digital psychrometer?
    • at least 2 dial pocket thermometers
    • Thermocouple thermometer with at least 2 channels Yeah, I remember using this constantly when working with refrig. systems. At least I did when other students hadn't stolen the couples...
    • 1 glass thermometer for referncing the others.
    • PT chart Has been in my wallet for the past 2 years. How criminally nerdy.
    • Psychrometric chart And a good cork-backed ruler!
    • Ductulator tool
    • pully or wheel puller
    • Tool for pulling blower wheels off by securing to the hub
    • fan pitch measuring tool
    • Micrometer (ID and OD) And I'll need all of those.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Winston-Salem NC
    Posts
    1,133
    Quote Originally Posted by shaygetz View Post
    I wish my hires were as eager to tool up on the first day...

    Husky bags are nice, I have one I toss in the car when I have to take off my manager's cap. Wiss snips for me when I was knocking tin, I used a large set of horse hoof clippers as stretchers and mourn their loss to this day, I can find nothing better. Took me a bit to get used to them but I grew to prefer the Vise-Grip flats over the others. I found a mason's hammer perfect for knocking drives over, especially the long duck-billed side for hitting in tight places.

    All the best to you on your new job...
    Thought I was one of the few folks who like a mason's hammer better than a sheet metal one.

    OP, good pair of linesman pliers, a good six way, a good, wide opening 6" adjustable wrench, and a service tech tie, (six colored wires with alligator clips on the ends tied together in a bundle) these things, with a meter and flash light, will help you diagnosis and zero in on more problems, quicker, than anything else. And always have both a sharpie and a pen, along with a pad in your pocket when working. Always.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    152
    three additions,

    slotted screw driver(this tool will save 100's of G-Damn it moments),

    slotted screwdriver


    the best damn pocket flashlight you can afford, this one here is relatively cheap and brighter than any compact flashlight I've found. It burns through batteries but the boss pays for 'em so gives an f.

    home depot flashlight



    and a hat or head mounted smaller flash light, I use the following, its light weight and sleek.

    flashlight

    oh yeah, a smart phone with internet capabilities, this one will bail you out, record model and serial and the rest of the info with the click of a button, and play music.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    64
    I have been out of school for about ten months. I was lucky to get a job two weeks after I finished school. I am not working for a HVAC company. I am a HVAC Tech. at a very large resort. I also do the hot side in all of the kitchens and restaurant's. (So yeah, I am learning a lot.. from water towers to steam tables) My work has all tools except we are suppose to have are own hand tools. (By the way... ever tried to work with house tools? That is if you can actually find them?)


    I have taken the time to buy something new at least once a month, I look at as an investment in me. Yeah it sucks putting the money out but..... it will come back to me ten fold in the long run. One day I will need to have my own gear... and when that day comes I will be ready. (also have bought a service truck.. I just could not fit it into the living room for the pic... lol)

    PS

    I have lots of other stuff I wasn't going to drag out of the truck...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by Robertjn2000 View Post
    I have been out of school for about ten months. I was lucky to get a job two weeks after I fininshed school. I am not working for a HVAC company and I am a HVAC Tech. at a very large resort. I also do the hot side in all of the kitchens and resaurants. (So yeah, I am learning a lot.. from water towers to steam tables) My work has all tools except we are suppose to have are own hand tools. (By the way... ever tried to work with house tools.... that is when you can acually find them?)


    I have taken the time to buy something new at least once a month, I look at as an investment in me! Sucks putting the money out but, it will come back ten fold in the long run. One day I will need to have my own gear... and when that day comes I will be ready. (also have bought a sevice truck.. just could not fit it into the living room for the pic... lol)

    PS

    I have lots of other stuff I wasn't going to drag out of the truck...
    Nice stuff, a little too clean for my liking. That g5 twin was nice little unit, but we had problems with it so the boss through it out, not saying all of them are problematic, just the one we had. We use powermax and it pumps alot faster than that g5.

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