23 Best HVAC Tools For Every Tech In 2021

23 Best HVAC Tools For Every Tech In 2021

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Posted by Kindra K.

January 23, 2021

The Best HVAC Tools That Every HVAC Tech Need in Their Utility Belt

We’ve rounded up a list of tools that are highly recommended by HVAC pros and other home service experts. Recommendations include hand tools, power tools, and specialty tools, and business tools. 

Looking for something specific to add to your toolbag? Jump to the section of interest:

  1. Hand Tool Recommendations

  2. Power and Specialty Tool Recommendations

  3. Business Tool Recommendations

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HVAC Hand Tools

Below you’ll find heavy-duty tools made for daily use on the job site. Here are recommendations from other HVAC techs for durable, feature-rich hand tools.

1. Southwire 9” Lineman Pliers

Recommended by Clint DeBoer, Pro Tools Reviews

Southwire lineman (or linesman) pliers feature a riveted pivot joint, integrated crimper, fish tape puller, and reaming head. Client DeBoer with Pro Tools Reviews has this to say: “We really like the smooth open/close action on the

Southwire SCP9TPCD-US

side-cutting pliers.”

Read the full review. 

2. Wiss MetalMaster Compound Action Snips

Recommended by Bob Wells, HVAC Training 101

These action snips come in right, left, and straight cut designs with different colored handles to tell them apart. The snips have a serrated edge blade and spring action. These are the perfect snips for your sheet metal needs.  Bob Wells called them the “Best overall tin snips among the products tested.”

Read the full review

.

3. Wiha Slotted and Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set

Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Reviews

Of course, you need an assortment of screwdrivers, and this set with insulated handles is tested for up to 10,000 volts and certified for 1000 volt ac or 1500 volt dc. One commercial HVAC tech highly recommends these in his

toolbox breakdown

.

4. KNIPEX Plier Wrench

Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Reviews

Another of Matt’s go-to tools is the Knipex plier wrench. He explains that this plier wrench prevents him from having to carry an entire set of ratcheting wrenches. The wrench has no teeth and a wide jaw. “These jaws are always staying parallel with each other … this little tool is pretty much money for popping that tool in without marring the finish.”

Watch his complete toolbox breakdown

.

5. Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper

Recommended by Perry Danner, Pro Tool Reviews

The Milwaukee 48-22-3075 ratcheting crimper features an inline head and two parallel ports  (for RJ11 jacks and RJ45 jacks) that create more consistent pressure across its pins. “the ratcheting action is simple and effective. I don’t have to strain myself trying to apply enough force to get a good connection, and the design allows me to see more of what’s going on,” Perry Danner wrote in his review.

Read the full review

Modular Crimper

| $56.78 | 4.8 stars

6. Knipex Forged Wire Strippers With Locating Ridges

Recommended by Chris Boll, Pro Tool Reviews

The Knipex 13 72 8 strips and cuts solid and stranded wire between 10 and 20 AWG. Among these strippers many features are induction-hardened shear cutter blades with a 50% higher cutting capacity than other strippers. According to Chriss Boll, “They really hit it out of the park” with this new model.

Read the full review

.

7. Milwaukee 18” Aluminum Pipe Wrench

Recommended by Scott Strollo, Pro Tool Reviews

For residential furnace and water heater installs, sometimes a pro needs a good pipe wrench, and Rigid and Milwaukee are the go-to brands. Every pro has their personal preference, but the Milwaukee 18-inch aluminum pipe wrench is Scott Strollo’s favorite. It’s considerably lighter than the steel alternatives but delivers the needed amount of power.

“I like everything about the Milwaukee 18-inch aluminum pipe wrench,” he writes in his review for Pro Tools. “The lightweight, the dual coil springs, the handle length and comfort, and gripping force of the overbite jaws. I certainly recommend it to other Pros.”

Read the full review

.

What else should be on your HVAC toolkit? 

Don't forget about the basics:

(Links to the highest-rated items on Amazon)

Power and Specialty Tools

We realize that the wide array of furnaces, air conditioners, and other HVAC equipment you service requires a ton of specialty tools like power and temperature testers, leak detectors, and more. Here are ten that come highly recommended. 

8. Bosch 12V Brushless Compact Drill

Recommended by Patrick Brown, Pro Tool Reviews

Bosch’s 12V pocket drill is a compact, lightweight drill that offers quality speed and torque (1300 RPM).  Pro Tools reviewer Patrick Brown wrote, “I really appreciated the increased run time of the 2 amp-hour 12V battery thanks to the efficiency of the brushless motor. With what is available on the market today, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option for a lightweight, well-balanced, 12-volt cordless drill/driver.”

Read the full review

.

9. Fluke 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Laser Temperature Sensor Gun

Recommended by Aaron Benetti, HVACHowTo.com

Fluke’s HVAC Pro sensor gun is a dual thermometer that can take contact and no-contact temperature readings in HVAC systems to help identify overheated breakers, compressors, and motors.  It can measure temperatures from 40 to over 550 degrees celsius. HVACHowTo.com named the Fluke 561 their top sensor gun with this to say: “The unit is very well built with the lens housing made of solid metal when most other units are made of plastic.”

Read the full review.

10. Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter

Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Review

The Fluke 87-V is a versatile multimeter that takes temperature readings without needing a separate thermometer.

Commercial HVAC specialist Matt, of the HVAC Tool Review YouTube channel, highly recommends the Fluke 87-V. According to Matt, where the Fluke 116 stops just before milliamps, requiring you to use two different flukes, the Fluke 87 offers both microamps and milliamps. “If you’re looking for one meter to do it all, I would seriously consider checking out the 87.”

Watch his full review.

Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter

| $439.99 | 5 Stars

11. Midwest Offset Hand Seamers

Recommended by Caio, Sheet Metal HVAC

Midwest makes offset and straight hand seamers. Sheet metal worker Caio prefers the 3-inch offset seamers which offer more leverage. He explains, “They’re very comfortable and they’re a little wide, but you get the strength from it.” Midwest’s seamers feature forged blades and kush’n-power grips that reduce fatigue.

Watch the full review.

12. Navac 2cfm Cordless Vacuum Pump

Recommended by Zac DesJardins, Quality HVACR

Many HVAC pros have concerns about a battery-powered vacuum pump, but for those that have tried the Navac 2cfm, it has consistently outperformed their expectations. According to Zac DesJardins, owner of a residential HVAC company in Tennessee, the NAVAC 2cfm “can handle anything 5 tons or below.”

Watch his full review

.

13. Yellow Jacket 42006 Series Manifold Gauges

Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub

The Yellow Jacket 42006 Series are high-pressure color-coded refrigeration gauges rated for R-22, R-410a, and R-404a. “In terms of performance, it is great. Very accurate with (class 1) 1% accuracy,” Josna of ElectronicsHub.com writes.

Read the full review

.

14. Robinair TIF9010A Refrigerant Scale

Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub

Electronics Hub found the Robinair TIF9010A to be “the most durable and reliable” refrigerant scale that they tried. It also comes with a 2-year warranty. The one downside is it’s only rated for 110 pounds, for heavier jobs, you’ll need another option.

Read the full review

.

15. Inficon Refrigerant Leak Detector

Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub

In Electronics Hub’s comparison of leak detectors, Innficon’s model ranked number one for its .25 oz sensitivity and its sensor life of 100 hours. Other stand-out features include a two-year replacement warranty and a rugged carrying case.

Read the full review.

16. Milwaukee Quick Adjust Tubing Cutter

Recommended by Adam Spafford, Pro Tool Reviews

Of course, Milwaukee has quite a diverse assortment of tubing cutters., but Pro Tool Reviews are a fan of their quick-adjust cutters that can handle up to 3.5-inch copper tubing and 3-inch PEX and PVC. Adam Spafford writes, “These new cutters feature an adjustment mechanism that provides a wide range of diameters. It looks like a black button allows the shaft of the cutting wheel to move up and down for the macro-adjustment, and a large knob on the end of the shaft provides the micro-adjustment needed during the cut.”

Read the full review

.

2-1/2" Quick Adjust Cutter

| $73.99 | 4.4 stars

17. RIDGID R3031 One-Handed Reciprocating Saw

Recommended by Greg Fox, Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning

The RIDGID R3031 is an extremely durable, long-lasting one-handed, orbital corded saw.  "This is a great Sawzall that I totally recommend for anybody," says Greg Fox of Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning. Per Greg, the R3031 has a ton of torque and is easy to maneuver.

Watch the full review

.

18. Fluke 922 Airflow Meter Kit 

Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Review

The kit comes with color-coded airflow hoses, a hard case, and the airflow meter itself which has three tools in one capable of reading differential and static pressure, air velocity, and airflow. The tool is compatible with most pitot tubes. Matt from HVAC Tool Review explains: “It’s a lot cheaper than buying a complete flow hood set, so if you’re going to be troubleshooting airflow calculations, a pitot tube with a duct traverse is a very accurate way to get measurements.” 

Watch the full review

.

Fluke 922/Kit Airflow Meter Kit

| $869.99 | 4.5 stars

HVAC Business Tools

Since technology solutions for home services (like the HVAC industry) are our specialty, we wanted to end this piece with suggestions of business tools you might not have thought of. These suggestions are all pieces of software we’ve seen our own customers use and recommend — so much so that we’ve built integrations to help them use the tools alongside Housecall Pro. 

Use this list of HVAC tech tools to find the essentials you’re missing to go paperless and grow your business.

Book a demo now

and learn how Housecall Pro helps HVAC businesses easily manage day-to-day operations.

19. Dedicated Phone Line and Phone Tracking: CallRail

When you use an app to manage your business’s dedicated phone line, you’re able to hand off calls to office staff or even route phone calls to sales pros and techs in the field. Tools like CallRail helps you do more with your business’s phone number.

For instance, CallRail includes

call tracking capabilities

to track data related to your business, such as how your marketing spend is working, where your calls are coming from and the number of calls that turn into paid jobs. We also have an integration with CallRail that allows you to

automatically pull up customer info when they call

.

20. Email Marketing System: Mailchimp

Many of our HVAC customers are adding monthly revenue by selling

recurring maintenance plans

to their own customers. These entail monthly or quarterly preventative maintenance visits, regular ductwork cleanings, and more. 

An additional benefit for long-term, loyal customers are educational resources you can regularly send out as email marketing campaigns. You can also send out seasonal promotions, company news like new services or new hires, and more.

Email marketing systems like Mailchimp help you easily create messages to your customer list and track statistics around those emails, like open and click-through rate. Our integration allows Housecall Pro users to automatically add new customers to their email list.

21. Accounting: QuickBooks Online (QBO)

Quickbooks Online is the accounting software of choice for many HVAC businesses. Whether or not you’re working with a bookkeeper or accounting, you can create profit and loss reports, organize your payroll and tax information, and much more. 

Housecall Pro's QuickBooks Online and Desktop integration

automatically syncs data between the two platforms, such as your invoices, customer information, line items, and payments.

22. Virtual Assistant: Alexa

When you and your techs are running between HVAC jobs all day, you’re constantly pulling up customer information, driving directions, and more on the go. Voice-activated tools like Alexa can help you do it faster and safer. With

our Alexa integration

, you can now ask Alexa what your next job is and bring up driving directions all without taking your hands off the wheel. Best of all, it’s free.

23. Mobile Card Reader: Housecall Pro

With a mobile card reader, you can take credit card payments before leaving a customer’s house. Housecall Pro has designed a card reader specifically for home service businesses that comes with credit card rates as low as 2.59%. You can process cards by chip, tap, or swipe. Best of all, the turnaround time for payments is less than 30 minutes using our

Instapay system

.


Hey Pros! What’s on your “must-have” HVAC tools list? Leave a message in the comments section below

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