The tools covered are for use with soft copper only, unless otherwise noted.
You’ll benefit from having a wide selection of service tools in your toolbox. Let’s start with wrenches. There are general wrenches as well as specialty wrenches. The ratchet style wrench requires only a 5° to 6° clearance to actuate its ratchet gear, making it perfect for tight spots. It comes with a dedicated direction of rotation so you don’t have to worry about the reversal mechanism wearing out.
There are heavy-duty versions of the wrench available, as well as wrenches that have the ability to ratchet in both directions. The knuckle-saver is another version of the ratchet wrench, engineered with an offset to help get your knuckles away from obstructions that may cause injury.
One of the key accessories for the 1/4” ratchet wrench is a hex key adapter. You can use this adapter to open and close high and low side service valves that have deeply recessed safety sockets. Different size hex keys are available for specific HVAC/R branded equipment.
Next we have pinch off tools. There are two choices in this category. The first is the pliers-type pinch off tool, fitted with a radiused jaw so that it pinches instead of flattens. The other option is the bar style pinch off tool that not only pinches off, but also rerounds four different sizes of soft copper tubing.
Another handy tool is the Refrigerant Recovery Pliers. Attach an evacuation hose to the outer fitting and this tool provides you with the fastest and easiest way to evacuate refrigerant before disposal of an A/C unit.
Finally, one of the handiest tools to have on your next HVAC/R job is a Fan Blade Puller. Even the most stubborn fan blade won’t have a chance against this heavy-duty tool. Remember to tag and lockout the power to the unit you are working on before trying to remove its fan blade.
One Final Note on Safety
It’s important to understand how each tool is designed to function and make sure you have all the right tools in your bag to do every job correctly. Attempting to use a tool in a manner it was never intended might result in personal injury, damage to the equipment or destruction of the tool. Also, always be aware of the refrigerant you are working with and the state the system is in when beginning your work. You may or may not be required to perform a lockout procedure before doing anything to the system. Finally, be responsible and always wear eye protection as well as a good pair of work gloves when it’s appropriate.