If you’re entering the HVAC industry, you’ll want to make sure you are equipped with the proper tools for success, which range from the basic essentials to those that are nice to have, but not necessarily mandatory. Whether you’re on a service call or doing routine maintenance, you need to make sure you have reliable and durable tools available to you at a moment’s notice in order to help get the job done quickly and efficiently. We’ve compiled the below HVAC technician tool list for your reference, and the best Refrigeration tool kit price for your budget so you are never left unprepared.
As an HVAC technician, you’ll need a collection of HVAC service tools in order to tackle your repair, installation, and maintenance projects.
Refrigeration tool kit price
Use this list of HVAC tech tools to find the essentials you’re missing.
1. HVAC Business Tools
HVAC tools aren’t just for field service. There are essential business tools every HVAC business owner should have in his or her professional arsenal, including:
- Communication capabilities: When your techs are out on the job, you’ll want to keep an open line of communication to ensure everything goes smoothly, and that customer satisfaction is achieved. Work phones can be an important aspect of communication, but it’s important to use a field service program that incorporates in-app chat capabilities so that you can keep your team aware of any changes.
- Mobile HVAC Software: A mobile HVAC software solution can play into your business success just as much as practical field tools. Housecall Pro field service software is designed with your needs in mind, giving you the ability to:
- Schedule your team
- Provide logistical information your technicians need to get the job done
- Optimize service routes
- Communicate with customers
- Create estimates, and avoid common HVAC invoicing mistakes
- Process payments
Investing in HVAC service management software can help you streamline your day-to-day operations, so that your time is freed up to do what matters most—build your business.
2. HVAC Training Tools
Before becoming a master of the trade, HVAC students need to invest in must-have HVAC tools. The HVAC industry is rapidly expanding; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for HVAC technicians is anticipated to grow 15%
from 2016 through 2026. To ensure success in the field, it’s important to outfit yourself with all the basics.
There’s a wide variety of equipment that may be necessary for apprentices to practice their lab exercises and diagnose/repair air conditioning or refrigeration units.
If you’re just getting started with your HVAC trade
, put these at the top of your HVAC technician tool list—they’ll be absolutely essential in school (and beyond):
- Working gloves and safety glasses: Start with safety standards and make sure your hands and eyes are protected while on the job.
- Snips to cut sheet metal: There are three types of tin snips: straight cut, left cut, and right cut. HVAC installers and sheet metal workers will use these tools the most to cut sheet metal and insulation sheets, but service techs also may find them essential for a job.
- Flathead and Phillips screwdriver: A versatile screwdriver is an important tool when you’re starting out; as you take on more HVAC jobs, you’ll likely find you need to expand your collection.
- Pipe wrenches / Combination wrench set: You’ll also want pipe wrenches on-hand, as these are crucial when installing and replacing gas lines.
- Pliers: You’ll need an array of pliers, but for starters, line your arsenal with lineman’s, needle nose, and tongue-and-groove varieties.
These items should be at the top of your HVAC tool list—especially if you’re just beginning a career in this trade. You’ll see them come up again in their relevant sections below, along with a more in-depth description of what they are, how they work, and why they’re needed by HVAC technicians.
is the all-in-one software to manage and grow your HVAC business. Joining Housecall Pro also gives you access to a whole HVAC community to help you with any HVAC questions. Start free 14 day trial now.GET STARTED
3. HVAC Hand Tools
Your HVAC duties will call for an array of hand tools. The following can be used in a variety of capacities. Outfit your toolkit with:
- Thermometer: Seeing as though the entire HVAC industry revolves around hot and cold temperatures, a digital thermometer will become your best friend at any job site. In fact, you probably want to stock up on several of these, as it’s all too common to mistakenly leave one in a return or supply vent. Dependable, digital thermometers make for the best HVAC tools, but infrared digital thermometers can take recordable readings, identify overheated breakers/compressors/motors, and point out vents to customers. There are an array of digital thermometers available, including pocket-knife and folding-pocket styles, dual temperature thermometers, and solar-powered options.
- Drill: Unless you want to be tethered to an electrical outlet, a cordless drill with batteries is the move to make. Boasting power, portability, and versatility, a cordless drill with a diverse set of bits—including hex, Philips, hole saws, and arbors—will become the hero of any job site.
- Wrenches: Crescent wrenches and Allen wrenches are non-negotiable items on the HVAC tool list. You’ll want a variety of sizes (small to large) on deck to help you tighten and loosen a wide array of fixtures you could encounter.
- Hammer: You never know when you’ll need a hammer – the short answer: often. Opt for a carpenter style hammer with a straight claw.
- Electric Testers: HVAC technicians consistently work around and with live electrical power, so it’s important to take some type of electrical tester with you. Some testers can perform multiple functions, while others are more simplistic and designed to tell you only where electricity is present in your workspace.
- Pliers: Like screwdrivers, you should have a collection of pliers on-hand, including needle-nose, wire-stripping, linesman, and open-face varieties.
- Leveler: When installing thermostats, air conditioners, or furnaces, you’ll need to ensure the product is level.
- Screwdrivers: Not all screwdrivers were created equal; outfit your HVAC toolkit with an array of sizes and types, and opt for brands with insulated handles (essential when working around live electricity). Heavy duty screwdrivers are crucial, as you can often use them to pry apart venting and handle more strenuous tasks.
- Tape Measure: An HVAC technician will constantly be reaching for a tape measure. Opt for longer tape measures, at least 25 feet in length for bigger jobs. Note: it’s a good idea to pair your tape measure with a permanent marker, so you can mark measurements as you work.
4. HVAC Sheet Metal Tools
HVAC technicians are frequently tasked with cutting, repairing, and handling sheet metal. Nearly all HVAC systems rely on sheet metal to carry cold and hot air to and from their driving unit, so it’s wise to have these materials on-hand at all times.
- Shears: When it comes to cutting sheet metal, shears are one of the most common HVAC service tools. They’re ideal for executing long and straight cuts, and since they’ll probably receive plenty of use, try to look for a durable, steel construction with an insulated handle for added comfort.
- Aviation snips: Sometimes known as compound snips, these are the best HVAC tools for cutting aluminum and sheet metal. Aviators are designed to make specific cuts much easier and they’re color-coded for a reason…
- Rights (or “Offsets”)—Usually colored green, these snips help cut sheet metal in the right direction. They’re sometimes called “offsets” because the angle of the blade is slightly offset, allowing the blade to pass more smoothly over the end. They can be a bit awkward to use at first, but you don’t need to pull upwards as much on the metal, leading to fewer sharp, dangerous “fish hooks” hanging off the edge of a cut.
- Lefts (or “Offsets”)—Red-colored snips assist with cuts made in the left direction.
- Straights (or “Bulldogs”)—Straight snips are usually colored orange and reserve for small, straight cuts. They get the bulldog nickname for their impressive strength and ability to pierce and cut through multiple layers of thick sheet metal.
- Crimpers: This versatile, must-have HVAC tool should be in every technician’s kit. It can be used to cut sheet metal and wires, as well as crimp connectors by squeezing on the teeth to create a wrinkled male fitting.
- Hand seamers (or “Fairmonts” or “Tongs”): They go by many names, but the purpose is all the same—to bend smaller pieces of metal. Some may be spring loaded, depending on your preference, but all should be marked with ¼” intervals to make easy measurements while bending.
- Awl: This must-have tool can be used for a variety of purposes; score sheet metal to ensure straight cuts, or punch holes in sheet metal, wood, and sheetrock when required.
5. HVAC Ductwork Tools
HVAC technicians that install and repair ductwork need specialty tools, including the following:
- Staple Gun: A heavy-duty staple gun will be a staple of your HVAC toolkit – no pun intended. This tool can be used for a variety of tasks, including stapling insulation or sheet metal into place.
- Scratch Awl: A scratch awl is a point-making tool that can be used to scribe a line, which you can then follow with a handsaw or chisel. These can be purchased both individually or in kits.
- Caulking Gun: You’ll want this tool on-hand when a job calls for ductwork sealant. Look for a caulking gun that features an easy load front cap, effective seal puncturing tool, spout cutter, and ladder hook.
- Tubing Cutters: Metal or plastic tubes that are 1/8th” to 1-1/8th” thicker can be cut with this HVAC service tool. They allow you to make a clean cut thanks to the cut-off grove and, comparatively, they’re not very expensive—meaning they’re well worth your investment.
6. HVAC Specialty Tools
While 28% of the HVAC industry services single family homes, you may find yourself faced with bigger jobs that call for a different set of tools.
- Core Removal Tool: These tools are designed to remove and replace valve cores without sacrificing refrigerant charge.
- Voltmeter (or “Multi-Meter”): This should be high up on your HVAC technician tool list, no exceptions. Knowledge of voltage present isn’t just a job requirement, it’s a safety precaution. Because HVAC systems are connected to electrical systems, it’s crucial that you or your techs are outfitted with testers that can indicate the presence of live wires, measure the amount of voltage, indicate resistance level, and complete an array of other electrical tasks while in the field.
- Psychrometer: These might not see much day-to-day use on your average job sites, but they’re incredibly helpful when you’re trying to nail your target superheat.
- PVC Cutters: If you’re tackling a PVC project, you’ll need more than a handsaw. PVC cutters can help you cut clean lines with ease, and these tools are relatively inexpensive.
- Saw: You may have heard your HVAC friends swear by the amazing SAWZALL® mainly because it really can saw almost everything. If you don’t go with SAWZALL® find a similar saw with reciprocating blades, meaning the cutting is achieved through a push-and-pull motion. They might only be used for specialty projects, but if you’ve ever tried to cut material with a dull blade, you know how valuable this tool will be when it comes time to shine.
- Dead Blow Hammer: This specialized mallet features an abrasion-resistant, non-marring face that delivers a dead blow effect when struck.
- Extension Cord: A heavy-duty extension cord with a good length is handy when connecting tools out in the field.
- Leak Detector: Used to sense any leaks and locate where the leaks are.
7. HVAC Repair Tools
If you specialize in HVAC repair, the world of tools opens up that much wider. Consider outfitting your own tool bag and your tech team with the following items:
- Step ladder: Simple, but essential. You’ll encounter many jobs that require some height, and a lightweight, 4-foot step ladder will typically suffice.
- Wet/Dry Shop Vac: If you need to vacuum out clogged drain lines, you’ll be happy you brought a wet/dry shop vac along.
- Refrigerant Scale: If you’re ever tasked with charging an air conditioning system with refrigerant, a specified scale is a must-have in order to effectively maintain the temperature of a system’s assigned space. A refrigerant scale measures the weight of refrigerant as it’s added to or removed from the unit’s compressor, so that you can ensure the system has just the right amount to run efficiently.
- Refrigeration Gauges: As you work with cooling systems, you’ll need a set of trusted gauges that can read and hold pressures, as they pertain to varied types of refrigerants. These HVAC gauges help you determine if a cooling unit has a leak or if you need to complete evacuation and recharge. Multiple sets of gauges might be useful.
- Micron Gauge: These can be used to determine if an air conditioning system has an appropriate level of vacuum, prior to charging with refrigerant.
- Coil Fin Straightener: These HVAC service tools are cheap and useful. Bent coil fins restrict airflow through the condensing unit, which can cause the unit to run harder, decrease efficiency, increase electricity use, and in some cases, cause the entire unit to fail. A coil fin straightener, also known as a fin comb or coil fin tool, can be used to straighten the bent fins of a condensing unit.
- Vacuum Pump: Vacuum pumps are used to suck and remove moisture and air from air conditioning lines. They’re helpful when it comes to making repairs, as lines must be pulled into a vacuum and tested for leaks before the system can be charged with refrigerant.
- Recovery Unit: Refrigerant recovery from an HVAC system has been mandatory since 1995, so make sure you or your techs have a trustworthy recovery unit in their arsenal. A recovery unit must always be used to make sure the refrigerant is recovered from a cooling system before you can begin the vacuum process.
- Megger: As an HVAC technician, you’ll likely need access to a Megger, a measuring instrument used to measure an electrical system’s insulation resistance. This is important for HVAC quality control, as an electrical system degrades the quality of insulation resistance over time; this timeline may be shorter depending on the environmental conditions the unit goes up against every day, especially in areas with extreme temperatures, humidity, and the presence dust or dirt.
8. HVAC Safety Tools
When you or your employees are on the job, safety is the number one priority. The following must-haves are designed to safeguard you and your team, no matter the task at hand.
- Work Gloves: Protect hands when dealing with live electrical systems. Heavy-duty work gloves (and a spare or two) should always be available, and you can find gloves designed specifically for HVAC jobs, featuring wet/dry grip technology, protective coatings, and more.
- Safety Glasses: Don’t opt for the cheapest set of safety glasses available. There are plenty of considerations to take into account when shopping for this HVAC tool. Anti-fog coating helps prevent fog from building up when you’re working in humid conditions, while glasses with anti-static coating can help keep particulates and dust from sticking to your lenses.
- Durable Shoes: Carrying heavy equipment, climbing up and down ladders, and working both indoors and outdoors means your feet take a beating. Be sure your team has durable, steel toe work boots.
- Ear Plugs: It can get loud on the job in any service capacity, especially for an HVAC professional. Using power tools in small spaces can strain your ears more than you might expect. Opt for industrial-strength ear plugs or muff to protect your hearing.
- Flashlight: When crawling in dark spaces, you’ll want to see exactly what’s in front of you. Keep a small flashlight attached to your toolbelt, and a larger one in your HVAC toolkit within arms’ reach.
Best Tool Boxes Reviews
First on our list is one of the top-rated and best-reviewed toolboxes. Dewalt is a renowned company in the industry and the Dewalt Tool Box DWST08204 Extra Large Tough System is from a series of carrying cases from the house of Dewalt. The company has a wide range of carrying and storage products from storage to portability.
- Highly robust built foam-based box with a very large interior storage space and superior durability
- The vertical internal storage is great for placing hand tools
- It has a removable tray for hand tools and other misc objects
- Comes with side latches that let you stack one module over the other thus giving you clear shelf function and also segregation possibility as well.
- The side handles are smooth and make the carrying it around very easy and let you place a lot of such boxes on the Metal carrier easily
- Made out of IP65 Integrated water seal outside and inside which will give you greater protection against any moisture or weather ailments.
- Anti-rust metal latches that are weather friendly
- Can store up weights till the capacity of 110 lbs easily
- Has a central locking mechanism which is built to facilitate its stacking on the ToughSystem stacking family
- Foldable brackets which enable tailored configurations for the metal carriers
- The foam box wall is about 4 mm in thickness thus gives it a robust quality even if used as a single unit.
- The vertical compartments are easily interchangeable for the box to be used as one large unit or shelved too.
- The box is also available in different models and the ToughSystem family is a large suite of storage and movement utilities
- Though it is portable with the latches and handles, the 110 lbs might not exactly be portable enough for a regular day job toolbox
A toolbox that is straight out from the 80’s model, the JEGS 81400 Black is a 3 drawer professional toolbox. You can have this for your truck, for garage work, for your home usage, car repair, trucks or trailers. A highly reviewed and received product, it is a decent box to store away your utilities easily and for a long time.
- Has 3 drawers of convenience for storing spanners, screwdrivers, wrenches and other flat long tools
- The box is entirely made out of high quality 16 gauge steel
- The drawers can be extended out fully, removed and replaced
- Glide system of the drawers is ball-bearing based thus it promises smoother movement from a point to another
- Can be locked and carried too. Includes 2 keys as well in the package.
- The latches are strong, hold firmly and are rust-resistant in nature
- Has a black powder coat finish
- Dimensions of the box are about 20.5 inches in length, 12 inches in height and 9 inches in breadth
- Very portable thanks to the meagre 17 lbs weight
- The handles come with JEGS comfort grip handles which are great for lifting and carrying without causing hand bristles
- Though touted as non-rustic, the outer layer might end up losing the paint if not taken care of and end up causing some rust.
Much like the heavy foam built grade of the Dewalt, the Plano 823-003 contractor-grade PO series is a 22 inches large Tool Box with black handles and latches. The grey graphite box comes with all there is much like the Jegs box mentioned above but with a robust build, looks and large capacity.
- Highly reviewed and rated box to store and arrange a wide range of tools
- Moulded plastic heavy foam built box
- Sized at 22 inches length, by 13.5 inches height and a 12.5 inches breadth.
- Plano modelling moulded with high-quality foam and durable build quality
- Includes two lift-out trays. These trays facilitate deep storage compartments which can let you either store a lot of small tools, a couple of large tools or adjust both large and small tools.
- The fold-down handle will let you take the toolbox with you wherever you go with great ease.
- Includes two stove away organizers that will stay in their place securely without any movement or disorganizing.
- The handles and the latches are reinforced for better durability and strength.
- Extra deep construction and the easy access to that is an add on feature
- Comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase which is a fresh and promising addition to such storage products.
- None too specific to mention
Yet another 22 inches large tool storage box, the Stalwart 75-MJ5051B is a contractor-grade toolbox that comes with a really cool and comfortable and heavy-duty handle that makes the box a highly portable make and build.
- The heavy-duty build quality of the Stalwart box makes it a great professional-grade toolbox and not just another “for the attic” toolbox
- It comes with a highly unique cantilevered tray that increases your ability and the reach you need to access the tools stored and also you can easily see through what you need and when.
- Has a clear-top lid that makes it easier to access the top shelf without needing to open the whole box.
- The shelves on the top have about 15 removable divisions and 3 parts that are permanently dividable. This increases the stability and avoids any tipping of the box as a whole.
- The box has a whole dimension of 22 inches length, 10 inches height, 12 inches width exterior. For the interior, it has a total usable 18.75 inches length, 2.25 inches height (compartmentally), and about 9 inches in width
- Comes with support legs that remove the chance of tipping over
- The handle is very comfortable to hold near the grip area and the entirety is made out of stainless steel
- The overall build material is Polypropylene and Stainless Steel
- Highly portable and has a great value for money
- None too specific to mention about
Next up we have the Akro Mils ProBox, a 14 inches large plastic built toolbox. This red coloured box gives you the vintage feel on as to a professional 70’s toolman. Also, Akro Mills comes with a fantastic 60 years history into building affordable storage equipment.
- Comes with very large storage space and a total of 14 inches in length
- Has a quite large removable tray for you to store smaller equipment or tools
- The box has a very strong steel latch to it. The padlock’s eye is large enough to shut the box close for the better
- Loaded boxes can be carried around with great ease and comfort as the handle has a very comfortable and highly secure grip to it
- The outer layer of the box is chemical resistant and as the product is made in the USA, you can rest assured of the quality
- Affordable pricing and very good storage capacity
- Could have had a bit more compartments or shelves for the price
Yet another red coloured toolbox chest, the Craftsman is a metal chest that comes with 3 drawers. Very sturdy in build, the chest comes with great reviews and ratings to it.
- Plenty of storage space but has a compact structure to it.
- The hinges are tight and sturdy in it that can withstand any rough handling
- The lid might seem a bit chintzy after a while but it does the job
- The drawers are piano styled and can be pilled out with great ease
- All while they have a great locking mechanism to them as well.
- The box’s handle has a rough handle which makes it easier to hang it by just about anything.
- The paint job on the metal surface could have been a bit better.
Finally on our list is the Keter Pro Classic toolbox. This toolbox has a robust plastic built body with compact shut case shelves out of durable and rugged quality in total.
- Decent 18.99 inches Length whereas 10.24 inches in width and 9.84 inches in height.
- Made out of high-quality rugged polypropylene resins which promises greater shelf life
- The interior utility tray is removable and retractable
- The lid is made out of metal and the stopper can hold the lid still intact while you are working.
- The padlock has separate storage space for quick access of tools
- The lid organizers are present on both sides of the handlebar where you can store small tools or spare parts etc.,
- None too specific to mention
The next one in our list is from Stanley, a 19-inches large plastic built toolbox. It comes with black handles and a latch that makes it easy to carry and store your utilities easily.
- Designed with a robust structure with large interior storage space and superior durability.
- With its extra-wide soft-grip handle, you can easily lift and carry it around to your workplace.
- It has a removable tray that provides enough space for larger tools to be stored underneath.
- Sized at 19-inches length, by 9 inches height and 10.25 inches width.
- Organizers on top lid for small parts storage and convenience to use.
- It is a one-hand operation latch that allows opening while other hand is occupied and also shuts automatically.
- Affordable pricing and good storage capacity.
- It has a black powder coat finish and offers a limited lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects.
- It is durable, versatile, and secure that gives the mobile craftsman the versatility they need for the workplace.
- Made out of high-quality plastic that ensures greater shelf life.
- It would have a bit more space/shelves for proper storage.
- Could improve the design of the latch locking system.
Some Final Notes
HVAC professionals are tasked with a variety of work, and you and your team will need a great deal of equipment to ensure they can tackle any project that may come up. Outfit yourself and your technicians with the tools required to provide quality service each and every time.
HVAC technicians have a variety of tools at their disposal, and the above must-haves are an essential part of running a successful HVAC business. If you’re building your own dream HVAC tool kit, use the above checklist to guide your selection.