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What tools do I really need?

5700 Views 36 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  slowforthecones
So I got the tool list:

I'm kind of wondering what else is good to have for doing HVAC/Electrical work? Time saver type stuff.

Like having a trenching shovel for clean out work in landscaping.

My tuition is already paid for and I'm getting a $5.5K grant that I can use to get goodies with. Plus my GI Bill every month.

I've been looking at the Wiha, Fluke, and Bosch websites, since I know those are good tools. I've also cruised the Klein website.

These looked nifty:

What do you guys have that you can't live without? What do you have that's just taking up space and you never use? What don't you have that you wish you did?
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My personal opinion on toolbelts is something simular to this:

I have 2 belts one a triple bag set-up (new to construction had to be cock of the walk) seems to gather dust then I down sized to one simular to the above. For much of what I was doing for awhile I used a drill holster on one side a bag on the other tape holder hammer holder etc. The key to the above example is the suspenders are integrated into the belt with metal clips MUCH better than the standard suspenders and helps distribute weight.

As far as the electrical tools: Klein and Greenlee (you figured that out though)

Tape measure Fat Max Xtreme

Wrenches and sockets for the money I LOVE Husky.(Snap-on,Mack etc. are lifetime too but seem to me to be overpriced for people out side the Car/Diesel Mechanic world)

The above is the brands and stuff I've seen on most all commercial/residential sites used by HVAC guys as well as electricians.
Hope I'm not being redundant by basically adding brand names to your list.

Now for the "extras" not so much on list. I find ALL trades find a 18 volt combo kit INVALUABLE. My personal favorite is DeWalt's but others will insert the usual Makita,Milwaukee(Ryobi:laughing::laughing:JK) etc

The impact is my right hand! The chordless hammer drill is good for mild to moderate use.Same with sawsall. OBVIOUSLY you'll have to get the usual chorded ones too. On"specialty " chorded one you'll most likely need is a rotary SDS.(Dewalt,or Bosch etc.)

A powder acuated gun comes in handy.Hilti makes a single shot also a "semi auto" type.(they make alot off the other tools above but don't know if the price and performance are matched well. Don't have a personal "hands on" with them)

The above is based on my opinion and what I've seen guys use with little to moderate bitching.Hope it's more of a help than a hinderence.;)

Good luck on the HVAC! I gave it some thought myself.(living in Florida it seemed to be a no brainer) but couldn't afford the $$$$$ and then 2 companies I know one in So Fla laid off half the company and one here is closing up shop due to "the plague".
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I was looking at this combo kit. Do you think that's a good one?
NO! IMO 36 volts are heavier and impractical. Most times when the AC guy shows up to a sight there's temp power poll(s) on sight or in commercial with multple floors temp power on all or every other floor.(unless you get on the rough in crew) If your on the service side power is almost always there. Also might not be able to get into confined places.

One like this is better:

Snake flashlight AWESOME.

Impact driver(this is the workhorse of ANY combo kit) the one you showed has the drill only. PLAY with the impact driver doing johnny homeowner shiz around your house!!! Untill you get the hang of the torque you'll snap the F:censored:CK out off of fastners if you don't have a feel for it. Also is VERY compact and easier than a drill for confined areas.

Hammer Drill. You might not ALWAYS need the hammering feature but nice to have. You can always set the drill up to drill for a bracket or mount your air handler "chair" to the floor etc. set it down and grab the impact to install the fastner. Even with keyless chucks it can be a PITA to switch back and forth between the drill bit and screw tip,nut driver etc.

Sawsall: AGAIN use it ALWAYS? Depends

The cut off/grinder: If I had the money to start from scratch this combo would be the one. Getting out a chord and grinder for 10 min. F:censored:CK THAT!

The cicular saw is the one item I don't care for. I had the original small one (SOME F:censored:CK HEAD STOLE IT:furious:) This one EATS batteries! Chances are you'll only need it to cut the occasional scrap 2"X4" to block something up anyway.

Bateries: ALWAYS have a couple spare. Most stores are now offering 2 for $110 if not christmas is THE BEST time to pick up the 2 fer special! One "luxury item" if you will is the jobsite radio. Depending on jobsites that allow them I use it for my charger. It's rugged you don't get gunk in the charging portion and you got tunes!:thumbup:(personally I have an MP3 on me at ALL times so it's either in my pocket or on the radio). You can use your charger from the kit as a second on the site or at home to prep the batteries for the next day.

It might go without saying but I'll say it anyway.Get a 12-3 100' chord,a 50' 12-3 and maybe '25. Even if you don't run alot of electrical tools, you can ALWAYS make sure your charger is in plain sight!!!!!:eek:

If you get a SDS a 100' 10-3 extension IS A MUST! or you'll burn the motor out!!!

Like I said before I prefer DeWalt but you can go to the tool threads and watch the guys have a pissing contest over which brand is the shiz. and I use Lowes as a reference 'cause when HD started carying Rigid they downsized DeWalts.

If you get into commercial construction HVAC...YOUR OWN JOB BOX!!!!!!!!!!!! and a shopping cart LOL(if you ever get near a commercial site you'll see what I mean about the shopping cart!:laughing:)

Here is a site that carries A BUTT LOAD of stuff. NOT always cheaper than local stores but a pretty big selection of stuff locals don't have and you can get bare tools if you have batteries and don't want to spend money on another kit.

KRYPES This turned from a post to a damn BLOG!!!!! :laughing:
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The Fastenal store in Moscow carries Wiha, Fluke, Bosch, and Klein. Do you think it's better to buy these tools local or go on-line? My landscape stuff I buy local because there aren't big discounts available at on-line retailers for Husqvarna.
For the most part I would say unless you get a KILLER deal, buy local.(if they carry it) That way you have an ASS to put your foot in if something goes wrong!:bangin:
Another place you might come to love is Harbor Freight. ONLY BUY FROM THEM if there's a brick and morter by you! I've been told by guys they picked up the manifold gauges you need there and some other tools.ONLY BUY THOSE KIND OF TOOLS if someone you trust SWEARS to their quality.
They have a HUGE selection of "gadgets" the big store don't carry! I've bought an EXTRA long needle nose plyer set for $7 ,some thumb ratcets for $1 a piece etc. MOST of their stuff is S:censored:T and as time comes you'll have a clear idea of what tools you can buy from places like them with satisfaction. I've even picked up things at Big Lots.(specialty clamps,canvas drop clothes etc.)

NO POWER TOOLS SHOULD BE PURCHASED AT EITHER STORE!!! The name brands are overpriced and their brand is shiz.

You know Husqvarna. If I had to buy tools for your trade I know to buy them. but if Husqvarna doesn't make it or there is a comprable one by another brand you would know and I would be lost. As others said the more you get familiarized with the tools of the trade you'll get to know what kind and what quality you'll need.(3 years ago I didn't see the need of an impact driver. NOW....HOW THE F:censored:CK DID I DO ANYHTHING WITH OUT IT!!?????)

HOPEFULLY your instructors will have had X amount of field experience and will enlighten you as to that one tool you'll die without!

And you know we're here to confu....I mean point you in the right direction :wallbash:.
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#1 Five gallon bucket with tool skirt, lid on tight, with 4" hole in lid. You sit on the bucket with the hold between your legs. No it's not a toilet, it's your trash can. Instead of dropping stuff on the floor to pick up later you just drop it straight in the trash. Voila, no cleanup.

#2 Since I have tendon issues in my hands, I try not to use pliers if I can help it. For pulling wire staples without dinging electrical cable I use a T-type "seal puller". Works like a champ.
Cool idea for trash!!:clap: Always thought the bucket buddies were the ONLY way to go,but the tool skirt/trash can combo instead......:thumbup:

Do you have a link or pic for your particular T-handle for clarifacation of the end?? THANX
Cool idea, its amazing how the defining lines of trash bag and tool bag become blurred as you approach 5:00 friday night.

Like this seal puller?

I just use a 9" cat's paw, sloted screwdriver or claw hammer.
Thanx! T-type and T-handle two different things! I RE READ what was on the original post. DOOHH!:wallbash:

After seeing your example ,I agree with the cat's paw I use a type of trim bar also.

I'm always looking for a better mouse trap.:rolleyes:
I have a bucket with the tool skirt, I tried it for daily use, didn't like it. I now use it for a tool box, for tools I rarely use.
I've gone through my phases. Tool belts,bucket buddies (with and with out wheels),tool bags and stack on tool boxes (with the removable storage containers) then I stumbled upon these:

DISCONTINUED!!!!!!!!! :cursing:

I bought 2 on clearance($20 a piece NORMALLY $60!) then they fell off the planet! Oh well!:sad:
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