Malco Products SBC received the Gold award in the Hand Tools category for its 5/16-inch and 3/8-inch C-RHEX Drivers.
Malco’s cleanable, reversible magnetic hex (C-RHEX) drivers do double-duty with “2-EZ Technology” that ensure 5/16-inch and 3/8-inch hex drives are always at hand. Available in four lengths (2-inch, 25/8-inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch), Malco’s patented dual-sided C-RHEX drivers are quick to set up and change between sizes while the driver shank remains installed in the drill chuck. The reversible hex socket fits over a ¼-inch magnet-tipped, ball-locking hex shaft, and can be quickly reversed to change sizes. The tested torque of the reversible hex chuck driver design is equal to one-piece drivers, and the impact-grade C-RHEX driver is designed for use in installing sheet metal ducting.
Malco spent two years developing, designing, and manufacturing this solution. During the design stage for this product, Malco hosted several focus groups that centered on increasing contractors’ speed to install metal duct, which led to the creation of the C-RHEX.
The buildup of metal shavings in hex drivers has been a problem for sheet metal HVAC technicians since the inception of sheet metal duct. The C-RHEX is easy to clean, eliminating frustration and buildup of metal shavings in the hex tip with the Easy Clean Magnet. Cleaning only requires the swipe of a glove or shop towel to clear any metal shavings.
The drivers also make it easy to switch between sizes while the driver shank remains installed in the drill chuck. This make the job more efficient and reduces the number of drivers needed. The product is also durable and long-lasting, tested and backed by a lifetime guarantee.
“Designed with HVAC professionals in mind and built on Malco’s legacy of quality and innovation, Malco’s cleanable, reversible magnetic hex drivers ensure 5/16-inch and 3/8-inch hex drives are always at hand,” said Nancy Gunnerson, marketing manager for Malco Products. “Featuring single-piece strength and an indestructible magnet, it’s the perfect companion for trade pros.”
“Instead of taking time to change out or find your ¼-in or find your 3/8-inch and find your 5/16, you’ve got one bit that does most of anything that we’re going to run into on an HVAC system,” said Jaime Christensen, lead service tech at Holmberg Mechanical in Bellevue, Washington. “It saves time and it’s versatile. And you can pull that head off and clean off your magnet regularly.
“I love it,” he concluded.
The Valve Core Removal Tool with Slide Valve Port by JB Industries Inc. was awarded the Silver medal in the Hand Tools category.
The A32525NS is a valve core removal tool that utilizes an additional slide valve on the side port to accommodate a micron or vacuum gauge. The product is used to swap out damaged valve cores under pressurized air conditioning and refrigeration systems. It also used to remove valve cores for much faster evacuation.
“The most important new feature by far is the slide valve on the side port of the A32525NS,” said David Madden, engineer at JB Industries. “This allows for the safe removal of the micron gauge without letting air inside the system and preventing the risk of refrigerant damaging the micron gauge.”
During design, the main ball valve handle was switched from a traditional 90-degree turn to a handle that is now actuated in-line with the valve. This allows the user to open and close the valve in tight areas with a single finger.
JB Industries’ JB Platinum Flex Vacuum Pump won the Bronze award in the Hand Tools category.
The DV-85BP and DV-142BP, two vacuum pumps, both operate with a 9-amp-hour lithium-ion battery, but also include an A/C adapter. These large 3- and 5-cfm models boast features such as gas ballast valves, 25 ounces of oil, lift ring, heavy duty aluminum construction, and over-the-counter warranty.
The DV-85BP and DV-142BP provide long-lasting battery power of 90 and 60 minutes, respectively. If power is available, the A/C adapter can be utilized for continuous run. The pump also alerts the user to a low battery with a beeping alarm.
“These pumps offer the best of both worlds: A mobile battery powered pump for applications where A/C power is unavailable, and a corded A/C pump where long evacuation is required,” said Mark Smrha, engineer at JB Industries is right on the 4.5-inch LCD display.