The Gold award for Hand Tools goes to the Pro-Fit swaging tool from RectorSeal.
Pro-Fit swage bits create precise and fast swage in copper and aluminum line sets, mini-split HVAC units, and other similar applications. The spinning hex bit forms a consistent swage without splits, burrs, blemishes, or uneven edges that typically cause swage fitting connection leaks. The bits burnish swage surfaces reducing the risk of leaks. The hex bits are color-coded for easier identification.
The bits work with 2,000-rpm drills and drivers. A standard ¼-inch hex shank fits directly into most power tools without an adapter.
The product has a number of features to ensure consistency. A stopper ensures a consistent length of the swage surface. The tip guides the swaging bit into the tube and forms a consistent swage. The Pro-Fit swage bits allow for quick installation. There are six different fittings in up to six different sizes to cover most install applications.
An instructional video from RectorSeal goes over a few of the basics for using the Pro-Fit swage tool. A technician should always wear gloves when using the tool. The hex bit is attached to a drill that has at least 1,800 rpm to 2,000 rpm. The drill should be at full speed before pushing the hex bit into the tubing. It goes in until hitting an attached stopper. The technician then taps out any leftover copper and assembles the swage fitting. There is no need for a coupling.
The Silver award for hand tools goes to the SuperEvac™ Plus II vacuum pump from Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc./Yellow Jacket.
The brushless DC motor incorporated into the latest generation vacuum pump provides high torque and high efficiency. This means power is always there on demand while placing less mechanical and electrical stress on the unit. The SuperEvac is able to function in extreme low voltage conditions. It also handles supply voltage variations. It is designed to start and operate in extreme temperature conditions, especially low temperatures.
The tool is field tested to an ultimate vacuum of 15 microns. The design is available in 4, 6, 8, and 11 cfm models. The SuperEvac is meant for use with A2L systems and includes a non-sparking switch. There is an isolation valve for oil changes without losing vacuum in the system. A gas ballast valve keeps oil cleaner for longer during evacuation. An internal intake check valve helps prevent oil backup into the system and maintains vacuum during a power failure. A wide-mouth oil reservoir port makes cleaning easier and doubles as a pump exhaust, threaded to attach a garden hose for exhausting to a remote location.
The Bronze award for hand tools goes to the RealTorque™ core removal tools and superheat kits, also from Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc./Yellow Jacket.
The tool is used essential for effectively removing and replacing HVACR system Schrader cores. Removal of system Schrader cores can greatly increase the speed of recovery and evacuation.
Once charging is complete, it is important that the system Schrader cores be properly tightened to prevent leaks. The RealTorque has an integrated torque mechanism that clicks as soon as the Schrader core has been tightened to the manufacturer recommended torque value of 3-5 inches per pound. This provides assurance that the Schrader valve is properly tightened on every job and minimizes the chances of leaks from this area of the system. The kits also include all the tools necessary to replace Schrader cores without losing system pressure even if the core or mating core threads are damaged. Kits are available for ¼-inch and 5/16-inch systems.
The superheat kits include all the tools necessary for accurate system superheat calculations. The thermometer and core removal tool with side port allow for the pressure and temperature measurements to be taken at the same system location. Technicians can then compare these measurements to the system refrigerant P/T chart to determine the system superheat.