Image in modal.

The physical demands of HVAC take a toll on technicians and often contribute to their decision to leave the trade. Working in a crawlspace or on top of a roof proves challenging enough. Hauling around several pounds of tools and trying to manipulate them in tight fits or harsh climates makes the job even more difficult. That’s why the major tool manufacturers work to make their offerings lighter and easier to use.

“At DiversiTech, we constantly look to bring solutions to market that help technicians do their jobs better, easier, and faster, especially within the tools segment,” said Scott Mieras, product line manager at DiversiTech.

“We’re always investigating and experimenting with both traditional and innovative materials and processes to make tools lighter in weight. The challenge is to find materials and processes that maintain and/or exceed the requirements of strength, durability, and reliability set forth by the traditional methods of manufacturing.”

DiversiTech introduced several innovations at this year’s AHR Expo designed to give technicians the ability to do more to without having to make several trips to the truck or tool room, Mieras said. The Hilmor lineset cleaner that can wipe contaminants and remaining oil from linesets ranging from 3/8-inch to 7/8". The rinseable/reusable foam “pigs” are specially formulated and manufactured to flow through normal lineset configurations and most deformations. The Hilmor reversible magnetic driver features a twin wedge design gives the user the ability to push and pull the socket off the 1/4-inch magnet tipped shaft, permitting quicker socket flipping between the 1/4-inch and 5/16-inch sizes. DiversiTech intentionally tapered the socket to improve access into tight spaces.

DiversiTech also introduced the SG-2KIT, which features a 40 gram drain gun called the SG-2 Swoosh Double Shot. Technicians can use a single 20g cartridge or load both 20g cartridges for more power. It is equipped with a tapered fitting to work on 3/8-inch to 3/4-inch drain openings, and a universal adapter for multiple drain line clearing accessories.

SC680 Multimeter.

ONLY ONE TOOL NEEDED: The SC680 is an HVACR-specific multimeter, a power (kW) meter and a phase rotation test all in one. (Courtesy of Fieldpiece)

Tony Gonzalez, technical training manager at Fieldpiece Instruments Inc., said his company produces a line of multi-use tools that lessen the number of tools a technician needs to carry. He offers a couple of examples of this.

Fieldpiece’s new line of wireless power clamp meters pack the ability of multiple tools in one. The SMAN refrigerant digital manifolds can monitor system refrigerant charge and measure microns when pulling a vacuum on the system.

As far as making the tools lighter, Fieldpiece has an aluminum vacuum pump that’s much lighter than the ones made of cast iron. The VPX7 weighs only 24 pounds.

As for ergonomics, the company’s new line of refrigerant leak detectors are designed with ergonomics in mind. The redesigned hand-held body fits better in the hand, and improved weight distribution gives more versatility to search for leaks. The lighted LED tip — with audible alert when refrigerant is detected — empowers the technician to keep their eyes and head pointed forward without having to constantly look down at the LCD screen.

HVAC tool manufacturers face the same supply chain issues as everyone else. Mieras said DiversiTech’s leadership has taken this experience and used it to enhance the company’s product launch plans.

“We have looked at our product roadmaps and are adjusting the timing for delays and manufacturing adjustments, and this ensures a much more accurate execution of specific milestones,” he said. “Our focus has turned to providing those onsite solutions.”

Gonzales said Fieldpiece has experienced similar supply chain constraints. He said the company has taken proactive measures to greatly reduce the impact on its day-to-day business.