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Gold medal. NTE11L BreakFree Power Tube Expander.
NTE11L BreakFree Power Tube Expander

The Gold award in the HVAC Hand Tools category goes to the BreakFree Power Tube Expander by NAVAC Inc.

“One hand. One button. One click. Usually, tube expansion is a two-hand job,” said Zhuk Zhang, director of the product. “With the NTE11L [BreakFree Power Tube Expander], you will need only one click. This tool completes an expansion in 12 seconds. It dramatically improves the time and efficiency of tube expansion.

“With material price skyrocketing, our NTE11L helps technicians to save big by eliminating the use of premade fittings,” he continued. The BreakFree Power Tube Expander also brings increased accuracy. “If done manually, you have the tendency to create an oval-shaped expansion that causes tube issues or splits or cracks. This tool brings you accuracy and consistency of expansion that ensures the perfection of connections.”

Bryan Orr, president of Kalos Services Inc., has experienced the efficiency and accuracy of this tool firsthand.

“This tool can save technicians of all experience levels time, effort, and money in the field, which is especially important in today’s economy. The BreakFree Power Tube Expander does all three and has the battery life to keep delivering excellent results even on the longest install days,” said Orr. “The tool expands tubing on soft or annealed copper with the press of a button. New apprentices can operate the BreakFree Power Tube Expander easily and without compromising the quality of the copper. At the same time, old pros can also find value in the tool’s high-quality hand feel and lightweight portable operation; it’s comfortable to use on long installation jobs.”

The BreakFree Power Tube Expander is available for a quick connect head sizing in sizes 3/8-inch, ½-inch, 5/8-inch, ¾”, 7/8-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/8-inch.

“The connection heads make this tool highly adaptable to copper tubing of all sizes, saving contractors like me money on expensive fittings. The actual expansion process only takes 12 seconds, saving precious time while yielding reliable results,” said Orr.

The tool can be used in any circumstance where HVAC tubing expansion is needed. With its quick 30-minute charge, a large capacity lithium battery, and battery and charger compatibility with other NAVAC BreakFree Series Power Tools, technicians no longer have to worry about battery life.

The company spent three years researching the design of this product through surveys, focus groups, laboratory validations, and field tests.

10 CFM Vacuum Pump.
Fieldpiece Instruments Inc.
10 CFM Vacuum Pump

The Silver award in the HVAC Hand Tools category goes to the 10 CFM Vacuum Pump from Fieldpiece Instruments, Inc. The Fieldpiece 10 CFM Vacuum Pump VPX7 is a lightweight and tough tool for the HVACR professional.

Since clean oil matters, the VPX7 features a large oil reservoir window to give users an instant indicator of the condition of their oil and system. It also features the company’s RunQuick Oil Change System that lets technicians change oil without powering down, losing vacuum, or making a mess. The new removable oil window makes it easy to clean and easy to see operational lights regarding gas ballast and cold start.

The VPX7 was designed to handle the demands of any job site. It’s light enough to be carried anywhere, and its extra-wide base means it won’t tip or spill oil. It has four in-line ports with plenty of room for running multiple hoses without tangles or clutter.

Customers will get an easy hose connection for a lightweight product equipped with convenient, removable cord storage; a sturdy base that stays upright; 15 microns of ultimate vacuum; and more. The VPX7 is available in port sizes ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, and ½-inch.

Though Fieldpiece already had previous lines of vacuum pumps, two years of research and design were put into the new models.

NEF6LM BreakFree Power Flaring Tool.
NEF6LM BreakFree Power Flaring Tool

The Bronze award in the HVAC Hand Tools category goes to the NEF6LM BreakFree Power Flaring Tool from NAVAC Inc. This tool was designed to make the technician’s job easier by providing an automatic way to flare copper, yielding quick, accurate, hassle-free flares.

The BreakFree Power Flaring Tool weighs less than 3 pounds and is equipped with a high-performance rechargeable lithium battery that produces over 100 flares per charge. It was designed to handle harsh environments and any circumstances in need of an HVAC tube flare with a simple press of a button. The NEF6LM flaring tool kit comes with a battery, charger, five clamps, and a carrying case.

Over four years of research, including surveys, focus groups, field tests, and lab validations, were completed in order to optimize the features of the BreakFree Power Flaring Tool.

By giving the contractor the ability to perform better and finish jobs sooner, this product opens the door for NAVAC to continue its innovation in creating more products that are lightweight, compact, automatic, and convenient.