Innovative Tools showed what it called ‘redesigned classics.’
CHICAGO - Technicians should never fret about having the right tools, as long as they or the bosses are willing to make periodic investments in upgrading what is in their toolboxes and trucks. Manufacturers continue to roll out easier to use products that allow a job to get done faster and more effectively.

The 2006 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) had an extensive sampling of the newest wares.

American Lokring ( showcased its "clean, cold tube joining system." This approach is said to produce "hermetically sealed metal-to-metal tube connections." Applications are said to be the joining of aluminum evaporators to copper line or cap tubes, aluminum evaporators to copper tube manifolds, and stainless steel evaporators to copper inlet and outlet tubes.

Burr Oak Tool and Gauge Co. ( displayed a brazing technology for multiple low volume dedicated applications installed on the same machine. The company said the changeover is completed in minutes with no post cleaning on many parts.

Bacharach Inc. ( introduced an industrial leak detector that provides low-level detection and leak rate qualification of refrigerants. The unit is "often utilized in production line environments to ensure quality assurance," the company said. It is also said to be capable of detecting 29 of the most commonly used refrigerants and halogen gas compounds.

Cementex ( highlighted its fully insulated adjustable wrench. The wrench comes in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch sizes.

CPS ( exhibited a wide range of new products, including a high-capacity, two-stage vacuum pump with a gas ballast valve and high torque motors for cold weather startup. Also shown was an anti-siphon valve kit that can be added to any brand of vacuum pump preventing cross-contamination of vacuum pump oil and the compressor oil of the system being serviced.

Dynesic Technologies ( featured Pansealâ„¢, a multi-component epoxy tool designed to quickly and permanently seal, repair, and restore leaking and corroded drain pans. It is said to work without the need for surface preparation and can seal leaks in standing water.

Goss Inc. ( offered soldering/brazing tips applying primarily for projects requiring acetylene. The company said the tool includes "very hot turbine flame, snap-in design interchangeable with other manufacturers' handles, and a wide range of sizes."

Inficon ( showcased its refrigerant recovery system the Vortex AC. The Vortex is an upgraded compressor with ceramic bearings, a single valve, liquid tolerance, and is oilless, according to the company. The unit comes with a ½-hp AC motor.

Imperial Tools ( showed a durable ratchet drive system coupled with the TC1050 Imp® cutter that permits cutting in tight quarters. The TC1050 may also be removed from the ratchet drive and used independently.

Innovative Tools Inc. ( displayed its "redesigned classics," such as a ratcheting pipe wrench with a jaw that doesn't require resetting between turns and a utility jack knife with a quick-change mechanism that allows the sliding in of a new blade without disassembling the knife or using a special tool.

JB Industries ( exhibited a vacuum pump tool described as a pump with ½-hp motor and two-stage direct drive. It has a 16-oz. oil capacity, all-metal construction, and is 24-micron field-tested.

La-Co Markal ( featured its pint size packaging of Cool Gelâ„¢ heat barrier spray. The product is said to help prevent heat damage to components and surrounding material during soldering, brazing, and welding. Specifically it is said to protect seals and seats in ball, dielectric, and solenoid valves as well as protecting soldered joints from loosening when soldering adjacent joints. It also protects from buckling or distortion of thin metal sheet during brazing and welding.

J.W. Harris ( introduced a self-lighting torch, air fuel outfits, air fuel tips, regulated hand torches, oxygen/acetylene kits, a single-stage nitrogen regulator, and related accessories.

Klenk Tools (, a division of Everhard Products, featured a line of hand tools made of extruded aluminum. The company said the folding tools are less than half the weight of similar steel tools complete with one-piece, no spot weld construction and finger ridges for better grip. A sight hole allows proper depth alignment.

Mastercool ( highlighted its Accu-Charge II electronic refrigerant scale line of refrigeration and air conditioning service tools. ‘Charge Programming' allows a user to program desired quantities. Before a charge is complete, an alarm will sound, giving the technician time to turn off the refrigerant supply.

Midwest Snips ( unveiled upright snips, billing the tool as "a revolutionary way to cut sheet metal and other materials." The configuration "avoids the need to bend the wrist while cutting metal in many common applications." Applications include confined areas, overhead, push and pull cuts.

The Mill-Rose Co. (, Clean Fit Division, presented a shut-off tool called the Water-Gate. The tool is used as a fluid shut-off device for installation, repair, or replacement work. It is available in ½- to 4-inch sizes. Seals are made of neoprene rubber and fit full port domestic and imported valves. They are compatible with R-404A and R-410A. The company also showed the Ringcrusher™ decrimping tool, created to remove crimp ring and PEX tubing from fittings.

Nu-Calgon ( featured R-11-Flush®, which according to the company, allows flush line sets when converting to 13 SEER equipment. The flush is said to remove existing oil, moisture, etc. from line sets. The product also flushes coils and line sets after burnouts and is said to have a low boiling point.

A sampling of the wide range of products shown at the booth of CPS.
Rothenberger USA, LLC( introduced the Super Fire 3. This heavy-duty brazing torch offers a high swirl flame for jobs requiring maximum heat. Features include precise flame adjustment and a twist and load system for changing burners.

Refco Manufacturing ( displayed the REF-Meter and REF-Meter Plus. These electronic charging scales are used to transfer or recover a preprogrammed amount of refrigerant. The REF-Meter has a maximum capacity of 220 pounds REF-Meter Plus is a wireless solenoid shut-off attachment that pairs with the REF-Meter to automatically shut off the refrigerant flow when the pre-assigned amount has been attained during system charging.

Robinair ( offered information on the 25175B refrigerant recovery system. It has an oilless compressor and handles both liquid and vapor straight through the compressor. There is a self-purge feature that allows the technician to purge all moisture, contaminants, and excess refrigerants from the recovery machine, without the need of a vacuum pump. The manufacturer said the self-purge was designed to eliminate the potential for system cross contamination.

StreamLight Inc. ( displayed a leak detection flashlight that has ultraviolet LEDs and halogen bulb combination.

Spectronics Corp. ( featured the Optimax Jrâ„¢ leak detector flashlight. The flashlight can fit in a shirt pocket and has a 100,000-hour LED bulb. Also featured was the borescope. This tool makes it possible for technicians to inspect and leak check hard to see components without disassembly. It has a 24-inch cable design to maintain its position in tight areas.

Testo ( introduced the TestoKool 523. This digital gauge set offers high and low side pressures, as well as saturation temperatures for up to 38 built-in refrigerants and more via the Internet. The product is said to measure and record real-time superheat and subcooling values automatically, displaying readings on a backlit display. The gauge monitors and controls refrigerant flow during evacuation or charging with a two-way manifold and sight glass. Testo also featured a new diagnostic kit for proper equipment sizing and set up and the TestoKool 560 Series digital manifolds.

TIF ( unveiled its TIF9030 compact refrigeration scale. It can be used with all refrigerants and has a weight capacity up to 220 pounds. The platform is said to adapt to most existing tanks, and it has charging and recovery capabilities.

TurboTorch ( showed a new oxy-fuel offering. The product is designed for a variety of oxy-fuel welding, cutting, and heating applications. A vacuum leak detector from Thomas C. Wilson, tests tubes in heat exchangers, condensers, and other tubular apparatus. A finger trigger creates vacuum strength of 25 inches of Hg to test the soundness of a tube.

TST-Stag's ( vacuum pump has a solenoid and vacuum gauge incorporated and designed especially for R-410A systems.

Turbotec Products ( unveiled a heat exchanger with titanium surface-enhanced tubing designed to maximize heating performance. The technology includes a twisted tube design and a titanium tube/plastic shell combination.

Ulvac ( featured its Automatic Leak Testing (ALT) system as used in refrigeration and air conditioning applications. It is based on the Heliot 700 helium leak detector and uses pumps, valves, and gauges throughout. A modular design enables customization of the system, while maintaining as many standard components as possible.

Vacuum Technologies ( highlighted what it called an evacuation plus charging system tool for air conditioning. It allows for "rate of rise testing that ensures optimum evacuation in the minimum time before charging, without the necessity to disconnect the product from the workstation, thus minimizing chances of connector leakage."

Vapco Products Division (, Garman Co. Inc., introduced a cylinderized solvent-based adhesive that meets DOT 39 nonflammable regulations. It is said to be a high solid pressure-sensitive adhesive with quick tack and a strong bond use on insulation.

Watts ( showcased the FloodSafeâ„¢, a flexible hose connector said to protect against water damage caused by burst or broken water supply hoses and fittings. Application includes icemakers.

Publication date: 03/06/2006