The Best HVAC Tools That Every HVAC Tech Need in Their Utility Belt
We’ve rounded up a list of HVAC tools that are highly recommended by HVAC pros and other home service experts. Recommendations include hand tools, power tools, and specialty tools, and business tools.
Looking for something specific to add to your toolbag? Jump to the section of interest:
HVAC Hand Tools
Below you’ll find heavy-duty tools made for daily use on the job site. Here are recommendations from other HVAC techs for durable, feature-rich hand tools.
1. Southwire 9” Lineman Pliers
Recommended by Clint DeBoer, Pro Tools Reviews
Southwire lineman (or linesman) pliers feature a riveted pivot joint, integrated crimper, fish tape puller, and reaming head. Client DeBoer with Pro Tools Reviews has this to say: “We really like the smooth open/close action on the Southwire SCP9TPCD-US side-cutting pliers.” Read the full review.
Southwire Tools & Equipment SCP9TPCD-US 9″ High-Leverage Side Cutting Pliers Fish Tape Puller & Crimper w/Dip Grip | $38.98 | 4.6 stars
2. Wiss MetalMaster Compound Action Snips
Recommended by Bob Wells, HVAC Training 101
These action snips come in right, left, and straight cut designs with different colored handles to tell them apart. The snips have a serrated edge blade and spring action. These are the perfect snips for your sheet metal needs. Bob Wells called them the “Best overall tin snips among the products tested.” Read the full review.
Crescent Wiss 9-3/4″ MetalMaster Compound Action Snips – Straight, Left and Right Cut – M3R | $22.93 | 4.7 stars
3. Wiha Slotted and Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set
Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Reviews
Of course, you need an assortment of screwdrivers, and this set with insulated handles is tested for up to 10,000 volts and certified for 1000 volt ac or 1500 volt dc. One commercial HVAC tech highly recommends these in his toolbox breakdown.
Wiha 32092 Slotted And Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set, 1000 Volt, 6 Piece | $34.99 | 4.9 stars
4. KNIPEX Plier Wrench
Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Reviews
Another of Matt’s go-to tools is the Knipex plier wrench. He explains that this plier wrench prevents him from having to carry an entire set of ratcheting wrenches. The wrench has no teeth and a wide jaw. “These jaws are always staying parallel with each other … this little tool is pretty much money for popping that tool in without marring the finish.” Watch his complete toolbox breakdown.
KNIPEX Tools – Pliers Wrench, Chrome, Multi-Component | $53.99 | 4.8 stars
5. Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper
Recommended by Perry Danner, Pro Tool Reviews
The Milwaukee 48-22-3075 ratcheting crimper features an inline head and two parallel ports (for RJ11 jacks and RJ45 jacks) that create more consistent pressure across its pins. “the ratcheting action is simple and effective. I don’t have to strain myself trying to apply enough force to get a good connection, and the design allows me to see more of what’s going on,” Perry Danner wrote in his review. Read the full review
Modular Crimper | $56.78 | 4.8 stars
6. Knipex Forged Wire Strippers With Locating Ridges
Recommended by Chris Boll, Pro Tool Reviews
The Knipex 13 72 8 strips and cuts solid and stranded wire between 10 and 20 AWG. Among these strippers many features are induction-hardened shear cutter blades with a 50% higher cutting capacity than other strippers. According to Chriss Boll, “They really hit it out of the park” with this new model. Read the full review.
Knipex Tools 13 82 8, 6 in 1 Electrical Installation Pliers with Comfort Grip Handle, Red and Blue | $63.23 | 4.6 stars
7. Milwaukee 18” Aluminum Pipe Wrench
Recommended by Scott Strollo, Pro Tool Reviews
For residential furnace and water heater installs, sometimes a pro needs a good pipe wrench, and Rigid and Milwaukee are the go-to brands. Every pro has their personal preference, but the Milwaukee 18-inch aluminum pipe wrench is Scott Strollo’s favorite. It’s considerably lighter than the steel alternatives but delivers the needed amount of power.
“I like everything about the Milwaukee 18-inch aluminum pipe wrench,” he writes in his review for Pro Tools. “The lightweight, the dual coil springs, the handle length and comfort, and gripping force of the overbite jaws. I certainly recommend it to other Pros.” Read the full review.
Milwaukee 18 in. Aluminum Pipe Wrench | $59.97 | 4.8 stars
What else should be on your HVAC toolkit?
Don’t forget about the basics:
(Links to the highest-rated items on Amazon)
- Allen wrench set
- Crescent adjustable wrench (8 inch)
- Tape Measure
- Torpedo level
- Electrician’s Shears
- 3 Step Ladder – 40 inches
- 3 Step Ladder — 52 inches
- 25-foot All-Weather Extension Cord
Power and Specialty Tools
We realize that the wide array of furnaces, air conditioners, and other HVAC equipment you service requires a ton of specialty tools like power and temperature testers, leak detectors, and more. Here are ten that come highly recommended.
8. Bosch 12V Brushless Compact Drill
Recommended by Patrick Brown, Pro Tool Reviews
Bosch’s 12V pocket drill is a compact, lightweight drill that offers quality speed and torque (1300 RPM). Pro Tools reviewer Patrick Brown wrote, “I really appreciated the increased run time of the 2 amp-hour 12V battery thanks to the efficiency of the brushless motor. With what is available on the market today, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option for a lightweight, well-balanced, 12-volt cordless drill/driver.” Read the full review.
Bosch PS22-02 12-volt Max Brushless Pocket Driver Kit with 2.0Ah Batteries, Charger and Case | $149 | 4.6 stars
9. Fluke 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Laser Temperature Sensor Gun
Recommended by Aaron Benetti, HVACHowTo.com
Fluke’s HVAC Pro sensor gun is a dual thermometer that can take contact and no-contact temperature readings in HVAC systems to help identify overheated breakers, compressors, and motors. It can measure temperatures from 40 to over 550 degrees celsius. HVACHowTo.com named the Fluke 561 their top sensor gun with this to say: “The unit is very well built with the lens housing made of solid metal when most other units are made of plastic.” Read the full review.
Fluke – FLUKE-561 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Thermometer, -40 to +1022 Degree F Range | $234.99 | 4.6 stars
10. Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter
Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Review
The Fluke 87-V is a versatile multimeter that takes temperature readings without needing a separate thermometer.
Commercial HVAC specialist Matt, of the HVAC Tool Review YouTube channel, highly recommends the Fluke 87-V. According to Matt, where the Fluke 116 stops just before milliamps, requiring you to use two different flukes, the Fluke 87 offers both microamps and milliamps. “If you’re looking for one meter to do it all, I would seriously consider checking out the 87.” Watch his full review.
Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter | $439.99 | 5 Stars
11. Midwest Offset Hand Seamers
Recommended by Caio, Sheet Metal HVAC
Midwest makes offset and straight hand seamers. Sheet metal worker Caio prefers the 3-inch offset seamers which offer more leverage. He explains, “They’re very comfortable and they’re a little wide, but you get the strength from it.” Midwest’s seamers feature forged blades and kush’n-power grips that reduce fatigue. Watch the full review.
MIDWEST Seamer – 3 Inch Offset Sheet Metal Bender with Forged Blades & KUSH’N-POWER Comfort Grip Handle – MWT-S2 | $54.99 | 4.3 stars
12. Navac 2cfm Cordless Vacuum Pump
Recommended by Zac DesJardins, Quality HVACR
Many HVAC pros have concerns about a battery-powered vacuum pump, but for those that have tried the Navac 2cfm, it has consistently outperformed their expectations. According to Zac DesJardins, owner of a residential HVAC company in Tennessee, the NAVAC 2cfm “can handle anything 5 tons or below.” Watch his full review.
Navac Cordless Vacuum Pump, 2cfm, Master-Series (NP2DLM) | $498 | 5 stars
13. Yellow Jacket 42006 Series Manifold Gauges
Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub
The Yellow Jacket 42006 Series are high-pressure color-coded refrigeration gauges rated for R-22, R-410a, and R-404a. “In terms of performance, it is great. Very accurate with (class 1) 1% accuracy,” Josna of ElectronicsHub.com writes. Read the full review.
Yellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8″ Gauge, psi, R-22/134A/404A | $157.99 | 4.8 stars
14. Robinair TIF9010A Refrigerant Scale
Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub
Electronics Hub found the Robinair TIF9010A to be “the most durable and reliable” refrigerant scale that they tried. It also comes with a 2-year warranty. The one downside is it’s only rated for 110 pounds, for heavier jobs, you’ll need another option. Read the full review.
Robinair TIF9010A Slimline Refrigerant Electronic Charging/Recover Scale | $140.82 | 4.6 stars
15. Inficon Refrigerant Leak Detector
Recommended by Josna, Electronics Hub
In Electronics Hub’s comparison of leak detectors, Innficon’s model ranked number one for its .25 oz sensitivity and its sensor life of 100 hours. Other stand-out features include a two-year replacement warranty and a rugged carrying case. Read the full review.
Inficon Refrigerant Leak Detector, Model:705-202-G1 | $178.12 | 4.5 stars
16. Milwaukee Quick Adjust Tubing Cutter
Recommended by Adam Spafford, Pro Tool Reviews
Of course, Milwaukee has quite a diverse assortment of tubing cutters., but Pro Tool Reviews are a fan of their quick-adjust cutters that can handle up to 3.5-inch copper tubing and 3-inch PEX and PVC. Adam Spafford writes, “These new cutters feature an adjustment mechanism that provides a wide range of diameters. It looks like a black button allows the shaft of the cutting wheel to move up and down for the macro-adjustment, and a large knob on the end of the shaft provides the micro-adjustment needed during the cut.” Read the full review.
2-1/2″ Quick Adjust Cutter | $73.99 | 4.4 stars
3-1/2″ Quick Adjust Copper Tubing Cutter | $99.99 | 3.7 stars
17. RIDGID R3031 One-Handed Reciprocating Saw
Recommended by Greg Fox, Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning
The RIDGID R3031 is an extremely durable, long-lasting one-handed, orbital corded saw. “This is a great Sawzall that I totally recommend for anybody,” says Greg Fox of Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning. Per Greg, the R3031 has a ton of torque and is easy to maneuver. Watch the full review.
RIDGID 6 Amp Pro Compact Reciprocating Saw Kit R3031 | $97.95 | 4.8 stars
18. Fluke 922 Airflow Meter Kit
Recommended by Matt, HVAC Tool Review
The kit comes with color-coded airflow hoses, a hard case, and the airflow meter itself which has three tools in one capable of reading differential and static pressure, air velocity, and airflow. The tool is compatible with most pitot tubes. Matt from HVAC Tool Review explains: “It’s a lot cheaper than buying a complete flow hood set, so if you’re going to be troubleshooting airflow calculations, a pitot tube with a duct traverse is a very accurate way to get measurements.” Watch the full review.
Fluke 922/Kit Airflow Meter Kit | $869.99 | 4.5 stars
HVAC Business Tools
Since technology solutions for home services (like the HVAC industry) are our specialty, we wanted to end this piece with suggestions of business tools you might not have thought of. These suggestions are all pieces of HVAC service software we’ve seen our own customers use and recommend — so much so that we’ve built integrations to help them use the tools alongside Housecall Pro.
Use this list of HVAC tech tools to find the essentials you’re missing to go paperless and grow your business. Book a demo now and learn how Housecall Pro helps HVAC businesses easily manage day-to-day operations.
19. Integrated Consumer Financing: Wisetack
As you interact with more customers, you may come across those who don’t have the funds to pay for all of your services upfront. Or even if they do, they may not want to. A consumer financing solution like Wisetack lets your customer break up the cost of a job into affordable monthly payments, whether they be installations, repairs, maintenance, or other services.
Before deciding to finance, your customer can prequalify to see how much they can borrow. All they have to do is fill out a quick online application (from the privacy of their mobile device) and they’ll receive an approval decision within minutes. If approved, the customer chooses a loan option that best fits their needs and all you need to do is complete the job! Once your customer confirms that the job is done, you get paid in full. Simple as that.
20. Dedicated Phone Line and Phone Tracking: CallRail
When you use an app to manage your business’s dedicated phone line, you’re able to hand off calls to office staff or even route phone calls to sales pros and techs in the field. Tools like CallRail helps you do more with your business’s phone number.
For instance, CallRail includes call tracking capabilities to track data related to your business, such as how your marketing spend is working, where your calls are coming from and the number of calls that turn into paid jobs. We also have an integration with CallRail that allows you to automatically pull up customer info when they call.
21. Email Marketing System: Mailchimp
Many of our HVAC customers are adding monthly revenue by selling recurring maintenance plans to their own customers. These entail monthly or quarterly preventative maintenance visits, regular ductwork cleanings, and more.
An additional benefit for long-term, loyal customers are educational resources you can regularly send out as email marketing campaigns. You can also send out seasonal promotions, company news like new services or new hires, and more.
Email marketing systems like Mailchimp help you easily create messages to your customer list and track statistics around those emails, like open and click-through rate. Our integration allows Housecall Pro users to automatically add new customers to their email list.
22. Accounting: QuickBooks Online (QBO)
Quickbooks Online is the accounting software of choice for many HVAC businesses. Whether or not you’re working with a bookkeeper or accounting, you can create profit and loss reports, organize your payroll and tax information, and much more.
Housecall Pro’s QuickBooks Online and Desktop integration automatically syncs data between the two platforms, such as your invoices, customer information, line items, and payments.
23. Virtual Assistant: Alexa
When you and your techs are running between HVAC jobs all day, you’re constantly pulling up customer information, driving directions, and more on the go. Voice-activated tools like Alexa can help you do it faster and safer. With our Alexa integration, you can now ask Alexa what your next job is and bring up driving directions all without taking your hands off the wheel. Best of all, it’s free.
24. Mobile Card Reader: Housecall Pro
With a mobile card reader, you can take credit card payments before leaving a customer’s house. Housecall Pro has designed a card reader specifically for home service businesses that comes with credit card rates as low as 2.59%. You can process cards by chip, tap, or swipe. Best of all, the turnaround time for payments is less than 30 minutes using our Instapay system.
Learn more about our card reader and other digital payment options.
Hey Pros! What’s on your “must-have” HVAC tools list? Leave a message in the comments section below.