Toolbox

A growing number of durable, professional-grade task lighting tools provide powerful illumination with extended battery life and advanced options to HVAC-R professionals For HVAC-R contractors and technicians, a dependable, high-quality headlamp can significantly improve on-the-job safety and productivity. Given the nature of the job, many end up working in poorly lit, cramped, and enclosed spaces Read more

A growing number of durable, professional-grade task lighting tools provide powerful illumination with extended battery life and advanced options to HVAC-R professionals

For HVAC-R contractors and technicians, a dependable, high-quality headlamp can significantly improve on-the-job safety and productivity. Given the nature of the job, many end up working in poorly lit, cramped, and enclosed spaces, so lighting solutions that allow the use of both hands can be critical.

As with any tool, however, there are choices to make as to cost and quality. Since HVAC-R contractors work in relatively harsh environments, headlamps should be durable enough to withstand rough handling and contact with water, chemicals, dyes, and refrigerants. Choosing a unit that offers advanced features such as multiple lighting settings (spot, flood, close range), are dimmable, or have UV LEDs for leak detection using fluorescent dyes, can expedite job completion and improve safety.

Headlamps are critical for improving safety and efficiency in dark or low light areas.

“Headlamps, penlights, flashlights, and other illumination tools are critical for improving safety and efficiency in dark or low-light areas,” says Rob Holmes, a sales representative at Sunbelt Marketing, a manufacturers’ representative/master distributor of HVAC-R, plumbing, and piping products.

“However, these essential tools must reliably perform at the jobsite and not fail or run out of batteries during work shifts,” adds Holmes. “Still, many contractors purchase low-cost headlamps from big box stores that are manufactured overseas and not designed for contractor environments.”

Even products sold to the industry by distributors and wholesalers can develop poor reputations if the units fail at the jobsite or develop reliability issues.

“One low-cost [headlamp] brand was popular with HVAC-R contractors for a while, but many distributors now refuse to offer them because the units failed repeatedly, and there were constant returns,” says Holmes. “Contractors want reliable, substantial, yet lightweight products that will not fail on the job.”

Fortunately, a wide variety of professional-quality headlamps and lighting products are available that provide HVAC-R professionals with the reliability, powerful illumination, extended battery life, versatility, and comfort required.

Greater Reliability and Safety

Understanding the need for dependable and high-quality products in the market, Sunbelt Marketing made the decision to become a manufacturers’ representative/master distributor of HVAC-R products from Princeton Tec. The Trenton, NJ-based company designs and manufactures professional-grade headlamps in the U.S. with durable thermoplastic material designed to withstand drops and rough handling. The U.S. military uses these products, and there is an option to make purchases with a lifetime warranty.

“Because headlamps can be dropped or damaged in the demanding settings serviced by contractors, it is important that the equipment can withstand rough handling,” says Holmes. “The headlamps are also waterproof and chemical resistant and so can be easily washed if it comes in contact with the dyes, chemicals, and solvents utilized by HVAC-R contractors.”

Battery life is also an important consideration because HVAC-R technicians working 8-to-12-hour shifts prefer to avoid the downtime needed to change out headlamp batteries two or three times per shift. Today, advanced dimmable LEDs with lower battery draw, less heat, and greater illumination per unit of energy can enable battery power to last entire shifts without a change.

The Vizz-IND headlamp, for example, offers a consistent 420 Lumens of illumination with a burn time of 90 hours. The headlamp can be switched between a bright LED spot beam for long throw illumination, four 5mm LEDs that deliver a flood beam, and equipped with both a nylon head strap and an interchangeable rubber helmet strap.

The LEDs are dimmable, allowing the headlamp to be adjusted to suit the available light and the work environment.

“If the light is too bright for a particular task, or setting, the dimming feature can be used to adjust to a more comfortable light level. Dimming also extend the burn time and battery life of the headlamp,” says Holmes.

Although professional-grade headlamps cost more up front, the overall cost of ownership is often lower because the batteries typically last 5-6 times longer and do not need to be replaced constantly during work shifts. When multiplied by the number of technicians out on jobs, the savings to a HVAC-R contracting firm’s bottom line becomes even greater.

Because technicians usually wear headlamps for many hours, it is important the headlamp is designed for prolonged wear and comfort. Some low-cost models have headbands that lose elasticity and require frequent tightening and re-adjustment. Professional-grade options typically have higher quality headbands that retain their elasticity and shape.

Like many other types of contractors, HVAC-R professionals often utilize their headlamps in their personal lives as well, for activities such as trail running, biking, hiking, hunting, and fishing.

“I run 30 to 50 miles a week at night, including on trails, so a headlamp is very important to me,” says Avid runner Joshua Harrington, an HVAC-R sales representative at Sunbelt marketing. “So, I tested the Vizz-IND headlamp to see how well it worked, how bright it was, how the dimming features functioned, and how it fit on my night runs.”

“I found the elastic headband very comfortable, and the product had a great balance of being lightweight, yet very durable,” adds Harrington. “The bright LED lights ensure vehicles see me, and I haven’t had to change out the battery once.”

Lighting solutions that allow the use of both hands can be critical for HVAC workers.

Versatility for HVAC-R Tasks

Today, some unique headlamp options even help HVAC-R technicians safely and efficiently handle a wide variety of jobs in the field.

The Remix Ultraviolet (UV) headlamp, for example, is specifically designed to assist with tasks such as leak detection. The headlamp combines a 300-lumen spot beam with three high-intensity UV LEDs that cause fluorescent dyes to “glow” for leak detection in low light settings.

Another product, the Snap Solo from Princeton Tec, features a detachable magnetic head unit that can be worn as a traditional headlamp, used as a handheld flashlight, or attached to any magnetic surface to illuminate even very confined work areas. The unit provides 300 lumens and a 155-hour runtime. A simple switch is used for activation and switching between high and low spot beams, dimming, as well as a flash mode to attract attention in case of emergency.

“If a technician enters a dark, enclosed space and needs to illuminate a specific area, he can detach the head unit and magnetically adhere it to any available metal surface in the best possible position for the task at hand,” says Holmes.

In settings where the environment is inherently volatile due to possible gases, vapors, or flammable substances present, Princeton Tec also offers headlamps that meet the safety requirements for these types of hazardous environments.

Handheld penlights are also useful for specific tasks. To ensure reliable battery power, an Alloy-X 400 lumen penlight offers dual-fuel technology so contractors can utilize either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery included or two AAA alkaline batteries.

Although purchasing low-cost headlamps and handheld lights is always an option, contractors and technicians that select professional-grade models with features suited to the task will discover that the improved reliability and performance will increase their safety and productivity for many years to come.

For more info, call 1-800-257-9080; email questions@princetontec.com; visit princetontec.com; or write to Princeton Tec, PO Box 8057, Trenton, NJ 08650.

Milwaukee’s determination to improve user experiences is exemplified by their continued commitment to provide productive layout solutions. Built for focused leveling applications, the M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser is the newest addition to their laser lineup. Focused on delivering users a solution with more power, visibility, and easier set-up, the Single Plane Laser aims Read more

12’ Telescoping Laser Pole

Milwaukee’s determination to improve user experiences is exemplified by their continued commitment to provide productive layout solutions. Built for focused leveling applications, the M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser is the newest addition to their laser lineup. Focused on delivering users a solution with more power, visibility, and easier set-up, the Single Plane Laser aims to improve jobsite efficiency.

“After the success of our first M12™ lasers, we knew there was an opportunity for additional innovative solutions in this space. Competitive alkaline-powered lasers don’t have the runtime and visibility users need to get the job done,” said Kenan McCutcheon, Product Manager for Milwaukee Tool. “Leveraging our advanced M12™ battery technology, we are able to provide users the most reliable and powerful lasers for a best-in-class experience.”

M12 Green 360° Single Plane Laser

The M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser provides all-day run-time and best visibility* in its class. Utilizing an M12™ REDLITHIUM™ XC 4.0 Battery, users can get 30+ hours of continuous run-time, and the brightest* green laser offers users superior visibility with up to a 250’ diameter. The laser is fitted with a tether-ready lanyard loop to help eliminate drops, and the amplified rare earth magnets provide a secure hold, ensuring it won’t slide on steel studs and allowing users to set up anywhere. The Single Plane Laser is impact rated for drops up to 1m and the IP54 rating helps protect it from harsh jobsite conditions.

M12 Green 360° Single Plane Laser

The new M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser joins the M12™ Cordless System, the largest sub-compact system on the market, focused on delivering industry-leading durability and power in the tightest spaces. Currently, the M12™ System is made up of more than 100 solutions.

*When compared to 12v multi-plane lasers with all green diodes or 12v cross line & plumb point lasers with all green diodes 

Specifications

M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser (3631-21) 

  • Working Range: 125ft
  • Range w/Detector: 165ft
  • Accuracy: +/- 1/8” @ 33ft
  • Thread Mount: ¼”-20 & 5/8”-11
  • Locking Pendulum: Yes
  • Self-Leveling: +/- 4º Tilt
  • IP Rating: IP54
  • Impact Resistant: 1m
  • Class 2 Laser
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Kit Includes: (1) M12™ Green 360° Single Plane Laser (3631-20), (1) Responsive Laser Alignment Target, (1) Laser Track Clip, (1) M12™ REDLITHIUM™ XC 4.0 Battery, (1) M12™ Lithium-ion Battery Charger, (1) Carrying Case.
*Also available as a bare tool (3631-20)

Delivering upwards of 21 minutes of runtime per charge**, the DEWALT 20V MAX* Cordless Dry Hand Vacuum (DCV501HB) is a jobsite cleaning solution that provides users with powerful performance (46 CFM) to pick up common jobsite debris ranging from drywall dust to small screws and nails. This versatile vacuum comes with six cleaning attachment accessories Read more

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Dry Hand Vacuum, DEWALT, DEWALT Tough, cordless tools, tools, tools of the trade, jobsite cleaning

Delivering upwards of 21 minutes of runtime per charge**, the DEWALT 20V MAX* Cordless Dry Hand Vacuum (DCV501HB) is a jobsite cleaning solution that provides users with powerful performance (46 CFM) to pick up common jobsite debris ranging from drywall dust to small screws and nails. This versatile vacuum comes with six cleaning attachment accessories to tackle cleaning jobs from floor to ceiling. The hand vacuum can be used to handle smaller messes or used in combination with the extension tube and floor accessory to clean floor areas. A bright LED light illuminates dark areas while a HEPA Filter allows for easy, efficient pickup of fine dust and debris and follows OSHA Table 1 Compliance under housekeeping rules. It comes fully equipped with an extension tube, floor nozzle, flexible hose, crevice nozzle, gulper brush, round brush, belt hook, drawstring bag, and HEPA filter.

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Dry Hand Vacuum, DEWALT, DEWALT Tough, cordless tools, tools, tools of the trade, jobsite cleaning

The DEWALT 20V MAX* Cordless Dry Hand Vacuum will be available in April as a bare tool where DEWALT products are sold.

*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.

**Using a DCB205 battery (sold separately)

 

Emerson’s new ratchet cutter line from Greenlee offers up to a 35% reduction in peak energy Greenlee, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces their complete line of high-performance Ratchet Cable and ACSR Cutters with up to 35% reduction in peak energy when cutting copper in comparison to a manual cutter. The line includes five Read more

Emerson’s new ratchet cutter line from Greenlee offers up to a 35% reduction in peak energy

Greenlee, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces their complete line of high-performance Ratchet Cable and ACSR Cutters with up to 35% reduction in peak energy when cutting copper in comparison to a manual cutter.

The line includes five cutters – three cable cutters and two ACSR cutters – and comes in both open jaw and flip-top designs ideal confined work areas. Together the ratchet cutters provide a complete solution for cutting copper up to 600 MCM, aluminum up to 750 MCM and ACSR up to 336 MCM.

The precision ratcheting mechanism holds cable tight to allow for rapid advance cuts; material-specific blade design gives clean cuts and robust durability; and the two-step ratchet mechanism enables fewer strokes per cut. Elongated handles give better leverage and a quick release lever allows mid-cut release.

“Our line of ratchet cutters are designed with performance in mind, giving maximum leverage with minimum effort. Eliminating strokes per cut lets you work faster, while putting less strain on the body,” said Ryan Berg, director of product management, Greenlee for Emerson.

Learn more about Greenlee’s Ratchet Cable and ACSR Cutters and schedule a demonstration by visiting Greenlee.com/us/en/ratchet-cutters. Find a local Greenlee distributor by visiting Greenlee.com/where-to-buy. For more information about Greenlee, visit Greenlee.com.

Emerson’s professional tools business includes Greenlee as well as the RIDGID® and Klauke® brands and provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of advanced, reliable tools and technologies for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades globally. Visit emerson.com/professionaltools for more information.

Milwaukee continues to rapidly expand their immensely popular PACKOUT™ Modular Storage System with two new additions – a PACKOUT™ 2-Wheel Cart, and a PACKOUT™ Customizable Work Top. These new additions bring more versatility to the PACKOUT™ System, keeping users organized on the jobsite, in transit, and within their shops. PACKOUT™ 2-Wheel Cart To easily transfer Read more

Milwaukee continues to rapidly expand their immensely popular PACKOUT™ Modular Storage System with two new additions – a PACKOUT™ 2-Wheel Cart, and a PACKOUT™ Customizable Work Top. These new additions bring more versatility to the PACKOUT™ System, keeping users organized on the jobsite, in transit, and within their shops.

PACKOUT™ 2-Wheel Cart

To easily transfer tools and equipment on and off the jobsite, the PACKOUT™ Cart has integrated PACKOUT™ mounts on the base and frame to securely stack or hang PACKOUT™ solutions. Capable of carrying anything from water heaters to a plethora of jobsite materials, the cart has a 400lbs weight capacity and two 10” industrial, flat-free wheels. Additionally, with its compact width this cart easily fits through doorways during transportation of these materials.

PACKOUT™ Customizable Work Top

Constructed with a 50lb weight capacity, impact resistant polymers, and ½” marine grade wood top, the work top provides users with a durable work surface to complete assembly, writing, and other tasks. The fastener-ready design makes it easy to attach vises, chargers, and a variety of other items to the top of a PACKOUT™ stack.

With the addition of the new PACKOUT™ solutions, the Milwaukee® PACKOUT™ Modular Storage System now has over 24 different solutions for users to choose from to build out their custom storage solution – making PACKOUT™ the most versatile and durable modular storage system in the industry.

*The PACKOUT™ Modular Storage System is the most versatile and durable modular storage system in the industry. An intuitive and quick attachment mechanism gives users the freedom to stack and lock PACKOUT™ tool boxes, organizers, totes, and bags of different sizes innumerous configurations that best suit their needs. For more information visit https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Products/Storage-Solutions/PACKOUT

PACKOUT™ Modular Storage System

Rolling Storage
PACKOUT™ Rolling Tool Box 48-22-8426
PACKOUT™ Dolly 48-22-8410
PACKOUT™ 2-Wheel Cart 48-22-8415 NEW!

Tool Boxes
PACKOUT™ Large Tool Box 48-22-8425
PACKOUT™ Tool Box 48-22-8424
PACKOUT™ Tool Case w/ Customizable Foam Insert 48-22-8450
PACKOUT™ Crate 48-22-8440
PACKOUT™ Compact Tool Box 48-22-8422

Organizers
PACKOUT™ Organizer 48-22-8430
PACKOUT™ Compact Organizer 48-22-8435
PACKOUT™ Low-Profile Organizer 48-22-8431
PACKOUT™ Low-Profile Compact Organizer 48-22-8436

Storage Totes & Bags
PACKOUT™ 20” Tote 48-22-8320
PACKOUT™ 15” Tote 48-22-8315
PACKOUT™ 10” Tote 48-22-8310
PACKOUT™ 15” Tool Bag 48-22-8321
PACKOUT™ 20” Tool Bag 48-22-8322
PACKOUT™ Tech Bag 48-22-8300
PACKOUT™ Backpack 48-22-8301

Coolers
PACKOUT™ Cooler 48-22-8302
PACKOUT™ 16QT Compact Cooler 48-22-8460

Foam Inserts
Customizable Foam Insert (Fits 8424, 8425, 8450) 48-22-8451

Mounting Plates
PACKOUT™ Mounting Plate 48-22-8485

Surfaces
PACKOUT™ Customizable Work Top 48-22-8488 NEW!

Power Tools
M18™ PACKOUT™ Radio 2950-20
M18 FUEL™ PACKOUT™ 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum 0970-20 NEW!
M18™ PACKOUT™ Light/Charger 2357-20 NEW!

For more information on the full line of Milwaukee® products, please call 1-800-SAWDUST or visit www.milwaukeetool.com.