HVAC Technician Tool List – 10 Tools Every HVAC Technician Needs


So you are looking into becoming an HVAC technician?  Being in the trades is extremely rewarding from both personal and monetary standpoints.  But where do you start?  Alright, I don’t have all the answers, but I do know what tools you should get.  We created the HVAC Technician Tool List – 10 Tools Every HVAC Technician Needs to help you get started.

We kept this list short, so this list is just a start.  Now let’s jump in and check out some of the tools you will need for this profession.

HVAC Technician Tools

We made it easy to browse our list of suggested HVAC Technician Tools. Feel free to read the list straight through, or jump to tools you want to know more about.

  1. Hand Tools
  2. Duct Knife
  3. Drills
  4. Ladder
  5. Work Light
  6. Level
  7. Recovery Unity
  8. Thermal Camera
  9. Testers, Meters & Detectors
  10. Personal Protective Equipment

1Hand Tools

This list is huge and you will surely need a lot of different types of hand tools.  As you would expect, hand tools can add up quickly and are costly.  Here is just a sample of some of the hand tools you will need for an HVAC technician.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Prybar
  • Nut drivers
  • Tin Snips
  • Tape Measure
  • Coil Fin Straightener

I know this is a lot, especially if you don’t have anything in your HVAC toolkit, yet. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we reviewed these Sunex hand tools (photo above) and included direct links on where to buy them on Amazon.

Read more TIA Hand Tool Reviews

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2Duct Knife

A duct knife can go with the above list, of hand tools but this is just a good one to point out in case you skimmed the list above.  You’ll need this when making difficult cuts on the job.  When you get a Duct knife, don’t go cheap.  Get a good quality knife that has a nice handle and quality blade.

You can buy this Milwaukee Duct Knife on Amazon.

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3Drill & Impact

A must-have cordless tool.  You will be drilling and doing a lot of fastening so a good drill and impact drill are extremely important.

Before you dive in and just buy any cordless drill and driver, check out the rest of the line from the manufacturer to make sure their other tools are good.  As you grow, you will want to get into other cordless tools like a reciprocating saw.  Milwaukee has a great line of M12 tools that are designed for the HVAC technician.

You can also read our review of the Bosch 12V Power Tools pictured above.

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You will need a ladder as you will be accessing some high places, especially if you are going into commercial HVAC.  As a residential HVAC Technician, a step ladder is usually all you will need. However, be prepared to get a larger ladder even if you are just doing residential HVAC.

We really like Gorilla Ladders. If you want to learn more, you can read our article, Gorilla Ladders – The Common Sense Solution.

Or you can buy the Gorilla Ladder GLF-5X from The Home Depot for $130.

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5Work Light

Chances are you will be working in dark basements or attics where light is not the best.  Having a flashlight and a headlight that goes around your forehead will make your job easier.

We reviewed this Milwaukee Detailing Light. It’s also available on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Read more TIA Jobsite Light Reviews

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Levels are a must and you will need to get a variety of levels.  While most levels will work, having some magnetic levels will allow you to free up a hand when using an impact drill and a level at the same time.

You can read our review of the Empire Torpedo Level. However, Milwaukee has since bought this quality brand to further innovate their products. You can browse Milwaukee levels on Amazon.

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7Recovery Unit

This is used to remove or recover refrigerants from cooling equipment and air conditioner systems so it doesn’t leak into the environment. These are great for using for HVAC evaluations.

This Inficon Recovery Unit is available on Amazon.

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8Thermal Camera

This could go under the next list of testers but this is a handy tool that is used a lot.  This is a great tool for a variety of applications such as finding leaks, system failures, and more.

Read TIA Thermal Camera Reviews

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9Testers, Meters & Detectors

When it comes to HVAC, it probably uses the most tester, meters, and detectors of all trades.  Here is just a short list of some of these items you will need as an HVAC technician.

  • Leak Detector – Identifies area of moister
  • Megohmmeter – A tool to test a compressor to let you know if it’s working properly
  • Phase Tester – A tool to test and identify the current in a unit.
  • Psychrometer – This measures airflow and humidity
  • Temperature Gauge/Sensor – If you couldn’t guess, it measures temperature.
  • Multimeter – Measure various types of electrical current

These are just a couple of the widely used testers, meters, and detectors in the HVAC field.

Read TIA Measuring and Testing Tool Reviews

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10Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Safety is your number one concern.  You only have one body so keep it safe.  Make sure you have some good PPE items such as safety glasses, outwear, comfortable boots, and more.

This forum article by Techtown shares the 8 Best HVAC PPE for the Job.

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Final Thoughts on HVAC Technician Tools

So there you go, HVAC Technician Tool List – 10 Tools every HVAC technician needs.  Again this is just a list to get you started in your journey.  Once you are in the field, you will see how quickly this list will grow. And when you get there we will be here with more tool reviews.

Want to read MORE about tools? Check out TIA HVAC Tool Reviews.


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