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Thomas, Brad, and Eric unpack their toolbags and explain the tools they use on their market refrigeration jobs. Market refrigeration is a complicated branch of HVAC/R that requires several tools for a wide range of functions.
Perhaps the most diverse tool group is the wrenches. In market refrigeration, the Kalos techs use service wrenches, crescent wrenches, Allen wrenches, and ratchet wrenches. Service wrenches are critical for working on service valves, which are quite common in grocery refrigeration. Crescent wrenches are best for tightening objects; Thomas keeps two on him so that he can use one as a backup. Allen wrenches work well for some service valves, hand blades, electrical components, and valve orifices. Adjustable wrenches are excellent for adapting to various TXV sizes.
It’s best to have adjustable wrenches that can adapt to a wide variety of valves, as you will be working with lots of those in market refrigeration. Brad keeps 9/16” and 5/8” ratchet wrenches, which will work for almost all compressor head bolts and TXV screens, respectively.
When it comes to screwdrivers, Brad recommends keeping 8-in-1 or 10-in-1 combo pack screwdrivers with varied head sizes. The most common sizes you’ll probably need to use are 1/4” and 5/16”. Nut drivers, another important tool, also come in combo packs that contain various sizes. Those nut drivers go on an impact drill, which works for the relatively limited use of drills in grocery refrigeration. Brad also keeps 1/2” and 9/16” sockets in his toolbag; Eric keeps those two socket sizes, a 7/16” socket, and an 11/32” socket. Eric also keeps locking extensions for his drill.
Market refrigeration has quite a few electronic components, so our techs always carry a durable multimeter on them. Wiring is a major component of grocery refrigeration, so our techs also keep wire strippers, wire crimpers, and Channellock pliers.
We also keep cool technology in our bags, including thermal cameras. Those cameras can help us locate issues with the check valve and electrical components. Eric keeps a diagnostic toolkit in his bag, including the Fieldpiece Joblink set ( He also uses the Testo 605i (
Our cell phones also perform several vital functions for a tech, such as calling tech support and looking up manuals. Even though we want to avoid using cell phones for purposes that might distract us, they are the key to critical information about our work.
On top of tools, we also keep a few miscellaneous items in our bags, such as extra small parts or fasteners. These may include Schrader cores, screws, crimp connectors, cable ties, and caps. We also keep tape, jumpers, type K thermocouples, flashlights, and tape measures in our bags. Eric keeps valve stems in his bag, too, which are uncommonly used but VERY useful when they are needed.
All of those tools help our techs get through a vast majority of their diagnoses and small repairs.
Read all the tech tips, take the quizzes, and find our handy calculators at

Hey thanks for watching in this video, supermarket refrigeration, techs, thomas brad and eric give you a peek into their service bags, so that you can get a sense of tools that they use every day how they use them. I always like these short little videos, so you can actually get a peek at how other people do their jobs and different segments of the industry. So if you're, not a supermarket tech, i think you'll find it enjoyable. Hello uh, i'm thomas i've been doing commercial refrigeration for almost 30 years now um.

What we've done is we've set out basically my 90 bag and gauges, and my impact. This is basically what gets me through 90 of my calls shy of like a compressor change or a really specific call. This does pretty much everything for me. There are some little additions.

Uh you'd probably want to add a couple things you'd probably want to take out, but this really works. For me, this keeps me from the two or three trips to the truck there's pretty much nothing. I can't get accomplished with these tools. Sometimes it could be more specific, but this is the bare minimum, in my opinion, and i think, we're gon na lay it out and i'll talk a little bit about what each tool benefits me, how it benefits me: okay, so everything's uh laid out, and most you Probably gon na know what everything's used for, but we'll just go through basically multimeter, nothing, fancy um, nothing that i'm worried about getting damaged in the brain, keep two surface wrench or two uh large crescent wrenches, just one to back up what i'm wrenching the other one.

For service wrenches, large and small small crescent wrench comes in handy for just little valves here and there basic two electrical tools and my strippers. That's basically, all i use for electrical that my trusty klein. I use for a hammer, also channel locks. Those are a must that pretty much gets through all the wrenches nut drivers.

I keep pretty much from quarter inch all the way up to half inch, sometimes i'll grab a 9 16. If i know i'm going to use it, but the quarter and 5 16 obviously are the uh prime ones. Allen wrenches just keep. I rarely work anything hot anymore, i'm old! I'm scared, so nothing's really insulated.

These uh, i, like the uh, rounded ends for tightening electrical lugs. What else electrical pliers? My trusty eighth inch, uh allen wrench for fan, blades my uh ratchet wrench set. Those are awesome, those are extremely handy and then i keep the set of just uh sockets. For my impact, good flashlight, that's my one inch wrench.

That comes in handy for a lot of valves. That's my pretty much centronic wrench on the copeland compressors! That's! Basically all i use it for, but that's the reason. It's there obviously set of gauges. My different tapes and teflon tape face tapes, a couple magnets and then my meter actually clips on the outside of the other bag.

I wish it was on the inside of the bag, but it does me and that's basically it like. I said there could be a lot of substitutions and additions subtractions, but this has really made it for me last 30 years and i don't. I don't think i plan on changing much. My name is brad cronk.

I work for kalos refrigeration. I'm a lead trainer here at kalos for supermarket refrigeration, we're just going over today. Some of the tools that i bring in for a first time, diagnosis on typical service calls we get for publix. What you can see here is just my basic bag set up.

Typically uh, i wear a belt, so i clip in certain tools like my drill and stuff, so they're, not in my bag. But i carry my gauges all my tools and a little tool. Pouch here drill little uh camera that i stick in my pocket and then my phone so we'll go over all these and kind of tell you a little bit more about what i have in here? Okay, so this is uh. Basically, we're gon na go through and show you everything that was in this bag, so for my basic tools from my experience, you're going to want to have a few uh adjustable wrenches in varying sizes, so i have uh too small too big here.

Those will i mean pretty much, get you through a lot of different variances for valves, closing stuff, all that good stuff you're going to want to down uh downsize, your screwdrivers, typically to where you're, using tenon ones, or in this case this is an eight in one. So you know you got the quarter inch 5. 16 little screwdriver. This actually controls screwdriver for this particular model, which will get you into the all of our e2.

Cpc controllers use very small screws, so that'll, let you work on those i have a nut driver set here. This is again another multi-combo deal where it has multiple tools and a small package so that way, you're not taking in a whole nut driver set into the store. If you can get away with just this over here, i have a pair of wire strippers. A pair of wire crimps, especially uh, make sure that you have a non in or an insulated crimper, not just a non-insulated most of the uh things we work on here.

At uh, supermarket refrigerations that have insulation around the uh crimps that you make and use the non-insulation one will actually pierce those another thing. Uh we got you know just some random uh channel locks in here. I i carry multiples just because sometimes really small spaces to get in there and and work something out down here. I have a 9 16 and a 5 8 wrench.

So the reason i only carry those two wrenches is uh. Essentially, 9 16 is what every compressor head bolt is around that size, the 5 8. That's for the txv screens, the q bodies um the s. Sqe bodies will all have a 5 8 uh screen in them, so to remove the screen and put that back on.

That's what i use that guy, for i also carry a two service wrenches. This is just a bigger size service wrench for some of the bigger compressors we have next thing we go is a new addition to my bag, which has been a flare thermal camera, which i have found not only in electrical applications, but also figuring out how the Cases are running in hot gas and even uh, whether or not the check valves failed stuff like that. This is starting to become a really handy tool that i've been using a lot more often lately it is a new addition. I haven't fully tested it yet, but so far it's been it's been pretty handy.

Then, of course i carry a drill with me. This is a an impact drill. I wouldn't carry a normal drill into the stores, because uh typically, the only thing we're going to end up using this for, is taking out screws right. So i also carry the assortment of nut drivers and what have you i found.

It's really handy to have a couple sockets in half inch and 9 16. again, that is mainly for our compressors, our copeland compressors. The half inch will do almost every single filter, dryer uh body - that all those bolts are typically half inch. So this will make makes the job way faster, your customers down less time so i'll, bring that in, of course, flashlight good to have a meter as much as i say, everything here is important.

The meter is the most important tool you can have always bring a meter in with you. As far as diagnosing goes, it'll go a long way. Another thing that people don't think of cell phone. You know this day and age.

We work on so many different types of equipment that a lot of times that you're going to run into stuff that you don't really know what's going on. Maybe the settings that it's supposed to run so i always consider a cell phone as part of my tool. Kit, because you can call the manufacturer, they typically have good tech support. You can call fellow technicians and as well as looking stuff up on the internet, it comes in handy.

It's it's it's a valuable tool that a lot of people don't really think of in commercial refrigeration. You will find a lot of small micro leaks, so i carry a set of uh, schrader cores and also a set of caps, because these don't get put back on all the time so, instead of just trying to remember which ones were missing caps, i can just Pull a cap out of my bag and replace it as i go last thing we'll just go over is uh. This is a programmer for a fan motor, so publix has been using programmable fans for about the last two to three years. I do bring this in every time.

I don't think it's necessarily needed, but it does come in handy when you run into these fan motors and you're, not sure what rpm is set for, because uh you can plug it in and actually see what the fans are. Currently set up for and if they're correct, and that pretty much wraps up what i bring in to initially diagnose everything. What this does for me is it'll. Get me through a initial diagnosis of a service, call figuring out what parts i need, what i'm going to change, and then i can decide what to bring into the store next.

So if it's a big job, of course, i'm going to bring in more tools if it's a smaller job or just a motor, you know you just run out to the truck grab the motor and bring it back in and replace it. But this will get us through all that pretty much that's it. Thank you hi. This is eric with calo services in hvac school.

I have not spent as much time in market refrigeration as the other two guys showing off their bags, but i have put together one. That's pretty much building on what i've been using just with the more specific stuff we need now for market specific applications. This is a tool back here, it's a tool backpack and on this side i try to keep the lighter stuff like the diagnostic stuff, because it's further away from my back back side, i keep the heavier items here, just because it just carries more comfortably. That way.

Also have some tape and a tape measure on the outside, there's not really a whole lot on the outside. There's the brush, the tape and a non-contact here. This spot fits ear plugs and i keep some screws in here some small parts, but i'm going to lay everything out from the internal pockets. We can talk about what's in it and why all right, so i got most everything laid out except for, like i said, there's various roles of tape.

Here, a tape measure keep markers and stuff in the side. Pocket keep some cable ties in the bag, but everybody knows what those look like so no need to really pull them. So starting furthest away from me is a lot of the diagnostic stuff that i keep in the outside of the bag or the the compartment away. From me got the field piece job link set still running the testo 605i because just haven't upgraded to the field piece.

Yet i got multimeter this multi-insulated screwdriver. I like to keep this because i got the extended and the various other screwdriver bits, and i find these hold up a lot better than the 11 and ones which looks like it's not in my bag, but i usually keep. Of course, i have something missing for the video. I do keep an eight in one client screwdriver in the bag.

Typically, so also in the in the diagnostics, i have the flir camera. This is a great tool for traversing large systems and seeing electrical problems as well as refrigerant circuit problems fairly quickly with the camera. It's really really useful, of course, keep some gloves. I have some jumpers here and a k-type thermocouple for my meter, although i hardly ever use it schrader core tool.

I have various bits for my drill. I have deep sockets, nine sixteenths, half and seven sixteenths yeah. It's right here actually, and i also keep a nine millimeter or eleven 30 seconds. This is for the motor screws that are a pain, sometimes they're, either mounting screws or even the larger motors the screws to mount the wires.

A couple extensions: i have a locking extension so that i could lock in this wire wheel for cleaning off anything that i may need to clean off piping threads and, if i just need it to get in a tighter spot that way this wheel doesn't go flying Into a low earth orbit, i got regular drivers from quarter inch to 9 16 in the common sizes. I have a small extension for phillips bits and i keep number two and number three phillips yeah. This is a number three. I also keep a torx 20 and a torx 30 driver for the i think they're called the ev pabst or the ev passed ec motors.

We run into a lot of the times, allen keys. I keep the four most common sizes that we use. We got, of course, the 5 16 and 3 16 which work on a lot of service valves and even some electrical connections. I got the eighth inch, which fits a lot of fan blades, and this, let me make sure i get it right.

It is 5 30 seconds this works on the orifices for the rebuildable sporling valves, so to like change the orifice out of the valve. It also works on motor pulleys. It works on the danfoss valves for their adjustment screws. It works on polaris connectors.

It works on a lot of things. It's a very, very common size, probably more things that it works on that i'm just forgetting. I keep a really small detail. Screwdriver.

I keep this long one because i found that a lot of the multi ones won't fit into some case controllers, like dixel or dan foss or corel. I have the shaft taped, you know just just in case, and i have verified that it does not connect to the side. Although this is by no means an electrical rated tool, have a small quarter inch and 5 16 little ratcheting wrench that is magnetic. This is made by cobalt.

It was very kindly gifted to me, you know who you are. It's also super super useful. Let me not understate that you can put drill bits in the quarter inch side not or not, drill bits, but drivers in the quarter inch side and it will retain them as well as take out quarter and 5 16 screws just on their own, and it will Retain them, unlike some of the others, keep a very small quarter and 5 16 double open-ended wrench. I like these double open-endeds, because i very rarely have a use for a closed ended wrench, since i have all the other drivers so like when a motor is bolted down in a unit like a belt drive motor or like sometimes even contactors will be screwed down And you need something like this to get on there, so i have this from from quarter inch all the way to three quarter in the common sizes that i use.

So i have four of them, so this is five eighths and three quarter. This is half and nine sixteenths, three eighths and seven and of course, the quarter and 5 16.. I have this um valve stem tool for adjusting txv or solenoid manual stems in really tight spots. These are not so easy to find, but when you need it, you need it it's very useful to have.

Of course it's got service wrenches the larger and the smaller for working on any of those type of valves have a small stubby screwdriver with just interchangeable. You can put any quarter inch drive bit in there. It has a few extras on it, just in case right angle, adapter for my drill. So if i need to get in a tight spot, i don't need to go.

Get an angle drill for one or two fasteners keep a couple wrenches. I keep this thin um. What is this eight inch wrench? I believe this is a eight inch. Maybe it's a six either way this one adjusts pretty wide and it's nice and thin, so it can get on uh, txv heads and this one will also fit on txb heads.

This is like a plumbing wrench made by ridgid and it opens super super wide. So pretty much anything you're going to run into now. Of course, if it has lots of torque on it, you might not be able to get it open, but you know this for a backup wrench, along with the other one gets most smaller tasks done. I don't know, of course, a long screwdriver, something i can use as a chisel, if need be, because i don't really care about it that much i could spin condenser fan blades easy with it to see.

If motors are locked up, everybody's favorite channel locks, sometimes you just need them. I keep a good crimper. I went a lot of my career without using a good crimper and never felt great about a lot of crimped connections and i would actually save pieces of wire with factory crimps on them to use if it was for a high current application. But these they're pretty reasonably priced now and i feel a lot better about making connections with these versus other options.

Of course, i keep a impact. Driver typically use it on one of the lower power settings, so i don't strip stuff out, but it's just nice and compact, which is the main reason i have this one and then i just have a small case of the miscellaneous parts. I got wire nuts crimp connectors, schrader cores caps, some screws, you know just the little miscellaneous parts. Of course it's probably never stocked as well as it should be, and it's not very organized right now, but it's in there also.

I didn't mention this. This is just a little piece of sandpaper, mainly for cleaning pipes for these clamps. That's pretty much it everything you see here will get me through better than 90 of calls diagnostic and small repairs, and it's definitely will supplement the larger repairs when i just need to get a couple extra tools to complete, like a like a larger motor change out Or whatever, not only is this what i'm using for market refrigeration right now, it's basically just a slight tweak on what i've been using for a long time as far as just general tools for anything from you know, light commercial hvac to some of the more heavier Commercial stuff you'll see anyway, hope this is helpful and thanks for watching thanks for watching our video, if you enjoyed it and got something out of it, if you wouldn't mind hitting the thumbs up button to like the video subscribe to the channel and click, the notifications Bell to be notified when new videos come out. Hvac school is far more than a youtube channel.

You can find out more by going to, which is our website and hub for all of our content, including tech tips, videos, podcasts and so much more. You can also subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app of your choosing. You can also join our facebook group if you want to weigh in on the conversation yourself thanks again for watching you.

25 thoughts on “Market refrigeration tool bag overview”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars R1ck y4 says:

    I watched this over and over and I’m waiting to see these guys in the field other than Bert, I recently got a refrigeration job

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars George W says:

    Always nice to see other techs tool bags. The last guy mentioned he had a nine mm. However my back was turned away from the screen at the moment. After my eyes got big when he said 9mm. I was wondering if he had a Smith and Wesson or a Barretta. So when I replayed that portion I seen it was only a 9mm combination wrench. First my thoughts were cool if the equipment is really bad one would just shoot it. Hope you get a laugh out it like I did. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Johnny SaltyAirCrabCake says:

    Gentleman #2 tools is just about everything… Dont carry in a full socket set when your only going to change an evaporator motor.. As a great mechanic i knew from the past would say… (he only brought in so many tools like guy #2) he said if i have to go to the truck for more special tools, They have a bigger problem. Although doing supermarket work, You have a shopping cart, no big deal to bring in more tools… Then again if your going up on a roof, avoid trips by thinking out what you need when your at the van. Service area Ottawa??

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SaltVPN says:

    That cord plugged into the wall is stretched like a mf.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Damon Price says:

    Nicely played. I created my bag to handle 90% of diagnostic calls. I prefer stubbies over a full manifold, personally. Every bag should have a thermal imager IMO. For the new techs, your bag will be different based on your path, refrigeration, commercial, residential, etc.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Matt Pierce says:

    The guy with the screws and small parts, that's me! Lol

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Waylon Wells says:

    👍 Service area Kanata??

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J P says:

    You should do this for, new construction a/c installers.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Cruz Fernandez says:

    I was Igor an idea what to take for emergency calls. Thank you for the advice Service area Barrhaven??

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stuart Milne says:

    This was helpful. I have the DeWalt right angle adapter and that Rigid plumbing 45 degree wrench. I see they will be helpful. I want get that ratcheting crimp tool and the magnetic thin ratcheting bit holder.
    My Knipex adjustable pliers have a thin head and helped remove the spud connection for valves on radiators. They are very strong. I dulled the teeth on a pair after years of use. They help with refrigeration connections too. Thanks this video was clear and concise.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sterling Archer says:

    I'm not surprised Eric Is the one with the most complete tool bag and the only one with a Knipex item .
    Surprised he don't use Bahco adjustable spanners though .

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sterling Archer says:

    Hey any of you 3 guys have the part number and make for the large size service wrench please , I really need one and I can't find it . Cheers.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bayou Flats says:

    Was interesting. Would have liked explanation why they may have chosen Testo gauges over others and same with camera. I see old school has his lineman’s pliers sporting the purple insulation grips. Have had 1/2 dozen stolen over the years. 🤬😂

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Stephen Moore says:

    What model FLIR is that?Are they both the same model ? Are you in Orleans ?

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Raymond Svoboda says:

    I used to be the guy who brought half his truck into a service call. Now it looks like a 6in1, meter, stub gauge, service wrench, adjustable, coffee and cigarettes of course. Are you in Nepean ?

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CeeCee The Cat says:

    I know who it is Eric😸

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mow Better says:


  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eassyheat/ Cooling says:

    I go with a 4way and channel lock pliers until I figure the job out.
    I carried bucket buddies & various bags for years and it all comes to a 4way and channel locks and a meter.
    Stay safe.
    Retired ( werk'n) keyboard super tech. Wear your safety glasses.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sergio Mansilla says:

    Excelente informacion !!! Saludos desde argentina

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Nettles says:

    What name brand of the FLIRs?

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Nettles says:

    Thanks, I like a VETO bag with essential tools. This video helps me a lot!

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Trust_Jesus1213 says:

    Just what I was looking for!! I'm at the start of my career and in the process of buying all my tool

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars AMbros Workshop Tips says:

    Love you HVAC School for making a video which i said earlier. its really helpful and awesome.i am feeling happy alot.9

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gene_K Hvacr says:

    ?@ Thomas is that a mc or lc bag have u weight the bag loaded just curious!

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Neilvester Victor says:

    great information

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