Pipe Fitting Tools to Increase Efficiency – New Zealand Pipe Fitters & Plumbers
Pipe fabricators, fitters, and plumbers are in a constantly changing industry and face more unique challenges while much of the market that supports them stagnates and doesn’t adjust to their growing needs and demands. Many pipe professionals may not be equipped with the most ergonomic, versatile, or efficient tools to get the job done, and so overall productivity drops and the jobs either remain difficult or become tougher. If you keep getting beat out by those pesky Scapellis, or whoever your competition is, thankfully, there are growing pipe tool solutions on the market to boost your productivity and efficiency with ease! Some major examples are listed below of what you can look for when purchasing a new tool to make the job easier and faster.
It can be highly beneficial to purchase pipe assembling tools and equipment that can be used for a wide variety of pipe assembling applications so you only need one toolset for nearly any job in the industry. With the myriad of pipe materials and shapes it can be difficult to have a small tool set to tackle them all, but thankfully there exist some tools that offer universality.
For pipe assembling tools and equipment, it’s first necessary to have a sturdy and reliable work surface to place your pipe and tools. A universal workbench that offers fast and easy assembly and disassembly is optimal for on-the-go jobs while providing enough support and stability to handle a wide variety of projects.
A roller guide provides exceptional ease and efficiency since it allows pipe to be positioned in a variety of manners while allowing it to freely glide when turned, pulled, and pushed thanks to stainless-steel roller balls. These guides and supports are suitable for pipe installation, including cutting, thread cutting, roll grooving, welding, and soldering, and should be easily disassembled for quick transport.
It can be important to have a tough and convenient drill on hand with your assembling equipment, but carrying an extra, heavy-duty drill can be a cumbersome and unnecessary experience. If you require a drill for quick jobs, then look for one that is lightweight and ergonomic that offers decent weight distribution to allow for easy one-hand operation. The grip should be comfortable while the body should be slim enough to operate in tight spaces. A light can also help speed up the process.
There are a variety of pumps to test pipes and plumbing and it is important to purchase pumps specific to the jobs you’re taking on. Depending on your needs, there are universal, stainless steel, electric, electronic, solar-push, and hydrostatic pumps. Obviously, this approach will require investing more money.
However, there are excellent universal and portable pumps available that can help increase your efficiency without breaking your budget. Portability is essential for increasing efficiency so you can accomplish tasks quickly while on the job site. Universal pumps ought to be able to handle water meters, plumbing lines, pressure vessels, solar systems, and sprinkler systems in both residential and commercial buildings to be worth the investment if you work with general pipe systems. For more versatility, there are pumps that can also handle heating, oil installations, boiler and pressure vessel building, and compressed air, steam, and cooling systems.
Bending Tools & Accessories
In order to obtain maximum efficiency at the lowest cost for bending pipes, it’s best to have either one universal or two dedicated benders to handle all the jobs you’ll be tasked with. some pipe benders can be used for locksmith work, sanitary and heating installation, machine and plant engineering, and for steel pipes EN 10255 and multilayer composite tubes, meaning you can handle nearly any job without having to use multiple benders. You’ll also want your bender to feature rapid and simple changing of the front and back formers so you can make swift adjustments while on the job. The bender(s) should also be lightweight enough for easy handling and small enough to be used in close quarters while allowing for accurate bending even while the pipe is already installed.
Bending spray can also be used to provide a permanent lubricating film that reduces energy expenditure and keeps everything operating at peak efficiency for proper uniform bending.
Finding universal cutting tools can be more difficult, but there are still options available that offer greater versatility. Manual cutters should be made to be easy to handle and maneuver with convenient options and high-quality materials. Electric cutters should feature the same quality but also remain compact enough for simple portability and quick use.
Pipe & Tube Cutters
To have the most efficient pipe and tube cutters, achieving precise alignment and smooth cutting is essential. This can be achieved if the cutters have hardened back pressure rollers that allow for easy in-feed. This greatly speeds up the job and is more convenient for you on the job. Similarly, quick-adjustment engagement spindles and quick-change options for cutting wheels should be standard with your tool to keep convenience and versatility high.
When choosing a cutter, be sure that it uses thin, high-quality tool steel cutting wheels for faster and smoother cuts that permit shorter handles for work in smaller spaces. This makes them far more versatile and easier to handle so you can get the job done quicker.
Hinged cutters can also increase your efficiency for making square cuts into pipe. Hinged cutters feature guide fingers that provide perfect wheel alignment as well as a 360° frame, which ensures maximum strength and efficiency by forcing all the energy of the cutter into the pipe.
Electric / Reciprocating Saws
Investing in the right electric saw can add a great deal of speed while on the job. An electric saw ought to be compact enough to remain transportable so you can use it at the job site when needed, and, to shave time off post-cut cleanup, should be chip-free so no chips end up in the piping system following cutting. Additionally, you can save time and money on lubrication if the electric saw features a dry-cutting design, which prevents damage to O-rings from cooling lubricants.
If you wish for the speed and power of an electric saw but don’t need and/or want the bulk that comes with it, reciprocating hand saws could be your best option. These saws are universal free-hand saws that boast a lightweight build for easy handling and maneuverability, especially in tight or confined spaces. Due to their size they are easily transported in a tool box or carried by hand from a truck or van.
Pipe deburring tools need to have specially hardened and ground blades to ensure the highest quality cuts and to reduce the time spent working on the burrs. Universal deburrers are fairly common and should be able to be used on steel, stainless-steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and plastic pipes without issue.
An efficient alternative to full-size deburring tools is to opt for a deburrer pen, which features a rotating universal deburrer blade in the handle. Thanks to its univeral design, this tool can be used on copper, steel, brass, aluminum, and plastic, and as such there’s no need to switch between separate deburring tools for different pipe materials. With a compact size and universal design, a deburrer pen can help increase your efficiency for the most common pipe deburring jobs in the industry.
Drain Cleaning Equipment
Pipe and drain cleaning can often require several different tools to get the job done properly. Below, you’ll see some features and qualities that each tool should possess so you can get the most for your money and have the most variety available to you, which will increase your efficiency on the job.
For blades, you want to get at least a U blade to cut through general clogs, a saw blade for roots and heavy debris, and a grease blade to clear grease buildup. This will help you cover the widest range for the lowest cost. Of course, it’s necessary to choose blades that fit into the majority of pipes or have a few different sizes on hand.
Concerning drain cleaning nozzles, you’ll generally want at least a few nozzles for different situations including both open and closed designs, but the ones you choose should be able to clear everything from soft blockages and debris up to tough roots and feature an angle that can handle most applications, such as 30 degrees. 20-degree nozzles will offer higher power but less cornerability, and 45-degree nozzles will handle corners more easily but suffer a loss in concentrated power.
Rotating nozzles are especially useful for pipes with tight corners and systems with a variety of angles so you don’t need to purchase multiple angled nozzles. Having one on-hand can save you time on changing out nozzles and increase your efficiency.
The jetter you choose should be easy and quick to transport, and should be able to simply connect to and disconnect from the ends of your truck so you can use it at nearly any job site. For increased efficiency and convenience, look for jetters that feature a hands-free foot pedal and an adjustable pressure regulator so you can tackle different jobs.
To make the most cost-effective purchase, you can opt for a jetter that comes as a package deal with a selection of high-versatility nozzles to conquer the widest possible range of drain cleaning applications.
Pipe Inspection Equipment
To save time and effort looking into pipes and drains to find cracks, blockages, and more, it’s imperative you have a pipe camera and/or locator on hand to quickly find the source of the problem. Pipe inspection equipment can range from basic locators to highly sophisticated digital camera and computer systems, so it’s best to find the equipment that fits your budget while retaining the features you require to stay efficient.
Cameras for inspecting pipe ought to have the most convenient features to help you to quickly find blockages. This can include a locating beacon, radio signal transmission, and/or damage analysis for hard-to-reach sections of cavities, shafts, and pipes. The camera should always be compact and portable enough to be taken anywhere without hassle or complication and be able to perform and record detailed visual inspections so you can clearly see the blockage or damage, allowing you to spend less time inspecting and more time fixing the problem.
Your locator of choice should always be compact, lightweight, and balanced for easy handling and portability to save you time and frustration as well as allow you to locate virtually any pipe material as well as trace existing lines from other services. Some locators even allow the operator to place signals on video reels or cables for easy line tracing and depth estimation so you can get the job done faster. Any locator you choose should be capable of tracing water lines, drain lines, tracer wire, and conduit to tackle the widest range of jobs.
When it comes to pipe pressing tools, you should have at least one radial press tool and one axial press tool for crimping and connecting pipe fittings respectively. Each is necessary for any pipefitting job and both can be used to improve your overall efficiency while remaining convenient and easy to use.
Radial presses can be used to quickly crimp pipes and pipe fittings with ease. When purchasing a radial press tool, you want to get one that is universal and can produce pipe pressing joints for all common systems. Hand radial pressing tools are more budget friendly, but ones with automated circuit control and automatic locking of the pressing tongs can make the job far more convenient and efficient. Ensure that the one you purchase is compact, handy, lightweight, and with optimal weight distribution for single-hand, free-hand, and overhead use as well as easy to handle in confined spaces. A swiveling design can make it far easier to maneuver into difficult spots. Look for a radial press that only requires one type of pressing tons/pressing rings with a long-lasting battery.
Axial pipe pressing tools allow you to quickly and easily secure pipe fittings and connectors. If you purchase an axial press, ensure that the model features battery life that matches your requirements as well as a light design with proper weight distribution for easy single-hand use. For even greater efficiency, there are axial presses that feature an automatic return feature. Optimally, you want an axial tool that requires only one type of compression head while also allowing for compression heads to be quickly interchanged without the need for other tools.
Pipe threading tools come in hand versions and full versions. If you’re looking for the most convenient model, then a hand threader is most likely your best choice. However, if you regularly deal with threading pipe, you may need a more robust threading machine. Some necessary and helpful features and qualities are listed for each.
The hand threader you choose should be able to be used anywhere without the need for a vise and be able to be utilised for a variety of applications with ease, including repair and renovation to cover the widest range of jobs. For complete control and versatility, some hand threaders feature a steel ratchet lever and quick-change die heads. High-performance electric hand threaders can add the most efficiency to the job and should ideally feature one type of small, compact quick-change die heads for easy stocking.
The threading machine you choose will depend on your requirements, but there are portable options available that even feature incorporated vises and foldable tripods for easy on-the-go use. The pipe threader you go with should be able to handle the most materials, such as stainless, high tensile, galvanised, and mild steel. There are threading machines that can be used for the threading, cutting, deburring, nipple threading, and roll grooving of pipes so you can tackle nearly any project with confidence. Others are ideal for installation, metalworking, and industry purposes, so you can choose the threader for the appropriate application.
To properly and efficiently create grooves in pipes and tubes, your grooving machine should boast economical operation that can easily work with coupling systems that are used for installation, sprinkler lines, commercial heating, industry, mining, and more. This universality will allow you to use a single machine for a wide range of pipe systems, improving your efficiency and making the job that much easier. Like the other machines on this list, compact grooving machines are ideal for portability, convenience, and ease of use, and they should be able to provide secure clamping and optimum power transmission for complete control.
To more easily groove in-place pipes and pipes that are too short for powered groovers, there exist pipe grooving tools that are even more compact. These allow you to tackle nearly any grooving job without having to worry about removing pipe or awkwardly maneuvering around other pipes or structures to get to the one that needs work.
In order to maximise efficiency and convenience, it’s necessary to have at least one pipe wrench per major job challenge. Some of the most common challenges include dealing with tight or awkward spaces, frozen joints due to corrosion or damage, tight pipes, and when you don’t wish to mar or damage a pipe using a traditional tooth or chain wrench.
Straight Wrenches / Ratchet Wrenches
Straight wrenches are the best and most affordable universal pipe tool in your arsenal and are the industry standard for all manner of pipefitting applications. If you’re looking for more efficiency, however, a ratchet pipe wrench can help. These wrenches can be used to tighten or loosen a fitting without having to be removed and readjusted into position, meaning you spend less time and effort on the job.
In order to overcome space restrictions, standard pipe wrenches are also available in 45° and 90° offset configurations. These can be particularly useful when you’re faced with pipes placed against the wall or in a corner. These wrenches are otherwise identical to straight wrenches in construction and durability.
Heavy-Duty / Compound Leverage Wrenches
For corroded or exceptionally tight pipes and fittings, heavy-duty or compound leverage wrenches are your go-to solution. These wrenches offer improved leverage and durability to handle some of the toughest pipes and are essential to increase your efficiency with tough jobs. Most applications shouldn’t require such heavy-duty wrenches, but if you can invest in one, they can save you time on coming up with workaround solutions or having to stop work to purchase one. Thanks to their near-universal design, these wrenches are highly popular for a reason.
Chain wrenches can help solve issues with space restrictions as well as deal with some of the toughest pipes you’ll encounter. The chain fits snugly around the circumference of the pipe meaning that hard-to-reach pipes that straight pipes can’t be used on are no longer an issue. Thanks to a dual reversible jaw design on most models, these wrenches permit ratchet action in either direction without removing the chain wrench from the pipe no matter the pipe shape, allowing for superior efficiency, versatility, and convenience. These are a must-have.
Strap wrenches act similarly to chain wrenches but are preferable when you don’t want to mar or damage the pipe and make a quality alternative to chain wrenches. The web straps stay in place on the pipe via static friction and provide enough gripping power to handle a wide range of pipes and fittings. These wrenches can be used on polished metal pipe, plastic pipe, filters, or any slick or smooth surface. Thanks to the loose nature of straps, strap wrenches are exceptionally handy tools for use on irregular shapes.
Where Can I Get the Tools?
There are an abundance of manufacturers and distributors on the market where you can make informed decisions on purchasing the highest quality tools for the lowest price, and ANC Distribution remains at the top of the list for offering the best in the industry at the most affordable prices. We offer all the tools and equipment listed in this guide and more to help improve your efficiency and keep you safe on the job.