The Best Refrigerant Scales: Rated & Reviewed

Investing in excellent refrigerant scales is a must for any HVAC Tech. These scales make it easier to calculate how much refrigerant should be removed or placed in the refrigeration unit.

They are the perfect tool for an HVAC technician as they help them to get the job done effectively. Moreover, they are also helpful in detecting any leaks during routine maintenance.

An accurate reading is highly valuable, as it ensures the correct amount of refrigerant is being recovered or charged from the compressor. This helps you to bill your customer accurately and keeps the system working at energy efficient, optimal performance levels.  

Following are three top refrigeration scales available that allow you to record the precise readings of the amount of refrigerant being used.

Refrigerant Scales are a must-have resource for HVAC techs. They help to accurately weigh how much refrigerant is being placed into refrigeration units.

To properly estimate and bill clients for refrigerants, it is important that techs have access to precise readings. You will want a digital scale to measure the refrigerant as it exits the tank and settles into the unit. This article will discuss the ins and outs of refrigerant scales, discussing everything from functionality to durability.

Here is a comprehensive refrigerant scale buyer’s guide and reviews of some of the best scales on the market.

Refrigerant Scale Quick Comparison Chart

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Robinair TIF9010A

  • Three display modes
  • For use with all refrigerant types
  • Portable design
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Mastercool 98210

  • Accurate weight sensor
  • Keypad controlled
  • Programmable charge alarm
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Kozyvacu Electronic Refrigerant Scale

  • High accuracy
  • Three display modes
  • Extra large LCD screen
View Latest Price

What Are Refrigerant Scales?

Refrigerant scales are used not only when initially installing refrigeration units, but also during routine maintenance and repairs. As the liquid or gas is removed from the compressor the scale measures its weight. While troubleshooting to find a leak, the scale can be incredibly useful for techs.

Too much or too little refrigerant can create long-term issues on the compressor from strain, thus shortening the lifespan of the equipment. Without correctly gauging how much refrigerant is necessary for cooling units, it can cost building owners big time in extra energy costs.

It is essential for technicians, building owners, and the equipment itself to have an efficient refrigerant scale.

properly weighing refrigerant is important for well-functioning equipment

How Refrigerant Scales Work

Technicians should place the refrigerant cylinder onto the scale to weigh it. There will be a hook-up to connect the cylinder to the greater refrigerant system. After the technician weighs the existing refrigerant inside the cylinder, he can either add or remove refrigerant to achieve the most energy-efficient levels. Some scales will require this task to be performed manually, while other scales will automatically calibrate the system.

Some scales run on battery power while others require electricity and come equipped with a power cord. Every scale has a different weight capacity, so you’ll want to be sure to get one that is suitable for the systems you work on regularly. For commercial work settings, a tech will need a more high-capacity scale with optimum durability.

Scales not only vary in durability, power, and size, they also range in sensitivity and precision. Some may measure the refrigerant to two decimal places, while others only go to one.

EPA Regulations

Don’t forget that handling refrigerants requires certification through the Environmental Protection Agency. Section 608 certification governs the use and handling of these materials, which are potentially harmful to the environment. There are different levels of certification based on the types of appliances you work with. You can find more information in our article on getting Section 608 certified.

environmental protection agency exams are part of the hvac certification process

Outside the US, consult your local board for regulations as well.

What to Look for When Buying a Scale

Durability, precision, readability, sensitivity, size, and power options are all aspects to consider before purchasing a refrigerant scale. Consider your personal needs before purchasing. Do you work with industrial or commercial units that require scales with more capacity? Do you need a highly-portable battery-operated scale? How much are you willing to spend on a refrigerant scale? How precise do you need the scale to be? Are you using the scale to bill clients?

Consider some of these factors to find the best fit for your personal or company needs:

Platform size and weight

For the most accurate readings, a bigger scale isn’t always more precise. A scale with a larger platform might be what you need. A more durable platform with more supported surface area might serve you better than a scale with a higher weight capacity.

digital precision helps make it easier the amount of refrigerant you use

Display

Having a solid display will help you easily read the numbers. Some scales will lag in their readings, which can affect the accuracy. A large display that can be read from far away is useful when working in tight spaces. Your display needs to keep pace with the charge of liquid going into the system.

Resolution and accuracy

You will need a scale that reads out numbers in the units that you use! Most HVAC techs use pounds with two decimal places (ex: 4.15 lbs). Make sure your scale offers a selection of unit measurement options to prevent you from having to do conversions and math on the job. The industry standard for accuracy is a scale that is accurate to the .5 oz.

Quick Take: Best Refrigerant Scales

These are our recommendations for the best refrigerant scales:

  1. Robinair TIF9010A
  2. Mastercool 98210
  3. Kozyvacu Electronic Refrigerant Scale

Review of the the Best Refrigerant Scales

Here's our reviews of the best refrigerant scales based on our experience and comments of colleagues. Let us know in the comments what you think of them and what your choices would be.

Robinair TIF9010A Slimline Refrigerant Electronic Charging/Recover Scale

PROS

  • Compliant With All Types of Refrigerants
  • Compact Design Greatly Increases its Portability
  • LCD Readout Panel Serves as a Display Indicator
  • Provides Inordinate Reliability and Improved Performance
  • 24-Month Warranty Provided the Unit is Not Tampered With
  • Can Conveniently Handle 30-Pound and 50-Pound Refrigerant Cylinders
  • Hand-Held Reader Relieves the Technician From Constantly Looking at the Scale

CONS

  • High Electrical Noise Can Sometimes Result in Inaccurate Readings
  • Not suitable for heavier cylinders as the capacity is limited to 110 pounds
  • Lack of an Auto-Shutdown Button Can Cause the Power to Drain So the User Doesn’t Have to Turn Off the Scale

Our Review

The Robinair TIF9010A is one of the best and most accurate refrigerant scales offered by Robinair. They are designed to provide exceptional reliability and performance. Part of the TIF Slimline series, this refrigerant scale features a trademark slim design and is specially built to support system charging and refrigerant recovery.

It’s portable, reliable, and durable and will last you for many years. Although its capacity is only 100lbs (50kg), it has several great features such as user-friendliness, auto-zero, and a crystal clear, easy to read display.

The Robinair TIF9010A is compatible with all refrigerants and displays the measurements in three different metrics – ounces, pounds, and kilograms, thus eliminating the need to use the calculator to convert the units for recording purposes.

This refrigerant scale features an auto-zero button which gives the technician the ability to set the value at zero after the weight of the cylinder is measured but before letting the refrigerant in or out of the cylinder. This helps in recording the measurements accurately.

Its 9-volt alkaline battery lasts for up to 30 hours, while its battery enunciator feature tells the user when it’s time to replace the battery. This refrigerant scale also has a two-year warranty.

Bottom Line

Excellent performance and high affordability make the Robinair TIF9010A one of the best refrigerant scales available today. It has a fairly accurate resolution of 2g which ensures no mistakes in readings. Moreover, it is designed with high-quality, wear-resistant materials that increase its life-span.

Mastercool 98210-A Electronic Refrigerant Scale

PROS

  • Compact, Sleek Design Allows for Easy Portability
  • Highly Accurate Measurements Make it Very Reliable
  • Able to Manage the High Capacity of up to 240 Pounds
  • Supports All Refrigerants, Programmable Recovery and Charging
  • Measurement Mode Can Be Selected With the Help of Touch Key Controls
  • Auto-Shut Off Feature Automatically Turns the Scale Off After Three Hours of Inactivity
  • Flexible, Long Cord Connects the Reader to the Scale Thus Allowing Technicians to Read the Values Without Straining Their Backs

CONS

  • A Bit Expensive Than Other Scales Available

Our Review

The Mastercool 98210 is an electronically programmable scale designed to provide exceptional reliability and quality performance. This compactly designed refrigerant scale is available with a transferable scale.

Although this refrigerant scale is a bit heavier than the Robinair, it is still highly portable. The greatest advantage of this scale is the various cylinder sizes that this scale can support. It can weigh cylinders up to 110kg (240lbs) accurately.

Designed from high-quality, wear-resistant materials, this scale also includes a nine-inch by nine-inch weighing platform that is slip-resistant. An innovative feature of this scale is charge programming which allows the technician to dictate the amount to flow in or out of the cylinder. Once the specified amount is reached, an automatic alarm sets off notifying the user to tell them when to turn off both the cylinder and the scale.  

Moreover, this scale also has a pause-charge module that comes in handy in case of faulty connections or leaks in the hose. The highly convenient memory feature allows a system to charge by using an amount that was previously stored in its memory.

In addition, this scale supports tank capacity programming which helps the user find out how much refrigerant is left inside the cylinder. This scale is powered by an alkaline battery which has a battery life of almost 40 hours.

Bottom Line

A durable, high performing electronic scale the Mastercool 98210 is designed with weight sensors that give highly accurate readings. Although it is comparatively a bit expensive, its high capacity is very useful for technicians.

Kozyvacu 220lbs Digital Electronic Refrigerant Charging Weight Scales for HVAC/Auto AC Refrigerant Recovery Processing with Backlighting LCD display, free 9V battery and a Portable Carrying Case

PROS

  • Clear, Easy-to-Read LCD Display With Background Lighting
  • High Accuracy and Resolution Makes the Job of Technicians Easy
  • Compact Design, Easily Portable Due to the Accompanying Carry Case
  • Flexible Coil Makes this Scale Suitable for All Types of Refrigerants Less Than 200lbs
  • Multiple Measurement Modes Namely Kilograms, Pounds, and Ounces Make it Convenient for the Technician to Record the Values

CONS

  • Auto Shut-Off Feature May Cause Some Difficulty

Our Review

The Kozyvacu electronic refrigerant scale is a simple HVAC scale which is available at very affordable rates. This scale is able to read tanks that are up to 220 lbs in weight accurately. It is accompanied by a hard plastic carrying case that greatly increases its portability.

The measurements on this scale are shown in pounds, ounces, and kilograms. The readings are accurate up to +/-0.5% and a resolution of 5g. Moreover, its slip-resistant platform is able to handle all types of refrigerant scales easily.  

Bottom Line

The Kozyvacu Electronic Refrigerant Scale is an ideal refrigerant scale if you want a sturdy unit at affordable rates. It is highly accurate when reading cylinders up to 220lbs.

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