The 5 Best Refrigerant Identifiers
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in October of 2018. If you work on a lot of different vehicles, chances are you'll come in contact with many different kinds of refrigerant. Mixing these chemicals is extremely dangerous, as even a little bit of contamination can damage a car's cooling system, your tanks, and your service gear. These identifiers and analyzers stop that from happening by letting you know exactly what's in each vehicle. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 26, 2020:
As the previous editor mentioned, this is a fairly ‘thin’ category with only a few models available on the market, which makes the task of identifying the best ones all the more difficult. With that being said, there are a couple of reputable brands in this niche – those being Neutronics and Mastercool. Both make great identifiers, many of which are modeled off each other. Neutronics probably has a slightly better and more comprehensive selection, and separate model lines for both HVAC refrigerants and automotive refrigerants.
Mini Identifiers vs. Larger Models Smaller models are designed to give you a pass/fail signal based on whether the purity of the refrigerant you’re testing for falls above 95%. They’re also usually only designed to work with one type of refrigerant.
We haven’t listed any smaller R-1234yf identifiers, but I’ve added a special honor for Neutronics’ identifiers, which includes the R-1234yf Mini ID; Mastercool also has a model that’s virtually a carbon-copy of this.
Larger Identifiers By contrast, larger models can give you a breakdown of the percentages of specific refrigerants as well as impurities, and typically have additional features like Bluetooth, so you can share data, and a printer, in case you want a hard copy attached to a report, or else.
If you’re investing in a larger model, and unless you have a very specific need to look at only one type of refrigerant, my personal belief is that you should get one that can analyze all of the commonly used refrigerants that you may come across in your line of work. This is one of the reasons why I’ve replaced the Four Seasons 69230, which couldn’t analyze R-1234yf, with an otherwise virtually identical model that could – the Mastercool Ultima ID. As a note, the Ultima ID can also work with R-134a and R-22.
Other models in this category include the Robinair Cool Tech ID, which doesn’t identify R-1234yf, as well as the Robinair R-ID Plus, which I’ve just added. I’ve also included a special honors link to another great model, the Mastercool Legend Series Analyzer.
Recovery Machines with Built-In Identifiers Finally, Robinair makes some great recovery machines with inbuilt identifiers. However, I’ve decided to omit these models from the main list - which is why I removed the Robinair Premier- because I feel that they qualify more as recovery machines, and should therefore really only be in our list of recovery machines.
January 08, 2019:
With few options available, our selections focused on models that provided the most features for the best price. As with any piece of sophisticated equipment, professionals should consider splurging on higher-end models, while the hobbyist will likely be able to make do with a more basic selection. Similarly, some of the fancier options are also complicated, which may be overwhelming for the average shade-tree mechanic.
Neutronics Identifiers Neutronics specializes in refrigerant identifiers, and their automotive range includes two compact Mini ID models designed to give you a basic pass/fail signal based on the purity of either R-134a or R-1234yf in your system, as well as a Legend Series Analyzer, which offers a more detailed breakdown of the percentages of common impurities found in systems using R-134a, R-1234yf, or even Freon found in older vehicles. Additionally, they have a range of identifiers specifically made for HVAC applications, that focus on analyzing R-22, among other refrigerants. refrigerantid.com
Mastercool Legend Series Analyzer Those in the automotive servicing industry can probably appreciate the convenience of having a single, comprehensive analyzer over employing separate models for different refrigerants. Fortunately, the Legend Series Analyzer will provide you with just that, as it caters to systems using R-134a, R-1234yf and even R-12. It has a user-friendly navigation and colored display, and it comes with options of including Bluetooth, as well as a built-in printer. mastercool.com
Robinair Connected Recycling and Recovery Machines Unlike many smaller and commonly found recovery and recycling units, Robinair’s Connected R-1234yf and R-134a Machines include built-in identifiers, which can conveniently save you the time and hassle of switching between analyzer and recovery unit. Among other features, they have large touchscreens and internal storage, as well as both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. robinair.com