LAST UPDATED: April 30th, 2021
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Regardless of whether you are a professional technician or a handyman wanting to resolve the pressure imbalance of your HVAC, perhaps it’s time you look for the AC manifold gauge set for the money!
We understand that some of you folks love to tinker around with machines. Who can blame you? Looking into the mechanisms of home equipment and the everyday machines you use is one way to pinpoint issues and be able to resolve them right away.
To help you find a suitable set that can perform the tedious process of testing, diagnosing, and recharging your AC system, we narrowed down your choices. Surely you will find one that suits your preferences.
Benefits of Using a Manifold Gauge Set
A manifold gauge set allows you to test performance by comparing the current readings to the normal range of the operating pressures. Refer to your owner’s manual or repair guide.
Apart from that, when the AC system loses its ability to cool over time, you can use it to check if both low and high gauges show low levels. The readings will let you know if there is a need to add refrigerant.
If you wish for an accurate way of installing the exact amount of refrigerant, then a manifold gauge set allows you to perform the complete evacuation and recharge.
10 Best AC Manifold Gauge Sets Review in 2021
We want to make your buying journey easier and more enjoyable. With that in mind, here are only the best 3-way and 4-way manifold gauge sets that come in kits as well as vacuum pumps.
XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4HP Air Vacuum Pump AC Manifold Gauge Carrying Tote
First on the list is the XtremepowerUS AC manifold gauge set. This set already provides you with a 3-way manifold gauge that comes with a 3 CFM ¼ HP vacuum pump.
Let’s talk about the simple yet powerful vacuum pump first. It is made of die-cast aluminum alloy casing that makes it heavy duty and, at the same time, light in weight. It has brass-fitting tethered safety caps to ensure there is no oil leakage.
Aside from that, it only has a single-stage rotary, which means the oil is separated from the gas in the built-in chamber.
Moving forward, the manifold gauge set is ideal for R12, R22, R134a, and R410a. It works amazingly and reliably when it comes to diagnosing and repairing the AC systems.
Simply connect the 36-inch color-coded hoses in their appropriate ports in the manifold and service ports in the AC to perform the tasks that you need. With its solid brass, quick disconnect, and couplers, you can be confident that connections are secured.
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Raomdityat 4-Way AC Diagnostic Manifold Gauge Set
If you are looking for a 4-way manifold gauge without vacuum pump inclusion, this Raomdityat AC diagnostic manifold gauge set is the perfect kit for you.
The manifold gauge set is ideal for R410a, R22, and R134a HVAC systems. All contents are packed in a hard case kit that allows you to bring it anywhere with you.
Moreover, the black, yellow, red, and blue service hoses are almost 60-inch in length to accommodate long distances. You can quickly and securely connect the hose to the service port of your AC system with its quick snap couplers.
Other fittings included in the kit include a valve core wrench as well as other adapters for refrigerant cans and similar uses.
However, the best thing about the manifold gauge set is the fact that it has 4 ports. The other extra port that is represented by the color back is for evacuation. There is no need to swap the lines from pump to bottle.
Orion Motor Tech 3-Way AC Diagnostic Manifold Gauge Set
Of course, the list of the top AC manifold gauge sets is not complete without an Orion Motor Tech (OMT) product. If you are brand conscious, then this OMT 3-way manifold gauge set should best suit your preferences.
Furthermore, it is made from heavy-duty, durable solid brass, aluminum, PVC, and plastic. The manifold gauge set, hoses, and other accessories like adapters are encased in a solid, custom-modeled case for ease of transportation.
This gauge set is ideal for R134a, R12, R22, and R502 types. It is designed for charging the AC, simple diagnostic testing, and recovery work. You can switch refrigerant bottles with the vacuum pump using the yellow service hose for a complete recharge and evacuation.
All three hoses are approximately 5-feet in length for long-duration usage. Other accessories included in the kit include an adapter for refrigerant, an ACME female to male adapter, as well as adjustable couplers.
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ZENY Diagnostic A/C Manifold Gauge Set R134a Refrigeration Kit
Tight budget? We hear you!
For straightforward purposes, this ZENY manifold gauge set fits every budget! It is ideal for R134a, a replacement for R12 and R22 for medium or high-temperature refrigeration applications.
The manifold gauge has 3 ports, mainly for the yellow service hose meant for vacuuming and recharging freon. On either side of the manifold are the blue and red hoses for the low and high-pressure ports.
Take note, the measurements are on the Celsius scale and not the Fahrenheit scale. Unlike most gauges, this particular manifold gauge uses Celsius as its unit for metric measurement.
Furthermore, the hoses included in the kit are color-coded and stretch at approximately 48 inches by 4 feet. It is designed to be enough for typical distances to prevent messy lines of hoses.
The valves are sealed through swivels for enhanced and positive seals. This prevents any leakage of refrigerant, oil, or air pressure coming from the vacuum pumps.
Orion Motor Tech 5FT AC Gauge Set
For professional mechanics and novice handymen, take a look at another reliable Orion Motor Tech on the list.
The manifold gauge set is 3-way. One port for low pressure, another for high pressure, and finally the service hose used for evacuation and freon recharging. There are two valves present that are used to turn on and off both pressures.
Simply connect the direct connection couplers to the right service ports to enable the gauge to read the pressure. In addition to that, you can stretch the hose up to 5 feet for long-distance purposes.
Other accessories include R134a adapters and can tap. The adapters are made with aluminum switches, bronze ACME adapters, and nickel-plated bronze body for durability and corrosion resistance.
This particular product does not come with a kit. Meaning, it is best used as a main-stay tool at your shop or garage. It also does not include any vacuum pump. With that, you have the freedom to buy it separately if ever you have other preferences.
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Aurelio Tech 4 Way A/C Manifold Gauge Set
Looking for a kit complete with accessories, a manifold gauge set, and 60-inch hoses? Look no further. This Aurelio Tech checked all of those boxes.
In this kit, you will find a 4-way manifold gauge set, 4 60-inch hoses for all ports, including the low and high-pressure sides, for the vacuum as well as the yellow service hose for charging.
The manifold gauge set is ideal for R135a, R410a, and R22. Its gauges use Fahrenheit as its unit for measurement for ease of reading. Apart from that, they are encased in durable plastic that resists wear and tear.
Other accessories included in the kit include a coupler that fits R134a service ports as well as other 2 tank adapters, 1 ACME adapter, and a valve core wrench.
Indeed, this kit is one of the ultimate kits on the list. It gives you the freedom to choose the vacuum pump that best suits your personal preferences and AC system requirements.
Bang4Buck Universal Diagnostic Manifold Gauge Kit HVAC Air Conditioning Charging Service Set
There is literally nothing you need to look for in this Bang4Buck manifold gauge kit as it already packs everything! From the right accessories down to its 3-way manifold gauge set.
For this set, you already get a manifold gauge set, 60-inch color-coded hoses for low and high pressure, as well as for recharge/evac services. Accessories such as a can bottle tap, as well as valve core wrench and adapters are also included.
What’s more? The set is encased in a custom model hard casing for ease of transportation. For added information, take note that the gauges use Celsius as the unit of measurement.
There is no vacuum included in the kit, and with that, you have the freedom to choose a model you prefer. You do not have to shell out an extra amount of cash to purchase a kit that comes with a vacuum pump you dislike.
Kozyvacu AUTO AC Repair Complete Tool Kit
In this kit, you will get a manifold gauge and 4-feet color-coded hoses. It also includes accessories such as quick-connect couplers and R134a can taps. All accessories fit in one carrying tote.
Aside from its straightforward 3-way manifold gauge, another great thing about this kit is its vacuum pump. How so? Well, since AC systems typically require 500-micron vacuums, the TA350 delivers more than 150 micron that ensures an efficient and reliable evacuation process.
The vacuum pump is made of die-cast aluminum housing. It is lightweight and durable. With that, you do not have to worry about paying extra bucks for a kit that includes a vacuum pump.
If you are worried about the durability of the manifold gauge, then you can drop those now. It has an aluminum anodized body and gauges that have protective boots. In addition to that, it uses a diaphragm-valve mechanism and built-in central sight glass, so you will see if there is any activity going on.
Kozyvacu Mini-Split/HVAC/AUTO AC Repair Complete Tool Kit
This other Kozyvacu tool kit is a notch higher than the previous kit by the same manufacturer. There are only a few differences including the vacuum pump included as well as the compatibility, working and burst pressure.
In this kit, you get a 3-way manifold gauge that is ideal for R410a, R134a, R134, R12, R22, R22a, R404a, R407c, and R502. It is specifically designed for mini-split and HVAC systems. Additionally, it can be used for an auto AC system.
Aside from that, the color-coded hoses stretch to approximately 6 feet for long-distance requirements. The quick seal fittings are made of brass that provides a leak-free connection.
Now let’s talk about the vacuum pump included in this kit. The TA450 is made of die-cast aluminum housing that is lightweight and at the same time, durable. It has the same performance as the previous vacuum pump but operates at 4.5 CFM.
ATE A/C Manifold Gauges Set Manifold, Gauge & Hose Set
Last on the list, but definitely, not least is the ATE manifold gauge set. In this set, you get a 3-way manifold gauge and color-coded hoses. It is created for those who wish to replace their manifold gauge set with a reliable model ideal for R12, R134a, and R22.
If you already have a working vacuum pump with some adapters, can taps, and a hard case custom-model kit, and are looking for a manifold gauge set, you do not have to look further.
This set allows you to perform complete evac and recharge with its yellow service hose and read the pressure on the low and high sides using the blue and red hoses. The color-coded hoses stretch 36 inches long for short-distance use.
At its fair price point, you can get all jobs from testing, diagnosing, and recharging can be done with this set.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
If you are still wondering what is the best AC manifold gauge set, consider these important factors when choosing to help you narrow down your choices.
Silicone Dampened Gauges
Gauges are silicone-dampened to dampen the vibrations, mechanical shock, and pressure pulsations that lead to easy wear and tear. Make sure to obtain a manifold gauge set with both silicone-dampened gauges for longer service life.
Ideally, a reliable gauge set can be used for R12, R22, R134a, and R410a. The gauge must have readings for each type of refrigerant. Once the specifications of the model tell you it can read these, then you are looking at a universal set.
You have two suitable choices when it comes to couplers. One is an automatic quick connect and disconnect couplers. And the other is a manual knob that needs to be depressed.
The quick automatic coupler does not have any knob present to it. You simply retract the sleeve and push it on the appropriate service fitting.
On the other hand, the manual coupling piece connects and disconnects by depressing.
Most manifold gauge sets are made of a solid aluminum casing, brass or a combination of both. For ease of transportation and to prevent any weight put on the hook, it is advisable to get a set that has a solid extruded aluminum body.
Brass, on the other hand, is more resistant to corrosion. If weight is not your priority, a brass body best suits your preference.
3-Way or 4-Way
A 3-way manifold only has 3 ports for the low-pressure (blue), high-pressure (red), and the charge/evac (yellow). On the other hand, a 4-way manifold has another extra port for a service hose mainly used for vacuuming.
Meaning, the vacuum pump and refrigerant can be connected at the same time using separate service hoses. The extra port is usually black in color.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a low-pressure refrigerant and a high-pressure refrigerant?
Boiling point at atmospheric pressure sets both refrigerants apart. The low-pressure refrigerant has a boiling point above 10°C or 50°F. Whereas the high-pressure refrigerant has a boiling point between -50°C or -58°F and 10°C or 50°F.
What should the gauges read at 134a?
For the blue low-pressure gauge, the minimum reading you can get is 25 and the optimum reading is 40 psi. On the other hand, the red high-pressure gauge should read between a minimum of 225 psi to a maximum of 250 psi.
Where can I use my manifold gauge set?
For an air conditioning system used at home or ones that are installed in vehicles. You can detect leaks, refill refrigerants, evacuate, and recharge using the manifold gauge sets.
How will I know if there is a large leak in my AC systems?
Aside from knowing if your system is fully charged or not, a manifold gauge set will also tell you that you are losing pressure at a critical rate. This indicates there is a large leak in the systems.
Which is better between an automatic coupler and a manual coupling piece?
The answer depends on your preference. If you want a quick fastening and release, then go for an automatic one. On the other hand, if you want to get the feeling of securing the coupler, go for the manual one that is depressed by hand to connect or disconnect.
The AC manifold gauge set is a must-have tool, not only for the professional technician but also for a handyman who is interested in performing basic system work in the comfort of their home.
With a reliable set, you can add a small amount of refrigerants as well as carry out complete evacuation and recharge of your air conditioning system.