Sman 3 and Testo 557
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NW burbs of Detroit
New SMAN 3 AND Testo 557
Well, I bought my nephew a new Sman 3 and a Testo 557.
I was amazed at the difference in the two. Both are very high quality, but I have to say the feel and the heft to the Sman has something over the 557.
I feel as though I could drop the Sman and not have to worry.
After reading the Testo manual I found there were a lot of warnings that put me in a gun-shy frame of mind ---that is I was almost afraid to use it. I used the fast start up menu but found the referral to other pages of the manual for the set up slow going. It's not right yet. I have not tested the 557 as yet.
The first thing that struck me was the battery door of the Sman --very cool and hefty. It has two screws to secure it and fits like a glove. Gives one the confidence it can be used in the rain...but I don't think Fieldpiece designed it with this in mind.The only draw back I see is the small screws are not captive and might be easily lost.
Testo on the other hand has a plastic door that is held closed by interlocking clips. Opening the battery compartment for the first time was difficult. Once you got the knack it was OK; but still more trouble then I think is worthy of an instrument of its cost.
I did not get the same sense of water resistance as I did with the Sman3.
The digits on the 557 were hard to read from certain angels and the back light was harsh and unpleasant, and the digits were small compared to the Sman 3.
The manual of the Testo was not written in terms the American hvac public is used to reading. (a common complaint I have read in many posts)I had to go over each section more than once to make sure of the intent and meaning of the instructions. Testo's manual is some 15 pages.
The Sman 3 instructions are easy (on a folded sheet of just larger than legal size stationary) to follow steps written plainly, rather than a manual of sometimes difficult to grasp terms of instruction.
Sman 3 is intuitive in it's operation and it's key pad is pretty straight forward for the hvac tech. It feels comfortable and familiar ...like a steering wheel, if i may be so drool.Not so the Testo.
Given the that the Testo has pre-calibrated and compensated temp sensors (the Sman is easily field calibrated) is the only advantage Testo has on Sman 3 Not a prob.
I know, there are functions that Testo performs Sman does not do.
But Sman has features like target SH and WB and DB that Testo does not.
So it's a trade off..and the user has to make up his mind if the respective functions are a valuable enough offset to prefer one analyzer over another.
For my money (and I thought I would never say this) Fieldpiece's SMAN3 has it all over the Testo 557.
I bought both for my nephew along with a JB DV 22n micron gauge.
I think he is going to toss me the the Testo and just use the SMAN3 ...I won't complainhttp://hvac-talk.com/vbb/images/smilies/2.gifhttp://hvac-talk.com/vbb/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
The Fieldpeice aren't water proof exactly. The rain can get in between the LCD and its protective cover. Heating it up gets the condensation out though, and does no harm to it. Had to do it several times with mine already.
They are very durable, and withstand a fair amount of abuse. Including dropping them on a rock from a height of 4 foot. When I tripped a few months ago.
Ok here's a question and it just may be dumb but I have to ask.
I have one gauge set for r-22, one for R-410a and another for refrigeration. So that I don't cross contaminate.
Can you use this one gauge for all refrigerants? and if so do you have to purge the manifold between different refrigerants?
I always purge my lines with dry co2...but i have a couple different analogs too.
I haven't had any problem with any system using only the SMAN3. I use it on 22, 134A, 410A, 407C.
Thanks, that's helpful.
I think Uncle got the Sman for around three.
Paid 320 for mine.
Saw both those videos...had me sold from there...Uncle is retooling the whole business and i am the lucky recipient. LOL
I picked up the Sman 3 and it was self explanatory. Pulled a vac on a 30 lb service tank and it pulled down to 399 micron with a jb micron gauge and the Sman micron gauge.
I just got done replacing the the pump housing on Uncle's 6 CFM pump.
It's kinda weird cause all the stuff he has, Milwaukee, De Walt, Bosch, Robinaire, H-10 leak detector, analogs, scale, recovery machine...all of it's made in USA...he's spitting nails cause everything he prices to replace the old stuff is Chink made.
He might just refirb some of the borderline stuff and buy Lithium Ion battery upgrade kits for the cordless drivers.
I think he might pop for a new Bosch impact just to stay current.
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