Household electrical appliances - such as air conditioners and fridges - have coolants, or refrigerants, that require frequent recovery, otherwise, they will affect the efficiency and the longevity of the appliance. You could call the A/C service to do the cleanup, or you could equip your home with a refrigerant recovery machine. The best refrigerant recovery machine on the market not only helps you save your time but your money as well.
The refrigerant recovery machines are becoming a necessary tool for HVAC technicians, but you do not have to be a pro to learn to use the machine. The machine will recover the refrigerants before the cleaning and the repairing. The refrigerants will go through the filtration system before going to the storage tank while waiting for reuse. The only thing you should keep in mind is that there are strict rules about recovering refrigerants in order to protect the environment.
If you are planning to buy one for your house, then our review of the best refrigerant recovery machine 2020 is just the full-packaged guild that you are looking for. In this review on topgobuy, we shall discuss the 15 best refrigerant recovery machines, as well as what you should consider when buying one. Let’s go!
Best Refrigerant Recovery Machine Comparison 2020
Best for your budget
Best For Great value
Best for small appliance type
** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Refrigerant Recovery Machine, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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Top 15 Best Refrigerant Recovery Machine Reviews 2020
Robinair RG3 Refrigerant Recovery Machine
Of all the brands that produce AC/R machines, Robinair is the most well-known or its affordable products with high effectiveness. The RG3 model has a small, portable size that is ideal for residential appliances from a rooftop to a marine HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system.
It produces 40% less footprint due to its oil-less compressor, while the cross-flow design decreases the recovery time. As a bonus, it has a dryer and a safety shut-off mechanism when there is excess pressure. Overall, it is your answer to various HVAC problems.
However, the RG3 model is mostly a recovery unit. That means you will need other methods for the removal and reclamation of recovered refrigerants. It also works slower for larger systems, and there is the possibility of leaking refrigerants.
Highly efficient design.
Lightweight, compact, portable.
Ideal for automotive tasks.
Has a safety shut-off mechanism.
Single-cylinder so has slower recovery rates at times.
Yellow Jacket 95760 Refrigerant Recovery Machine
This model by Yellow Jacket is slightly bigger than the RG3 model, coming in at around 28lbs, yet I would still consider it to be quite portable.
The bigger size allows the model to have more components, such as the state-of-the-art-sensor, the Ritchie Recover kit, the oil-less compressor that operates on ½ horsepower, noise-absorbing properties to ensure smooth operation, and an excess pressure shutdown system. Still, these features do not make the machine harder to use, as the gauges are very easy to use.
Its filter is easy to clean with a clog prevention system, and also a fan to use in hot weather. As a bonus, the model has multiple colors and a three-year warranty.
However, you might find the manufacturer to have customer service that is not the best, and malfunctioning could occur.
Portable design, multiple colors.
High recovery rates.
Has a sensor to detect malfunctions.
Easy to use and clean.
Malfunctions could occur.
Bad customer service.
Inficon Vortex Dual Refrigerant Recovery Machine
Those machines with twin-cylinder are typically more powerful in operation and consume less time than those with a single cylinder. This refrigerant recovery machine by Inficon with twin-cylinder has proven to be a versatile and reliable unit, capable of recovery rates around 0.6lb/min for vapor and 10lb/min for liquids. As you can tell, that means much time saved.
Weighing at 30lbs, it is heavier than other models, but that also means it could accommodate more features, such as the dual-piston compressor that could generate one horsepower during each cycle and the micro-channel condenser that maintains high recovery rates. The special point about this model is that it has a self-purge mechanism, so you do not have to bother yourself with changing the hose. In case you are thinking that the model is nice but a bit too heavy, then think again! You could carry it around with the custom-made shoulder strap.
The downside, of course, is its big size, and the vapor and the liquids cannot be recovered simultaneously. But for its tier, I will say that it is excellent.
Twin-cylinder for more powerful operation.
High recovery rates.
Has a self-purge system to empty the machine.
Not very portable and lightweight.
Cannot recover vapor and liquids simultaneously.
Appion G5TWIN Twin-Cylinder Recovery Unit
Along with the RG3 model, this Appion G5TWIN refrigerant recovery machine is arguably the best available. Its revolutionary components make it ideal for both industrial and commercial recovery jobs, while its design is lightweight and portable. A strong machine while looking small and cute, indeed.
Being twin-cylinder with twin condensers, it promises strong recovery rates, almost equal to the model by Inficon. Do not worry that going too fast might damage the components, because it has a 10-blade turbine fan to provide cooling. It could handle almost all common types of refrigerants, including the R-410A and R-22. A refrigerant-isolated crankcase is available to prevent refrigerants from contamination by coming in contact with other moving parts, and a rugged case for storage. While being ultra-fast, the model also has a low power draw, which is a nice plus.
However, it is not really suitable for solvent recovery due to its plastic valves.
Ultra-fast recovery rates.
Low power draw.
Could recover refrigerants like R-410A.
Quite louder than other models.
Short power cord.
Not suitable for solvent recovery.
Robinair RG6 Refrigerant Recovery Machine
Yet another one from Robinair. As you can tell, it is the successor of the RG3 model. While inheriting the good traits of its predecessor such as the oil-less compressor and the safety shutdown system, it is also equipped with a twin-cylinder for higher efficiency and faster recovery rates. It has a condenser, a fan to ensure the highest performance even in the hottest climate, and a self-purge mechanism for easy cleaning, while still maintaining to be portable, durable, and light.
This model is suitable for all common refrigerants and could even work with the R-410A. It has an excellent notification system as well. However, it is quite not suitable for automotive applications.
Twin-cylinder for better performance.
A sturdy figure, portable, durable.
Impressive recovery rates.
- Not suitable for automotive applications.
Mastercool 69110 Automotive A/C Recovery System
I know that it looks quite bulky with that whole cylinder and the machine is almost as big as the cylinder, but trust me when I say that the model is actually quite portable and highly compact.
The internal components are separated so the operation is super smooth with almost no noise. Its design is approved by SAE J2810 that is leak-proof and maximum cooling efficiency. It could remove and recover oil from the refrigerants, operates with an oil-less compressor, and a safety shut-off switch. It comes with hoses and couplers, so you could say that it is an all-in-one package.
The downside is that this model has a rather limited range of pressure at 350psi, while other models could reach over 500psi. At 30lbs, it is quite heavy as well.
Meets EFA standards.
Fast and effective.
Smooth and silent operation.
Limited pressure range.
Fieldpiece MR45 Recovery Machine
By far this is the most lightweight, portable model of a refrigerant recovery machine that you could find. Weighing at around 22lbs, its design allows you to carry around like a suitcase with ease.
Despite being quite small, it could withstand even the harshest weather thanks to its water-resistant body, and the ceramic twin-cylinder gives it longer life and less friction. Yes, you did not hear it wrong, the model has two cylinders. The micro-channel condenser makes it possible to compress more refrigerants at twice the RPMs and twice the horsepower. For AC technicians, it is a nice choice to have. Oh, and did I mention that the manufacturer has excellent customer service?
The machine could malfunction, however, and you may find the warranty of one year to be a letdown.
Extremely portable design, lightweight.
Good customer service.
- Short warranty.
Robinair 34788NI-H Premier Recovery Machine
I am certain that you could notice almost immediately that this product, by far, is the refrigerant recovery machine with the most distinct design. Unlike its equals which are usually in a box shape, this model looks like a bin. This series by Robinair has several models, but the 34788NI-H is - arguably - the best.
This new design allows for a bigger display of information and notifications. And, I think you could depict it already, the machine is automatic. It could automatically refill refrigerants, which is customizable according to your preferred amount of refrigerants in the vessel, and it could charge itself without using any valves. You could use it on standard, hybrid, and electric vehicle A/C systems. The draining of oil is automatic as well, air-purging; and, as a bonus, it is multilingual.
The downside, however, is that due to its big size, it is quite hard to store.
Superb efficiency and recovery rates.
Good detection system.
- Might be a bit too big.
Bacharach Stinger Refrigerant Recovery Machine
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This model by Bacharach is one of the fastest, most efficient refrigerant recovery machines available on the market. It sure is capable of high recovery rates while being small and portable.
The operation is easy with just one knob to start it all, so it is quite user-friendly. For a residential system or a light commercial system, it could do the cleaning of refrigerants for you in around five minutes. Its dual-valve with larger pistons allow the compression speed to be greater, and the inline filter is replaceable so you could prevent contaminants from damaging the components.
However, it does not suit automotive services, and quite heavy as well.
Easy to operate.
High recovery rates.
Not suitable for automotive jobs.
JP Industries F6-DP Refrigerant Recovery Unit
This model looks quite complicated to me, but it is actually very easy to use. It weighs around 30lbs, a bit heavy for me, but I would say that it is portable. Plus, it has a sturdy look.
The machine operates on a two-valve mechanism. Its dual pistons design makes it formidable in terms of recovering refrigerants. The self-purging feature gets rid of the hose cleaning or extra hose burden for you. There is also an oversized fan that provides heat dissipation for your machine, so it could operate smoothly even in harsh weather.
The main downside comes from the replacement of components. As the valves are OEM, you need to call the manufacturer to source it, and it is likely that you will have to send the unit in for replacement.
Easy to use.
- The components are hard to replace.
Navac Master Series Recovery Unit
So far this is the refrigerant recovery machine with the best design that I could find on the market. It is portable, lightweight, and square angles with the orange color do make it stand out. The handle is sturdy, so you could carry it around with ease.
The model uses brushless DC technology, and it could recover all common refrigerants. The recovery speed is great, thanks to the twin-cylinder feature and the two-row oversized condenser. The compressor is oil-less, and the purge function is available to prevent the mixing of refrigerants.
However, considering its price range, I would say that this is not my absolute go-to option. However, I like the design a lot, and that is a good thing.
Uses brushless technology.
Work well with common refrigerants.
- Quite a medium product for its price range.
Mastercool Twin Turbo 69300 Refrigerant Recovery System
The design of the Twin Turbo model by Mastercool allows for maximum recovery capacity while decreasing in size and weight. Unlike its bulky companion from the same brand, this machine is much smaller. However, to some of you, it might be heavy at the weight of 32lbs.
It has a larger volume recovery rate than other products from Mastercool. The valve is stainless steel in a ball shape, so it has a long life and could pull off smooth operation. It could work with all common types of refrigerants, and even the R-410A. It comes with a safety shut-off switch, and the front is bumper guards to reduce damage to the control knobs.
However, if you are new to a refrigerant recovery machine, then it is possible that you will find the instruction hard to understand.
Large volume recovery rate.
Could work with R-410A.
Has a safety switch.
- The instruction is hard to understand.
Yellow Jacket YJ-LTE Refrigerant Recovery Unit
Another product from Yellow Jacket appears on this list of the best refrigerant recovery machine. Despite how it looks, this model is actually very light, only about 25lbs, and yet its system is suitable for high-load conditions, with superb condenser performance that allows the tank to stay cooler for longer so you could work more without worrying about high-pressure cut-out.
It is easy to operate, with a single gauge, single control panel, and single valve. It uses ½ horsepower, and the twin-cylinder promises high rates of refrigerant recovery. Also, the purge circuit means less concern with the cleansing after finishing.
The downside is that I do not like its design, and it is a medium tool for its price tier.
Suitable for high-load conditions.
Excellent condenser performance.
Easy to operate.
- A medium product for the price range.
Robinair 25700 Contaminated Refrigerant Recovery Machine
This is an extremely lightweight, portable, durable, and yet still capable of many functions, refrigerant recovery machine that you could find on the market. Chunky design, but powerful.
It could handle both liquids and gas refrigerant; and, knowing Robinair, you could tell that it has a built-in, high-pressure safety shut-off harness when the tank is 80% full. The compressor is oil-less, and there is a self-purge function to remove the remaining refrigerants, preventing them from damaging the components. Also, it has a refrigerant identifier that tells you whether the refrigerants from your automotive A/C system is good or bad, so you could have an idea about whether it is time to check your vehicle.
The downside is that this machine is only a recovery machine, meaning it does not recycle the refrigerants and you will need other methods to do so.
Could handle both liquid and gas refrigerants.
Has a safety switch.
Has a refrigerant identifier.
- Only a recovery machine.
CPS Pro-Set Sparkless Refrigerant Recovery Machine
This design has received approval from ANSI 12:12.01 ignition standard. Like the name has indicated, the model prevents spark, hence decreases the possibility of burning the machine.
For the fast recovery of refrigerants such as R-410A, the system of CPS Pro-Set is arguably the best. It has exceptional compressors and state-of-the-art condensing and cooling systems to ensure its performance in undesirable climates. Its motors have thermal protection, and the components that make the operation could not get any smoother.
It, however, does not have an eye-catching design.
Fast recovery for R-410A.
- Bad design
The Full-Packaged Guide: What To Look For When Buying The Best Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
With the HVAC system now widely popular in households across the globe and the rise in the price of A/C service, the market witnesses the rise of refrigerant recovery machines as easy to get, easy to use, less time-consuming, cheap, and convenient options. You need it for your car, your fridge, your air conditioner, and more. The booming of refrigerant recovery machines in the market is a good thing, but it could also give you some headache when picking the best refrigerant recovery machine among the mass, considering the price of these machines is quite an investment.
As always, before buying anything, you should make sure that you know how to use it at the basics. The best refrigerant recovery machine does not necessarily have to be complicated, sophisticated, or hard to use. But, that does not mean that it could not be either. After all, refrigerant recovery machines are machines, and they play a vital role in maintaining the longevity and efficiency of your other machines and appliances, all of them are important. Hence, we surely do not want to mess up one thing and lead to a domino reaction. As people usually say, sometimes the maintenance fee is too much of a pain that we want to avoid it as much as possible.
Have you been having a headache after finishing reading the top 15 best refrigerant recovery machine? Worry be not, because here comes the guide to buying a refrigerant recovery machine that you have been waiting for! In the coming-up section, I will demystify the qualities that a smart consumer should take into consideration before spending a large sum of money to take home a tool that is a must-have for your household. Please keep in mind that it is always you and your needs that matter the most. So, let’s keep reading, shall we?
There are different types of refrigerant recovery machines that you may need to consider before buying, and maybe a little bit of research. Make sure that you know what type you want before continuing with the purchase will save you a lot of time, and money as well. The best refrigerant recovery machine comes in three types, varying according to suitability.
There is the small appliance type. As the name suggests, these machines are ideal to use with small devices such as the air conditioner of your car or to be a part of mini-split systems. These machines do not require much horsepower.
There are machines for residential usage. They need more power than the small size, and you use them to maintain appliances in your household, such as recovering and recharge the air conditioners in your house.
And finally, we have the best refrigerant recovery machine for commercial use. As you could tell, these machines consume a lot of power, and they provide much greater service than the other types. They are suitable for large systems that are installed in large places, such as malls, supermarkets, skyscrapers, etc.
If you already know what you want to aim for, then this part should be easy for you. If you are running a restaurant or in charge of multi-home condos, then you should pick a machine specifically for commercial use. If you want to buy the best refrigerant recovery machine for your house, then a residential size machine is good enough. Or in case you just need a machine for your automobiles or your window AC, then the small appliance type will be the most suitable.
The price of these types also vary. Generally speaking, those that could function more are more expensive, and higher maintenance fees as well.
The thing we all like about the best refrigerant recovery machine (and also what makes us want to buy one) is the convenience it brings, which is one of the advantages that we prefer over A/C services. This convenience largely comes from its portability.
The most lightweight machines are no heavier than 25lbs, such as the Fieldpiece MR45 model, or the CPS Pro-Set. Despite being super light and portable, that does not mean that their performance is not as good as other heavier models. Nor do they have fewer functions.
Those that weigh around 25-30lbs fall into the normal size of the best refrigerant recovery machine. Most models are this size and are still portable enough to carry around, including some of the most budget-friendly machines.
Machines that are over 30lbs could be quite heavy for some people and hence are not very portable. The Inficon Vortex model is 30lbs, and those by Mastercool are 32-33lbs. However, being heavier does not mean that they are not a desirable option, as the weight could be the result of the additional functions and components that complete the machine. The Inficon Vortex is heavy, but its performance is excellent, with many features available to make our job easier.
If you are someone with strong arms, then this aspect may not be a problem for you at all. However, I think keeping it in mind is a good thing to do, as portability also could refer to how much space the machine takes up in your storage.
This aspect is not about the machine itself, but about the materials that will go into the machine. As you can tell, most of the best refrigerant recovery machine could handle common types of refrigerants, and some could deal with refrigerants that are a bit more difficult. It is best to keep in mind that the best refrigerant machine does not necessarily have to be able to recover all types of refrigerants.
The Robinair RG6 and the Appion G5TWIN could work with refrigerants such as R-410A and R-22, with the Appion model being specifically designed for these types of refrigerant. On the other hand, this model is also not suitable for solvent recovery as the butane might damage the valves.
Therefore, you should take into consideration the refrigerant recovery ability of your machine to avoid damaging your tool. Even the best refrigerant recovery machine turns into the worst if you use it incorrectly.
Since we are talking about machines, the quality of the components is extremely crucial. Components that are high-quality and work well with other parts not only ensure the efficiency of the machine but also maintain its performance for a very long time. The best refrigerant recovery machine has many components, but I will focus on those that are most vital, arguably. That is the compressor and the cylinder.
As I have mentioned, the cylinders of the best refrigerant recovery machine could be single or come in pairs. The newer models come with a twin-cylinder feature, and there is a fair reason for it. Twin-cylinder grants the machine with greater capacity; hence, we have faster recovery rates, better recovery rates, and consume less time than those with a single cylinder. The Inficon Vortex, the Appion G5TWIN, the Robinair RG6, and the Fieldpiece MR45 all have twin-cylinder, and they are well-known for their superior recovery speed that could help you finish your task in about five minutes.
However, that does not mean those with single-cylinder are worse, otherwise, the Robinair RG3 would not be in every top list of the best refrigerant recovery machine. The capacity of the cylinders is not the sole factor to consider when choosing a refrigerant recovery machine. Having one cylinder also means more space for more functions and components that enhance the performance of the machine.
As a matter of fact, machines with twin cylinders are generally more expensive than those with a single cylinder.
There are also two types of compressors: the oil-based, and the oil-less. Newer models tend to have an oil-less compressor. Other than being more environmentally friendly since the oil-less compressor produces less carbon footprint, the oil-less type also reduces functions and components that usually go with the oil-based type; hence, leaving room for other functions.
The Robinair RG3 and the models by Yellow Jacket are some machines with an oil-less compressor. These machines are portable and lightweight, have safety switches, or a malfunction detector. As a bonus, having an oil-less compressor does not make them more expensive. They require less maintenance, could handle many types of refrigerants and could work with both liquids and vapor.
The oil-based compressor, on the other hand, needs more maintenance, as well as components to control the oil level inside the machine or flushing out excessive oil, which is quite annoying in my opinion.
Personally, I prefer the oil-less models.
As I have mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are strict rules regarding the recovery of the refrigerants. This is because these refrigerants are chemicals that are not very friendly to the environment, so the handling of them should be careful and comply with the rules.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards are the first that we have to obey. As you use your refrigerant recovery machine to deal with the refrigerants, your machine should be in compliance with the standards noted by the EPA. So do not forget to check if that model could tick this box on your list. Otherwise, you could receive a fine which I am sure you do not want to receive. In the USA, the EPA could fine violators up to $37,500 per day.
That is, however, only if you are in the States. If you live in other countries, then you should consult with your local authorities about the rules regarding the recovery of refrigerants to avoid undesirable consequences.
As always, there are accessories that come with the best refrigerant recovery machine. Since they are accessories, they might not be very crucial to the operation of the machine, but having some could certainly ensure that your refrigerant recovery machine is the best.
The most common additional features include gauges, hoses, a safety switch, a cooling fan, and a pump. Some models have all of these, some have some of these, and some do not have any. These features are available to enhance your experience, as well as making your job easier, and the price varies among different units.
For some fancier products, such as the Robinair 34788NI-H Premier, then these functions could become fully automatic. All you have to do is to turn on the machine.
Method of recovery
There are three methods of recovery that differ in the state of the recovered material: the liquid method, the vapor method, and the push-and-pull method. The third one is more suitable if the amount of refrigerants is over 10 pounds. Generally, you should consider the refrigerant type that you will be working with to select the most suitable machine.
Having a good warranty that comes along with the best refrigerant recovery machine is a good point that I would like to have. After all, it is not easy to fix a machine such as a refrigerant recovery machine, and we could be risking our money either by trying to do the task by ourselves or not having a good warranty. I prefer the latter as the lesser of the devil. Having a warranty is especially handy in cases such as when you need a replacement of a component and it is just too hard to find the part.
The best refrigerant recovery machine has a warranty that could reach five years. One year is the minimum, while long-term warranties could be from three to five years.
Last but not least, and forever a crucial factor to almost all problems of modern society, we have the money issue. Finding the best refrigerant recovery machine available is an exciting process, but that joy could vanish into the thin air if the price is not friendly to your pocket. Undoubtedly, the best refrigerant recovery machine is an investment that needs extra thinking and research, and you do not want to go wrong when spending that much amount of money.
Regardless of the price range, I am certain that you could find your dream machine.
The price of the best refrigerant recovery machine could be anywhere from $300 to over $1000, around $8000 is not impossible. The higher the price, the more functions, and features are available. Those at the lower price could be manual with a single cylinder.
I would call any price that is lower than $500 as the lower range. The Robinair RG3 model is around $400, which explains why it is one of the most budget-friendly models available. However, this model displays exceptional performance despite having a low price; hence, having a low price surely does not mean that it will be bad.
From $500 to around $1000 is the medium price. Most models available on the market fall into this range. Some superb machines such as the models by Yellow Jacket or the Fieldpiece one could be around $600 to $800, and even $1000, like the ones by Mastercool. For this price range, you could expect a full-packaged refrigerant recovery machine operating at a high quality that will satisfy all your needs.
Models that are over $1000 - such as the Robinair 34788NI-H Premier that comes at over $4000 - are like an almighty tool to have in your household. Other than having exceptionally good performance, they also have some extra features to make your experience smoother than ever.
As I have said, selecting the best refrigerant recovery machine depends on your needs. If you are going to use the machine occasionally in your home, then one model at a medium price range, or lower, is good enough. On the other hand, if you want to invest in a high capacity machine that could guarantee excellent service, then you may want to go for the upper tier.
Always consider external factors such as your vehicles, your appliances, and the types of refrigerants before deciding to buy.
If possible, a twin-cylinder is a better choice than a single-cylinder.
The best machines do not have to possess an extremely high price. Again, please carefully consider your needs.
Whatever the model, the machine should be able to operate smoothly for a long time if being used correctly.
For visual instruction on the best refrigerant recovery machine, please have a look at this short video:
Conclusion: So which ones could be the best refrigerant recovery machine, in my opinion?
After looking at so many different models, it is indeed hard to find the best refrigerant recovery machine. However, I have strived through the difficult part, and come up with a conclusion of the best refrigerant recovery machine for 2020. Each model has its own advantages, but overall, I am certain any of these could satisfy anyone, from a professional technician to a beginner.
Having more options to choose from when buying the best refrigerant recovery machine is both a joyful, yet tiring process. Not only are you going to spend a large amount of money, what more important is that you want to trust the machine, believing that the machine will indeed be the best ever possible in playing the guardian role of your residential appliances. We find it hard to trust even when the other is a system of metallic components. It is this skeptical point of view that keeps us from making a bad decision and bringing home the best refrigerant recovery machine that satisfies our needs and protects our homes.
I would not call myself a professional when it comes to refrigerant recovery machines. I do want to, however, put my trust in something I know for sure will perform smoothly and dedicatedly, and will not fail me (or my household appliances). I believe that you could choose the best refrigerant recovery machine for you as well. Whatever you have been looking for, I do hope that this post - which has become very long by now - has the information that answers your questions, and could aid you when picking the best refrigerant recovery machine for your needs.
Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way from the top to the bottom! Is there your favorite item on this list? Or do you have your own opinion of the best refrigerant recovery machine that is a must-have for 2020? Please tell me by commenting below the post!