I would like to have a coil tester to troubleshoot when the car has starting or riding issues.
Is the 500TEST from Lange's worth having, it is the one that is battery operated and tests the coil and spark plug.
There is also the ignition tester which I think only checks for a hot wire, but it still might be good for a novice like me.
Thank you in advance for your input.
Bob, the guy to contact about your question is Brent Mize, The Coil Doctor. He rebuilds coil testers and re-manufactures Coils. He can talk with you with authority about your needs. He has ads in both MTFCA and MTFCI magazines 614-582-9422
I don't know about the 500TEST unit, but the 500STRO is the best model T 'tool' I own presently. The 500 STRO costs more, but I'm glad I went with it. (And I was a total novice when I started using it.) If you are going to Hershey you could talk with a number of 'experts' including Brent Mize and Lang's about the pro/con of both units, and see the units demonstrated.
Don't forget or overlook checking out the ECCT from Mike Kossor. The Electroniclly Cranked Coil Tester is the newest and some say the best coil tester on the market today. He will also be at Hershey I think.
You can use a screw driver to short out the spark plugs one at a time and look at the spark and see if it's healthy, weak or none.