Solar Info

Solar Animal Guard Job Cost Calculator

Whether you’re an installer in the field, or a manager at an installation company, you might want to get some insights into how much all your animal guard jobs cost, or when the AG Bender™ will pay for itself. Our job cost calculator can tell you all this and more.

Here’s what the calculator can do:

  • Get estimates on the amount of materials and labor required, and the costs associated with both.
  • See how much time and money the AG Bender will save you.
  • Get your nerd on by adjusting advanced settings like number of sub-arrays (this has a big impact on perimeter length & cost), labor rates and the multiplier for payroll taxes and other overhead.
  • All of these metrics are available on a per job and annual basis.

If you’re still unsure whether you should install animal guard at all, or if you need some help convincing a customer to take the step, you should check out the first part of this series called “Does my solar PV system need animal/critter guard?“. Here we explore the financial risks of not installing animal guard.

Also, refer to our sourcing guide for all the best materials and tools to use when installing animal guard. We don’t sell the tools listed here, we simply hope you get some value out of the guide.

The Slick Tools Team


GRID Alternatives just got an AG Bender™!

GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization based in California, that provides underrepresented individuals and tribal communities across the globe with solar who would not have been able to afford the transition to renewable energy. In addition, they train hundreds of solar installer each year. These cohorts of trainees from all backgrounds are taught the basics of solar systems before applying their knowledge on actual projects. With their industry connections, GRID enables these individuals to land jobs at solar installers across the country after they complete the 10-week program. Sam, our business developer actually completed GRID’s “Solar Training Academy” in 2020. His cohort worked on a commercial project in Boulder for 10 weeks.

We’ve long admired GRID for helping individuals across the globe transition to renewable energy, and for helping build a strong workforce in the industry.

We decided to visit one of these cohorts last Tuesday on a residential project in Denver to donate an AG Bender. Hopefully we can partner with GRID in the future, as we develop a full line of solar-specific tools!


UNC Entrepreneurial Challenge Finalists!

Marshall and I took part in the University of Northern Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Challenge last week, pitching Slick Tools LLC to a panel of judges. We focused our presentation on the Animal Guard Bender, but also shared our vision for a full line of solar-specific tools. In the end, we were able to secure a spot in the finals!

There are two divisions in the competition: the collegiate division and an open division. In the finals on March 9th, all teams from both divisions will compete against each other for a share of $25,000.

We had some interesting contestants in the open division. GelSana Therapeutics has invented a gel that heals wounds faster, and Sarus Lifting is working on a construction logistics app. Four companies from each division made it to the finals, so we’ll have our work cut out for us!

Regardless of the outcome, the E-challenge was a great experience for Marshall and me, and we’re stoked to pitch again.

Solar Info

Built to last

This Animal Guard Bender has been with Namasté Solar for 2 years now, and it’s still going strong! In fact, we have not had any warranty claims on these tools. Davis at Namasté Solar had this to say about the AG Bender:

“It’s held up to the abuse it gets in the work van and looks like it will be around for a long time.”

Davis Fogerty – Solar PV Installer, Namasté Solar Electric

Slick Tools was founded to help solar installers, and to make their jobs easier. The last thing we want, is for our customers to worry about the reliability of their tools. Therefore, we chose durable materials that can last for years and designed the Bender in such a way that parts can easily be replaced. This dedication to quality, coupled with our hand assembly of each Bender makes for a tool that will last.

Hand assembly of an Animal Guard Bender

Installers using the AG Bender in the field noticed that pulling the mesh through the machine, slowly wore off the contact rods over time. Back then, Benders were outfitted with contact rods made out of durable polyethylene (UHMW) and we found that by simply rotating the rods, installers could get the maximum use out of the parts.

Since then, we have found that the materials Teflon™ and Delrin™ are better suited for most mesh types. While we have not observed any substantial wear on the current rods, we do offer replacement parts in our shop. These can easily be swapped out by the customer.

Additionally, we have a warranty for the unlikely event of a Bender being defect or not performing like it should be.

As always, reach out with any questions or comments you have!

Happy Bending,

The Slick Tools Team