PEX is growing in popularity with both Pros and DIYers. Instead of soldering with costly copper piping and torches, you can secure leak-proof joints for these plastic pipelines with clamps and crimps — seams that are quick, simple, and budget-friendly.
These clamps and crimps do need unique tools though. To guarantee you’re creating a well-functioning seam, it’s essential to pick the very best PEX crimping tool for your task. This guide runs through the functions you must think about when looking for a PEX crimping tool.
PEX Crimp Tool Types
Before we compare PEX crimping tools, here’s a little background regarding PEX pipelines. PEX is a versatile type of tubing designed to carry freshwater, warm water, radiant heat, and even water for your sprinkler system, making it preferred in domestic settings.
These plastic pipelines all work in the same manner, and the majority of the very same seams will be applicable for all 3 types, though their attributes and makeup differ. Something to know is that the different types – PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C – do not suggest a level of quality or grade of PEX. Those classifications simply suggest the production procedure utilized to develop the pipeline.
This is the costliest kind of PEX. It comes with some advantages. For one, though it will come in rolled coils, it will take and hold its desired shape when corrected, making it simpler to set up through wall spaces and floorings. It’s bursting pressure is lower compared to PEX B.
This type of PEX normally comes in at half the price that PEX A does, and it comes with both disadvantages and advantages. The bursting pressure is higher, though it doesn’t keep its desired shape as well.
This type isn’t really typical, and most DIYers are not likely to use it. PEX C is fairly weak in comparison to PEX A or B. It likewise doesn’t resist oxidation as well, so it will naturally wear down through typical use quicker than A or B.
How to Choose the Best PEX Crimp Tool
When looking for the finest PEX crimping tools for making leak-proof joints, here are the essential factors to consider to keep in mind.
Crimps and Clamps
There are clamps, and there are crimps. Crimps are copper rings that move over the joint; a crimping tool then squeezes the whole ring tight onto the barbed fitting below. Copper crimps are larger and stronger than clamps, though they’re more vulnerable to deterioration.
Clamp tools squeeze the knob up until a peg is situated in the hole, thereby securing it onto the barbed fitting placed inside the joint. Tools capable of handling both clamps and crimps are unusual, so pick one design prior to buying.
The longer a tool’s handle is, the easier it is to secure or crimp, needing less effort to develop an ideal seal. You generally want to look for a crimp tool that is 11 inches or longer.
Clamps are generally simpler to put in place and require not as much effort, so the handle length isn’t as important as it with crimps.
Prior to selecting a securing or crimping tool, make certain to understand what kind of pipeline it’s suitable for. While numerous kinds of clamp and crimp tools work are for pipe joints, not every one can be used for working with PEX pipeline.
Some tools are designed for use with PEX and copper pipeline, though they usually need extra fittings or jaws. It can become pricey rapidly, but for anyone who works on piping frequently, it would probably be worth the financial investment. Changing the fitting on a clamp tool takes less time it would to sweat a copper seam with solder and flux.
Do not fret about selecting the ideal size of PEX crimping tool. Due to the fact that they can be found in just a few different sizes-(generally 3/8-, 1/2 -,3/ 4-, and 1-inch), almost any clamp or crimp tool produced for working with PEX can work. Switching in between the different sizes is generally quite easy.
Crimping tools usually have a 1-inch jaw for crimping 1-inch pipeline, though their packages feature smaller sized jaws for taking on smaller sized pipelines. To secure those smaller sized pipelines, merely open the jaw and slide the size of jaws you need within.
Clamp tools are frequently designed to fit any size. They move over a knob of the clamp to squeeze it, and the knobs they use are fairly universal.
After finishing a pipe project, it’s not nice to see leakages or malfunctioning seams. It can be challenging to get an idea if there’s a tight seal just by looking at it or feeling it when working with PEX crimps. To make sure each joint finished out properly, some tools feature go/no go measures.
The gauge ought to go over the crimp to about midway before it stops. If it moves up over the crimp, or doesn’t slide up at all, then the seam might have issues when its pressurized. That would mean the crimp either isn’t as tight as it should be or was set up with irregular pressure, so the crimp has become elongated.
Gradually, clamp and crimp tools will slip out of ideal calibration. Applying pressure to the tool throughout a pipe job can extend the jaws slightly, in which case, you’ll want to call them back in.
The majority of the very best PEX crimping and clamping tools have calibration evaluation and modification screws, and they typically include the wrenches needed to change them. Utilize these assessments to identify how far it’s fallen out of calibration, then tighten it back up to the perfect setting. A number of these tools feature adjustments on both sides of the jaw, enabling you to adjust it for a completely round shape.
The gauge can likewise tell if the jaw is too tight, which can also result in a leak.
A lot of the very best PEX clamping tools have a removal function for separating the clamps from the pipeline. Do not anticipate recycling these crimps or clamps, though, since the removal procedure either damages their stability or cuts right through them. The fitting beneath ought to be entirely undamaged.
To take a clamp off, change the tool to its cutting function. Then, move the jaws over the clamp’s knob and tighten up until the clamp tool slices through the band. Take the clamp off.
Getting rid of crimps needs a completely other tool with a blade to cut through copper crimps. If this is the case, then cut the entire seam out of the line, slip the tool up into the fitting, and contract the handles till it makes a complete cut. A second cut from the opposite side will separate it totally.
Considering that crimp cutting tools can cut through copper, it’s crucial to keep your fingers away from the jaws. The threat of copper breaking and ending up being air-borne is very real, so safety goggles are advised.
Below are a few of the very best PEX crimping and clamping tools you can buy. When you compare these items, keep all of the crucial factors we mentioned above in mind.
IWISS PEX Pipe Crimping Toolset for 3/8,1/ 2,3/ 4,1-inch Copper Ring
This IWISS PEX crimp tool is designed for 1/2 to 3/4 inch PEX pipeline work. It has some size constraints, but the advantages are that it can be utilized with steel or copper bands, which makes it flexible as a combo PEX crimping tool. We suggest this double function crimp tool if you work with both steel and copper crimp bands frequently.
If you have best sized tool for the band you’re trying to crimp, the Go No Go Gauge is another beneficial function. It eliminates any uncertainty and conserves time. The design of the tool lets you access tight connection locations, making it much easier to set up PEX pipeline.
The set consists of a portable case that makes it simple to bring with you and keep the tool and devices arranged.
- It’s a fully portable set with a case that makes it simple to keep it all arranged
- The Go No Go gauge helps save you time
- When working with both kinds of PEX, the double function for either copper or copper is a valuable convenience
- Its calibration is exact, and it creates tight seals with every crimp
- It’s not designed for 3/8 inch nor 1-inch pipelines
iCrimp Ratchet PEX Cinch Tool with Removing function for 3/8 to 1-inch Stainless Steel Clamps
This is among the very best tools for making PEX connections in between 3/8 inch to 1 inch. It’s a stainless-steel crimp tool that includes 20 pieces for adaptability in making most PEX pipeline connections.
You just require one PEX crimp tool to do most kinds of PEX pipeline connections with an all-in-one tool. This tool is made from high-quality steel. This offers it extraordinary resilience, so it will last for a long period of time.
The switch between the removal and cinch function makes this tool extremely easy to use, and altering the jaws is basic.
- You just require to purchase one tool to crimp most sizes of clamps
- This tool is simple to hold and run onto
- The jaws are simple to alter to get the ideal size
- The crimper works extremely well for getting a tight seal on the bands
- Not for usage with copper clamps
IWISS PEX Pipe Crimping Tool for Crimp Jaw Sets 3/ -8- inch,1/ 2-inch,3/ 4-inch,1- inch
This total set of PEX crimp devices consists of the tool, along with 3 interchangeable jaw sizes to match the widest range of copper crimps. It’s designed to work with 3/8 inch up to 1 inch and is among the most flexible crimp tools for use with all sizes of bands.
Another advantage is the complementary gauge and pipeline cutter. The set includes a long handle for getting to tough to reach locations where the pipelines are recessed. The rubber handles with comfy grip relieves user tiredness.
- It’s one tool that matches most sizes
- It includes a PEX pipeline cutter
- Rubber on the handles offers you more grip than plastic handles do
- It includes beneficial functions for cutting and measuring fit
- Not appropriate steel crimp bands
Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K 3/8-inch – 1-inch Multi-Head Crimp Tool Kit
This PEX crimping tool is made to utilize with PEX pipeline that is 3/8 inch to 1 inch in size. The stainless-steel pinch clamp tool pinches down the tabs on crimp bands to provide you a water-resistant and tight seal.
The length of the handles is 15.25 inches. This makes the tool helpful for reaching pipelines that are recessed in tough to get to locations. The Apollo crimp tool has been rigorously checked and fulfills the requirements for ASTM F 1897n accreditation.
This is an inexpensive PEX tool that provides dependability and high performance at a reasonable price.
- Easy to use
- Long handles make it easy to reach into recessed areas
- The cost is reasonable, making it a good value
- This tool is not suitable for Zurn Quickclamp crimp rings
Zurn QCRTMH Steel Multi-Head Copper Crimp Tool for 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4″
The Zurn QCRTMH is a flexible crimp tool that works well for both copper and steel bands. It’s one of the most flexible PEX crimp tools available today. It’s suitable for various sizes from 1/8 inch through 3/4 inch PEX fittings. It includes interchangeable jaws and a includes a crimp ring removal tool to make your job much faster and easier.
Also, the Go No Go Gauge conserves a great deal of time and disappointment.
- It’s excellent for both steel and copper. It conserves the expense of purchasing both
- The removal tool makes it simpler to remove old bands
- It’s a strong set that features a great range of helpful devices
- This is an all-in-one tool that has everything you’ll require for the job
- It does not handle one-inch PEX crimp bands
SharkBite 23251 1/2 Inch, 3/4 Inch Tool
This tool from SharkBite is the perfect tool for placing copper crimps ranging from 1/2 to 3/4 inch. It’s easy to use and efficiently sets PEX bands tightly so that you don’t have to worry about dripping.
Rubber on the handles makes for better grip while using this tool, even in tough environments. Having this style of handle also aids in alleviating hand tiredness. The handle is 16.8 x 5 x 1.5 inches. Such a length makes it much easier to get in and reach PEX pipelines installed in recessed locations.
The tool is rated highly by users for being dependable and strong. It holds up well throughout the job without extending and needing frequent re-calibration.
- It’s quite comfortable to use, and it’s not tough to contract the handles
- The tight seals it creates hold up well over time
- It’s one of the best tools to use if you need to get to pipelines in the back
- It will come completely calibrated and all set for use
- It’s about the same size as a big set of bolt cutters, which makes it hard to use in some situations
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few more questions people have about PEX crimping tools and their matching responses. Have a look below for any extra info we didn’t cover above.
What is the very best PEX to utilize?
PEX B is thought to be the very best, well-rounded PEX pipeline. Besides containing less chemicals, it has a greater breaking pressure. The downside is it is often more difficult to handle.
Do PEX fittings stop working?
They can stop working, though it’s typically caused by human mistakes. It will leak if a clamp is placed crookedly or tightened unevenly.
Can you crimp PEX with a set of pliers?
No, you can’t get a strong, precise, leak-free seam with pliers because they can’t evenly press all the way around the joint.
Can you snake PEX through flooring joists?
Yes, PEX can go through flooring joists or stud walls or practically anywhere that would usually hold pipes (according to most regional building code books – but check your local guidelines for any discrepancy).
Can you run PEX to a hot water heater?
No, PEX needs to not run straight to a hot water heater, though it can go to a copper riser that is at least 18 inches long, coming straight from the hot water heater.
How long will PEX pipeline last?
PEX might have the ability to last over 100 years. While it hasn’t been around enough time to confirm that durability, long-lasting screening suggests it might last a full century prior to breaking down.
Are there much shorter PEX crimp tools for entering tight spaces?
Yes, there are tools made with much shorter handles that are suggested for utilizing PEX piping in tight or confined areas.
It’s not hard to discover the finest PEX crimp tool when you understand what you need to look for. We’ve examined the leading 6 PEX crimp tools and have actually consisted of a variety of various designs to offer you a range of tools to pick from.