How We Found the Best PEX Crimp Tool

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Looking for buying a PEX crimp tool on your own? Are you going to do your house plumbing and wiring tasks with it? What is the best crimping tool available in the market?

Here in my article I’m going to highlight the advantages, usages, fittings, features of different crimp tools so that you can be proud of your purchasing decision. Hopefully this unbiased PEX crimp tool review of mine will help you to know about this tool in details and wipe out all the confusion of yours so that you have the confidence of choosing the right crimp tool of yours.

What is the best PEX crimping tool?

There are different kinds of crimping tools available in the market. A PEX crimping tool is used for plumbing purposes mostly, for PEX pipe insertion. For safe and secure PEX pipe installation without any leakage or damage, this tool is a much-needed gadget. You can get a variety of brands, sizes, features of this tool. You can do all kinds of crimping, bending, tightening of the cables and connectors with the crimping tool.

Different innovative sturdy constructed design and material of this tool making the plumbing task easier day by day. Its affordability and durability have made it popular among the DIYers for getting their PEX installation on their own.

I’m going to brief the all the details you might need to know about PEX crimp tool before buying one, in this article.

Recommendation for Best PEX crimping tool

For choosing the best quality PEX crimping tool, here I’m reviewing some of the best tool available in the market regarding prices and quality.

Best Value PEX Crimp Tool

IWISS Crimping Tool Crimper for Stainless Steel

This tool is getting more and more popular because of its super factory adjustment settings, making it easier to use. You can start you crimping, clamping just right away after you get the delivery of your PE tool. This cinch tool comes in only $26.99 including so many advantages at one tool. It fits all kinds of ASTM F2098 stainless steel clamps that you can use directly without any trouble. You also get a variety of clamps in sizes 3/8”, ½,” 5/8”, ¾” and 1”.

What We Like –

  • Adjustment: it is built in factory adjustment requires no further attachments or calibration.
  • Accuracy: it allows a proper and precise installation reducing errors.
  • Ratcheting system: its ratcheting system allows the users fast and proper installation.
  • Easy removals: clamps are easy to remove and reattach.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Clamp limitations: clamps that does not meet ASTM F2098 standards can’t be fit to this cinch tool.
  • Required force: to use on 1” clamps, one needs to put more force to clamp properly.

This super quality cinch clamp tool comes with many advantages for the DIYers to get the PEX tasks done easily and precisely. It gives you a great service in terms of durability and quality. Its rubber long handle reduces the force you need to put to a large extent. It also comes with a calibration tool that allows the users fast and reliable installation. Though you might not require the calibration tools for its automated factory adjustment, after using in some installation it starts losing its calibration. It is one of the bestselling tools that reduce error to a greater extent ensuring a precise installation without involving in any difficult process.

So you can easily get one for getting your house plumbing, wiring tasks done efficiently and quickly.

Budget and Affordable PEX Crimp

IWISS ASTM F2098 and Non-F2098 PEX Crimping Tools

This model is super cheap crimp cinch tool comes with a self-releasing system with great crimping finishing. It only costs $19.99 fitting all kinds of PEX cinch clamps. If you are a newbie, you can definitely rely on this one because it requires no extra calibration or adjustment. Its factory adjustment and ratcheting system give you extra leverage and precise crimping.

It is very light in weight, and also the super quality rubber hands allows you to do your crimping easily without much force. The stainless steel clamps are available in different sizes. This cinch clamp tool is suitable for 3/8”, ½,” 5/8”, ¾” and 1”. It fits just right into the narrower and tighter spaces too. The best part of this tool is that you can easily remove the clamps.

What We Like –

  • Well built: Well-built with quality materials.
  • Sizes: Available in different clamp sizes.
  • Easy operation: Rubber coating handle makes it comfortable to use.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Additional tools: Does not come with additional tools and kits.

Best PEX Crimp for DIY Project

Apollo PEX 69PTKG1096 Clamp Tool

Apollo has been a reliable source for providing the best quality product to its customers for long time. This pinch clamp tool is an incredible PEX tool with great adjustment and attachment. Just by reading the instruction you can use it easily without any troubles. Its super quality materials and features make it last longer than usual products at this range. It comes at only $21.99 that allows us to do all the crimping and clamping tasks easily without any complications. It can turn to be a great plumbing tool for your house if you just know how to use it properly.

What We Like –

  • Simple operation: easy to install the fitting for better clamping experience.

  • Quality material: its stainless steel clamps are easy to install and very well built.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Less instructions: it does not come with complete instructions and details.

  • Requires more force: needs a lot of arm strength to crimp properly.

It comes in multiple colors weighing only 1.5 pounds. It uses the cinch clamps that are easier to install providing a great PEX fastening. The size of the cinch clamps are available in 3/8”, ½”, ¾”, and 1”. Cinch clamps are not the same as crimp rings. In some of the cases, it provides better result in crimping. You need to adjust the tools properly reading the instructions in the manual for proper clamping. For precise clamping, you can use the ratcheting tools. The best part of this tool is you don’t need additional calibration adjustment or tools for precise crimping.

Go/No-Go PEX Crimp Gauge

Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K Multi-Head Crimp Tool

When coming to this crimping tool, it works absolutely fine for super compressing quality without the need of any calibration. But if you are a newbie in plumbing, you might need to be very careful while changing the jaws and screws. You need to put a bit more force using two hands as it weighs a bit more. It weighs 2.1 pounds with a stainless steel material. It comes with a nice casing that you can carry, but the wrench of it is quite larger.

It uses crimp rings that is suitable for bench works mostly, that works nicely in all size of clamps. It gives a nice finishing and result if you know how to use it properly. If you overdo pressing or torqueing, you might end up ruining the jaws and screws. Make sure the lighting is proper while working with it as it is a bit larger tool in size. . You might need to be careful as sometimes you need to spread the handle fully and sometimes less. It depends on your intended purpose mostly.

What We Like –

  • Open end features: It comes with an open end crimp jaws available in 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″, Go-No-Go gauge, adjustable wrench.
  • Adjusting force: You can adjust the crimping force with interchangeable jaws.
  • No leakage: Its’ excellent quality and adjusting stops the leakage.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Quality: The jaws are quite thin, if not careful enough it might break easily.

It go-no- gauge helps to complete the plumbing tasks super easy. With proper crimping of the copper rings, it gives you tightening leverage. But if your arm strength is not that good, you might find bit difficulty in producing completed crimp.

Handy Pex Crimp Tool

IWISS F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool Kit

This model of PEX tool is another best crimping tool from IWISS. If you are thinking of buying an easy and flexible crimping tool, it may be a good investment. It comes with crimper, interchangeable jaws in three sizes, pipe cutter, wrench and a great casing for carrying all the kits inside it. They have used high-end quality for long-lasting durability of the product.

Your plumbing tasks become super easy and precise using the kit correctly. You can switch the jaw screws easily quickly and efficiently. Moreover, its soft handle relaxes your hand muscle so you can do the crimping tasks without taking breaks frequently.

What We Like –

  • Quality: Built with high quality steel material for long durability.

  • Reliable: Well-polished jaws and construction make secure PEX pipe connection reduces errors and ring damages.

  • Applicable: Meet all ASTM F1807 standard and also Sharkbite, Apollo, and Watts.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Space issues: Does not provide precise outcome in narrower spaces for the short handle.

It makes your crimping, clamping task super easy, as you don’t need additional tools to attach to be sure. They provide you calibration tools for precise and proper installation that makes it last longer. But you get a perfect installation, proper measuring without the need of the calibration tool.

Moreover, it’s innovative, all in one carrying suitcase helps you to keep all the fittings and attachment together, so you don’t have to worry about missing any parts. So if you are going to need a lot of crimping tasks done at your home, this model would definitely be the reliable one.

Dual Headed PEX Copper Rings

SharkBite 23251 Pex Pipe Tubing

This Sharkbite crimp tool has got popular in a very short time because of its great quality and performance at a very affordable price. Its design is unique with a two-jaw size (½”, and ¾”) of pipes that can get most of your plumbing task done accurately.

It saves a lot of time as you can use it supports direct usages. It is enabled with factory settings and adjustment. It does not require any additional calibration as it comes with calibrated settings and adjustments from the factory. This PEX tool also includes go/no gauge which helps you installing a secure connection.

What We Like –

  • Flexible operation: Can be used both for commercial and residential purpose.
  • Easy usage: Easy to install in less time.
  • Cost: Available in cheap price with great service.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Weight: heavier for some people to work with it frequently.

  • Limitations: it can only be used for two sizes of pipes.

It is super time saving as the users don’t require to wait for its joints to cool down. The only limitation of this product is you can’t use it for crimping wider pipes. For simple and quick plumbing task this tool is a very good one in terms of quality and affordable price.

Expensive Pex Connections

Zurn QCRTMH Watertight PEX Connections

Zurn PEX crimp tool can be the one providing you the effective and efficient result for your plumbing solutions. Though it is light in weight, its super sturdy steel design makes it durable for a long time. It comes with a comfortable grip yet strong handles to avoid any damage or breakage of the tool. I become easier for the users to use their arm strength for getting the desired installation. A go/no go gauge included in it ensures secure connection without any leakage or damage.

You can easily work with the different size of fittings including 3/8”, 1/8”, 5/8” and ¾.” Moreover, you can switch the jaws flexibly for copper pipe tools. Even if you mistake in joining or crimping, with the removal tools, you can easily remove the rings and replace it in the right place.

What We Like –

  • Design: Comes with quality steel material and design.
  • Lightweight: You can easily carry the part and fittings.
  • Carrier: Comes with carrying briefcase where you can keep all the parts and kits of it properly.
  • Removal tool: With the removal tool kit, one can easily remove the crimp rings and replace it.

What We Don’t Like –

  • Ring limitations: Not applicable for working with steel cinch rings

This kit is getting popular because it allows the users a safe and secure connection correctly. Though it is a bit expensive one compared to the other PEX tools available in the market, if you consider its quality, performance, flexibility and numerous tools and advantages of those, surely it is a fair deal.

Buying Guide - FACTORS TO CONSIDER

So if you are also a DIYer like me, then you must know how much important it is to know things in details before you buy any equipment. Like any other tools, you will need to invest some time knowing the details about different PEX crimp tools and its feature. The more you will know the details, the better it will be for you to choose the appropriate one for you. As I was just a beginner, attempting to do the plumbing task all by myself, I searched for the details in different websites, communicated with the sellers asking numerous questions out of curiosity to choose the best crimping tool for PEX. Like most of the people, I also tend to buy something that will give me an all in one service. While it puts a lot of force and pressure in hand, you want a crimp tool that will be easier to use and good in quality to fulfill the requirements of yours. Your wiring tasks in the house will become super easy choosing the right PEX crimp tool enabled with the required features. These tools come with different attachments for different purposes. Different models of PEX crimp tools provide different benefits to the users. But here are some factors that I suggest you check before purchasing your PEX crimp tool.

  • Ergonomic and soft handle: A PEX tool is not something that will get your work done all by yourself. If you are crimping, bending wires or cables for a long time, it will put a lot of force in your hands. So, you better choose one that comes with suitable handles ensuring great leverage platform. The quality of the handle is a significant factor because it eases the work much by saving the labor you need to put to hold them.
  • Durability: Once you start taking control of running the lines and wiring of your house, you will need this tool regularly. So, you will want to look for the quality one and durable. A durable PEX crimp tool will provide you a quality service for the long term if your other fittings are efficient enough.
  • Adjustable: PEX crimp tools come with numerous fixtures. If you are a beginner, you should choose the one that you can adjust easily without many complications. You can adjust different fittings with your PEX crimp tools to use it for crimping, bending, cuttings wires in different lengths and measures. You can also get the inbuilt adjustment ones for easy and flexible use.
  • Lightweight: You will have to hold your crimp tools if you are doing different wiring and cabling tasks with them. That is why it is necessary that you keep the weight in mind while buying one. It can be tiresome holding a heavy tool for a long time. The weight of crimp tools varies from 1.5lbs to 3lbs or 4lbs. So before buying one, you should check the ones that come in a lightweight with better quality and result.
  • Ratcheting design: Ratcheting system allows a great leverage in crimping properly. Not all the crimping tools come with ratchet systems. Ratcheting designs allow you to create your own fittings and remove one if needed. With a ratcheting system, it is easier to secure a connection by tightening the rings and opening the jaws.
  • Price: There are numerous crimping tools available in the market. Some of them can be quite expensive. You should invest your money in the ones according to your purpose and budget. The price range of a standard PEX crimping tools varies from $20 up to $100. It mostly depends on the material and quality of the fittings and sizes. Spending extra will allow you to do extra tasks with it. You should also be concerned from the place and seller you are ordering your crimping tool. So my advice for you will be to go with the one that meets your requirements ensuring the best quality from a trusted seller.
  • Task volume: You should go for a PEX tool considering the amount of task before buying one. If you are going to use it frequently, you might need extra tool kits to get your job done. Task volume of your plumbing depends much on the kind and features you’ll need in your PEX tool.
  • Intended purpose: What kind of crimping tool you need depends much on your intended purpose. The fittings, sizing varies according to numerous applications of PEX crimping tools you use. Crimping tools relax you from measuring the cables again and again. So, with the right fittings and tools, you can get your work done very easily. In this way, you will be able to compare between the products easily.
  • Force Multipliers: Best quality PEX crimp tools include an extra angle to give you an extra edge in griping. You might be cautious about these extra fittings, as some of these might reduce the quality and durability of your crimp tools. Once you get used to with your crimping tool, you won’t need those extra fittings that much.
  • Sizing: PEX crimp tools come in different sizes. You can get the crimps from 3/8” to 1”. The maximum limit is usually the 1”, you can also get different variant sizing adding fewer tools in your crimp tools to get your work done without any complications. It allows you to do different tasks easily with only one tool without changing the jaws and fittings much.
  • Grips: A comfortable grip is much important in crimp tools to make your task easier. PEX crimp tools come with different kinds of grips. If you don’t look for the material of the grip before purchasing, working with it can give you much difficulty as it put a lot of force in your hands. But your grip should not reduce the accuracy of crimping at all. Rubber grips are much flexible and help to get the work done rightly. Look for the ones that fit your hand easily rather making you slip the tools. You can also go for the ones that add a coating to let you use your crimping tools much easier.
  • Calibration: Calibration of a crimp tool is a significant part you should consider before purchasing your crimp tool. As most of the clamp tools start losing its calibration after being used frequently. It tends to increase the gaps between the jaws which will increase the difficulty of tightening or cut the wires accurately. If you want the best crimping tools for PEX, you might look for the ones that are already pre-calibrated. You can also calibrate your crimp tool using the calibration tools for the better use.
  • Warranty and Budget: So, what do we need to know before investing our money on something? Warranty of a product relaxes the buyers a lot about the quality and durability. According to your budget, you can get a variety of crimp tools. But some of them might not come with a warranty. Warranties are also applicable for fewer parts of your crimping tools. For the best PEX crimping tool experience, you should talk with your seller about the warranties for your product before buying one.

PEX cinch vs. crimp

Where most of the people complain about how challenging the DIY plumbing task, I will tell you it is absolutely the opposite. Choosing the best crimping tools for PEX will not only get your work done right, but you can also experiment with different fittings and tools with it to get different plumbing tasks easily. To choose the right one, you’ll have to invest your time in knowing about the functions of different tools, fittings of the PEX crimp tools. The varieties of options might leave the buyers confused which one to choose for them. So, in this part of the article, I’m going to highlight the differences between PEX cinch and PEX crimp tools so that you can make the right choice.

  • PEX cinch: 

PEX cinch is also referred to as PEX clamp tools that allow the users to do a variety of tasks with one-handed operation mostly. PEX cinch or clamp tools come with mostly stainless steel material that works absolutely fine in the narrow spaces. The cinch tools come with different size rings where you tab on the ring instead of changing the whole body repeatedly. It is getting more popular because of its super flexible and one-in-all-size fitting quality.

But the drawbacks of PEX cinch are, you might have to put more force to tighten or compress your taps in some of the models. But most of the cinch tools are popular for its less force system suitable for narrower spaces. Not all the cinch tools support all the brands. You need to look for the specific details before buying one.

  • PEX crimp:

PEX crimp tools mostly come with copper crimp rings enabling to tighten the whole ring properly. Most of the crimp tool comes with numerous sizes of interchangeable jaws included in one to make the tasks more manageable for the users. Different attachments in single tools help the users to complete various jobs done going to the trouble of buying extra fittings.

The drawbacks of crimpers are it is difficult to do the wiring, tightening the rings in narrow spaces. As it comes with many attachments, surely it requires more spaces. Removing fittings in crimp connections are much difficult.

How to Use PEX Crimp Tool

Buying a PEX crimp tool is useless if you don’t know how to use it properly. The most frequent question people ask is which PEX crimping tool is the best? But they don’t realize the necessity of using one properly under the specified conditions. The best and the only use of a PEX crimp tool is observed during the installation of PEX pipes. This tool is used for the final piping project to complete a secure connection by ensuring a watertight seal. The installation of pipes is not a tough task, and the PEX crimp tool will make your job a lot easier for sure. This tool is a necessity for PEX crimp connections.

For PEX connection, first, you would take a PEX tubing with a smooth cut on one end and then put the copper crimp ring over that end of the pipe. Now take the crimp fitting and push it accurately inside the tubing and also slide the ring towards the edge. Then comes the use of the PEX crimp tool. You need to pull apart the handles of the tool entirely to create the opening. Now put the crimp tool head corresponding to the size of the fitting. You need to take note that PEX crimp tools have different size of heads for different size of fittings. So choosing the right one will serve you the purpose. Now place the jaws of the tool squarely over the ring and push the handles together for the jaws to tighten the connection. The pressure will push the crimp ring to its required place. This will make sure that you have a secured and watertight connection. The best PEX crimp tool will give you the most satisfaction in terms of having a proper, secure and a no-leakage facility. But you need to keep in mind that this is the sole duty PEX crimp tool can perform. So you better rent it from local stores than buy one.

How to Care For Your PEX Crimp Tool

Though your PEX crimp tools might come with warranties, it’s of no use if you don’t take proper care of your tools. With other details, you also spend some time knowing the right precautions and maintenance for your crimping tool. You can increase the durability of this tool with easy maintenance at your home to a greater extent. Some easy safety and maintenance tips are given below:

  • You should look for all the details and parts included in your crimp tools to check if any of those are missing in your package. Also, check if there are any kinds of damage in any part of the tool. If you see any defects or the package does not come with the parts mentioned, contact with the seller immediately for a replacement.
  • It is better to wear gloves every time while using the tool.
  • While working it is necessary that the lighting is sufficient.
  • If you are using a crimp tool, don’t try to remove the cinches. Before removing, reattaching any other models or fittings strictly follow the instruction. Otherwise, it might cancel the warranties.
  • Keep your tools and each of the parts always clean. Don’t forget to dry up after cleaning the tools properly whether you use it in dry or wet PEX condition.
  • Never use damage crimping gauges.
  • Don’t keep your crimping tool with other tools. It makes the tool rusty easily.
  • After cleaning properly, you can also lubricate with a light coating of oil all the parts of your tool.

How to make a PEX Cinch/Clamp connection in 6 easy steps

In this part, I am going to show you, how to make a PEX cinch/clamp connection in 6 easy steps. The necessary tools you would need for a complete connection are-

  1. PEX tubing
  2. PEX cutter tool
  3. PEX crimp fitting
  4. PEX cinch clamp rings
  5. PEX cinch/clamp tool

Step 1:

Take the PEX cutter and position it perpendicular to the PEX pipe and make a smooth cut for a better connection.

Step 2:

Now take the clamp ring and slide it over the tubing.

Step 3:

Insert the crimp fitting fully inside the pipe.

Step 4:

Slide the ring towards the edge of the pipe and position it accordingly to the crimp fitting.

Step 5:

Now release the jaws of the clamp tool and place the jaws over the small ear outside the ring.

Step 6:

Fully close the jaws of the tool and tighten the ring for a secure and complete connection.

It is required to confirm that the fitting is fully inserted and the ring is adjusted perfectly and placed at an accurate distance from the pipe’s end. To reuse the fitting, you can use a wire cutter or the kind of clamp tool with the cutter. You need to place the cutter over the small ear to cut it off, and then pull the ring out with a flat screwdriver. Then pull out the fitting, and with another clamp ring, you can use that fitting again. 

Why pick PEX pipes exactly? PEX pipes vs copper pipes

Where do you stand when it comes down to using PEX pipes or copper pipes? I will throw you some arguments here for and against PEX pipes. Though the use of copper pipes can be traced back to the 1950s, the lately introduced PEX pipes are more likely to be chosen nowadays when it’s an issue of plumbing. There is a lesser risk of leakage with PEX pipes as they don’t degrade like the copper ones. The corrosive nature of copper also makes the PEX pipes more preferable though copper pipes have the longevity of 200 years.

Another point is that PEX is cheaper to install and you wouldn’t need many fittings. You should also know that PEX pipes have lower shipping and handling costs due to decreased weight and improved storage option and so it is less costly compared to the copper pipes. But you can hardly ignore the fact that PEX materials can only tolerate temperature up to 200° F so PEX pipes cannot be connected directly to a water heater. The copper pipes in this sense can be a better option due to the resistance up to 1000° F. You should also consider that PEX is extraordinarily susceptible to rodent damage and UV so don’t leave PEX Tubing in the sun and try to keep rodents out of your house. So the general decision can be to use PEX pipes indoors while you can leave the copper ones for outside use.

What Tools Do You Need for PEX Plumbing Projects?

PEX has changed the concept of plumbing and made it affordable and handy for the people who would want to make their job done by themselves. In terms of plumbing with PEX, the very basic thing you would need to know is how to connect the tubes and for that which method you would choose. Different methods require numerous tools, and though there are little distinctions, those cannot be ignored. PEX tubing is common for all the techniques, and it’s easier to use pipe than the copper one due to its material. For crimp connections, you will be needing crimp tool, copper rings and crimp fittings. This is a very popular method through the downfall is that different tubing size asks for the different size of the crimp tool. The clamp connection, on the other hand, requires a clamp tool, cinch clamp rings, and crimp fittings. Here is the fact that the clamp tool is compatible with crimp fittings and it works with pipes of any size. Expansion method is among the oldest and most reliable but is time-consuming and costly, and it requires a ProPEX expander tool. PEX press connection is another method mostly practiced by pro-plumbers. This method especially requires press fittings, rings, and PEX press tool. There remain some additional tools for better service. A PEX cutter helps make smooth and clean cuts for a better connection. Clip gun is a wood attachment tool which works as a stapler. Now, these are the necessary tools that might make your PEX plumbing a lot easier.

In conclusion

In this article, I’ve tried to brief you with a full overview of PEX tools that will help you to know all the details you need to know. This best PEX crimping tool review will help you to deciding the right products according to your requirements.

Author Bio

Anthony

Anthony is a specialist plumber from Anthony’s Plumbing Inc. He has vast experience in his field. He collaborate with us to create this awesome PEX tools guide to help us all.

Anthony

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Find Out What is the Best PEX Crimping Tool to Use
PEX crimps are one of the easiest ways for plumbing work. Read our guide to get a compiled list of the best PEX crimping tools available in the market.
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