Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, a crimping tool is an essential device to add to your arsenal. If you are installing PEX pipes, a crimp tool is the best device to get the tightest seal. Instead of sealing just the tab like other crimping tools, the PEX tool seals the whole body of the crimp band.
PEX crimps are gaining popularity with the increasing use of PEX pipes in indoor plumbing. Now more than ever, people prefer crimps to install and seal the pipes altogether. These tools are valued for providing reliable connection due to the convenience and affordability of PEX piping compared to PVC and copper. Plumbing doesn’t have to be a scary subject if you know the basics and have the right tools.
However, with the variety of PEX crimp tool brands in the market, choosing the best one for your needs might be challenging.
Best PEX Crimping Tools
In this article, we have reviewed the top five best PEX crimp tools using a variety of features to compare them. A buyers’ guide is also included to help you find a suitable tool for your workload. Based on customers’ feedback, some of the most efficient PEX crimping tools for bending, stripping, cutting, and crimping insulated cables include:
- Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K Multi-Head Crimp Tool Kit
- IWISS F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool kit
- SharkBite 23251
- Zurn QCRTMH Steel Multi-Head Copper Crimp Tool
- Astro Pneumatic Tool 9477
This tool makes it on top of the list because of its commendable features. Apollo PEX Multi-head crimp tool has proven to be one of the best tools for heavy-duty plumbing jobs. Its crimping force is designed to overcome any possible issues in heavy-duty jobs.
With high-quality steel, the durable construction is the foundation of this tool. Furthermore, the robust construction is also responsible for its ability to adjust the crimping force and versatility. When it comes to its features, the compound hinge provides leverage that allows you to reach in tight spaces. Also, it provides for a solid seal on the crimping connections.
With this tool, you have a variety of options when it comes to connection and pipe sizes. It features four different sizes ranging from 3/8 inches to 1-inch diameter connections. What is more, is that the rings are made of durable steel and are easy to switch between jobs. It eliminates the need to buy another different sized tool, thereby saving you money.
This tool provides value for money by helping you complete difficult tasks with ease. What sets this tool ahead of its competitors is its ergonomic design. The designs allow you to adjust the amount of pressure you apply. The strength of this device makes plumbing seem like a breeze.
Another impressive feature is the Go/No-Go gauge. It allows the user to check if the crimping is accurate. The replaceable jaws also give the tool universal characteristics. You can easily change the size of the jaws according to your project flawlessly.
• It features an adjustable crimping force.
• The tool has replaceable jaws.
• It comes with a storage casing.
• It boasts of high-quality and durable construction.
• You can use it in four different pipes sizes.
• The screws and jaws may fall if you apply too much force
• It is heavy and bulky, making crimping a daunting task in tight spaces and lightweight plumbing.
If you are a professional plumber looking to make your work easier, then IWISS F1807 might be your best choice. Its inbuilt features and smart design makes it work like a charm. Hard to reach places is a thing of the past with this device. The ergonomic design, together with its durability, accuracy, and versatility, makes this tool one of the best crimping tools in the market.
With its smart design, you can easily access hard to reach areas. The copper crimp rings provide leverage to allow the tool to get in any cranny. Thanks to the small and compact head of the device, you can easily install pipes without any leaks. The changeable heads allow you to use a range of different pipe sizes from 3/8 inches to 1 inch. What is more, is that you can also calibrate its jaws to fit each ring size.
IWISS company is a renowned brand that provides high quality and durable products. IWISS F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool kit does not disappoint. It is constructed using pressure-treated steel to guarantee durability. Besides, the ergonomic handle provides a comfortable grip, thereby reducing fatigue. Not only is the tool short and lightweight, but it also meets the ASTM F 1807 standards. Meaning that it is compatible with all fittings following the same standards.
With this tool, you don’t have to worry about damaging the pipes during the installation, thanks to the highly polished jaws. The Go/No Go feature is also another great addition to ensure that each connection is sealed correctly. More so, the tool comes in a storage case for protection against elements.
• It is suitable for hard to reach areas
• It provides an ergonomic grip and is lightweight.
• The storage case allows for easy portability.
• It is packed with adjustable features and changeable jaws.
• Comes with a one-year warranty.
• The tool is suitable for both copper and steel crimp bands.
• It requires two hands to operate.
• It requires extra energy to crimp.
Are you looking for a beginner-friendly crimping tool? You might just be in luck. SharkBite 23251 comes with a system that is easy to connect, which highly favors the beginners. With its dual head, you can work on two typical copper heads without having to change the head. The jaw features two holes that can contain pipes and rings of size ½ inch or ¾ inch. These are the most popular PEX sizes ever.
When it comes to versatility, this tool is ideal for both dry and wet conditions. Because it is reliable, flexible, and easy to install, this device is easily compatible with other gadgets. Furthermore, it makes the crimping process fast and easy because there is no need to wait for the glue to dry or joints to cool.
SharkBite brand is known for producing efficient products, and this model is not left behind. It’s performance, quality, durability, and build can easily challenge other top crimpers. The sturdy construction allows it to produce enough power needed on rigid copper rings. With the Go/No Go gauge tool, you are assured that each joint is well secured.
• It is a high quality and made in the USA.
• The tool features a Go/No Go gauge for tight connections.
• There is no need for calibration
• It works perfectly with both poly and brass crimps.
• It produces massive power saving you extra energy.
• The tool is relatively simple and easy to use.
• The price is affordable.
• The tool is massive, making it hard to reach tight spaces.
• You can only use the device on ½ inch and ¾ inch fittings and pipes.
This model is the most expensive crimping toolset on our list. In plumbing, it is crucial to get a long-lasting watertight connection. This is only possible by using reliable tools such as the Zurn QCRTMH Steel Multi-Head Copper Crimp Tool. Not only is it versatile and durable, but it is also a frustration-free option available.
Thanks to the high quality, tempered steel used in the head, hinge, and handles, you are assured that the tool will still be in good condition for years to come. With the compound hinge, you have the necessary leverage to work long hours without straining.
Another commendable feature of this model is its versatility. You can easily adjust the head rings to fit different sizes of fittings and pipes. This includes ¾”,5/8″ 1/2″ and 3/8″ connections. You don’t have to worry about losing the parts since the kit comes in a storage casing. You can lock the crimp tool safely and move from one job site to the next.
This device is packed with all the essential features you need to get the job right the first time. The kit consists of a crimp removal tool, GO/NO GO gauge, items required for calibrating jaws, and changing head rings. You can depend on this device for all your copper plumbing connections.
• The construction is of high quality tempered steel.
• It makes reliable, hassle-free connections.
• The tool is designed to use copper crimping rings.
• It features four different fitting sizes and fittings.
• The kit comes in a protective storage casing
• Its features allow precision installations
• It comes with five additional tools giving value for money.
• It is only suitable for copper crimps but not stainless steel.
• It cannot install a 1″ fitting.
If you are looking for a professional quality crimping tool, then this model is right for you. It contains seven pieces to make plumbing easier and fast. This kit combines everything needed to crimp wires and terminals.
The ergonomic design allows the tool to be used by both left and right-handed users. With the contoured rubber handles, this model is comfortable to use because it reduces hand fatigue.
The steel and rubber handle construction makes the tool durable and rugged. Still, on design, the device rocks interchangeable jaws that accommodate pipes of various sizes. The double crimp design provides an option to use single or double crimp. This feature is truly a time saver.
With a length of only 11 inches, Astro Pneumatic Tool 9477 is perfect for small spaces. It is sturdy and durable with multiple uses.
• The double crimping feature is a time saver and makes this model versatile.
• The ergonomic design provides a comfortable grip.
• It performs highly for hard to reach areas.
• It has a solid construction to last long.
• This gadget features an adjustable ratcheting tension design.
• The handles are not long enough to reach deeply recessed pipes
Buying Guide for The Best PEX Crimping Tool
When you are looking to purchase a crimping tool, there are certain factors to keep in mind. Consider what your needs are and the different types of tools available. The best PEX crimping tool is the one suitable for your project. It should have various features to make it convenient and easy to use.
Different models come with varying features. These variations play a critical role in the performance and usability of the tool. Although there is a wide selection of crimping devices, not all are worth investing in. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know before buying the top PEX crimping tool.
Before discussing the essential features of crimping tools to keep in mind, knowing your workload should be the main consideration. If you are working on a high scale level and handling heavy-duty crimping, you require an automatic or pneumatic tool. It is the best in handling a high volume of workload. Not only do automated tools reduce fatigue, but they are also time-efficient due to their fast speed. However, they are quite expensive and require extra investment.
For smaller-scale work, manual tools will work just fine.
The Size of the Tool
PEX crimp tools have been designed in different lengths for convenience in a tight area. Basing on the nature of crannies and nooks where you need to install the pipes, having the right tool size makes work easy. While some are designed with one hand to easily maneuver in tiny spaces, others are larger for open areas. If you are planning on using the machine in confined spaces, choose one with a head that can turn for better maneuver.
The Size of the Crimping Clasp
Aside from the actual tool itself, some other devices are also responsible for crimping different tube sizes. A crimping clasp is a hole that the pex pipes go through to be crimped to the size one desires. Typically, the dimensions range from ¼ inch to 1inch. Therefore, you must find a correct pex size that matches the pipes of the projects that you are working on. Ensure that you get right the different fittings you may need for a great end result.
Usually, a crimping tool tends to be stretched out after pipe installation on several projects. As a result, it maybe challenging to crimp clasps on the PEX pipes securely. When choosing a crimp tool, check to ensure that it comes with a calibration feature or is already calibrated. This will allow you to adjust it to the original position.
Ergonomic Design and Comfort
As a professional plumber, the job can be quite extensive, lasting for long hours. You can have a good forearm and hand workout crimping fittings. Use a crimping tool that is comfortable to use over and over without getting blisters. Investing a little more in getting a device with a superior grip prevents hand fatigue and strain throughout the time of operation.
Every investment needs to last long to get value for money. You need a crimp tool that won’t require frequent repairs and provide high performance. Know the construction material of the crimp tool and ensure it is rugged steel. With a sturdy construction and pressure control system, you are assured of durability.
Having a flexible tool allows you to work crimps of varying sizes with the same instrument. Not only does it save you the cost of buying another crimp tool, but it also comes with great convenience when working.
As a professional, you need a crimping tool that you can easily use and carry. With a massive tool, your hands will tire quickly, resulting in poor performance. Furthermore, the weight makes it difficult to store the device when not in use. While the construction material should be heavy-duty, the tool itself should be lightweight.
With a ratcheting design, the connectors are released before the tool fully compresses. This mechanism gives you more control over your work and provides a more solid seal. In addition to excellent performance, the mechanism guarantees your safety as it creates a non-slip environment when crimping. This extra feature is worth extra cash and is available in a high-quality PEX crimp tool.
Go/No Go Gauge
If you don’t have any experience in crimping, consider purchasing a tool with Go/ No Go gauge feature. It helps you know whether you have sealed the connections properly or not. Today, many companies manufacture crimp tools with this aspect.
Warranty and Budget
PEX crimping tools come at varying prices depending on the brand, quality, and performance. This means that to get a top grade device, you have to invest more. And while upcoming brands may promise more advanced features, it is best to stick to more tested and proven products.
Another crucial aspect to check is the warranty. Does the tool come with a warranty? If yes, then what is the duration, terms, and conditions to use it? Having a manufacturer’s warranty saves you money in case you need a repair or replacement.
PEX Crimp Vs Crinch Tool: Which Is the Best?
The research comes in handy if you want to get the best products. There are two typical methods of sealing PEX pipes; crimping and cinching. While they perform a similar function in installing PEX connections, they have a little difference. They both have their merits and demerits. Therefore, you should make a choice depending on your project type.
PEX Crimp Tools
Between the two methods, crimping is the commonly used one for years. In this technique, the tool seals around the diameter of the pipes. Crimp tools are readily available and even cheaper than crinch ones.
They also provide a more secure connection for a lasting effect. Another impressive aspect is that they are easy to use regardless of the skill level. If you are a beginner trying to find your way around the plumbing field, you are better off creating professional fittings with crimpers. You can easily install them in areas where you might find difficulty maneuvering.
The main disadvantage of these tools is the need to keep adjusting their size to accommodate different sizes of pipes. Not only is the process of changing crimp rings a hassle, but also the rings are usually made of copper. This material is more corrosive than stainless steel. Some crimp devices also feature limited head sizes.
PEX Cinch Tools
When it comes to the cinching method, the tool compresses the ring at a specific point. It makes contact with the metal lightly while the ring closes around the pipe with no presence of bubbles.
With this technique, there is no need to change the tool size. You can use a single device for all your projects, thereby saving you money in the long run.
Another benefit is that you can correct a mistake by merely removing the connection. Or maybe you want to change the piping layout of your work. You don’t need another removal tool. Due to their less corrosive stainless steel material, these tools are much durable and practical.
Although their initial price is affordable, getting your hands on the cinch rings proves challenging and costly. Some users also report that the connections are weak and not as secure as the crimping seal.
PEX Compression Method
This is also another manner of sealing PEX pipe connections using pressure. Here, you compress and secure the ring using a compression nut. Putting the compression nut requires a high level of craft and effort. You need a high skill level to successfully utilize this technique. It is more suitable for top-level professionals rather than people fixing their leaking pipes at home.
If you are a DIYer, using crimping gadgets is more manageable, convenient, and faster than all other tactics.
Frequently Asked Questions about PEX Crimping Tools
As a buyer, it is only right to ask questions if you want the best PEX crimping tool for your needs. In this sector, we have compiled some of the most asked questions by buyers. It will help you to make well-informed decisions and cover some of your concerns. Here are some of the anticipated questions and answers on PEX crimpers.
Q1: Which PEX tools should I get for my plumbing project?
A: When it comes to sealing pipes through crimping or cinching style, you require either a crimp tool of specific fittings or a cinch device. Additionally, having screwdrivers or side-cutters helps in removing improperly cinched rings.
Q2: Am I limited to using the same brand of a tool as the pipes and fittings for a reliable seal?
A: No, you are not. The American Society for Testing and Materials(ASTM) [provides guidelines and standards for all PEX fittings, pipes, and rings. As long as the brands comply with these requirements, they should be able to make a reliable seal.
Q3: How do I know if the ring is crimped correctly?
A: A Go/No Go gauge feature is the one to go for in any crimping tool. It determines if you have created a reliable connection. This tool typically accommodates all sizes included in the crimping set. After the crimping process, slip in the Go/No Go gauge on the crimped ring. You will see if the ring is accurately crimped to suit your particular project.
Q5: Which is the best PEX crimping tool?
A: Unfortunately, there is no specific answer to that question. The best PEX device is one that fits your needs or workload. As a professional, you need something reliable, durable, and ergonomic. It should come with ease of use and produce accurate results.
If the tool is budget-friendly and versatile, that would be a plus. All in all, the best PEX crimping tool is the one that meets all your needs, thereby offering value for money.
Q6: Copper or stainless steel, which is better?
A: In this case, it is a matter of preference. None is better than the other. While copper crimp bands provide extra holding power with their large crimped area, stainless steel is more durable
With the popularity of PEX pipes in construction today, PEX crimp tools are an absolute necessity among professionals and homeowners. When choosing the best crimping tool, follow this guide carefully to make the right choice for your workload.
The tools in our review are some of the top-rated ones available on the market. The list includes a variety of models and features that are sure to impress. They come with massive power, unbeatable prices, and innovative designs.
Our favorite pick is the Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K Crimp tool.
Its lightweight allows you to adjust the force you are applying. This model is the ideal choice for joining pipes because of their ease of use and efficiency in making connections. Furthermore, you don’t have to be an expert to use them. If you enjoy fixing your home, this is a convenient option.