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5 Best PEX Expansion Tools

PEX has changed the plumbing industry, making it a popular solution to both the pros and homeowners. As a homeowner, it is best to repair some areas in your home without needing professionals. PEX is a flexible and versatile material that comes with ease of use, even for amateurs. While plumbing should be left to the experts, you can repair or replace pipes with the right tools.

In the expansion method, PEX connections are made by the end of pipes and inserting other tubes. The PEX expansion tool comes handy by making the process easy and efficient. The modern expansion devices come with various features making the kits usable in both tight and large spaces. With the wide selection of expansion tools in the market, it is challenging to choose the ideal one, especially if you are an amateur. Therefore, we have reviewed the best PEX expansion tools to help you get what you need for your plumbing project.

Best Pex Expansion Tool Review

Creating a reliable connection largely depends on the quality of the tools you use. Even with hundreds of tools available, not all are of high quality or worth your money. Choose the most suitable one from the following expansion tools to accomplish your plumbing project perfectly.

DEWALT DCE400D2 Pex Expander Tool Kit

If you are looking for a high-quality product from a reputable brand, then this model is an ideal choice. It comes with amazing features and is highly durable. It exclusively expands PEX-A tubing of 3/8 inches to 1 inch with its three changeable heads. Besides, the automatic rotating heads allow expansion without the need to constantly turn the tool. The head also expands uniformly, thus avoiding any possible leaks.

The tool is suitable for tight spaces thanks to the trigger running its length in a paddle style. With its built-in LED lights, you can use it in dark areas. The double-sided hang and belt hook allows you to move without holding the tool in your arm. Its versatility and ease of use make it one of the best picks in this guide.

From its construction to minor features, this tool aims for efficiency. It’s premium quality materials makes it superior built. You can also work for a long time without straining your hands due to the comfortable rubber grip handle.

Pros

  • It is built of quality material for durability.
  • The ergonomic design makes it easy to use in tight spaces
  • It is compatible with the PEX heads from other brands
  • The automatic rotation feature provides a perfect expansion
  • With the comfortable rubber handle, you get a firm grip
  • You have to get the charger and battery separately
  • It works fast and efficiently
  • The tool is backed up by a 3year warranty, including all parts included in the kit

Cons

  • It is a bit bulky
  • The device is on the pricier side

Milwaukee 2432-22 M12 12V Propex Expansion Tool Kit

Another great contender for the top expansion tools in the market is Milwaukee 2432-22. It sets high standards in PEX piping installation. This handy tool is designed to make PEX connection consistent, faster, and efficient.

With the auto-rotating head, you are assured of uniform expansion hence consistent and secure connections. The tool comes with zero compromises in quality, which makes it perform highly. You can also use the device in small spaces due to its ergonomic design. You can use it at an angle while holding it with a single hand.

Just like the DEWALT model, the Milwaukee expansion tool expands tubing from 0.375 inches to 1 inch. You are assured of ultimate comfort when using the machine because of the comfortable handles. It makes your work effortless.

Pros

  • The body is protected with a metal cover for durability
  • The kit includes a charger and batteries.
  • It can be operated with one hand
  • It comes with three rotating heads
  • The ergonomic design comes with ease of use
  • Great for tight locations
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons

  • It is expensive

IWISS PEX Pipe Expansion Tool Kit

This tool from IWISS is also an excellent expander kit. It works with most types of PEX piping systems such as Wirsbo, Propex, and Uponor to make connections. Since this device follows ASTM F1960 standards, you can use it with almost any brand that meets the same standards. Besides, it expands PEX-A pipes of different sizes, including 3/8 inch,1/2 inch, ¾ inch, and 1 inch.

Although you don’t need a go-no-go gauge with this kit, it is not automated. You have to pump it when expanding pipe fittings. Rotating the PEX pipe also falls on you if you are aiming for proper expansion. Aside from those demerits, this gadget is quite handy and even resistant to rust. You can easily use it to install a proper PEX water system in both commercial and residential buildings.

When you purchase this kit, it comes with other useful items like four rotating heads, a PEX pipe cutter, and lubricating grease. What is more, is that it comes with a plastic carrying case to help you in storing those tools safely.

Pros

  • It makes reliable connections every time
  • The tool conforms to ASTM F1960 standards
  • It is compatible with other types of PEX pipe
  • The kit comes in a durable carry case including other additional items
  • Its chrome-plated construction makes it weather and corrosion-resistant.

Cons

  • It only works on PEX A type
  • The kit is manual thereby, requires more energy
  • Not ideal for small spaces and professional use

DEWALT 20V MAX Pex Expander Tool (DCE400B)

This is another product from DEWALT to make it on our list. The auto-rotation feature allows precise and even rotation. Besides, you will be impressed with its versatility. It expands tube sizes ranging from 0.375 inches to 1 inch. Regardless of your skill level, you can easily use it to make secure connections without much force.

The tool has a compact build making it great for tight spaces. With the rubber overmold handles, you get a comfortable grip to work for long without straining. You can also carry it on job sites with ease thanks to the dual side hang and belt hooks. More so, it is compatible with various PEX heads from leading brands.

Although you have to acquire the needed battery and charger separately, it is a great tool with high performance. It is also intended for use with PEX A and comes with LED lights for use in dark areas. Another great feature is the carry case. It makes storage and portability easy.

Pros

  • It is ideal for both amateurs and professionals
  • The tool performs fast and precise.
  • It is well built and extremely durable
  • It is highly versatile in its applications
  •   The kit comes with an auto-rotating head
  •  Its ergonomic design makes it easy to handle
  •  The tool comes with a 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • It is pretty heavy
  • You may find the lights annoying because they stay on for up to 3 minutes.

Yescom PEX Expansion Tool Kit Tube Expander

If you are looking for an affordable expanding tool without compromising the quality, then the CO-Z model is for you. It can easily handle ordinary plumbing tasks without hassle. The durable construction ensures that it provides the best service for a long period.

The device is designed to create connections on PEX tubing and aluminum pipes. Besides, it expands the different sizes of pipes, including ½ inch,3/4 inch, and 1 inch to precision. No more straining your hands when working. The tool comes with long cushioned handles to protect your hands while providing a firm, comfortable grip.

The kit is also impressive with its plastic carrying case. This allows for easy mobility and safe storage of the contents. When you purchase this expander kit, you also get additional items, including changeable heads. This device takes a lot of force to use because the expansion head does not auto-rotate. Its manual use makes it unsuitable for use in the professional field. Getting the best expander tool does not have to be expensive. Yescom PEX expansion kit provides value for our money.

Pros

  • It conforms with ASTM F1960 standards
  • The tool is versatile n its uses
  • The cushioned handles provide a comfortable grip
  • It does the job it is intended for efficiently.
  •  It is affordable for DIY plumbing projects

Cons

  • It takes much time and effort
  • It is not suitable for tight spaces

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best PEX Expansion Tool

When it comes to buying the best PEX expansion tool, there are essential aspects to keep in mind. It goes a long way to ensure to get that you get quality for your money. Besides, having the right tool provides efficiency for your workload. Here is a buying guide to help you make an informed decision on the best products.

Build Quality

Quality is the first aspect to consider when picking a pex expander kit. With so many tools available in the market, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a poor quality product. Ensure that your tool is heavy-duty, which translates to high durability. Having a strongly built tool protects it from corrosion and weather elements. A durable device provides you with valuable service for a long time. Most top-quality brands follow ASTM F1960 standards, which guarantees a long lifetime.

Ease of Use

Whether you are a pro or just a homeowner in Califonia, you want to be able to fix your plumbing issues fast. Professionals spend a lot of hours fixing tubing and fittings. Comfort is an essential aspect of ensuring that you don’t strain or use much effort when working. Consider the design of the item, the size of the handles, and the grip you feel when handling the tool. Using poorly designed tools can make even a simple task tiresome. Furthermore, it can give you serious injuries over time.

Versatility

Versatility, in this case, refers to the size of tubes the tool can expand. Most expanders are limited to the size of the tubing they work on. Typical products generally feature three different pipe sizes. However, the high-end expander kits provide more. Consider the amount of work in your project when choosing the best option. Having the most versatile tool saves you from buying different sized devices each time you are on a new project.

Carry Case

A carrying case comes handy in organizing expander tools. While some tools come with storage bags, others lack it. This makes it very challenging to carry the tool and other related items. As a professional plumber, having a carry case provides you with the mobility and convenience to move from one job site to another. Besides, it keeps the contents safe and secure.

Weight

Another vital criterion is the weight of the expander tool. A heavy tool can easily strain your hand even before reaching halfway. Although most of these machines are lightweight, be sure to check your options before purchasing. Also, having a heavy-duty construction does not mean that the tool must be heavy. Find a balance between the two aspects.

Tool Price

It is usual for people to check prices before buying anything as the price can tell the quality of a product. However, you should not compromise the quality or performance of a tool over money. Higher-priced expander kits tend to come with endless features and topnotch designs. You don’t have to break a bank to get the best expander tool. Think about the pricing to ensure that it does not go beyond your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Which PEX is expandable?

A: The ability to expand all comes down to the flexibility of the material. PEX-A is the most flexible, thereby allowing connection through cold expansion. It also has the greatest kink-resistance. On the other hand, PEX-B is not expandable and has the lowest resistance. You should never attempt to expand it.

Q2: Can I expand all types of PEX?

A: Most PEX pipes have the ability to expand and contract back to their original size, depending on their flexibility. With some expanding up to three times their initial size, they are highly resistant to frozen water damage. This also makes them ideal for underground purposes.

Q3: Can I install PEX myself?

A: It is possible to fix the water and heating systems with some skills and specialized tools. However, it is advisable to leave the complicated installations and repairs to the experts. It prevents you from worsening a simple problem

Q4: How long does PEX last?

A: PEX has an average lifespan of 40-50 years, depending on the frequency of use, quality, and temperature of the water. Exposing the pipes to direct sunlight and extreme water temperatures may reduce the lifespan.

Q5: Can I use DEWALT expanding tool together with auto-rotating heads from other brands?

A:  Tools follow certain standards. As long as both brands conform to the same requirements, they are compatible. For example, expanding tools following ASTM F1960 standards easily work with each other to provide the best PEX connection.

Q6: What is the significant difference between DEWALT DCE400D2 and Milwaukee 2432-22 M12 12V Propex Expansion Tool Kit?

A: These two tools are almost similar in their design and capabilities. They offer ease of use and are equally versatile in their applications. The major difference is that with the DEWALT model, you have to buy the battery and charger separately. Milwaukee one comes with both items included in the kit.

Q7: How do I use a PEX expander tool to install PEX tubing?

A: The first step is to measure and cut the length of pipe you need. Next, place the expansion ring at the end of the PEX. Proceed to grease the head to ensure good rotation and contraction. Place the expansion head in the valve of the PEX.

Hold and press the trigger until the ring gets at the back of the expander cone. Ensure that the rotating head shifts position for uniform expansion. This eliminates potential leaks.

After the ring bottoms out, count more expansions while keeping the trigger pressed. This action gives you enough time to insert the fitting in the tubing. Once they are connected, the piping will shrink back to its original size, depending on the temperature of your workspace. The warmer the temperature, the faster the shrinkage.

Bottom Line

PEX expander tool is an ideal option for making precise and durable connections. The tools mentioned above are some of the best models available in the market. Not only are they from the best brands, but also they prove a great investment. They save you time and effort when working. Furthermore, you won’t have to buy another similar tool because they are very durable.

Our best pick is DEWALT DCE400D2 due to its superior design and high performance. Its features are also impressive for the price. The runner up is the Milwaukee model.  The two models are almost similar in their ergonomic design and performance.

When choosing the best PEX expansion tool, keep in mind factors like versatility, ease of use, and durability. Others also include the price range, carry case, and included features and items.