PEX Crimp

8 Best PEX Crimp Tools: A Guide for DIY Enthusiasts and Plumbing Professionals

The world of plumbing has seen remarkable advancements over the years. One of these innovations is cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing, which has revolutionized the way plumbing systems are installed and maintained. If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, you can’t ignore the importance of a quality PEX crimp tool in your toolkit. This comprehensive guide outlines not just the top PEX crimp tools available but also the other various considerations when embracing this essential technology.

Why PEX Crimp Tools Matter

PEX tubing is flexible, durable, and requires fewer connections than traditional materials. Paired with the right crimp tool, PEX offers leak-resistant joints that are crucial in plumbing where failures can result in significant costs. As PEX systems rely on compression fittings, PEX crimp tools are a fundamental part of ensuring reliable and secure connections between pipes and fittings.

Benefits of Using PEX Crimp Tools

  1. Efficiency: PEX crimp tools offer a remarkably quick installation process, reducing labor time and costs.
  2. Reliability: Properly crimped connections are virtually leak-proof, offering peace of mind for both professionals and homeowners alike.
  3. Flexibility: PEX crimp tools can handle a variety of PEX pipe sizes, making them suitable for a wide range of plumbing applications.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a PEX Crimp Tool

When you’re in the market for a PEX crimp tool, you must weigh several key factors to choose one that best suits your needs. Consider the following:

  1. Durability and Build Quality: Look for tools made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of professional use or heavy DIY projects.
  2. Crimping Mechanism and Ease of Use: The best tools offer smooth, consistent crimps and are user-friendly, reducing strain and errors during installation.
  3. Compatibility with Different PEX Fittings: Some crimp tools are designed specifically for certain types of PEX fittings, while others offer broad compatibility. Ensure the tool you choose is suitable for the fittings you’ll work with the most.
  4. Price and Value for Money: The cost of PEX crimp tools can vary widely. While it’s worthwhile to invest in a high-quality tool, assess your needs and usage patterns to find the best value.

With these factors in mind, here are the top 8 PEX crimp tools to consider for your next plumbing project:

Reviews of the 8 Best PEX Crimp Tools

1. PEX GUY One Hand Cinch Clamp Crimping Tool

This tool is designed for one-handed operation, making it incredibly convenient for tight spaces and solo installations. It’s compatible with Stainless Steel Clamps (SSC) and is an excellent choice for working on heating pipes and water supply systems.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight, one-hand operation
  • Detachable handles for storage or extended reach
  • Dual-size crimping capabilities (3/8″ to 1″)

2. Apollo PEX One Hand PEX Pinch Clamp Tool

Apollo’s PEX Crimp Tool is another one-hand operation tool that’s lightweight and durable. It features a metal construction with a powder-coated finish for extended durability on the job site. The tool includes a comfort grip that is easy on the hands and fatigue-reducing.

Key Features:

  • Compact design for tight spaces
  • Compatible with Oetiker stainless steel clamps
  • Dual-size crimping jaw (3/8″ and 1/2″)

3. IWISS PEX Cinch Clamp Tool

The IWISS PEX Cinch Clamp Tool is designed for clamping ASTM F2098 Stainless Steel Clamps (SSC). It is constructed with durable high-quality steel and features a handle that provides a reliable grip, ensuring comfort and stability during crimping.

Key Features:

  • Hardened steel construction for durability
  • Ergonomic handle design to reduce fatigue
  • Suitable for a variety of PEX pipe sizes

4. SharkBite 23251 PEX Crimp Tool

The SharkBite 23251 PEX Crimp Tool is a ratcheting tool designed to create watertight seals on 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ PEX tubing. It features a go/no-go gauge for verification of a proper seal and a comfortable rubber over-molded handle for improved grip.

Key Features:

  • Ratcheting mechanism for quick and consistent crimps
  • Full-circle crimping for a secure connection
  • Durable, corrosion-resistant construction

5. RIDGID PEX-One 12V Battery PEX Tool

For those looking for powered crimping, the RIDGID PEX-One 12V Battery PEX Tool is a game-changer. This tool offers easy, one-handed set-up and operation, reducing user fatigue, but it’s more suitable for heavy use and professional settings.

Key Features:

  • Cordless design for flexibility on the job site
  • LED indicator with battery charge status
  • Easily accessible eject button for one-handed operation

6. Milwaukee 2432-22 M12 ProPEX Expansion Tool Kit

Although not a crimping tool, the Milwaukee 2432-22 M12 ProPEX Expansion Tool Kit deserves a mention. It expands Uponor PEX-a tubing to create a sure connection for professional fittings, making it an alternative for those interested in expandable PEX systems.

Key Features:

  • Auto-rotating head for accurate and balanced expansion
  • Durable, all-metal gears for longer tool life
  • Compatible with the M12 Redlithium Battery System

7. Eastman 45132 PEX Crimp Tool

The Eastman 45132 PEX Crimp Tool is made for secure flaring and crimping of PEX tubing. It features a rapid adjusting, automatic ratcheting design for easier operation, and is a cost-effective yet durable option for DIY installations.

Key Features:

  • Quick, one-handed crimping with automatic ratcheting
  • Compatible with 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ PEX sizes
  • Lightweight aluminum body with a user-friendly grip

8. RAPTORâ„¢ PEX Insert Crimp Tool Set

The RAPTORâ„¢ PEX Insert Crimp Tool Set is a complete kit designed for use with copper rings, PEX tubing, and a variety of PEX fittings. It’s a versatile tool that can handle multiple diameters and comes with a convenient carrying case.

Key Features:

  • All-in-one kit with multi-size interchangeable jaws
  • Durable, heavy-duty construction
  • Ergonomic handles with anti-slip rubber for secure grip

In Conclusion

Selecting the right PEX crimp tool is a critical step in ensuring the success of your plumbing project. Factors such as build quality, ergonomics, and compatibility can significantly impact your experience and the end result. Whether you’re a DIYer doing a simple repair or a professional plumber tackling a complex system installation, the right crimp tool is your partner in creating watertight, long-lasting connections. Make sure to assess your needs carefully and choose one of the top 8 PEX crimp tools to suit your specific requirements. Happy crimping!