In case you have had the chance to fix or install your plumbing, Hydronics or radiator systems, then you surely must have come across PEX pipes. PEX pipes are modern alternatives to PVC and copper pipes owing to their amazing flexibility. When working on these plastic pipes crafted from cross-linked polyethylene tubing you don’t need pipe benders or welders; all you need to have is a pair of pipe shears and pipe crimpers. The PEX crimping tool is a paramount part of the PEX pipe installation process. It is mainly used to seal and insert fittings on the PEX pipe eg. copper crimps bands and PEX barb fittings.
Due to the important nature of pipe crimpers, it is important to choose the right tool for your needs. This task is by no way an easy one. This way we spent a lot of time and resources researching the products ourselves, from other users, researchers and product experts in a quest to find the best PEX crimp tool. Consequently, we have come up with a comprehensive buying guide that should help you avoid any mistakes when making a purchase. We have also gone further and provided a list of 7 pipe crimpers which we think are the very best in the market today.
Top 7 Best PEX Crimp Tools of 2019
Now that you have learned about the PEX crimping tool and what factors to consider before making a purchase, it is time to explore some top options. Check out our list of the top 7 crimping tools in 2019.
Coming at the top of our list of crimp tools the IWISS PEX Cinch Clamp Crimping tool has all the hallmarks of the best DIY crimp tool in the market today. From versatility, durability, reach, ease of usage and an unbeatable price tag, the IWISS PEX Cinch is king. In addition to this, the tool is universal and can be used with stainless steel clamps from any manufacturer you can think of.
Features and Benefits
In addition to being factory adjusted, the IWISS comes with a calibration tool. This allows you to adjust the tool to the original position after doing multiple pipe installations.
This tool features a GO-NO-GO gauge. The GO-NO-GO feature allows users to check beforehand if the tool can perform the work at hand. and if any adjustment is needed.
IWISS PEX Cinch Clamp Crimping tool comes with an exclusive Ratchet function. The ratchet engages when you first start clamping till full clamping is achieved when it disengages. This ensures that all cases of bad clamping are eliminated hence bringing fast and reliable installation of pipes.
Comes with a long red rubber handle that is both comfortable and attractive. This long handle allows the user to reach hard to reach places and provides the necessary leverage to crimp rings properly.
☑ Universal crimp tool and can work with steel clamps of various sizes ie. 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4′ and 1-inch clamps.
☑ Works with clamps from any manufacturer.
☑ Features a sturdy and solid construction.
☑ Comes at a very cheap price tag.
☑ Comes with plenty free clamps to aid in installation. ie. Ten 3/4″ and twenty 1/2″ clamps.
☒ May take a lot of force to crimp the bands.
☒ Tends to lose calibration after doing multiple pipe installations.
☒ The small spring that resets the release mechanism tends to become undone after heavy usage.
Looking for a PEX crimp tool that can perform even in the most adverse of conditions without letting up? The Pexflow R1245 PEX Crimp tool is just the right one for you. This amazing piece of equipment is sturdy and strong enough to perform work in conditions as diverse as snow melt and in radiant heat.
Features and Benefits
The Pexflow R1245 PEX Crimp Tool comes with a Ratchet mechanism. This ensures that the user enjoys the ease of use and consistent sealing of Cinch Clamps.
Features a handle crafted out of high-quality material complete with a comfort grip. This helps to boost comfort as well as better control during handling.
The crimper is constructed using high-grade steel. This ensures that the crimper id both durable, sturdy and lightweight at the same time.
The Pexflow comes with a labor-saving ergonomic design. With this, you can forget about distortion and accidentally break of rings.
Features a long handle able to enable work even in the hard to reach places.
☑ Very sturdy and solid construction.
☑ Comes at an unbelievably cheap price.
☑ Extremely comfortable handling.
☑ Easy to use the tool.
☑ Provides perfect grip during handling.
☒ Handles are long and may get in your way during operation.
☒ The head tends not to stay aligned for long.
The Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K Multi-Head Crimp Tool takes the third place in our list of best crimp tools and for a good reason. It is a universal PEX crimper complete with a wrench that can change jaws to handle various sizes of piping and rings in addition to the ability to adjust crimping force. With the massive strength that this tool packs, plumbing is like a breeze.
Features and Benefits
The Apollo PEX features a Go/No-Go crimp gauge that is able to correctly check for crimps after compression.
While the Apollo comes factory adjusted it features a simple to use calibration tool that has four settings of tightness. ie. from point o to 4. These settings allow the user to tighten the tension of the arms at the end of the job.
Comes with replaceable jaws of varying sizes that are also very easy to remove and replace. These give the Apollo its truly universal characteristic and can take pipes and rings of size 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″.
☑ Crimp gives a massive strength output.
☑ Ability to adjust crimping force.
☑ Comes with a storage suitcase.
☒ Users found the crimper overly massive in size.
☒ jaw screws are weak and susceptible to breaking if heavy force is applied.
This amazing product comes from the well known SharkBite brand that is famed for its efficient and performance oriented products and does not disappoint. Today it earns a place at number four in our list only because it is limited to the diameter of rings and piping it can operate on. In terms of durability, performance, build quality and efficiency, the SharkBite 23251 can comfortably challenge for top honors with our other top crimpers.
Features and Benefits
The SharkBite 23251 features two holes designed on the jaw. These can take in rings and pipes of either size 1/2″ or 3/4″ which happen to be the most popular PEX sizes out there.
The crimping tool features a massive solid construction with very sturdy handles. This ensures that the tool produces enough firepower to work on tough copper rings and PEX tubings faster and much more easily.
Comes with a Go/No-Go gauge tool on it to ensure that each joint is completely secure before and after usage.
☑ Comes factory adjusted hence no calibration is required.
☑ Produces an unbelievable force output.
☑ Made in the USA under the best quality standards.
☑ Great build quality.
☑ Comes at a reasonable price tag.
☒ Some may find it oversized and weighty.
☒ Not able to reach tight spots due to its massive size.
Are you a professional plumber looking for a tool to reach those hard to reach places? Well, the IWISS F1807 Crimping tool is the best deal you will get out there. This thing of beauty features an innovative design, a Go/No-Go gauge and is a big bang for your buck.
Features and Benefits
Comes with an innovative gradient 30* head design. This ensures that perfect crimping is achieved even in tight hard to reach spots and corners.
The crimper is packaged together with a sharp PEX pipe cutter for making easy work of stubborn pipes during operation.
The IWISS F1807 Crimping tool’s jaw is highly polished to ensure that no burr damages the copper rings during installation,
It features a particular treated handle that also comes with a comfort grip. This gives a promise of secure installation without the worry of damage to the piping and injury to yourself.
Features a combo crimping head capable of working on the common 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch pipes and copper rings.
☑ solidly constructed using tool steel.
☑ Able to reach tight corners and spaces easily.
☑ comes with a portable case for easy transportation.
☑ Features an ergonomic design.
☒ Takes a relatively great deal of force to crimp.
☒ Requires two hand operation.
This one is another great product for creating watertight pex connection. Zurn QCRTMH steel multi-head copper crimp tool takes sixth place in our top list and includes crimp ring removal tool, go/no-go gauge. It’s jaws can change lower than 1″ such as 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ PEX fittings. Though the Zurn says, it’s made for copper but you can also use it for plastic pipes.
Features and Benefits
It’s specifications meet certified frustration-free for watertight pex connection by go/no-go gauge feature.
Zurn pex comes with crimp ring removal tool so you don’t need to buy an additional one.
It features interchangeable jaws for 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ PEX fittings with copper crimp rings. You can installs 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ PEX fittings but not 1″ pex fittings.
Very easy to use; changing the crimp head is super easy, lightweight, stronger perfectly fine for watertight connections.
☑ PEX fittings various sizes ie. 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ clamps.
☑ It’s came out for perfect connections – no leaks, no hassles.
☑ Crimping is easy.
☑ Relatively lightweight
☑ Includes crimp ring removal tool.
☒ Not for stainless steel crimps.
☒ Doesn’t come with 1″ pex fitting.
Closing our list at position seven is the outstanding F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool from IWISS that does not let down in terms of quality, beautiful construction and efficient. This crimp tool is however on the higher end of the price spectrum. But as they say: Quality and performance always come at a price.
Features and Benefits
Comes with a 1-inch main jaw with three interchangeable jaws able to take 3/8″,1/2″,3/4″ pipings and rings. This makes the F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool a truly universal crimp tool.
Besides featuring long insulated handles the F1807 PEX features comfort grips. The long grips allow the tool to have a great reach in hard to reach areas while the comfort grips help minimize user fatigue even after long periods of use.
Comes with a PEX cutter as well as a Go/No-Go gauge tool packed with it. The PEX cutter helps to cut PEX pipes much more easily while the GO/NO-Go gauge comes in handy when making sure the rings are correctly secured.
☑ Ability to switch from one size to another fast.
☑ High quality and beautifully designed.
☑ The crimp jaws are nicely polished to prevent ring damage.
☑ Packs plenty of power.
☑ Strong build.
☒ Not able to reach tight spots because the handle has to be opened at 180 degrees.
☒ Included pipe cutter has difficulty cutting through square ends.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a PEX Crimper
Crimpers come with a variety of features making purchasing one close to a nightmare since one is spoilt for choice. But not all crimpers are worth your money. There are certain important features or factors that you need to be keen on before making your purchase.
These include the following:
· The Size of the Crimping Clasp
The crimping clasp refers to the hole in which the PEX pipes goes through in order to be crimped to the desired size. Each crimping tool will come with a unique clasp that is anywhere from 1/4 inches to 1 inch in diameter. It is, therefore, to check whether the size of the tool’s clasp corresponds with your desired tube size.
After one does many pipe installations with the crimping tool, it may tend to become stretched out. This consequently means that you have a much more difficult time securing crimp clasps onto the PEX pipes. The best PEX crimp tool out there should come with a calibration feature to enable one to adjust it back to its original effective position.
· GO-NO-GO Gauge
Sometimes finding out whether the crimp tool can perform the job on the available pipe and crimp size can be a nightmare. This often leads to damage to the tool when it is forced to do the job on an undesirable crimp and pipe sizing. The GO-NO-GO gauge helps to prevent this. It does this by determining whether the tool can perform the job at hand.
· Tool Length
Depending on the nature of the nooks and crannies in which you will be installing your PEX pipes, it is important you choose a crimping tool with the right length so as to make your work easier.
· Ease of Use
The best PEX crimp tool is designed to allow you to handle any plumbing works without the need to call in a professional. This1, therefore, means that it should be easy to use even for people with absolutely no clue or training in plumbing.
· Warranty and Budget
Different manufacturers offer their crimping tools at varying price ranges. Most of the time price of a tool is determined by its quality and performance. This, therefore, means that to get maximum performance one has to invest a bit more money. On the other hand, while less known brands may advertise advanced features it is wiser to stick to the tried and tested well-known brands.
It is also important to check out if the crimp tool comes with a warranty. If so, what its terms and conditions as well as the duration it will last before making your purchase.
PEX Compression vs Crimp
The compression model that some people use for pipe fitting relies on pressure around the ring, and this typically involves a rubber fitting that will create a vacuum that cannot be released. However, you might notice that the compression model seems to require a little bit more finesse. Remember that the compression model requires a steady hand and experience.
Someone who is using the compression model needs to have many chances to figure out how it works. There are a lot of people who will want to have their PEX fitting done faster, and that is why they would choose the crimp model over compression.
You can slide on the crimp ring and squeeze it tight to get the fit that you need. This is a much faster process, and it will allow you to do work quickly when you are not a licensed plumber. People who are looking for a better way to handle their pipe fitting should consider crimping because it requires very little skill.
PEX Cinch vs Crimp
Using the PEX cinch method is one that requires a very light touch when you are trying to close the ring around the pipe. The cinch ring has to be closed around the pipe with no bubbles at all, and the cinch tool is much harder to use on certain pipes because it needs to be perfectly done.
You might want to use the cinch method because you feel that you have the touch to do it right, but that is typically left up to a plumber. You are much better off using the crimp tool because you can get the process over with quickly.
You are trying to decide how you can create professional fittings even if you are not a plumber, and the only way to do that is to use the tool that you believe will be the easiest to use. The crimp tool will always prove to be the easiest to use, and you should consider trying that tool first. There are more elegant ways to handle pipe fitting, but the crimp tool is practically guaranteed to work in all situations.
As we have seen above the PEX crimp tool is an absolute necessity whether you are a DIY handyman or an experienced professional. We believe that the guide on how to choose the right tool for your work will go a long way in guiding you on making the right choice when you are looking to purchase.
Our list of top products that we have picked for you are on the other hand a great place to start off. The products we have discussed all come with a variety of different features that should really excite you. From unbeatable prices, innovative designs, massive power, and premium feature the onus is now on you to choose from this rich mix.
Would I recommend my products to my closest friends? I wouldn’t recommend them more.
This all about 2019. What are the best for 2020? Coming soon.