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. These 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 pipe shear and a crimp tool.
The PEX crimping tool is a paramount part of the PEX installation process. It is mainly used to seal and insert fittings on the 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.
In a Rush?
Here’s our top 3 products that thought you would be interested in…
We have gone further and provided a list of 7 PEX crimpers with reviews which we think are the very best in the market today.
Consequently, we have come up with a comprehensive buying guide that should help you avoid any mistakes when making a purchase.
The Best PEX Crimp Tools
+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.
–Little bit critical design.
This is an outstanding tool from IWISS that does not let down in terms of quality, beautiful construction and efficient. This professional pex crimp tool is however on the higher end of the price spectrum. But as they say: Quality and performance always come at a price.
Comes with a 1-inch main jaw with three interchangeable jaws able to take 3/8″,1/2″,3/4″ piping and rings. This makes the Iwiss F1807 a truly universal crimp tool.
After long time use, it may need calibration to adjust the jaws with pex ring. But if any jaw broke, you can contact with iwiss support. They provide parts replacement and other services.
Besides featuring long insulated handles, this crimping tool 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 a long period of use.
Thought the IWISS IWS-FA-W-R is not ratcheting type crimp tool but its labor-saving design, long handle, and comfort locked grip make crimping easier and faster.
But the long handle is not able to reach tight spots because the handle has to be opened at 180 degrees.
It also has a shorter handle version which may need more effort to crimp but effective in the cramped area. As you know longer handle exerts more leverage which makes no sense for crimping. But it makes a huge difference when you need to get into a tighter area like behind the toilet or under a sink.
My suggestion is to keep both of them in your collection. Both of them suit all US F1807 standard copper crimp rings SharkBite, Apollo, Watts, Sioux Chief, etc.
It works with both poly and brass fittings to crimp PEX pipe using copper crimp rings.
The tool kit also includes a PEX cutter as well as a Go/No-Go gauge tool packed with it. The 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.
The go/no-go gauge fit all the way around the crimped rings when the connection is correctly done.
You can also choose the package which contains PEX removal tool by only adding a few bucks. A removal tool will be your friend when you make the wrong setup or you need to repair a connection.
Note: The IWISS IWS-FA is only designed for copper crimp rings not for stainless steel clamp rings. For that purpose, we list another IWISS ratcheting tool below.
You can also use it for plastic fittings but not recommended.
2. Zurn QCRTMH Multi-Head Copper Crimp Tool
+Fits various sizes ie. 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″.
+Includes necessary tool kits.
+It’s came out for perfect connections – no leaks, no hassles.
–Not for stainless steel crimps.
–Doesn’t come with 1″ pex fitting.
This one is another great product for creating watertight PEX connection. Zurn QCRTMH is manual crimp tool kit made from steel. It takes second place in our top list.
For its multi-head feature, it is suitable for crimping all ASTM F1807 standard copper rings.
It features interchangeable jaws for 3/8″, 1/8″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ but not 1″ fittings as the jaws wouldn’t open wide enough. So, you can install easily PEX fittings with copper crimp rings by adjusting the jaws under 1″.
Very easy to use; changing the crimp head is super easy, lightweight, stronger perfectly fine for watertight connections.
The crimping tool is made in Taiwan. It’s specifications meet certified frustration-free for watertight pex connection by go/no-go gauge feature.
This Zurn also features manual crimp ring removal tool so you don’t need to buy an additional one if you need to remove crimp ring.
Though the Zurn says, it’s made for copper but you can also use it for plastic pipes.
Note: This tool is only for the copper crimp ring. It won’t work with stainless steel crimp. As you know, the stainless cinch is entirely different technology. So don’t use it with stainless crimpers.
All the tool kits are packed together in a nested polymer carrying case. So, you will have a hazard-free storage facility too.
Zurn is an old company worked many years with a great reputation. They have several branches for customer help. If you would have any issue with your tool, you can return or replace it easily.
Pro-Tips: No doubt this one is a great tool. But you have to be extra careful that the crimp isn’t flared. Make sure you get as square to the crimp ring as possible.
3. IWISS IWS-1234W Angel PEX Crimp Tool Set
+Solidly constructed using tool steel.
+Features an ergonomic design.
+Able to reach tight corners and spaces easily.
+Comes with a portable case for easy transportation.
–Jaws do not open wide.
–Takes a relatively great deal of force to crimp.
–Requires two hand operation.
Are you a professional plumber looking for a tool to reach those hard to reach places? Well, the IWISS IWS-1234W is the best deal you will get out there.
This thing of beauty features an innovative design with cutter, a Go/No-Go gauge and is a big bang for your buck.
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.
This IWISS PEX 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. But they have also a single angle crimper for 1″ fitting.
4. SharkBite 23251 PEX Crimping Tool
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.
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.
What we like
- 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.
What we don’t like
- Some may find it oversized and weighty.
- Not able to reach tight spots due to its massive size.
5. Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K Multi-Head Crimp Tool
The Apollo 69PTKH0015K takes the fifth 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.
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 0 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″.
What we like
- Crimp gives a massive strength output.
- Ability to adjust crimping force.
- Comes with a storage suitcase.
What we don’t like
- Users found the crimper overly massive in size.
- Jaw screws are weak and susceptible to breaking if heavy force is applied.
6. IWISS F2098 PEX Ratcheting Cinch Crimping Tool
Coming at the top sixth 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, it is the king of our list. In addition to this, the tool is universal and can be used with stainless steel clamps from any manufacturer you can think of.
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.
What we like
- 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.
What we don’t like
- 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.
7. Pexflow R1245 PEX Crimp Tool
Looking for a PEX crimp tool that can perform even in the most adverse of conditions without letting up? The Pexflow R1245 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.
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.
What we like
- Very sturdy and solid construction.
- Comes at an unbelievably cheap price.
- Extremely comfortable handling.
- Easy to use the tool.
- Provides perfect grip during handling.
What we don’t like
- Handles are long and may get in your way during operation.
- The head tends not to stay aligned for long.
Pex 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 tool out there should come with a calibration feature to enable one to adjust it back to its original effective position.
Sometimes finding out whether the 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.
Depending on the nature of the nooks and crannies in which you will be installing your PEX pipes, it is important you choose a pex crimping tool with the right length so as to make your work easier.
Ease of Use
The crimp tool is designed to allow you to handle any plumbing works without the need to call in a professional. This, 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 pex 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.
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 other options.
PEX Compression vs Crimp
The compression model that some people use for pex 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 this 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 crimping 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 tools 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.
Last update on 2019-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API