Best PEX Crimp Tool 2019 – Top 5 review for every budget

Plumbers and DIY enthusiasts alike started buying PEX crimps when pipes made out of PEX became popular. Now, more and more people opt for crimps to bend pipes or seal them altogether. With the number of brands manufacturing PEX crimp tools right now, it can be difficult to choose a single best product that fits your needs.

The Best PEX Crimp Tools

We have looked at the most popular PEX crimp tools reviewed the top five, so that you can easily decide which tool will suit your needs the best.

Best overall: Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K

Very durable: IWISS IWS-1234W
The fastest crimp: SharkBite 23251
Smartest design: IWISS F1807
Best budget alternative: IWISS PEX Clamp Cinch Tool

 

Best overall: Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K

The Apollo PEX has been a favorite of people new to the plumbing business and makes it to the top of our list for good reason. The go/no-go gauge that comes with this crimp is a commendable feature that allows you to check whether you did the crimping correctly. For that, simply put the pipe sealed with the metal ring into the gauge. If it goes all the way to the mark, you have done it right.

The jaws of the crimper are replaceable, which means you can use any jaw that suits your project. These jaws come in a range of sizes, giving you the liberty to choose between 3/8-inch to 1-inch jaws. Depending on the size of the pipes you have to work with, you can replace the jaws so that they fit the pipes and seal them flawlessly.

Pros:

  • Has an adjustable crimping force
  • Changeable jaws
  • This item has its own storage casing
  • 5-year warranty
  • It is lightweight and easy to carry
Cons:

  • Screws of the jaw are not durable and may fall apart if you apply a lot of force on them
  • Huge and requires you to use both your hands instead of one

Very durable: IWISS IWS-1234W Angel Combo

Smartly designed, this crimping tool can reach into tight and narrow spaces. Hence, it can crimp in areas that are hard to reach. Furthermore, due to the compact size of its head, this beauty will do the job perfectly well and will give you incredible results. It will help you perfectly seal the pipes in areas that are hard to reach without any dangerous sealings.

The IWISS Angel Tool Set is a combo pipe crimping tool that works for ½-inch as well as ¾-inch pipes. As crimps are mostly designed for a single size of pipe, this feature is a unique one.

You will not have to use two different crimpers if this one is your tool. It saves you the time you would have to otherwise spend on searching for another crimper to finish your work.
Pros:

  • It is an ergonomically designed crimping tool
  • Has a portable casing
  • Solid steel construction makes it durable
  • Can reach into tight openings
  • Combo PEX pipe crimping tool for ½-inch and ¾-inch pipes
Cons:

  • Requires you to use two hands to operate
  • Jaws do not open wide enough

The fastest crimp: SharkBite 23251

SharkBite is a great pick if you work with copper crimp rings with a size of ½ inch or ¾ inch. It secures pipes that have either of the two diameters that this crimping tool can work with. These crimps have two separate holes for the two clasps. You do not have to switch to another crimping tool if you have this one as both its clasps come in a size which is commonly used for plumbing purposes.

Another appreciable feature of these crimps is that they are already adjusted, so you do not need to calibrate them. It can take a lot of time to calibrate a crimper that becomes out of shape due to extensive use. However, with a SharkBite crimper, you will not have to worry about taking out some time to fix and condition it. It is a sound pick for someone who is super busy to calibrate a crimper.

Pros:

  • Has a go/no-go gauge
  • Gives a good output of force
  • Crimps at a fast rate
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Not expensive
Cons:

  • Heavy and huge, so cannot reach tight spaces
  • Requires you to use two hands instead of one

Smartest design: IWISS F1807 Copper Ring Crimping Tool

The IWISS Tool has a smart design which makes it easier to reach tight spaces. It uses copper crimp rings for securing pipes. Using it, you can get the leverage to get your tool into any nook or cranny. The head of this crimping tool is also small and compact, which allows it to neatly install pipes without getting any frayed or loosely secured edges.

In addition to that, this crimping tool kit has a portable case which you can take to your job. You can put all the tools in the sturdy tool kit without worrying about losing them.

Apart from that, it allows you to work with crimp bands made of both copper and stainless steel. This feature makes it a versatile crimper that serves two functions.

Pros:

  • Has a go/no-go gauge which makes it easier for you to know whether you sealed a pipe correctly
  • This crimper reaches into tight spaces because of its smart design
  • Durable and long-lasting crimps
  • Lightweight crimper
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
Cons:

  • Jaws don’t open wide
  • Two hands will be required to use this crimper instead of one

Best budget alternative: IWISS PEX Clamp Cinch Tool

This tool saves you from using several different tools for clamps made of stainless steel. It can fit into clamps that range from 3/8 inch to 1 inch. It is great for someone who often has to work with stainless-steel clamps. With this tool, you will not have to keep switching tools to fit clamps with different sizes. This allows you to be more productive while doing your job.

Another cool feature that this tool offers is its handle which is rubber coated. The material used in making its handle allows you to hold the tool firmly in place.

It can often be hard to handle the tool while you work with it. The result is a tired and fatigued hand. The easy grip allows you to work efficiently so that you will not tire out quickly and can work with ease and comfort.

Pros:

  • Works fast
  • Does not need to be adjusted before use as it is pre-calibrated
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
Cons:

  • Does not work with Zurn Quick Clamps as it won’t fit them
  • At times, it requires additional force to use

Before buying a PEX crimp tool

Even after narrowing down your choices, it can be hard to pick one. For that purpose, you need to know exactly what you want from the tool. These are the factors you should consider to understand your requirements:

What Is a PEX Crimp Tool Used For

PEX crimp tools are used to install PEX pipes. They are required for sealing them by securing crimp rings around them. When a crimp band is placed around the pipe, it is tightened and sealed with the help of a PEX crimp.

Crimping tools comes handy when you are trying to fix a metal band around a pipe or when you want to conjoin two pipes together. Crimps usually work on metals or other pliable materials. The exact use of the tool will determine what kind of tool will be more suitable for you.

PEX Cinch vs Crimp Tool

There are two different tools which are used to seal pipes: PEX cinch tool and PEX crimp tool. Both serve the same function of installing PEX pipes. However, they work a little differently. Where a crimp tool seals around the diameter of the metal ring, a cinch tool only compresses the ring at a specific point.

The cinch tool makes contact with the metal only lightly. It is a single tool which can work with different sizes, so you will not have to worry whether your cinch tool will fit the metals you work with. Though its operation isn’t difficult to understand, it can be hard for a novice to use a cinch tool.

On the other hand, the crimp tool comes in only a few sizes. Hence, you will have to be careful about the sizes you need when you buy a crimp tool. While this tool is not as versatile as the cinch tool, it is easier to use, which makes it a suitable option for those who want to do the plumbing for minor projects such as fixing pipes in their homes.

PEX Compression vs Crimp

The PEX compression method uses pressure. The ring is compressed and secured with a compression nut. It requires great skill to use this technique as it needs a lot of effort and craft to put a compression nut in place. This method is better suited to a professional plumber rather than someone who has taken it upon themselves to fix the pipes in their home.

On the contrary, sealing pipes using a crimp tool is a much easier process that can be used by DIY enthusiasts. Crimp tools are easy to use as stated before. Besides, using the crimping method is way faster than the compression method.

Different Crimp Sizes

Crimps come in various sizes, ranging from ¼ inch to 1 inch. The most commonly used sizes include 3/8 inch, half inch and quarter inch. These sizes refer to the internal diameter of the clasp that holds the pipe in place and seals it.

The size of the crimping tool’s clasp is an important point to keep in mind when you choose a product. Be clear about the size you need according to the projects you work on. Remember that crimping tools come in limited sizes. You don’t want to end up with a tool that you don’t need. Your crimping tool must have the right size so that it fits around the PEX pipe you want to seal.

Another thing to consider is the size of the head of your crimping tool. If it is exceptionally large, it won’t get into the nook and crannies. Crimps with a small head size can easily fit into small spaces and narrow areas, making your job easier for you.

Always keep the nature of your project in mind when you go buy a crimping tool so that you can decide on the size accordingly.

Go/No-Go Gauge

This gauge helps you determine if you sealed the pipe correctly. There are several crimps in the market that come with a go/no-go gauge. It is advantageous to choose an item that comes with this feature, especially if you aren’t experienced at crimping.

Calibration or No Calibration

The jaws of the crimp become enlarged after they have been used for quite some time. A stretched-out crimp tool will not work efficiently. Therefore, it is best if you choose a tool which allows you to calibrate it. Some crimps are already calibrated, while others are not. Pick a product that is calibrated or allows you to do so on your own.

Ergonomic Design

If you are a professional, the chances are that you will be working with a crimping tool for long hours. Thus, you need a tool that does not tire you out at the end of your shift. This is why the design of the tool matters. Some crimps have an ergonomic design which makes them comfortable to use. As crimps with such a design will not tire out your hand, it is wise to spend your money on them.

Bottom Line

Considering the popularity of PEX pipes, crimping tools have become indispensable for plumbers. Try to focus on the points we mentioned in this article when you are making your choice to buy crimps. Our top pick has been the Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K as it is a lightweight crimper which allows the user to adjust the force applied.

PEX crimp tools are the best for joining pipes as they are easy to use and efficient at sealing pipes. Since you don’t necessarily have to be a professional to operate it, this tool is a convenient option for those of you who enjoy fixing things on their own.