Pex Crimp Tool

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Old 06-13-13, 06:27 PM
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Pex Crimp Tool

It's time for me, to move into the 21st century & use Pex. Home Depot has a crimp tool for $60. Online I see them for all different prices. The more expensive tools seem to be a little bigger. I don't know if that's a problem for small spaces. Any recommendations?
 
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Old 06-13-13, 09:26 PM
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Yes, bigger is a problem. I bought my ring crimper that does 1/2 and 3/4 many years ago. They are the size of bolt cutters and to open the jaws, you need about 24" of space. Some times it just won't fit. I also have a small hand held clamp that is tightened with a wrench for tight spots. I have seem a crimper that is battery operated and looks like a drill. You also have two options for securing the pipe to the fitting, crimping or cinching. If crimping, you need a size specific tool, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4... I believe cinching only needs one tool and you don't have to fight to get the tool around the pipe to make the cinch. The GO/NOGO tool is nice to have if you are doing a lot of crimping. If you can get a one hand operating tool that would be the best so you can hold the ring in place with the other hand as you clamp it.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 02:06 AM
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dan0661, Do you have any brand recommendations? I forgot to ask about a removal tool too.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 03:12 AM
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There's at least 4, differant ways to connect Pex.
Shark Bite, crimp, expansion, and coiled bands.
I made the mistake of buying the battery operated one for the coils and then found out no one in this area stocks the bands.
You might want to cheak on Craigs list or Ebay.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:14 AM
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I'm also in this situation. Been picking up PEX piping as it goes on sale to do a full swap over. Have not picked up a tool yet.
For me, availabililty is the biggest issue, next is cost. I need to be able to pick up more crimps or a new tool at the local hardware store if I'm caught in a jam.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:18 AM
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I've had the Shark Bite crimp tool for a couple of years. It seems to be well made and it's certainly easy to use. I've used it to do 3 bathrooms and to install a water softener/whole house filter.

You do have to do some planning to make sure the joint will be accessible for the tool, but you'll never go back to copper.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:20 AM
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I personally like the bands and use them...There are many discussions on bands vs cinch rings.

I also like the watts brand kit here.

0650872 - Watts 0650872 - 3/8" - 3/4" PEX Crimp All Tool Kit


What brand was the home depot unit? Watch out...I bought some no name tools that were way out of spec...
 
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Old 06-14-13, 06:01 AM
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I personally like the bands and use them...There are many discussions on bands vs cinch rings.

I also like the watts brand kit here.

0650872 - Watts 0650872 - 3/8" - 3/4" PEX Crimp All Tool Kit


What brand was the home depot unit? Watch out...I bought some no name tools that were way out of spec...
The band vs. clamp debate always gets me.
Probably going clamps as the hardware store locally (little mom and pop shop) carries and recommends them.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 06:49 AM
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I didn't know that there were that many choices. The Watts brand looks good. I think Home Cheapo sells Shark Bite. If a Pex job has to be re-done, what about a removal tool? For example, Shark Bite has a removal tool for their couplings.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 07:45 AM
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That such a nice Kit.. Thanks lawrosa! I have been looking for a good crimp kit
 
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Old 06-14-13, 07:57 AM
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what about a removal tool?
I cut the ring off with a small hack saw... But most of the time I will just cut the fitting off and redo. Easier IMO.. There is often plenty of slack that you can pull the pipe the 1" you lost cuttung the whole fitting out...
 
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Old 06-14-13, 08:38 AM
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I'm very tempted by the multi-head tool since they appear to be a bargain vs. buying separate. My question though is if I would EVER need anything other than 1/2 & 3/4 for a single-family home? The linked kit had a 5/8 head but no 1"...I didn't know there were 5/8 fittings...
 
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Old 06-14-13, 08:40 AM
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I'm thinking I might bit the bullet and stay copper for the 1" portion of my plumbing.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 04:40 PM
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I talked to a very good plumber who also works at Home Depot. He said that the crimp tool at HD ($60.00) covers all the sizes but if I want the tool that he uses, it will cost well over $200.00. It looks like I'll be going with the HD tool for now. The kit lawrosa posted looks good too but I don't want to spend that much.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:41 PM
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He said that the crimp tool at HD ($60.00) covers all the sizes
Be prepared for it to go out of tolerance... Then you will have crimping issues and more leaks then you want.

You'll see.....
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:48 PM
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What does out of tolerance mean & why would it do that? I totally trust the guy who spoke to me. I don't think he is the type to make money for HD by tricking customers.
 
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Old 06-15-13, 04:05 AM
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My local HD sells the Shark Bite crimper. According to the paperwork that comes with the tool "this tool is adjusted at the factory and no further adjustment should be needed." However, it also states that the tool may wear through extended use and they provide an adjustment procedure. I've probably done close to a hundred crimps with mine and it is still OK.

IMO as long as the tool pre load is in specs and the crimp passes the go - no go check the joint will be fine.
 
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Old 06-15-13, 04:30 AM
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I probably won't be doing that many Pex jobs but I'll ask about the 'out of tolerance' thing anyway.
 
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Old 06-15-13, 07:20 AM
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That could be another plus for choosing cinch clamp system. I believe it takes less crimping force and doesn't vary by fitting size. Less force = less wear on a tool that may be made of marginal steel.
For homeowner use it may not make a bit of difference. Do use the go/no go gauge.
 
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