PEX crimp and PEX clamp connections use the same fittings, normally referred to as “crimp” or “barbed” PEX fittings. Each method requires a different tool and a different type of ring, but the styles are similar enough that PEX newcomers frequently wonder which method is preferable. Crimping and clamping create equally reliable seals that will not leak when performed properly. The choice between crimping and clamping should ultimately come down to personal preference, although there are a few pros and cons to keep in mind.
Stainless steel clamp rings resist corrosion more effectively than copper crimp rings, which can be a major benefit in direct-burial applications. PEX clamps also tend to be easier to remove. Since only a piece of clamp rings must be compressed in order to make a connection, a single clamping tool works with multiple pipe sizes. Although successful clamp connections can be confirmed based on the release of the ratchet tool, crimp fittings can be checked with a go-no-go gauge long after the original connection was made. Crimp rings and components are generally more readily available than their clamp alternatives.
In case you have had the chance to fix or install your PEX 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.
Best Pex Crimp Tool Review
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in the best pex crimping tool, we’ve chosen the ten most highly recommended models on the market today. You’ll find a complete description of each with their pros and cons and the unique features that can help you to find the best pex crimp tool the first time.
1. Apollo PEX 69PTKG1096 3/8-inch – 1-inch Stainless Steel Pinch Clamp Tool
This pex crimping tool is made to use with pex pipe that is 3/8 inch to 1 inch in size. The stainless steel pinch clamp tool pinches down the taps on crimp bands to give you a tight and waterproof seal.
The length of the handles is 15.25 inches. This makes the tool useful for reaching pipes that are recessed in hard to get to areas.
Easy to Use
This tool pinches the tabs on stainless steel crimp bands for a tight waterproof seal
This tool is compatible with a variety of pinch clamp sizes that range from 3/8 inch to 1 inch in diameter. This means you don’t need to buy several tools to do different sized pipes.
ASTM F Approved
The Apollo crimp tool has been stringently tested and meets the requirements for ASTM F 1897n certification.
This is a low-cost Pex tool that offers reliability and high performance along with affordability
|Easy to useLong handles make it easy to reach into recessed spotsSolid built and performs very well.The price is reasonable making it a good value||This tool is not compatible with Zurn Quickclamp crimp rings.|
The Apollo is a simple Pex tool that is easy to use and it fits a variety of different sized pipes. It’s best when used with steel pinch clamps and does not work as well on Zurn Quickclamp rings. Although this is a drawback, this tool is more versatile than many of the models that do not fit multiple sized pipes.
2. IWISS PEX Crimping Tools Cinch Clamp Tools
The IWISS Pex crimping tool is packed with useful features. It’s a versatile crimp tool that is easy to use and designed to resist stretching and the need for re-calibration.
This tool fits all stainless steel clamps from 3/8 inch to 1 inch so you only need one tool
Easy to Use With a Rachet and Self-Release
The rachet feature makes sure the crimp is complete. The self-releasing mechanism makes it simple and easy to use.
No Need To Calibrate
This pex tool is factory calibrated and is resistant to pex tool stretching that occurs over time. It doesn’t require recalibration.
This feature lets you know immediately if the pex tool is compatible with the size of clamps to be crimped.
Comfortable To Operate
A rubber coating on the handle makes this tool easier to grip and use and the handle is 20% longer so it saves approximately 30% of the effort required.
|The extra features make it a great value for the costRubber coated handles make it easy to grip and hold onto.The tool doesn’t take a lot of hand strength to use.The additional handle length makes it ideal for reaching back pipes.||This tool is not compatible with Zurn Quik Clamps|
This pex crimp tool is loaded with useful features, but it’s still simple and easy to use. It’s resistant to stretching which means it will have a longer life without the need to re-calibrate. It’s a versatile tool if you’re working with stainless steel clamps. It isn’t intended to be used with Zurn Quick Clamps, but it’s versatile for accommodating a good range of pipe sizes.
3. IWISS F1807 1/2″&3/4″ Combo Copper Ring Crimping Tool for Pex Pipe Connection
This is the ideal pex crimping tool for copper fittings or steel. It’s versatile in the materials it’s made for and will fit most pipe crimp band sizes. It comes with a host of useful built in features.
Dual Purpose Pex Crimper
The tool can be used on both copper and stainless steel crimp bands
Wide Range of Sizes
The crimp tool works for all crimp bands measuring 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch.
Go No Go Gauge
The Go No Go Gauge is another useful feature that lets you know if the tool is the right size for the crimp band you’re attempting to work with. It takes the guesswork out and saves time.
The Smart Design lets you get into tight connection areas making it easier to install Pex pipe.
The set includes a portable case that makes it easy to carry with you and keep the tool and accessories organized and easy to find.
|The set is portable and the case makes it easy to keep everything organizedThe Go No Go gauge is a time saverThe dual purpose for either steel or copper is a helpful feature when working with both kinds of pexThe calibration is right on and it crimps with a tight seal||Does not fit 3/8 inch or 1-inch pipes|
This IWISS Pex crimp tool is useful for 1/2 to 3/4 inch Pex pipe work. Although it has some size limitations, the benefits are that it can be used with steel or copper bands, which makes it versatile as a combination Pex crimping tool. If you work with both steel and copper crimp bands regularly, we recommend this dual purpose crimp tool.
4. IWISS F1807 PEX Pipe Crimping Tool Kit
This is a complete set of pex crimping accessories that includes the tool and three interchangeable jaws to suit most copper crimp band sizes.
Fits all sizes from 3/8 inch to 1 inch
This is one of the most versatile Pex crimp tools for fitting all size Pex Pipe crimp bands.
Free Gauge and Pex Pipe Cutter
Another benefit is the free gauge and Pex pipe cutter that is included in the set.
The kit comes with a long handle that helps you get into hard to reach areas where the pipes are recessed.
Easy to Grip and Control
Rubber handles give you a comfortable grip that eases user fatigue.
|It’s an all in one crimp tool that is convenient.I love the fact that it comes with a Pex pipe cutterThe rubber handles give you a better grip than the plasticThis tool comes with useful features for gauging the fit and cutting pipe||Not suitable for use with steel crimp bands|
This Pex crimp tool is recommended for work with a variety of copper crimp band sizes. It’s versatile and comes with interchangeable jaws to accommodate most pipe sizes. It’s easy to use and it comes with useful features such as the gauge and the Pex Pipe cutter that make it a good value. It’s not a dual purpose but it does an excellent job of securing copper bands.
5. SharkBite 23251
The SharkBite 23251 is the ideal tool for working with copper crimp rings between 1/2 to 3/4 inch. It’s an easy to use solution that effectively secures Pex crimp bands to prevent leaking and secure plumbing.
Fits Size 1/2 inch to 3/4 inches
This tool is effective at securing Pex piping from 1/2 to 3/4 inch crimp rings.
Easy to Grip
The rubber handles make it easier to hang onto and use this tool, even in challenging environments. The handles help to ease hand fatigue.
The handle length is 16.8 x 5 x 1.5 inches. This makes it easier to reach Pex piping placed in recessed areas.
Solid and Sturdy
This tool is reviewed by users as being strong and reliable. It holds up over time without stretching and the need for re-calibration.
|This tool is easy on the hands and it’s not hard to push the handles togetherIt makes tight seals that hold upThis tool is the best for getting to pipes in the backIt comes perfectly calibrated and ready to use||It’s about the size of a large pair of bolt cutters and this makes it difficult to fit into tight spots|
This Pex crimp tool is recommended for use with copper crimp rings between 1/2 and 3/4 inch in size. It’s not the most versatile Pex tool, but it’s sturdy and reliable with comfortable handles. It’s difficult to use in cramped spaces, but if you’re working on pipes that have good clearance, it’s a dependable tool.
6. Zurn QCRTMH Steel Multi-Head Copper Crimp Tool
The Zurn QCRTMH is a versatile crimp tool that works well for both copper and steel bands. It’s one of the most versatile Pex crimp tools on the market today.
This tool works for both copper and stainless steel crimp bands
Fits Most Sizes
It’s compatible with a range of sizes from 1/8 inch through 3/4 inch Pex fittings. It comes with interchangeable jaws
Crimp Ring Removal Tool
This set includes a bonus crimp ring removal tool to make plumbing with Pex piping faster and easier
Go No Go Gauge
A Go No Go Gauge lets you know right away if the tool is suitable for the job that you’re attempting. This saves a lot of time and frustration.
|It’s great for using on both steel and copper. It saves the cost of buying both.The removal tool makes it easier to take off old bandsIt’s a solid set that comes with a lot of useful accessoriesThis is an all in one tool that is all you’ll need||It does not work with one inch Pex crimp bands|
This is a versatile tool for working with copper or stainless steel crimp bands. It fits all sizes except for 1 inch. It’s a strong and sturdy tool that comes with a lot of bonus features including a crimp ring removal tool and a no go gauge. It’s an excellent value for what you get in the set and it comes with five tools.
7. Astro 9477 Professional Quick Interchangeable Ratchet Crimping Tool Set, 7-Piece
The Astro is a professional quality Pex crimping tool that comes with 7 pieces that make plumbing with pex piping faster and easier. The set comes with everything you need to crimp terminals and wire.
This tool is made for both right and left handed users. It’s ergonomic and comfortable to use. The rubber handles are contoured and they help to ease hand fatigue.
The interchangeable jaws make it easy to switch sizes to accommodate pipes across a wide variety of sizes.
Double Crimps at One Time
The jaws are made with a double crimp design and you can choose if you want to perform a single crimp or a double crimp. This is a time saving feature
Steel Handles and Rubber Grips
The steel handles make this crimp tool rugged and durable.
|The double crimping feature is good for use on things other than pex pipe. Its a really versatile toolThis tool is comfortable to use and it’s not hard to crimp down the bandsThis is a reliable tool and a high performer that gets a really tight seal on Pex pipesSolid and well built. It doesn’t stretch out||The handles are 11 inches and they’re not long enough for deeply recessed pipes.|
The Astro Pex crimp tool is a professional quality tool that is made strong and sturdy to last. It’s good for getting into small tight areas because it’s only 11 inches in length. This could be a drawback with recessed pipes, bu in general, it’s a versatile tool that offers the unique feature of a double crimping action when desired. It’s a time saver.
8. IWISS PEX Cinch Clamp/Ear Hose Clamps Crimping Tool
This versatile Pex tool fits all Pex cinch lamps with the exception of the Zurn Quick clamp. It’s the ideal solution for use with stainless steel clamps for Pex connections.
Compatible With Most Brands
This versatile Pex crimp tool is designed to fit any ASTM F2098 stainless steel clamps regardless of the manufacturer.
The tool is resistant to stretching over time. It comes fully calibrated for precision from the factory. There is no need to make adjustments
Universal For All Clamp Sizes
This crimp tool works with all sizes from 3/8 inch to 1 inch and every size in between. It’s the only tool you’ll need for crimping stainless steel clamps.
Go No Gauge Included
The bonus Go No Go Gauge lets you know right away if the jaw that you’re using is suitable for the size of pex pipe you’re working with. It takes the guess work out of the job and saves you time and frustration.
|This Pex crimp tool comes with extra features that are useful. The gauge is a plusIt’s perfectly calibrated so there is no fuss with the handles and no need to adjust it before usingIt fits all sizes of steel clamps it’s a great all in one toolThis tool feels comfortable in the hand||It’s not compatible with Zurn Quick Clamps|
This is a versatile pex crimp tool for working with stainless steel clamps. It’s compatible with all brands except for one and it fits all sizes of clamps. It’s ideal if you work with stainless steel bands and the bonus features make it a great value for the cost.
9. IWISS Rachet PEX Pipe Cinch Tools
This is a smaller pex crimp tool that is made for getting into tight places that are harder to reach with long handled tools.
This tool is designed for reaching pipes that are located in cramped spaces that are difficult to reach.
Fits All Sizes
This versatile tool is designed to fit all stainless steel clamps from 3/8 inch to 1 inch and all of the sizes in between.
Ratchet Design with Release
This handy tool has an automatic release design that releases when the Cinch clamp tab is pinched properly.
One Hand Design
The one hand ratchet design lets you use the tool with just one hand so you can use the other hand for other tasks.
|This is the best crimp tool for cramped spacesI like the one hand design because you usually need to have one hand free to hold other things in placeThe automatic release makes this tool more convenient to useIt’s an all in one kind of tool that fits most sizes and brands of clamps||This tool is not compatible with copper clamps.|
This is an excellent tool for use on stainless steel clamps. It fits all sizes and it’s small enough to fit into tight and difficult spaces. One of the best features of this tool is its automatic release when the job is done. The second best feature is that it’s designed for one had used so your other hand is free to do other things that are necessary while you’re crimping the band.
10. iCrimp PEX Cinch Tool with Removing function
This is one of the best tools for making Pex connections between 3/8 inch to 1 inch. It’s a stainless steel crimp tool that comes with 20 pieces for versatility in making most pex pipe connections.
Fits all stainless steel clamps between 3/8 inch to 1 inch. You only need one pex crimp tool to do most types of pex pipe connections with an all-in-one tool.
This tool is made from high quality forged steel. This gives it exceptional durability so it will last for a long time.
Easy To Use
The switch cinch and remove function makes this tool very easy to use. It’s a hassle free tool and changing the jaws is simple.
Bonus Pipe Cutter
A Pex Pipe cutter is included in this all in one tool.
|I love that you only need to buy one tool to crimp most sizes of clampsThis tool is easy to operate and hold ontoThe jaws are easy to change to get the right sizeThe crimper works very well for getting a tight seal on the bands.||Not intended for use with copper clamps.|
This is a versatile pex crimp tool that works on all stainless steel clamps from any manufacturer. It fits all sizes from 3/8 inch to 1 inch so it’s the only tool that you’ll need. It even comes with a bonus pex pipe cutter and a clamp removal tool that makes removing old clamps fast and easy. It’s an excellent value for the cost and it’s built to hold up under frequent use.