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Old 09-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
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PEX crimpers are there any good ones?

Well I have had my first experience with PEX. I bought one of those pocket crimper deals that you use with vise grips. I can tell you that this is not the way to go for a main tool. I would say it is good for occasional or emergency use but it is not practical for more than two or three crimps before your forearms are toast. It also takes repeated crimp tighten, crimp tighten cycles to get a good crimp. It might be good for tight spaces but it is not very easy to use even when you have plenty of room to work.

So does anyone have any experience with a better crimper that does not cost over $100 and will do multiple sizes like 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4"? I want something that crimps the copper rings not the stainless steel pinch clamps. I don't think that pinching on the sides is as good as a continous ring.

Perry
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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I have one of those for tight spots and the big cable cutter type in 1/2 inch only from Home Depot for $49 I think. Since I have never had need for 3/8 or 3/4 I just stuck with the 1/2 inch. The pocket one will do bigger if I need it. These big ones work great and I have never had a leak, and your arms don't get tiered.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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I have a multi size PEX crimper from Home Depot, it is well made and works very well. As I recall it was about $90. It has a plastic case included which holds all the parts. I can't recall the name, and I am not home now to look, but I think it is the one sold at all the Home Depots.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:00 PM   #5
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Lowes has a tool that works with the stainless steel crimp rings for both 3/8 and 1/2 for about 40 bucks. Works fine. Not really a ratchet like they say but it does work well. Sometimes you have to look for them in the store, and not all stores have the same thing. I saw a longer one for about 100, but am happy with the short one. Stays in the trailer with a pack of rings. So far in 2 years I have not had a joint I made leak. I have done a couple over when it did not "feel" right. A good tip with pex is to buy the cutting tool also. A clean, straight cut is a big help in getting the joints assembled tightly. If the cut is an an angle or fuzzy it is hard to get and hold the tube all the way up in the fitting when crimping.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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I got my 1/2" crimper at Menards. It's a long handle type. I think I paid $45 or $50. It works first time every time. Everything tested with no leaks at all. I did use sharkbite connectors where the space was tight.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Well I have had my first experience with PEX. I bought one of those pocket crimper deals that you use with vise grips. I can tell you that this is not the way to go for a main tool. I would say it is good for occasional or emergency use but it is not practical for more than two or three crimps before your forearms are toast.
Unless you do a lot of PEX work I wouldn't especially recommend investing $100+ in a PEX crimper.

I use one of the "pocket crimper deals"

The Pex Pocket Crimper- For permanent crimp connections with PEX tubing fittings

but like yourself, I quickly discovered a Vise Grip pliers was not the best way to squeeze it. I use a small machinist's vise like the one pictured and it gives me a perfect crimp every time. Not fast, but can be used in tight spaces and doesn't require heroic strength. . . just patience.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Yeah I used my big shop vise and it was still a PIA to use.

Perry
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #9
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Got the long handled crimper from HD, they work great. You can cheap some things on your build but good water tight connections are worth their weight in gold...esp once every thing is back together. Spend the extra moola a good set. I know money wise they ain't cheap but neither is the hassle of a re-tear down...
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Look at the crimpers made by Sioux Chief and sold at Menards. Have used the crimpers in over 100 homes and finally wore one out. Crimps 1/2 and 3/4 and never had a leak.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #11
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Have you thought about the tool rental places? Even the Home Depot in our area rents the Professional crimper at a very low daily rate.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #12
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Not sure why people freak out at paying 50-100 for a tool that does good work and will last a long time and actully makes plumbing closer to fun. You could hire a Airstream tech that already has one and he will probably charge you 50-100 to get his out of his tool box and put it back in.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:06 PM   #13
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Not sure why people freak out at paying 50-100 for a tool that does good work and will last a long time and actully makes plumbing closer to fun. You could hire a Airstream tech that already has one and he will probably charge you 50-100 to get his out of his tool box and put it back in.
That is a fact. Buy the right tool for the job.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #14
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I just bought a Shark Bite tool for like $60 at Home Depot and is appears to be well made. However, it won't compress the copper rings enough to fit the go gage that came with it. I increased the preload and it still won't compress the ring according to the gage. The gage might fit on the flattened edges where the part is in the tool jaws but it is iffy. So what is the problem here. Is there something wrong with the tool or what?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

Perry
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