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Old 07-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
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PEX pocket crimper review: FYI

I thought I would save a little $ and buy the pex pocket crimper that you use vise grips with and words can't describe how disappointed I am with it. If you are re-plumbing an entire system I would definitely suggest buying the more expensive tool, which I will be after first thing in the morning. The money you save ($30-$40) is not worth it. I would only buy the pocket crimper if you were just repairing a fitting or two, or had a tight area that required it.(or you are so tight that sore hands and time wasted everyday are worth $40)
I spent way too much time fiddling with it to get it in position and the multiple vise grip clamping killed my hands, and I only did a few fittings( I work with my hands and know when I am abusing them). I would have gladly plunked down another forty dollars this afternoon, but the day got short. What a waste of money!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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you get what you pay for. And tools always pay for themselves. That is my opinion.
Al
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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I'm planning on buying the $60 dollar pex crimper tomorrow at Lowes/Home depot, I hope it is a lot more user friendly? Please let me know.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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I too purchased one of those. I only had 5 or 6 crimps to make, and the plumbing "expert" at my local big box told me it would work great. I put the joints together and did the crimps, then pressurized the system and had leaks in all but one of the joints. I then re-crimped everything and results were the same. I then got the real deal tool, crimped everything and had no leaks!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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I have the regular crimper from Home Depot, and it works great. I was considering getting the pocket crimper for tight spots after having to get creative to crimp a few fittings in my recently re-plumbed rig. I will save my money after reading this thread. Thank you for posting.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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Anyone care to mention what the make and model is of the "real deal" one?
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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I have the wirsbo (uponor) pex expander tool. It uses a mandrel to expand the end of the tube with a doubler ring, after which you just slide in the fitting. The memory of the material then slowly returns the tube to its original diameter, resulting in a very tight fit with no crimping at all.

I did my house extension with it because the rest of the house is plumbed that way. The only issue is that it's not a cheap tool, but it is bulletproof...
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #8
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Not sure what "PEX pocket crimper" you are referring to, but I have used one of these on a dozen or so joints with completely satisfactory results.

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

I used a small machinist's vise instead of Vise Grips to drive it; time consuming, but easier to use and takes up even less space than the Vise Grips.

If I were replumbing a whole trailer I would probably buy one of the long handled models because they are quicker and easier to use, but I'd keep the pocket crimper for tight spots that I couldn't get to with the larger crimper.

As with everything else, your mileage my vary.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:07 PM   #9
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I found this topic as I had to fix a PEX crimp under my kitchen sink. I first bought the real deal, full length PEX crimper tool for $90. Until I realized that just to even get the tool mouth over the line, the tool had to be spread so far apart it basically couldn't fit in any spaces.

The large expensive tool is great if you are doing plumbing with open access lines, but like impossible to use in 90% of Airstream plumbing locations due to confined spaces.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:47 PM   #10
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Yes, I have 2 tools from Lowes. A short ratcheting one and a longer one. Yes, often you can not get either one to a joint to crimp it. I try to put as much together ahead as possible and put it in as an assembly. Sometimes that means an extra joint or 2 in clear areas that I can actually get to. But PEX is the bet thing I have found. In a really tight area sometimes you can use the Sharkbite fittings but I pefer the crimped.
Thanks for the info about the pocket crimper. Probably save me some money and redoing a leak.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Yes, I have 2 tools from Lowes. A short ratcheting one and a longer one. Yes, often you can not get either one to a joint to crimp it. I try to put as much together ahead as possible and put it in as an assembly. Sometimes that means an extra joint or 2 in clear areas that I can actually get to. But PEX is the bet thing I have found. In a really tight area sometimes you can use the Sharkbite fittings but I pefer the crimped.
Thanks for the info about the pocket crimper. Probably save me some money and redoing a leak.
I highly recomend the Shark Bite push on fittings. I have used them on both PEX and Copper for years. No crimping no leaking. Buy a $5 plastic tubing cutter to make a clean straight end. They also work on air fittings.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:29 AM   #12
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I've noticed recently that they have started stocking the shelves around the PEX fittings with "stepless" clamps, in my opinion.... a much better alternative to those round copper ring clamps. We use them exclusively in the beverage industry to clamp everything from low pressure syrup, to high pressure CO2 (120psi)
They're stainless steel so no corroding, they clamp evenly around your tubing and don't bite into it, and using the correct tool are easy to work with in all but the tightest places.



The tools are readily available (we buy them from Grainger) Between the 2 sided crimping wrench and the black tubing cutters and a collection of clamps you have a full plumbing repair kit.
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