When you’re looking for the best Pex crimp tool you may notice that there are also Pex clamp tools available, but which option is the best? There are a lot of Pex tools available and the big variety can be confusing. In order to determine which tool is best, you need to know how each works and the differences between them. There are times when a crimp tool is the best choice and other times when a clamp may be more appropriate. Here is how to figure out when you need a crimp and when you should go with a clamp.
Pex Crimp Tools
Pex crimp tools are made to work with copper crimp rings. They’re the most popular choice for do-it yourself homeowners working with Pex pipe. With Pex crimp tools you must have the right size for the size of pipe you are working with. They range from 3/8 inch jaws to 1 inch and some of the Pex crimp tool models come with a full set of interchangeable jaws so you can use them for almost any size of pipe.
Pex crimp tools tighten the entire ring when you use them. They require a lot of force and it can take a great deal of effort on your part to make sure that you apply enough pressure to get a tight crimp on the crimp band.
Pex Clamp Tools
Pex clamp tools are often called Pex cinch tools. Some models come in a ratcheting model. They are compatible with stainless steel clamps and can be used with copper as well. The clamp tools don’t take as much force and they work better when you’re working in narrow areas where there isn’t a lot of space to maneuver.
Pex clamp tools can be used for either copper or stainless steel crimp rings. They only pinch the tab on the ring instead of the whole body of the ring. They can be used with multiple sized Pex pipes and they are more flexible than the crimpers. They are a one size fits all kind of tool.
If you crimp the ring incorrectly, it is easier to remove when it’s done with a clamp type. It’s harder to remove a ring that’s fastened with a crimp tool. Some prefer the clamp because it works with stainless steel clamps. These are more resistant to corrosion than the copper crimp bands.
Pex Crimp vs Pex Clamp, Which Is Best?
The advantage of the copper ring that requires the use of a Pex crimp is that you get a tighter seal. If this is your goal then you should use a Pex Crimp tool. This is the only clear advantage of the Pex Crimp over the Pex Clamp. The Pex Clamp can be used with either copper or steel crimp bands. It is a one size fits all because it can be adjusted to fit any size of pipe. It’s more versatile in this way, but it only clamps the tab portion of the crimping ring.
Although it works and it will give you a good seal, it isn’t as tight as the seal that the Pex Crimp tool gives you. There are clearly pros and cons with each too. In the end, it really comes down to a trade-off of whether you want the tighter seal with the less versatile Pex Crimp or the Pex Clamp which can be adjusted to fit any size Pipe.
Pex crimp tools are less versatile and you need to have the right size tool for the job. They are not a one size fits all. Clamp tools are more versatile and they can be used with copper or the more durable stainless steel clamps. They more easily fit into narrow spaces and they are a one size fits all. The don’t crimp the entire body so the seal isn’t as tight as with the Pex crimp tool. Which one is best? It all comes down to a matter of preference. They are both good tools to use but it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer to use.