How to Remove a PEX Crimp Ring?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 18, 2022
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There are two methods for removing crimp rings from PEX fittings. One is removing the copper ring using a crimp removal tool and the other is removing the copper ring using common tools like hacksaw or Dremel with cut-off discs.

We will discuss both methods regarding removing a PEX crimp ring. Depending on the tools available, you can apply any of the methods to do the job.


5 Steps to Remove PEX Crimp Ring Using Crimp Removal Tool

You need to gather a pipe cutter, plier, and a crimp ring removal tool to start the process. You can complete the work by following the 5 simple steps discussed here.

First Step: Separate the PEX Fitting

Pick up the pipe cutter and cut the PEX fitting assembly using the cutter. Try to cut the fitting as close as possible but don’t damage the fitting by cutting through it.

Second Step: Adjust the Tool Setting

You may have to adjust the ring removal tool to the size of the crimp ring. It varies from brand to brand. So, open up the instruction manual of the ring removal tool and follow the instructions step by step to make the proper adjustment but some ring removal tools are non-adjustable.

Third Step: Insert the Jaw of the Tool Inside the Fitting

Insert the jaw of the ring removal tool inside the PEX fitting and close the handle by applying a little hand pressure and it will cut through the copper ring.

Fourth Step: Open Up the Copper Ring

To open up the ring rotate the tool 120° – 180° and close its handle. If the ring is not opened up yet rotate the tool 90° and repeat the process until the crimp ring is slid off.

Fifth Step: Expand the PEX Tube and Remov5

To expand the pipe re-insert the tool into the fitting and close its handle. Then rotate the tool 45° to 60° around the PEX tubing until it can be removed.

3 Steps to Remove PEX Crimp Ring using Hack Saw or Dremel

If the ring removal tool is not available you can apply this method to complete the job. You need a flat-head screwdriver, plier, heat source (blow torch, lighter, or heat gun), hacksaw, or Dremel with cut-off discs.

Now the question is – when you will use the hack saw and when you will use Dremel? If there is enough room you can use a hacksaw but if there is a limited space we will recommend using a Dremel. If Dremel is the right tool for you, then you can review Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max as it is a popular Dremel model.

Step 1: Cut the Crimp Ring

Since the copper ring is in contact with the pipe you may cut the pipe accidentally while cutting the ring. So, pay complete attention while cutting the ring so that the pipe does not get damaged.

Step 2: Remove the Ring with a Screwdriver

Place a flat-head screwdriver in the cut and twist it open the crimp ring. Then bend the ring open with a plier and remove it. You also can slide the ring off the pipe if the pipe end does not remain attached.

Step 3: Remove the PEX Tubing

As there are barbs on the PEX fittings it is difficult to remove the tube. To ease the task you can heat the fitting.

You can heat it with a blow torch, lighter, or heat gun – whatever heating source is available to you. But be careful so that the pipe does not get burned due to excess heating. Pick up the plier, grip on the PEX pipe, and remove the pipe from the fitting with a twisting motion.

Final Thought

Crimp ring removal does not take much time if you understand the step properly. You can use the PEX fitting again after removing the copper ring. If you want to use the fitting again you should be very careful while removing the ring so that the fitting does not get damaged.

The ring removal job becomes very easy if you can remove the fitting from the pipe and can clamp it in a vice. But don’t clamp on the insert ribs or barbed area because it will damage the fitting and as a result, you won’t be able to use the fitting again.

Also read: these are the best PEX crimp tools around

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.