PEX Clamp Vs Crimp

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 18, 2022
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The plumbing professionals are switching to PEX  as PEX offers faster, cheaper. and easier installation. So the demand for the PEX tool is increasing.

It is very normal to get confused with the PEX clamp and crimp tool. This confusion can be removed if you have a clear concept about the working mechanism, advantages, and disadvantages of the tool. After going through this article you will be clear about these matters and can make the right decision.


PEX Clamp Tool

PEX clamp tool, also known as a PEX cinch tool is designed to work with stainless steel clamps. But you can also use this tool to work with copper rings. To work in a narrow place where you cannot exert much force PEX clamp tool is the right choice to make a good connection.

A great advantage of a PEX clamp tool is that you don’t have to change the jaw to make it compatible with different ring sizes. Thanks to the clamp mechanism.

How to Make Connection using a PEX Clamp Tool?

Start the process by calibrating the tool. Proper calibration is the most important step as an incorrectly calibrated tool will cause damaged fittings and you won’t know about it until it is too late.

Then slide a clamp ring over the end of the pipe and insert a fitting into the pipe. Continue sliding the ring until it touches the point where the pipe and the fitting overlap. Finally, compress the crimp ring using the PEX clamp.

PEX Crimp Tool

Among the DIY enthusiast working with PEX pipe, the PEX crimp tool is a popular choice. PEX crimp tools are designed to work with copper rings and to do so the jaw of the PEX crimp tool must fit the size of the copper ring.

Generally, copper rings are available in 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch. If you need to work with copper rings of different sizes you can buy a PEX crimp tool with a full set of interchangeable jaw.

It is a very effective tool to make a watertight connection. You have to apply enough force to squeeze the copper ring between PEX pipes and PEX fittings so that the connection does not remain loose. A loose connection will cause leakage and damage.

How to Make Connection with PEX Crimp Tool?

Making a connection on square-cut clean pipe using a crimp tool is easier than you can imagine.

Start the process by sliding the crimp ring over the end of the pipe and then insert a fitting into it. Keep sliding the ring until it reaches a point where the pipe and the fitting overlap. Finally, compress the ring using the crimp tool.

To check the perfection of the connection, use a go/no-go gauge. You can also examine if the crimp tool needs to be calibrated from the go/no-go gauge feature.

Sometimes, plumbers ignore the go/no-go gauge which is very dangerous as there is no way to inspect the fitting visually. You must use the go/no-gauge.

Your target is not to achieve just a very tight connection because too much tightness is also harmful like a loose connection. Too tight connections may result in the possibility of damaged pipes or fittings.

Differences Between the PEX Clamp and PEX Crimp

After going through the differences between a PEX clamp and a PEX crimp tool you can understand which tool is suitable for your work.

1. Flexibility

To make a connection with a PEX crimp tool you have to apply high force. If the working space is narrow you cannot exert this much force. But if you use a PEX clamp tool you don’t have to apply a lot of pressure no matter the working space is narrow or broad.

Moreover, the PEX clamp tool is compatible with both the copper and steel rings but the crimp tool is compatible with only the copper rings. So, the PEX clamp tool offers more flexibility than the crimp tool.

2. Reliability

If making a high-quality leakproof connection is your main priority then go for the crimping tool. The Go/ No Go gauge feature is included to check whether the connection is correctly sealed or not.

The clamping method also ensures leakproof connection but that is not as reliable as the crimping method. So, the professional plumbers and the DIY workers opine that the crimp connections are more secure as the ring tightens the whole body.

3. Ease of Use

Crimping tools don’t require any special skill to use. Even if you are a newbie you can make a perfectly watertight connection with a PEX crimp.

On the other hand, a PEX clamp requires a little bit of expertise. But don’t worry if you make a mistake you can easily remove the clamp and can start over again.

4. Durability

Copper rings are used to make crimp connections and you know copper is prone to corrosion. On the other hand, stainless steel rings are used to make a connection with a PEX clamp and stainless steel is highly resistant to the formation of rust.

So, a joint made by a PEX clamp is more durable than a joint made by a PEX crimp. But if you make a joint with a PEX clamp and use copper rings then both are the same.

5. Cost

PEX clamp is a multi-tasking tool. One tool is enough to work on multiple projects. For crimp tools, you either have to buy several PEX crimp or a PEX crimp with interchangeable jaws.

So, if you are looking for a cost-effective tool PEX clamp tool is the right choice.

Final Word

Between PEX clamp and PEX crimp which one is the best – A tough question to answer as the answer varies from person to person, from situation to situation. But I can give you a useful tip and that is to choose the tool that will help you to achieve the target you want to achieve from the installation.

So, set your goal, pick the right tool, and start working.

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.