PEX Crimp vs. Clamp Cinch vs. Expansion Tools: Distinguished!

Are you looking for the best PEX tool but end up getting frustrated? If yes, then we are here to pull you out of this dilemma.

Undoubtedly, you must have faced many plumbing issues to come in search of tools so that you can fix them.

Leakage of piping is the most common problem, but when the copper rings cut down or become rusted, you can’t help but feel a headache.

We are giving detailed information about PEX tools that include crimp, clamp, and expansion to cover all these issues. You can also get to know all the significant differences between the three tools and select the best one according to your choice.

 Now! without any further ado, let’s dig in to know how these tools are different from each other!

PEX Crimp vs. Clamp

If you don’t have any idea about PEX tubing, then the first thing you need to know that there are particular methods to join one tube with another.

Whatever method you choose will determine the choice of tools you will need in PEX tubing. So, let’s give you an insight into the differences between the two types of PEX tools:

PEX Crimp:

When you are working with copper crimp rings, then crimp tools go best with it. They are a preferable choice for the people who themselves did their home piping. Moreover, it’s essential to have the right size following the size of the pipe.

Crimp tools jaws range is from 3/8 inch to 1 inch. Even some models have a complete set so that you can change the tool’s size according to the pipe’s length.

The tools help tighten the copper ring entirely, and it took much force to apply the right amount of pressure. So, that crimp gets tight on the band.


Clamp tools are also called PEX cinch tools, and they work great for stainless steel clamps. Although you can use it with copper as they come in Ratcheting models.

Unlike crimp, these tools don’t take much force to get the work done. You can also use these tools in narrow areas.

Differences Between Crimp vs Clamp:

  • Clamp tools are better for stainless steel or copper rings as they clamp the tab on the copper ring, not on the whole band.
  • Although if it clamped incorrectly, then it’s not easy to remove them.
  • These tools create an excellent connection, but they will not remain tight for a long time.
  • Clamps are more preferable for difficult locations, as these areas need temporary connections.
  • They are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate any size of pipes.
  • Clamps tools are more flexible than crimps and made to ASTM F2098 standard.
  • Cinch tools are cheaper than PEX crimp.
  • With the help of clamp tools, you can deliver mistake-proof work.
  • The PEX connection done by these tools will last from 5 to 10 years.
  • PEX crimp is more resistant to rust as compared to clump tools.
  • When you crimp the copper band incorrectly, then you can easily remove it.
  • Each tool jaws of PEX crimp are specific for each size of the ring.
  • These tools are readily available and get the work done in a short time.
  • Crimper helps to secure a tight water connection that lasts long.
  • They are manufactured to ASTM F1807 standard.

So, both can be considered good tools concerning their usage in specific places. It depends on your choice as to which tool you prefer more.

Clamp tools come with versatility and less effort, while PEX crimp offers tight connections. Now, the ball is in your court to decide which one is better than the other.

pex crimp vs cinch clamp vs pex expansion

PEX Crimp vs. Expansion

Many plumbers prefer PEX as the material is lightweight, cold-resistant, and easy to join. Although when we talk about the efficiency of connection, then there are two tools used in standard tubing connections.

Let’s get to know the significant differences among them that will help you decide which one to choose:

PEX Expansion:

The expansion method includes the powerful expander tools that help to drive place for the installation of pipes. It’s recommended that professionals use these tools as they are very hard to remove when the fitting is not done correctly. Moreover, expander saves time and effort, but its cost can turn away many DIYer’s from using it.

When we talk about expansion tools, then there is also the fact that they are used in two types of expansion PEX systems.

One is Uponor, and the second is the Rehau expansion system. Uponor system use expansion fitting, expander, and PEX sleeves tool.

While the Rehau expansion system use expander, compression, and brass sleeves tool. Furthermore, they both have specific ASTM standards.

Read: PEX vs PVC Comparison

Differences Between PEX Crimp and Expansion:

  • Crimp equipment is affordable and can be found in any retailer’s stores.
  • PEX crimp is used in brass and plastic fittings concerning their ASTM standard.
  • It requires tools to make the connections strong, and you can test them immediately after installation.
  • The tools need calibration, so for crimpers, you can use a unique go-no-go gauge.
  • You can
  • use PEX crimp for all types of PEX tubing.
  • Not every tool of PEX crimping is suitable for challenging installations.
  • Expansion is not readily available, and it is not cheaper either.
  • They are manufactured to ASTM F1960 standard.
  • The installation can be done with the use of PEX sleeves.
  • You can only use expansion with PEX-A.
  • These tools are mostly given to experienced and skilled people, as they are not easy to handle.
  • Installation with the expansion is more efficient as compared to PEX crimp. 
  • Expansion tools are more durable.
  • There is no restriction of flow on the fitting while using expansion tools.

Expansion Or Crimp For PEX?

When we talk about expansion, then we know that it’s exclusive for PEX-A. Although it is considered good, it won’t slip away when you try to hold on to the ring in the right place.

You can also move the ring by closing the tool’s jaws to make it not too far or too close. So, it serves you a great deal as it extends the ring correctly.  

While we prefer crimp in case tubing heat up because the plastic ring got cut, you can reuse brass after throwing the plastic coverage. Similarly, in heat systems, the crimp is used to make it last longer.

It’s hard to decide which one will be best because each one has its advantages in a specific scenario.


In the end, you have many options as now you know the differences between three standard types of tools for PEX tubing. It’s up to your preferences that which one you want to use in your home’s plumbing. In terms of affordability, clamps tools are the choice of many DIYers.

They can do almost all the work at home with these versatile tools. If you are looking for something that can save your time and energy, you can consider expansion tools. Be aware of its high cost, though.

Not to forget PEX crimp tools, as they provide a tight seal to your piping connections. They sure have a specific size for each pipe, but they help to finish the work fast.

So, I hope this article will help you, and you can decide which tool is the best for any plumbing project!     

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