Did you know that PEX plumbing is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and DIY enthusiasts? The cost-effectiveness, freeze resistance, and ease of installation compared to copper pipes are driving more people to choose PEX. However, to ensure successful PEX plumbing projects, it is essential to have the right tools by your side.

Key Takeaways:

  • PEX plumbing offers cost-effectiveness, freeze resistance, and easy installation compared to copper pipes.
  • Having the right tools is crucial for successful PEX plumbing projects.
  • There are specific tools for different PEX plumbing methods, including crimping, clamping, expansion, and press methods.
  • PEX tube cutters are necessary for clean and straight cuts on the PEX tubing.
  • Additional tools for securing the PEX tubing during installation include clip guns and uncoilers.

Connections and Tools for Crimping Method

One popular method for joining PEX tubes is the crimping method. This method requires specific tools, such as crimp fittings, crimp rings, and a crimp tool. The crimp tool is used to fasten the fittings and rings, ensuring a tight and secure connection. Additionally, a go/no-go gauge can be handy to check the correctness of the connection. In case of mistakes, a de-crimping tool or a regular knife can be used. Properly crimped connections are crucial for preventing leaks and ensuring the longevity of the PEX plumbing system.

Tools for Crimping Method

Here are the essential tools needed for the crimping method:

Tool Description
Crimp Fittings Specific fittings designed for the crimping method, compatible with PEX tubing.
Crimp Rings Steel rings that slide over the fittings and are crimped to secure the connection.
Crimp Tool A specialized tool with jaws that compress the crimp ring onto the fitting, creating a watertight seal.
Go/No-Go Gauge A tool used to verify if the crimp connection is within the acceptable range of tightness.
De-crimping Tool A tool used to remove crimp rings or fittings in case of mistakes or disassembly needs.

By utilizing these crimping tools, you can confidently create secure connections that withstand the test of time. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, investing in high-quality crimping tools for PEX plumbing ensures reliable and leak-free installations.

Connections and Tools for Clamping Method

When it comes to joining PEX tubes, the clamping method is an effective and reliable option. This method requires clamp fittings, clamp rings, and a clamp tool to create strong connections. The clamp tool is designed to tighten the stainless steel cinch clamps securely. One of the advantages of the clamping method is its versatility, as the clamp tool can self-adjust to different sizes of PEX tubing. This feature makes it suitable for various plumbing projects, allowing for flexibility in installation.

Clamping is often preferred for its corrosion resistance, making it an excellent choice for direct-burial applications. This durability ensures a long-lasting and efficient PEX plumbing system. By choosing the clamping method and utilizing the appropriate tools, you can create secure connections and maintain the integrity of your plumbing installation.

To summarize, the clamping method for PEX plumbing requires clamp fittings, clamp rings, and a clamp tool. This method offers versatility and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for various plumbing applications. By using the right tools and equipment, you can ensure reliable connections and a successful PEX plumbing installation.

Tools for Expansion Method

When it comes to PEX plumbing installations, professionals often favor the expansion method due to its reliable connections. This method requires the use of oversized fittings and an expansion PEX tool. An example of a trusted expansion tool is the ProPEX Expander Tool from Milwaukee Tools, known for its precision and durability.

The expansion method involves expanding the PEX tubing using the PEX tool, allowing for the insertion of the fittings. Once the tubing shrinks back to its original size, a tight and secure connection is formed. This method ensures reliable connections that rarely fail, giving homeowners peace of mind.

While the expansion method is highly effective, it’s worth noting that the cost of the expansion tool may deter DIYers from choosing this method. Additionally, removing and reusing fittings can be challenging since the expanded tubing cannot be easily compressed back. As a result, the expansion method is more suitable for experienced professionals who can benefit from the long-term reliability it offers.

To better understand the benefits and considerations of the expansion method, take a look at the table below:

Expansion Method Benefits Expansion Method Considerations
  • Reliable connections
  • Rarely fail
  • Long-term durability
  • Higher tool cost
  • Challenging to remove and reuse fittings
  • More suited for experienced professionals

As seen in the table, the expansion method offers reliability and durability, ensuring long-lasting connections. However, the higher cost of the expansion tool and the complexities associated with reusing fittings may limit its appeal to advanced users.

Next, let’s explore another popular method of joining PEX tubes: the press method.

Tools for Press Method

The press method is a popular choice for joining PEX tubes due to its efficiency and time-saving capabilities. This method allows for quick installation of plumbing systems, making it ideal for new construction projects. To successfully use the press method, you will need the following tools:

  • Press fittings
  • Press rings (sleeves)
  • A PEX Press Tool

The press fittings and rings are specifically designed for this method and ensure a secure connection. Investing in high-quality fittings, such as those from Viega, can enhance the performance and reliability of your PEX plumbing system. The PEX Press Tool is used to secure the fittings and rings, providing a tight connection without the need for soldering or gluing.

While press connections are favored by professional plumbers for their ease of installation, they may not be as commonly used by DIYers. The cost of the press tool and the need for specific fittings can be a deterrent for those working on smaller projects. However, if you’re looking for a fast and efficient method for your PEX plumbing installation, the press method is definitely worth considering.

press tools for pex plumbing

Tools for Cutting PEX Tube

To ensure a proper connection, it is crucial to have clean and straight cuts on the PEX tubing. PEX tube cutters are essential tools for achieving this. While a utility knife can do the job in a pinch, using a dedicated PEX cutter provides better results more quickly and with less hassle. PEX cutters are available in both basic and professional ratcheting types, suitable for different pipe sizes.

PEX tube cutters

When it comes to cutting PEX pipe, having the right tool makes all the difference. PEX tube cutters are designed specifically for this task, ensuring precise and smooth cuts every time. These tools are equipped with sharp blades and ergonomic handles, making the cutting process quick and effortless.

The advantage of using a PEX cutter over a utility knife is the ability to make clean, burr-free cuts. PEX cutters are designed to prevent crushing or deforming the tubing, resulting in high-quality cuts that create smooth edges for proper fittings and connections.

There are two main types of PEX cutters available: basic and professional ratcheting cutters. Basic PEX cutters are manual tools that require squeezing the handles to make the cut. They are suitable for occasional use or smaller projects, where precision and speed may not be as critical. On the other hand, professional ratcheting cutters are designed for frequent use and larger projects. These cutters feature a ratcheting mechanism that provides more force and leverage, allowing for faster and effortless cuts with minimal hand strain.

When choosing a PEX cutter, consider the pipe size you will be working with. Some cutters are specifically designed for certain pipe sizes, while others offer adjustable cutting blades for more versatility. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions to ensure proper use of the PEX cutter for your specific application.

Here are the key benefits of using PEX tube cutters:

  • Efficiency: PEX cutters can cut through PEX tubing quickly and easily, saving you time and effort.
  • Precision: The sharp blades of PEX cutters ensure clean and precise cuts, allowing for proper fittings and connections.
  • Durability: PEX cutters are built to withstand frequent use and provide long-lasting performance.
  • Ease of use: With their ergonomic design and comfortable handles, PEX cutters make the cutting process effortless and comfortable.

Investing in a high-quality PEX tube cutter is essential for any PEX plumbing project. Whether you are a professional plumber or a DIY enthusiast, using the right tool will ensure seamless and reliable connections throughout your PEX plumbing system.

Type Features Price Range
Basic PEX Cutters Manual squeezing handles, suitable for occasional use or smaller projects $10 – $30
Professional Ratcheting Cutters Ratcheting mechanism for faster and effortless cuts, suitable for frequent use or larger projects $30 – $100

Tools for Securing PEX Tubing

Once the PEX tubing is cut and the connections are made, it is important to secure the tubing in place to prevent any movement or potential damage. Fortunately, there are specific tools designed for securing PEX tubing during installation, ensuring a professional and reliable plumbing system.

Clip Guns for PEX Plumbing

A popular tool for securing PEX tubing is the clip gun. Clip guns are available in both manual and pneumatic options, providing versatility for different project requirements. These tools are used to fasten the PEX tubing to studs, joists, or subfloors, keeping the tubing securely in place.

Whether you’re working on a single-run installation or a complex plumbing system with multiple different runs, clip guns offer a convenient and efficient way to secure the PEX tubing.

Uncoiler Tools for PEX Plumbing

When dealing with long runs of PEX tubing or installations involving multiple different runs, keeping the tubing organized and easily accessible is crucial. This is where uncoiler tools come in handy.

An uncoiler tool allows you to neatly uncoil the PEX tubing, keeping it in order and preventing tangles. With the tubing readily available and properly organized, you can work more efficiently and avoid any unnecessary delays or frustrations during the installation process.

Now, let’s see a table summarizing these tools for securing PEX tubing:

Tool Description
Clip Guns Manual or pneumatic tools used to fasten PEX tubing to studs, joists, or subfloors.
Uncoiler Tools Tools used to neatly uncoil PEX tubing, keeping it organized and easily accessible during installation.

The combination of clip guns and uncoiler tools ensures that your PEX tubing is securely held in place and ready for use, enabling you to complete your plumbing project with confidence and efficiency.


Selecting the best tools for PEX plumbing is essential for achieving successful installations. Whether you opt for the crimping, clamping, expansion, or press method, having the right tools by your side is crucial for ensuring efficient and reliable connections. These top tools for PEX plumbing will greatly contribute to the overall quality of your project.

Firstly, it is important to have the appropriate tools for making connections. Whether you choose crimp fittings and rings with a crimp tool, clamp fittings and rings with a clamp tool, or press fittings and rings with a PEX press tool, each method requires specific tools tailored to its requirements. By using the correct tools, you can ensure secure and leak-free connections for your PEX plumbing system.

To achieve clean and precise cuts on the PEX tubing, investing in a dedicated PEX tube cutter is highly recommended. While a utility knife can do the job, a specialized PEX cutter provides better results and saves you time and effort. Additionally, tools for securing the PEX tubing, such as clip guns and uncoilers, are crucial for keeping the tubing in place during installation and maintaining a neat and organized system.

By equipping yourself with the best tools for PEX plumbing, you are setting yourself up for success in your next plumbing project. The right tools will ensure efficient installations, reliable connections, and overall high-quality results. With these top tools for working with PEX plumbing, you can confidently tackle any PEX plumbing job that comes your way.