Is It Better to Crimp or Clamp PEX? — iCrimp Tools Skip to content
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Crimp or Clamp Pex

Is It Better to Crimp or Clamp PEX?

PEX tubing is a common type of pipe in today’s plumbing applications. Every so often, making joints/connections is something you’ll encounter when doing plumbing installations. For instance, you’ll join a PEX pipe to a copper pipe, a PVC, or another PEX pipe. For this reason, you must think of an effective way to make such connections. Crimping and clamping are among the commonly utilized methods in PEX connections.
This post elaborates more on the above-outlined connection methods and outlines their differences. Consequently, you can choose what to suits your PEX application.

What is a PEX Crimp Connection?

A PEX crimp connection comprises a copper ring (called a crimp ring) that secures the connection between the PEX pipe and a crimp fitting (plastic or metal). It requires a unique tool known as a PEX crimping tool, like the IWS-FAS F1807 Multi-head PEX Crimper.
Here is a brief guide on how to make a PEX crimp connection.
Often crimp connections are the first choice for most professionals in the plumbing space since they’re easy to install and cheaper than its counterpart.

What are the pros of PEX crimp connections?

  1. PEX crimps are inexpensive, and their components are readily available.
  2. You're assured of secure and watertight connections if appropriately done using a PEX crimping tool of the right size.
  3. Easy to install: it doesn’t require expertise; even beginners can create PEX crimp connections.

What are the cons of PEX crimp connections?

  1. Removing a crimp connection isn’t easy and will require another tool, i.e., a decrimping tool.
  2. It requires the use of a lot of force on the crimping tool to create a secure connection.

What is a PEX Clamp Connection?

PEX clamp connections are also known as cinch connections. They tend to be similar to PEX crimps but share significant differences. PEX clamps are made up of a cinch/pinch/clamp ring (usually made of stainless steel) that secures the PEX pipe and the fitting. For the fittings, they share the same types of fittings with PEX crimp connections.
However, to make clamp connections, you require a unique tool, i.e., a PEX clamping/pinching tool like the iCrimp ICP-PC02 PEX Clamp Tool. It applies force on the jaws of the pinch ring to create a secure connection. More importantly, this tool works with multiple sizes of PEX pipes.
One of the winning areas of PEX clamp connections is that they’re ideal when making connections in cramped or confined spaces.

What are the pros of PEX clamp connections?

  1. Ideal for tight or cramped spaces.
  2. A single PEX clamp tool can connect steel clamp rings of different sizes.
  3. Removing pinch/clamp rings is easy.
  4. No gauge is required to check the quality of a clamp connection: you can do it visually.

What are the cons of PEX clamp connections?

  1. Unlike PEX crimps, PEX clamps take some level of skill to make proper and secure connections.
  2. Stainless steel clamp/pinch rings are more expensive than copper crimp rings. Also, they’re not common and thus not readily available.

Pex Crimps vs. Pex Clamps: Comparison


Pex Crimp 

Pex Clamp 

Tool used A Pex crimping tool A Pex clamping/pinching tool
Rings used It uses Pex copper crimp rings It uses stainless steel cinch/clamp rings
Ease of Installation Installation is straightforward and doesn’t require expertise Installation requires expertise
Cost Relatively cheaper than clamp connections Expensive than crimp connections
Reliability & Durability Pex crimp connections tend to be of high quality. They are also durable, but copper rings are prone to corrosion over time Pex clamp connections are also secure but not reliable as crimp connections. However, Pex clamp connections made of stainless steel rings are more durable.
Flexibility You cannot use a crimping tool in confined spaces. Also, using the tool requires much pressure to make secure connections. Clamping tools are ideal when working in tight spaces and don’t require much force.


Pex Crimps vs Pex Clamps: Which is better?

Both Pex crimp and clamp connections are great options when connecting Pex pipes. Choosing between the two boils down to one’s preference, convince, budget, and the area being worked on.
Regardless of the Pex connection methods you choose between these two, you must have the necessary materials and tools for each of them. For this reason, iCrimp offers a variety of high-quality PEX clamp and crimping tools calibrated to work on different pipe sizes. You can also find pipe fittings of various styles used in making PEX connections.


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