PEX flare tools are ideal for connecting PEX tubing. You will find thousands of products on the market, but only a few can serve you perfectly.
We have dedicated our time and resources to find the 5 best PEX extension tools so you don't end up buying an inferior tool.
Our Top 5 PEX Extension Tool Kit Picks:
Here are the detailed reviews of the top 5 PEX expanders. Keep reading!
1. DEWALT DCE400D2 20V Max 1 Inch PEX Expansion Tool Kit
Are you looking for the highest quality, most durable and easy to use PEX extension tool? Then this DEWALT DCE400D2 model is our pick for you.
This heavy-duty expander kit allows you to expand tubing from 0.375" to 1" with automatic rotation for even, consistent expansion.
Due to its excellent build quality, this is also one of the most durable PEX expanders available on the market.
The comfortable rubber grip relieves your hand when you work with the machine for a long time.
In addition, it is equipped with double-sided suspension hooks and belt hooks, so you can move it without carrying it in your hand.
This is our top pick for this buying guide for its versatility, ease of use, and fast uptime.
- Tube length from 0.375 to 1 inch
- Automatic rotation for perfect expansion
- It expands quickly and efficiently.
- user friendly design
- Double coat hook and belt hook
- comfortable rubber grip
2. Milwaukee 2432-22 M12 12V ProPEX Extension Tool Kit
Another high-quality PEX extension tool kit that's a real contender for our top pick. Without compromising on quality, this is our buying guide for PEX expanders.
This machine works quickly and efficiently to achieve constant tube expansion with its automatic rotation mechanism.
Plus, it can be operated with one hand even in the tightest spaces, making it one of the best products in its class.
Work becomes easy with its ergonomic design that ensures maximum comfort.
Like the DEWALT, this Milwaukee Cordless PEX Expander features adjustable PEX expansion from 0.375" to 1".
- rapid expandability
- Ideal for use in tight spaces
- It can be operated with one hand.
- continued expansion
- Ergonomic design for comfort.
3.IWISS 1/2.3/4.1 Inch ProPEX Expansion Tool Kit
Here comes the economic beast of the list. Yes, this IWISS ProPEX Expansion Tool Kit is our pick for the Best Value category.
A great quality product at an affordable price that allows you to expand 3 different sizes of PEX pipe, ie. H. Half-inch, ¾-inch, and one-inch pipe.
Since the product comes with a nice carrying case, you can handle and transport it more comfortably than most other competitors.
Because it is chrome plated, it is weather and corrosion resistant.
In addition, it complies with the ASTM F1960 standard, which indicates its quality.
- weather resistant
- Includes transport bag
- perfect extension
- Extension 3 sizes, half, 3 quarters and one inch
4.DEWALT 20V MAX PEX Expansion Tool, 1-Inch
Another DEWALT product joins the list. It has an automatic rotation mechanism for a smooth and precise expansion of the tube.
When it comes to versatility, this product allows you to expand tubing from 0.375" to 1".
Its compact design with comfortable handle ensures easy handling without overloading the operator's shoulder.
However, the high-quality power tool does not need a battery or charger. So you have to buy them separately.
- Tube expansion from 0.375" to 1"
- Automatic rotating head for smooth expansion
- Ideal for use in confined spaces.
- comfortable handle
- The battery and charger need to be purchased separately.
5.Yescom PEX Pipe Expansion Tool Kit
If you are looking for the cheapest PEX extension kit, then this YESCOM product is our pick for you. It comes at an affordable price without too much commitment. It can handle normal DIY use by homeowners and other hobbyists.
This product has a long, ergonomic handle that ensures easy handling.
Since the expander comes with a storage and carry bag, you can easily handle the tool and take it with you wherever you go.
Also, this hand tool is versatile. You can expand 3 pipe sizes with this inexpensive PEX expanding tool.
- Cheaper PEX extension
- Long and ergonomic handle
- Storage and transport bag
- Expandable heads in 3 sizes, ½, ¾, 1 inch
- Light and easy to use
How to choose the best PEX extension tool?
Now that you've read the top 5 PEX expanders, you might want to know how to choose them for this buying guide. These are the criteria we follow to select the best of the best products.
1. Build quality
The first thing we consider when making the list is the build quality of the product. No one likes spending hundreds of dollars on a product that isn't as durable.
As we couldn't use the product to check if they are durable or not. We use actual user experience to measure the overall build quality of the product. We have considered factors such as B. how often a product needs to be serviced, how long before the product becomes unusable, how long before the product is first serviced, etc.
2. Ease of use
The next thing to consider is the comfort of using the machine. If you are a professional, you should not skip this criterion.
We consider the overall design of the product, its ergonomics and comfort of use. Poorly designed products can tire out your workout and cause a lot of pain if used for a long time.
Related:The Ultimate PEX Crimp Tool Buying Guide
When we say versatility, we mean versatility in tube sizes. Not all expanders allow you to expand many tube sizes.
Generally, mid-range products come with 3 different size configurations, while high-end products offer more. Unless you are only using the product for one project, go for the more versatile option, as this will save you having to buy a new machine to make a larger or smaller tube.
4. PEX Expander Award
When I review a product, I mainly look at its price. Because the price says a lot about the product. While there are exceptions, higher-priced products often come with a high configuration and a host of features.
And you can't ignore the budget either. So pay attention to the price when you make your decision.
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5. Tool bag
Some PEX expanders come with convenient tool organization and a carrying case, while others do not. Without a suitable transport case, it will be very difficult to transport the machine and its accessories.
If you are taking the product for single use, you can skip this step. However, in other cases, we recommend purchasing a product that provides a nice and handy bag to carry the expansion tool kit.
The last and most important criterion of our buying advice is the weight of the product. Swallowing a product that is too heavy can strain your hand too soon, even before you are halfway through the job.
Nowadays, most of the high and mid-end products are lightweight, but then again, don't buy the product without checking.
How do I install PEX with a PEX expander?
Installing PEX with a PEX Expander is a simple task. You will need an expansion tool with an expansion ring to put on the PEX pipe.
1. Measure the tubes
Before you begin, carefully measure and cut your pipes to the perfect sizes for a seamless and reliable PEX connection that will last.
2. Placement of the extension ring
After cutting the tube, you now need to fit the correct expansion ring to the bottom end of the tube. Be sure to use the full size expansion ring, as slight variations in size can ruin your work.
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3. Connect the hose to the expander
Now connect the hose to the expansion head. You may need someone else to help you if your expander is too heavy. You can do it yourself with a lightweight PEX extension tool.
Finally, press the trigger to expand the tube. You have to pull the trigger more than 5 times to get the tube in a perfect position to accept the accessories.
In general, hand reaming tools require more presses than auto reaming tools. And the number of presses needed also depends on the weather. Warmer temperatures speed up the expansion process, but the tube will shrink faster in warmer climates. So you may not have enough time to slide the connections in perfectly if they are not tight enough.
On the other hand, you will need more expansion to mold the tube into the perfect shape to fit the fittings, it will not shrink quickly, and it will give you plenty of time to tighten the fittings.
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By the time you read this, you will have read the entire article and will know a lot about PEX extension products.
If you are already confused, we suggest you go with ourBeste Wahl DEWALT DCE400D2 20V Max 1" PEX Expansion Toolor themilwaukee runner-up.
These two products are almost the same and give almost the same result. Since there has to be a number one, we chose DEWALT for its lower price and design (checking that out for now).
Finally, remember this line. The best PEX expanding tool should feature great versatility, ease of use, carrying case, solid build quality, and reasonable price.
PEX-A, which has the most flexible tubing and best freeze- and kink resistance, is ideal for use with kitchen and bath fixtures. PEX-B is slightly less flexible and less freeze-resistant.Is PEX expansion or crimp better? ›
PEX crimp equipment is a lot more affordable than the expansion kits. However, despite the pricing and form shortcomings, most plumbers prefer to work with expansion because installation is more efficient. There are fewer leaks, and it also seems to be more durable against extreme colds and frozen pipes, etc.Do you need an expansion tool for PEX? ›
Installation of PEX A piping requires an expansion tool. The fitting is larger in diameter, so you'll need to enlarge the pipe and sleeve with the tool, then slide the fitting in. Once you remove the tool, the material will shrink back to normal size, tightening it around the fitting.How many times can you expand PEX? ›
PEX-a's elastic memory means it can expand up to three times its diameter and then shrink back down to its original size.What style PEX crimp is best? ›
- Best Overall. IWISS F1807 Copper Ring Crimping Tool Kit. ...
- Best Crimp Tool. IWISS IWS-FAS PEX Crimping Tool Kit. ...
- Best Cinch Tool. iCRIMP PEX Cinch Tool. ...
- Most Versatile. Conbraco Apollo PEX Multi-Head Crimp Tool Kit. ...
- Best for Tight Spaces. IWISS Angle Head PEX Pipe Crimping Tool Set. ...
- Honorable Mention. ...
- Best Overall. ...
- Best Crimp Tool.
Color-Coded: Red PEX pipes can be used for hot water supply lines, blue PEX for cold water supply, and white for either hot or cold. These colors are just for your convenience.Can you over expand PEX? ›
Ensure the piping and ring seat against the shoulder of the fitting. Important! You should feel some resistance as the fitting goes into the piping. If you do not feel any resistance, the piping may be over expanded and will require additional time to shrink over the fitting.Is it better to bend PEX or elbow? ›
1. Use PEX bend supports instead of elbows. Bend support allows to make a 90-degree turn with PEX tubing without the need for a fitting.How much will PEX expand before bursting? ›
If the weather gets cold enough, PEX pipes can and will freeze like any plumbing. However, PEX may be less likely to rupture as a result of freezing. When PEX tubing undergoes temperature changes — whether hot or cold — its first response is to expand. In some cases, this can be up to three times the tubing's diameter.What should you not do with PEX? ›
PEX is not suitable for outdoor use. Ultraviolet rays cause PEX to break down quickly—tubing left outdoors can harden and crack within a couple of months. PEX cannot currently be recycled, because it does not melt as other recyclable plastics do.
Flexibility - PEX-A is the most flexible, allowing for it to be fastened by cold expansion, which allows the end to be fluted prior to inserting the fitting. PEX B is not expandable and you should never expand the end of a PEX-B pipe.Do you need an air hammer with PEX? ›
The plastic pipe manufacturers like this provision. If a water distribution system is designed for a maximum flow rate of 8 ft./sec., you will never need a water hammer arrestor for CPVC or PEX tubing. So, if you only install CPVC or PEX tubing, you don't have to read any further.How many years will PEX last? ›
In most cases, PEX is extremely durable and lasts up to 50 years or more. PEX piping is also less likely to crack or break than metal pipe because it does not expand and contract as much when heated and cooled.What is the life expectancy of PEX pipe? ›
PEX: Due to its flexibility and durability, PEX piping should last at least 50 years. PVC / CPVC: Under typical conditions, these pipes should last up to 100 years. Keep in mind that PVC pipes are often used for drainage because extreme heat can damage them.Why do PEX fittings fail? ›
The leaching of zinc also makes the fittings weaker, resulting in dezincification. In PEX pipes, the zinc build-up can cause your kitchen and bathroom fixtures to clog. It also causes fittings to crack or break, leaking water within your walls or underneath your house.Is Shark Bite PEX good? ›
SharkBite fittings are the best fitting for installing a hot water heater because of their ability to withstand high temperatures. SharkBites work better than plastic quick-connects on copper pipes because the lead-free brass body is rigid like the pipe and has a higher pressure tolerance.How do I know if my PEX crimp is good? ›
Step 4: Check Crimp Ring
If the 'GO' slot fits over your crimp ring you know it's on the PEX correctly. You also want to slide the 'NO-GO' slot over the crimp ring, if it doesn't fit you're totally good to go.
Though copper and other plastic pipes have been around for decades, PEX — cross-linked polyethylene — has offered a more reliable plumbing solution in the U.S. for over 35 years.What happens if I use blue PEX for hot water? ›
The color of PEX does not change any of the tubing's ratings. There would be no problem, for example, using blue PEX for hot water lines or red PEX for cold water lines.At what temperature will PEX burst? ›
It has also been overtaking copper and CPVC because of its flexibility compared to copper and although PEX might freeze, unlike PVC, it would not burst. In general, PEX would freeze when surrounding temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit—especially if the water line is uninsulated.
Designed for use on hot and cold potable water lines, Orange PEX tubing is commonly used for radiant floor and hydronic heating applications.Will PEX burst if water freezes? ›
Don't Believe the Myth of Freeze-Proof Pipes
Whether you're working with copper, CPVC or PEX – you are not automatically protected from frozen and burst pipes. All of these materials can and will burst when frozen, under the right conditions.
If water freezes in the pipe, for example, PEX will expand to accommodate the change. Then it will contract back to original dimensions once thawed. Cold temperatures don't affect the strength of PEX pipe either — except in extreme temperatures. However, freeze-resistant pipes are not freezeproof.Can you leave PEX in the sun? ›
All distributors and users should know that PEX is not intended to be stored outdoors, and that even when stored indoors, PEX should be kept in the original packaging prior to installation for protection against UV/sunlight and other potential hazards.Does hard water hurt PEX? ›
What's more, some types of plumbing are more susceptible to hard water clogging than others. While copper, PVC and PEX pipes are more resistant to hard water buildup and corrosion, they can still get clogged or completely blocked by scale deposits.Is it OK to heat PEX to bend it? ›
Wirsbo-PEX tubing can be bent cold or hot as desired.How deep does PEX have to be buried? ›
Underground. Normally, you would bury your underground insulated PEX pipe 2 feet deep (24 inches). This is the right depth for burial for most ground types. Just be diligent enough to backfill it with soil that is not rocky or preferably sand.Do mice eat PEX pipe? ›
PEX Pipe Is Vulnerable
Rodents Chewing Through PEX Pipe is a common problem in our area. It doesn't matter how old your home is, if you have an attic, you need to watch for rodent damage to PEX Pipe or PVC.
PEX pipe showed a higher growth of coliform bacteria than copper pipe . The levels of released metal from plastic pipes were monitored in five pipe systems, PB, PVC, PP, PE, and cPVC.Why are my PEX fittings corroding? ›
The reason these fittings are defective fittings has been determined: they were crafted using poor quality yellow brass — UNS C3600 and C37700 brass alloy. This type of yellow brass contains a lot of zinc, and that high zinc content causes problems.
SharkBite non oxygen barrier pipe is manufacture as PEX-B and SharkBite oxygen barrier pipe is manufactured as PEX-C.Can PEX expansion fittings rotate? ›
Milwaukee ProPEX Expansion Tools come with built-in auto rotation.What is super PEX? ›
Bow SUPERPEX pipe offer the most-advanced technology in cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) for hot and cold potable water syatemes. This patented multi-layer pipe outperforms all other cross-linked polyethylene plumbing alternatives to assure the longest , trouble-free service life available in the industry.What PSI is PEX fittings good for? ›
PEX tubing is SDR9 with standard hydrostatic pressure ratings of 160 psi at 73°F (1105 kPa at 23°C) and 100 psi at 180°F (690 kPa at 82°C). Consult the specific PEX manufacturer's literature and listings for appropriate pressure ratings. PEX tubing and pipe are sold in coils and straight lengths.What happens if you don't use oxygen barrier PEX? ›
PEX without an oxygen barrier actually allows oxygen from the air to permeate it. This happens even if the PEX is embedded in concrete. Cast iron circulator pumps will rust when oxygen is present in the water. Bronze or stainless steel circulators are necessary when this is the case.Do PEX-A and PEX-B use different fittings? ›
Can any PEX fittings be used with PEX-A or PEX-B pipe? Apollo PEX-A (Expansion PEX) pipe can be used with Apollo PEX-A or Apollo PEX-B fittings, brass and poly alloy. Apollo PEX-B pipe cannot be used with PEX-A fittings.Should I use plastic or copper PEX fittings? ›
Due to the problem earlier caused by polybutylene (PEX predecessors) plastic PEX fitting have been recommended. It is true that in areas where water is less acidic, brass fitting is better. But in areas where water is acidic or easily contaminated, plastic fittings are better.What are the best push to connect PEX fittings? ›
A reliable straight connector is the easiest fitting you can use to join PEX, copper, or many other types of pipe or tubing together, and the SharkBite U072LFA Straight Connector is as good as it gets. SharkBite is a brand known for high-quality push-to-connect PEX fittings, so you can trust this product.Can you use PEX-A and PEX-B together? ›
There are two parts to this transition: the PEX-A MIP adapter and the PEX-B FIP adapter. These parts will thread together and allow you to join PEX-A to PEX-B. The PEX-A side will require an expansion ring while the PEX-B side requires the crimp ring.Does SharkBite work on PEX A? ›
SharkBite push-to-connect fittings are compatible with a variety of pipe types including PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT and SDR-9 HDPE.
PEX cannot be taken anywhere outside the house where it is directly exposed to UV for a long period. The synthetic material of the pipes can slowly disintegrate due to the light of the sun. Even light bulbs have been known to affect the lifespan of PEX water lines.What is the most common PEX type? ›
PEX B is formed using Silane, or Moisture Cure, method. This is the most common PEX pipe type out there.Why not to use SharkBite? ›
A SharkBite fitting contains a rubber O-ring, which is not best for permanent connections. We don't recommend using a SharkBite fitting outside because sunlight can dry out the rubber O-ring and cause it to crack or split.Is it better to bend PEX or use fittings? ›
1. Use PEX bend supports instead of elbows. Bend support allows to make a 90-degree turn with PEX tubing without the need for a fitting.How long do SharkBite push to connect fittings last? ›
How long do SharkBite fittings last? SharkBite fittings last a long time. In fact, SharkBite warrants the fittings for 25 years when used with SharkBite tubing.Is type A or B PEX better? ›
Flexibility - PEX-A is the most flexible, allowing for it to be fastened by cold expansion, which allows the end to be fluted prior to inserting the fitting. PEX B is not expandable and you should never expand the end of a PEX-B pipe. Kink-Resistance - PEX-A has the greatest resistance, PEX-B the lowest.Will PEX B pipe freeze and burst? ›
PEX pipe will expand if frozen and contract to its original shape when thawed. But putting frequent stress on the system weakens it, increasing chances of failure and leaks. So, to preserve the strength of your pipes, you should use the same standard insulation precautions with PEX to keep it from freezing.Can PEX B be heated and bent? ›
Warm the PEX Tube
Though PEX tubing bends well, it can crimp if it is bent improperly. Start by warming up the PEX tubing, either by letting it sit in a warm room or by using a heat gun at the lowest temperature setting.